Cite: Gal, Brandeis’s Social-Liberal and Zionist Tradition

Gal, Allon. “Isaiah’s Flame: Brandeis’s Social-Liberal and Zionist Tradition.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 11.2 (2012): 207-220.





Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856–1941) evolved from a political liberal, committed to free competition, hard money and honest government, to become in his maturity a social liberal chiefly pursuing social justice and free speech. In the Supreme Court (1916–1939) he remained faithful to his liberal and progressive parameters. Since about 1905 he evolved from being a half-assimilated Jew to an identified Jew and a Zionist. His original concept of Zionism was as a mission to achieve higher social goals. However, from about the mid-1920s he intensified his Zionism as a vital goal in itself. His synthesis of Progressivism and Zionism gradually came to be the classic tradition of all major American Zionist and pro-Israel trends.

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