New Book: Epstein, The Dream of Zion

Epstein, Lawrence J. The Dream of Zion. The Story of the First Zionist Congress. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

 
Dream of Zion
 

The Dream of Zion tells the story of the Jewish political effort to restore their ancient nation. At the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in August 1897 Theodor Herzl convened a remarkable meeting that founded what became the World Zionist Organization, defined the political goals of the movement, adopted a national anthem, created the legal and financial instruments that would lead to statehood, and ushered the reentry of the Jewish people into political history. It was there in Basel that Herzl, the man some praised and some mocked as the new Moses, became the leader. The book provides an overview of the history that led to the Congress, an introduction to key figures in Israeli history, a discussion of the climate at the time for Jews—including the pogroms in Russia—and a discussion of themes that remain relevant today, such as the Christian reaction to the Zionist idea.

 

Table of Contents

The Birth of Zionism
2.The Sad-Eyed Prophet: Theodor Herzl’s Mission
3.With Eyes Toward Zion: The Many Routes to Basel
4.Trembling Before History: The Three Days of the Congress
5.Zion’s Flame: Reactions Around the World
6.Echoes of the Dream: The Legacy of the First Zionist Congress
Chronology
References
Index

LAWRENCE J. EPSTEIN is professor emeritus at Suffolk County Community College, where he taught courses on Jewish thought and culture. He served as Adviser on the Middle East for two members of the United States Congress. He is the author of numerous books, including The Basic Beliefs of Judaism and Conversion to Judaism: A Guidebook.

New Article: Reimer, A Translation and Analysis of the Zionist Congress’s Opening Speech

Reimer, Michael J. “‘The Good Dr. Lippe” and Herzl in Basel, 1897: A Translation and Analysis of the Zionist Congress’s Opening Speech.” Journal of Israeli History (early view, online first).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13531042.2015.1005801

 

Abstract

Dr. Karpel Lippe of Jassy, who gave the opening speech at the first Zionist Congress, has been largely ignored in histories of Zionism. This article introduces an English translation of his speech. Lippe helped to legitimate “Congress-Zionism” by connecting it to earlier forms of Jewish activism. His address exposes tensions arising from the Basel meeting, including Ottoman suspicion, relations with the Orthodox, and conflicts over organizational priorities. Insisting upon his and his country’s priority in the movement’s history, Lippe’s oration suggests an alternative perspective on early Zionism and raises broader questions for the historiography of nationalism.