Israel at 60

Sixty years ago, Statehood brought the promise of Israel as a blooming desert and a haven for all Jews, offering survivors of Europe’s atrocities and refugees from the Middle East and North Africa the possibility of remaking their lives. For visionary Zionist pioneers, the State of Israel meant rethinking Jewish history, social history, and gender roles too. One icon of this vision appears above — Daphna Sacharov Alroy, from Israel’s 10th anniversary year, in agrarian mode. Another potent visual: the Israeli woman soldier in uniform, shoulders thrust back, a belt of bullets slung across her chest, smiling out at us a decade later from a book titled Israel: The Reality.

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Israel at 60

The articles in this special section:

Young Israelis Make Waves In NYC

Four artists and a jazz singer come to lunch and dish about politics, gender, and where cultures clash. Then they reveal how Israel grew them into artists. You eavesdrop, via Naomi Danis’s translation of their Hebrew conversation.

Seven-Day Spa

by Sarah Greenberg, photos by Joan Roth

Spending one week a month in isolation with other women in a menstrual hut isn’t easily done in modernday Israel, so Ethiopian immigrants — and their university-educated daughters — are figuring out how to transpose these women’s rituals into the 21st century.

What Worries Israeli Women Now?

by Barbara Gingold

They speak frankly about making ends meet, keeping peace at home (in every sense of those words), and the powerful pull of their closest relationships. What keeps these women sane?