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“Tours that Bind . . . serve[s] up some fascinating insights into one of the most daring and effective social experiments of the modern Jewish Diaspora.”
- The Jerusalem Post
“Drawing mainly on his own participant-observation experiences, Kelner situates the program in a context of political tourism, giving us new tools with which to understand the visceral, emotional and cognitive impacts on the participants. This provides a sophisticated lens through which to analyze what the Birthright program, and others like it, does, how it accomplishes its goals, what those goals are and why the mechanisms used may also limit its impact.”
- Harriet Hartman, The Forward
“...[O]ffers some intriguing insights into a phenomenon of considerable importance in the American Jewish community.”
- Adam Kirsch, Tablet Magazine
“Tours that Bind is an exceptional work. Shaul Kelner offers one of the finest social scientific studies of contemporary Jewish life in a generation.”
- Riv-Ellen Prell, author of Fighting to Become Americans: Jews, Gender and the Anxiety of Assimilation
“The best book to date on diaspora tourism. Kelner sweeps away the cobwebs that have clouded the relationship between young American Jews and the state of Israel. Rich description, subtle theory, and jargon-free writing make this book a joy to read. A major contribution to the literature on tourism and Jewish studies.”
- Edward M. Bruner, author of Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel
Shaul Kelner is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University.