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The Americanization of English Teaching in Israel: How Chicago Jews Created Hollywood Hills in Tel-Aviv with Eitan Bar Yosef


Institute For Middle East Studies

The creative, entertaining and sometimes zany English instruction programs, produced by the Israeli Educational Television in the 1970s, abandoned the respectability associated with “Shakespeare” in favor of the plots and images of American popular culture. In doing so, they captured some of the broader cultural and historical shifts that reshaped Israel after 1967.


  • Eitan Bar-Yosef is a literary scholar and cultural historian and the outgoing editor of "Teoria U-vikoret" ("Theory and Criticism", published by the Van-Leer Institute, Jerusalem), Israel’s leading critical theory journal. Bar-Yosef is specializing in postcolonial studies, Victorian studies and Israel studies. He is the author of The Holy Land in English Culture, 1799-1917: Palestine and the Question of Orientalism, which examined British Imperial culture, with an emphasis on Britain's colonial interests in Palestine, and A Villa in the Jungle (in Hebrew) which examined representation of Africa in Israeli literature, theater and high and pop culture. This lecture is part of his new research project, examining Israeli culture after 1967 through the unique prism offered by the productions of the now deceased Israeli Educational Television.