Bulletin: Zionism and Political History



Pnina Lahav, “Golda Meir: A Biographical Sketch,” Bildner Center, Rutgers, March 27, 2017


New Article: Kranz, Changing Definitions of Germanness across Three Generations of Yekkes

Kranz, Dani.”Changing Definitions of Germanness across Three Generations of Yekkes in Palestine/Israel.” German Studies Review 39.1 (2016): 99-120.
URL: https://www.academia.edu/22106615/Changing_Definitions_of_Germanness_across_Three_Generations_of_Yekkes_in_Palestine_Israel

German-speaking Jews arrived in Palestine in vast numbers from 1933 onwards. They are not Olim (ascenders, Jewish immigrants to Palestine/Israel) in the classical, Zionistic sense but emigrated out of necessity from Europe. Their history in Europe, and their arrival in Palestine reflect a particular integration into the nascent Jewish society, and resulted in a pronounced particularism that was transmitted across generations. To understand the interdependence of self-definition and superimposed ascription within a society that aims at absorbing immigrants, this paper chronicles the different definitions of Germanness amongst three generations of Yekkes (German-speaking Jews) in Palestine, later Israel, by focusing on community building, familial tradition, and everyday praxes of expressing Germanness.




New Article: Mahrer, The Schocken Library and its Rescue from Nazi Germany in 1935

Mahrer, Stefanie. “‘Much More than just another Private Collection’: The Schocken Library and its Rescue from Nazi Germany in 1935”. Naharaim 9.1-2 (2015): 4-24.


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0044118X15606157/


This article reconstructs for the first time the rescue of the Schocken Library, one of the largest privately owned book collections, from Nazi Germany. The library consisted of over 60,000 volumes of rare and precious ­Hebrew and German books, manuscripts, and incunabula. The books were shipped from Germany to Mandate Palestine in the years 1934–1937 and the library is one of the few collections that completely survived National Socialist destruction and looting. The case of the Schocken library can help us understand all of the many challenges involved in successfully relocating a library of its size. Without a network of professionals, experience dealing with authorities and unlimited funds, an operation like the shipment of the Schocken library would not have been possible. The second part of the paper focuses on how, once the library was in Jerusalem, the way in which it was perceived changed. From the contemporary perspective of the owner, the merchant and publisher Salman Schocken, and from the perspective of its users and visitors, the library was perceived as a place of continuity in exile rather than as a place of saved books. The micro-historical perspective not only allows us to understand how historical subjects interpret the world around them but also how they try to influence historical processes.




New Book: Wilhelm and Gust, eds. New Towns for a New State (German)

Wilhelm, Karin and Kerstin Gust, eds. Neue Städte für einen neuen Staat. Die städtebauliche Erfindung des modernen Israel und der Wiederaufbau in der BRD. Eine Annäherung. Bielefeld: transcript, 2013.

URL: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2204-1/neue-staedte-fuer-einen-neuen-staat



Israel and Palestine – What is today presented as a seemingly hopeless political situation, began with optimism, albeit a naive dream, towards building a peaceful society for all religions with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. For this purpose, the economist Edgar Salin (1892-1974) founded in 1958 “The Israel Economic and Sociological Research Project (IESRP),” which was to play a central role in the establishment of the “new towns” in Israel. The contributions here examine for the first time in a systematic way this project and its cultural and political importance, as well as relevant topics including planning debates and construction issues in the Federal Republic of Germany.

With contributions by Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Meron Benvenisti, Jörn Düwel, Zvi Efrat, Anton Föllmi, Rachel callus, Ruth Kark, Anna Minta, Andreas Nachama, Willi Oberkrome, Martin Peschken, Bertram Schefold, Axel Schildt, Julius H. Schoeps, Korinna Schönhärl, Yaakov Sharett, Thomas Sieverts, Joachim Trezib, Stefan Vogt, Georg Wagner Kyora, Karin Wilhelm, Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn and Moshe Zuckermann.

Click here for a Table of Contents (in German)

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014)

Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014): Table of Contents



Communists and the 1948 War: PCP, Maki, and the National Liberation League

Ilana Kaufman
pages 115-144

Mapam in the War of Independence: From the war front to the opposition back benches

The Israeli left between culture and politics: Tzavta and Mapam, 1956–1973

Tal Elmaliach
pages 169-183

From Yekke to Zionist: Narrative strategies in life stories of Central European Jewish women immigrants to Mandate Palestine

Dorit Yosef
pages 185-208

“Operation Exodus”: Israeli government involvement in the production of Otto Preminger’s Film Exodus (1960)

Giora Goodman
pages 209-229

Book Reviews

1929: Shnat ha-efes ba-sikhsukh ha-yehudi-aravi [1929: Year zero of the Jewish-Arab conflict]

Motti Golani
pages 231-235

 Menachem Begin: A Life

Representing Israel in Modern Egypt: Ideas, Intellectuals and Foreign Policy from Nasser to Mubarak

Uriya Shavit
pages 238-241

Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine

Shelly Zer-Zion
pages 241-244

Editorial Board

Editorial Board
page ebi

Cite: Jessen, Kastein and the Troublesome Persistence of a Canon of German Literature in Palestine

Jessen, Caroline. "‘Vergangenheiten haben ihr eigenes Beharrungsvermögen …’ Josef Kastein and the Troublesome Persistence of a Canon of German Literature in Palestine/Israel." Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 57 (2012): 35-51.

URL: http://leobaeck.oxfordjournals.org/content/57/1/35.short


Some literature – the persistent canon – was a repository for generational memories (as any re-reading of Schiller’s plays could bring back to mind, for example, memories of family recitals and school assignments). This literature was nevertheless responsive to readings through the lens of Zionist ideology: it could stand criticism based on heteronymous values. Last but not least, it provided readers with aesthetic pleasure. The canon gained strength from its usefulness as some sort of flexible social or symbolic capital, from being a depot for fundamental values.Thus, despite the problematic relationship many immigrants had with their cultural baggage, literature was functionalized as a bridge between past and present in order to provide recourse for people who felt fundamentally in between homes and in between the ‘identities’ they imagined or longed for.

Cite: Jütte,German Rabbis in Eretz Yisrael, 1933-1948

Jütte, Robert. "Not Welcomed with Open Arms. German Rabbis in Eretz Yisrael, 1933-1948." Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 57 (2012): 105-117.

URL: http://leobaeck.oxfordjournals.org/content/57/1/105.short


Without the emigrant rabbis who returned to Germany, many Jewish congregations in the young Federal Republic would have been hard put to find pastoral care for their members even though their numbers were still small at that time. The rabbis who returned to Germany from Israel, of all places, most of whom cherished scientific ambitions, found themselves accused on two counts, firstly for having turned their backs on the Jewish state and its restoration, and secondly for contributing to making Jews feel more at home again in Germany. That there were even Zionists among them rendered the whole situation even more controversial. Many aspects of the history of the remigration of rabbis are therefore still waiting to be written.