Jewish New Age and the Middle Class: Jewish Identity Politics in Israel under Neoliberalism

Dana Kaplan, Rachel Werczberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article asks why middle-class Israeli seculars have recently begun to engage with Jewish religiosity. We use the case of the Jewish New Age (JNA) as an example of the middle class’s turn from a nationalised to a spiritualised version of Judaism. We show, by bringing together the sociology of religion’s interest in emerging spiritualities and cultural sociology’s interest in social class, how after Judaism was deemed socially significant in identity-based struggles for recognition, Israeli New Agers started culturalising and individualising Jewish religiosity by constructing it in a spiritual, eclectic, emotional and experiential manner. We thus propose that what may be seen as cultural and religious pluralism is, in fact, part of a broader system of class reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-591
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

ISSR (International Society for the Sociology of Religion) Best Article Award.


  • Jewish-renewal
  • identity politics
  • middle class
  • neoliberalism
  • religion
  • spirituality


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