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Western Jewry and the Zionist Project, 1914–1933

Western Jewry and the Zionist Project, 1914–1933


  • Date Published: April 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521894203

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About the Authors
  • This 1996 study of the Zionist movement in Germany, Britain, and the United States recognizes 'Western Zionism' as a distinctive force. From the First World War until the rise of Hitler, the Zionist movement encouraged Jews to celebrate aspects of a reborn Jewish nationality and sovereignty in Palestine, while at the same time acknowledging that their members would mostly 'stay put' and strive toward acculturation in their current homelands. The growth of a Zionist consciousness among Western Jews is juxtaposed with the problematic nurturing of the movement's institutions, as Zionism was consumed increasingly by fundraising. In the 1930s, Zionist images assumed a progressively greater share of secular Jewish identity, and Zionism became normalized in the social landscape of Western Jewry, but the organization faltered in translating its popularity into a means of 'saving the Jews' and 'building up' the national home in Palestine.

    • The first book to recognize 'Western' or 'diaspora' Zionism in Germany, Britain and the USA as a cohesive force
    • Applies the tools of the 'new' history - including cultural studies, women's history - to Zionism
    • Challenges the current interpretations by showing that the process of fundraising was central and deeply divisive
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A richly documented, lucidly argued, and singularly original analysis of Zionism's near-fatal ambivalence among 'emancipated' Jewry in the last twilight decades before Adolf Hitler. Professor Berkowitz has produced a work of enduring scholarship.' Howard M. Sachar, Washington University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521894203
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.475kg
    • contains: 41 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Manly men and the attempted appropriation of the war experience
    2. A new pantheon: the portrayal of Zionist leaders in the West
    3. Dollars and the changing sense of Zionism
    4. Fundraising and catastrophe
    5. 'From swamp to settlement': rural and urban utopian visions
    6. Nationalized tourism in Palestine
    7. Idealism, realism, and sociability in Western Zionist youth organizations
    8. Cold embrace: the reception of Hasassah and organized European women Zionists

  • Author

    Michael Berkowitz, Ohio State University

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