New Article: Gledhill, The British Hashomer Hatzair Movement

Gledhill, Jim. “Forces of Tomorrow. Youth Culture and Identity in the British Hashomer Hatzair Movement.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.2 (2015): 280-98.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1009730

 

Abstract

This article examines the social experience of belonging to the British section of the international Socialist Zionist youth movement, Hashomer Hatzair. The study is based on interviews conducted with 10 former activists across four generations and focuses primarily on the movement in London. It will be argued that Hashomer Hatzair represented a unique alternative youth culture based on a model developed by the movement’s founders in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This model synthesized Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting, the Jugendkultur of the German youth movements, Socialist Zionism and Marxism. Imported to Britain by young German and Austrian refugees from Nazism, this youth culture was reproduced initially in the English countryside, and after the war plugged into the pre-existing politics of Jewish radicalism in London and the general Zionist fervour that anticipated the establishment of Israel. Hashomer Hatzair emphasized autonomy from adult society. By creating autonomous youth spaces, the movement opened a portal for young Jews to shape their own identities. Through a process of politicization and education, the movement’s adherents would identify life on Israeli kibbutzim as an ideal future in adulthood. In tandem with the projection of heroic Jewish role models, this process encouraged Hashomer Hatzair’s followers to define their Jewishness in secular and existential terms, in opposition both to contemporary consumerist and urbanized capitalism, and to the traditional communal associations of the past.

 

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014)

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

 

Articles

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

CFP: Jewish Youth Movements and Jewish Youth in Europe or Palestine between the World Wars

Professor Aviva Halamish and I are seeking participants for an AJS session on current research on Jewish youth movements and Jewish youth in Europe or Palestine between the world wars. The session commemorates 100 years to Hashomer Hatzair (1913-2013) so if there are enough papers on Hashomer Hatzair, we will concentrate on the movement.

 

Ofer Nur

Tel Aviv U.

 

E-mail: eifo.ofer [at] gmail [dot] com