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American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise / Edition 1

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Overview

Despite a historical record that shows sustained involvement of American Jewish women with early Zionism and Palestine, this topic has received scant scholarly attention. A major contribution to Zionist history, women’s history, and American history, American Jewish Women and Zionism offers a much needed clarification to the historical record.

Divided thematically, American Jewish Women deals with representative figures, events, and themes of the pre-state era. The essays in the book have three different foci: Several are concerned with significant personalities, such as Golda Meir, Marie Syrkin, Emma Lazarus, and Henrietta Szold, while others are concerned with the pivotal role played by American Zionist women’s organizations including Hadassah, the Pioneer Women’s Organization (later Naamat), the Mizrachi Women’s Organization (later Amit Women), and others. The remaining essays address broad themes and reveal the multidimensionality of the relationship of American Jewish women and Zionism, which includes agricultural and vocational training, religion, ideology, geography, and feminism and femininity.

American Jewish Women and Zionism also includes several eyewitness documents and personal testimonies. No less significant than the corpus of memoirs and literature produced by male Zionist leaders, such data throws light on hitherto neglected facets of American Jewish and Zionist history, including the variety of roles played by Zionist women and their self-awareness as participants in one of the most dramatic and consequential episodes in the history of Jewish civilization.

The volume includes a glossary of terms, a map of the principal locations referred to in the text, illustrations, and a timeline of American Jewish women and their relationship to Zionism. Each section opens with a prefactory note that places the essays in historical context. It concludes with a bibliographic note and suggestions for further readings.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Anyone interested in the significant role of women and Zionism should definitely find this book a must read."—The National Jewish Post & Opinion

"Shulamit Reinharz and Mark Raider's magnificent study... challenges us to understand how faith in Zionism and in the American dream nourished and changed both projects. This is a story not of ideologies or, for the most part, of ideologues, but rather of the creators of a new tradition. The essays in this collection bring some of the leaders of Hadassah, Pioneer Women, and of Mizrahi beautifully to life and show how a dedication to the Zionist cause deepened a commitment to American values, and enlarged the Zionist perspective, to preserve a set of liberal principles reaching across the ethnic and national divide in Palestine...In this book Reinharz and Raider assemble essays that chart the rich profusion of movements, institutions, and activities - including aliyah - that Zionism inspired in Jewish women living in the United States."—Israel Studies

"The organizations that women created as an expression of their goal are deftly analyzed. There is valuable and intriguing material here which calls for the attention of scholars in the fields of American history, women's history, feminism, and Zionism."—Jewish Book World

“Enhanced by a 100-year timeline linking American Jewish women and Zionism, the book goes beyond activities in the United States… illuminating.”—Hadassah Magazine

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Product Details

Meet the Author

SHULAMIT REINHARZ is the founding Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Jacob Potofsky Professor of Sociology, Brandeis University, and General Editor for the Brandeis Series on Jewish Women. MARK A. RAIDER is Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History, Chair of the Judaic Studies Department, and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies, University of Albany. He is co-editor of The Plough Woman (UPNE/Brandeis, 2002) and the author of The Emergence of American Zionism (1998).
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Table of Contents

Map of Palestine
Timeline of American Jewish Women and Zionism in Historical Context

THREE GENERATIONS OF AMERICAN JEWISH WOMEN AND THE ZIONIST IDEA
Emma Lazarus and Pre-Herzlian Zionism - Arthur Zeiger
The Zionist Vision of Henrietta Szold - Allon Gal
Marie Syrkin: An Exemplary Life - Carole S. Kessner

AMERICAN JEWISH WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS AND THE ZIONIST ENTERPRISE
"Never a Rubber Stamp": Bessie Gotsfeld, Founder of Mizrachi Women of America - Baila Round Shargel
Formulating the "Women's Interpretation o f Zionism": Hadassah Recruitment of Non-Zionist American Women, 1914-1930 - Mary McCune
Hadassah-WIZO Canada and the Development of Agricultural Training fo rWomen in Pre-State Israel - Esther Carmel-Hakim
The Impact of Zionism on the International Council of Jewish Women, 1914-1957 - Nelly Las
Women and Zionist Activity in Erez Israel: The Case of Hadassah, 1913-1958 - Mira Katzburg-Yungman

ALIYAH, SOCIAL IDENTITIES, AND POLITICAL CHANGE
Settling the Old-New Homeland: The Decisions of American Jewish Women during the Interwar Years - Joseph B. Glass
Em Leemahot: The Public Health Contributions of Sara Bodek Paltiel to the Yishuv and Israel - Peri Rosenfeld
Rose Viteles: The Double Life of an American Woman in Palestine - Sara Kadosh
Irma "Rama" Lindheim: An Independent American Zionist Woman - Shulamit Reinharz
Golda Meir and Other Americans - Marie Syrkin
Golda: Femininity and Feminism - Anita Shapira

WOMEN REPORT AND REMEMBER: DOCUMENTARY PORTRAITS
Contemplating Aliyah to Palestine (Chelsea, Massachusetts, 1935) - Judith Korim Hornstein
From Brooklyn to Palestine in 1939 (Kibbutz Kfar Blum, 1985) - Golda Meir
Memories of Rose Luria Halprin (Norwalk, Connecticut, 1999) - Ruth Halprin Kaslove
Coming of Age in Kibbutz (Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek, 1954) - Irma "Rama" (Levy) Lindheim
Life in a Religious Kibbutz (New York, New York, 1999) - Lois Slott
Remembering Israel's War of Independence (Givat Savyon, Israel, 1999) - Zipporah Porath
Glossary of Term
A Note on Bibliography
About the Contributors
Index

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