The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Homeland Run: Israeli Baseball and American Transmigrants

This paper addresses an aspect of cultural transfer and transformation by Anglo migrants from North America in Israel, specifically the Israeli baseball association that was founded by Jewish migrants from North America. The purpose of this paper is to examine cultural transfer as part of transnational activities of transnational migrants. This is done by interviewing 20 Jewish migrants from United States to Israel that are engaged In Israeli baseball – as players, coaches, administrators etc. as well as 4 Israeli born players that are also engaged in Israeli baseball. This research contributes to our understanding of the cultural transfer and the effect of migrant on this process. This study contributes to our understanding of transnational migration by drawing attention to the way the experiences of transnational migrants are shaped by the recreational activity, and the way transnational migrants` activities affect their host county. This is done by cultural transnational diffusion, mediated by a `critical community` of the American Jewry. The Israeli baseball provides to the Jewish migrants from United States a method of identification with Israel and of acculturation and adaptation to the Israeli society.