The aim of this qualitative research is to investigate the attitude of adolescents to Israel in Australian Jewish day schools. Using a grounded theory approach according to the constant comparative, data from three sources (interviews, observations and documents) were analyzed, thus enabling triangulation.
One key finding is that place attachment, exploration and criticism are not contradictory, but reflect the concern and involvement of the younger generation and serve as a form of reclaiming their connection to Israel through critical engagement. We also found that Israel is no longer part of the younger generation’s conceptual and extended selves to the same extent as in their parents’ and grandparents’ generations. Therefore, Australian Jewish educators face a challenge of finding ways to enhance the attachment to a specific, parochial place in this era of transnationalism. We argue that Israel could still serve as a major constituent in creating a global Jewish identity provided that a more open and critical approach is taken to Israel Studies programs.