Baltimore-Ashkelon Sister City Partnership: Responses to Jewish Identity and Community Exchanges

This multi-sited ethnographic project aims to understand how the Jewish community in Baltimore continues to influence economic development and cultural exchanges in Israel through its “sister city”

partnership project with Ashkelon in Israel which was launched by The Associated in 2003. The Associated is Jewish philanthropy of the Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore which engages in project and resource planning for the partnership. The research will aim to examine the philanthropic partnership between communities in Baltimore and Ashkelon in developing projects to build Jewish identity, leadership and volunteerism, Jewish education, cultural and political exchange. The ethnography will aim to advance the understanding of the interrelated concepts of American-Jewish identity and Israeliness within subjective contexts of ethnopolitics. Fieldwork in Baltimore has already been initiated and there will be subsequent visits to both Baltimore, Maryland and Ashkelon, Israel. The project is being funded by the American Jewish Committee, and led by JCIS Convener and Faculty coordinator, Professor Rohee Dasgupta.