Changing Students’ Perceptions by Humanizing Dati Israelis through Comics


Source: Religious Education, 116:3, 278-295 


A qualitative practitioner research study was conducted with 31 high school students studying religion contemporary Israeli society. The purpose of the study was to understand how using cartoons written and illustrated by the religious Jewish-Israeli settler Shay Charka challenged students to think about religion in Israeli society in new ways and whether introducing perspectives that were foreign to their North American Jewish education led to new ways of relating to and understanding Jewish-Israeli communities.

Results of this small-scale study yielded that the comics were successful in introducing new ways of thinking about religion and in introducing a more complex portrait of Israeli society. As a pedagogical device, comics proved to be of salience and interest to the learners, which also led students to be motivated to study them. Students were particularly interested in the ways that Charka subverted their assumptions of gender in religious-Israeli communities and this specifically led to increased awareness of religious diversity in Israeli society.

Updated: Jul. 15, 2021