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