Hadas is taking on the task of making the history of Israel relevant to us today.
- Age: 30
- Field: History
- Lives in: Tel Aviv
- Married with one child
My Research: Relations between the colonial state and Jewish citizens in British-ruled Palestine during the Second World War
The Past Comes to Life: I was born and raised in Jerusalem in a liberal religious household. Between the stone houses that filled the landscape of my childhood and the books that lined the walls of my parents’ home, I learned to aspire to expand the breadth of my knowledge and to ask questions about the past and its relation to our lives in the present. As a child, I loved to read books about history as well as biographies. In high school, my history teachers breathed new life into the past, making it interesting and relevant – not with textbooks, but with the philosophical works of Rousseau and Locke and with Picasso’s masterpieces. This is a challenge that guides me in my academic life: The goal of combining my duty to precision in my research with my desire to tell an interesting story with momentum and vitality.
“To further my understanding of the present by tracing the paths of the past.”
War in Everyday Life: My research deals with the social and economic policy of the British Mandate during the Second World War and examines how it shaped the life of the Jews of the Yishuv with regards to housing, nutrition, consumption and welfare, and how it influenced their perception of the colonial state in which they lived. I discovered that in addition to the widely known historical information about the time, the British Mandate also dealt with residents’ daily lives and considered caring for their wellbeing a part of its job. This aspect is just as important to understanding the period as is the diplomatic-security climate.
Past Progressive: The reality of our contemporary life is tied to history by so many tiny threads, beginning with the traces of the material past in our architectural landscape and ending with the remnants of mythology in our ideas and symbols. I was drawn to history by the opportunity to further my understanding of the present by tracing the paths of the past. I hope to continue to a post doctorate and to remain in the academic research track.
Hadas is a PhD student at the Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies at the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities and a recipient of the Lessing Foundation Scholarship.