"Remaking Israeli Judaism" is the first comprehensive account of Shas, the most significant religious and cultural movement to have emerged in Israel since the rise of Likud in 1977. Shas brings together in an explosive mixture the religious and ethnic tensions which continue to simmer beneath the surface of Israeli Jewish society and politics. This Sephardi religious revival movement (t'shuva) is also giving birth to the first truly Israeli form of Orthodox Judaism, distinct from the still dominant Ashkenazi Yiddish-speaking version. Shas appeals especially to underprivileged Israelis, among whom a significant minority, in the name of recovering their lost glory (their 'crown') and their lost self-respect, adopt the ultra-Orthodox faith.
David Lehmann is Reader in Social Science at Cambridge University. Batia Siebzehner is a Research Fellow at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Senior Lecturer at Beit Berl College.