Accepted Paper:

Jerusalem of go(l)d: imagination and western immigration in the neighborhood of Baka in Jerusalem  
Hila Zaban (SOAS University of London)

Paper long abstract:

The global recession notwithstanding, immigration to Israel by Jews from western countries has been growing over recent years. Jerusalem attracts more of these mainly religious immigrants than any other city in Israel. The way diasporic Jews imagine Jerusalem plays a crucial role in their decision to move there or just purchase a second-home for the Jewish holidays. Through a detailed ethnography of Baka, I will document the changing cultural and socio-economic status of the neighborhood, its growing religiousness, its increased culture of consumption, the development of its real estate market and the struggles of residents to maintain the neighborhood's character. The dominance of the wealthier immigrants and the great symbolic importance of Jerusalem sharpen theoretical issues, such as the role of imagination in immigration, the expansion of gentrification processes and the material and symbolic aspects of belonging.

Panel W017
Out in public: towards an anthropology of public socialities in urban space