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American Women Zionists

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Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is the largest Jewish women's organization in the Diaspora and the largest women's organization in the United States, surpassing all other Zionist organizations in the diversity and scope of its activity. The book probes the nature of Hadassah by analyzing its ideas and tracing their Jewish, American, and feminine origins; describing its activities in the US and Palestine, and illustrating its significance in the contexts of American Jewry, American Zionism, the World Zionist movement and Israel. An extensive historical introduction describes Hadassah's history from its inception until 1948-its establishment and institutionalization, its early Zionist ideas, its medical and social activity in Palestine, and its role in Jewish society there. The introduction also discusses Hadassah's entry into political activity and, in tandem with other American Zionist organizations, its struggle for the establishment of Israel. Thus, as it analyzes the Hadassah ethos, its educational activity among American Jewry, the ideological disputes between Rose Halperin and David Ben-Gurion, and between Halperin and the Israeli deputies to the World Zionist Organization, the book explains the factors that enabled Hadassah to maintain its continuity for so many years, despite changing times and circumstances. The last chapters of the book compare Hadassah with other Zion ist women's organizations and discuss Hadassah as a women's organization, and the importance of its Eretz Yisraeli 'partners' who themselves functioned as pillars of the organization in the US. Finally, the conclusion presents factors that made Hadassah unique, facilitated its historical continuity and enabled it to cross social, ideational, and political borders, and to appeal to a very large population of women, transcending that of other Jewish women's organizations in the US.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Prologue Part I Hadassah, 1912-1948 1 Historical Background Part II The American Scene-Ideology and Praxis 2 Leadership 3 The Jewish Elements-Ideology and Praxis 4 The American Elements-Ideology and Praxis Part III The Arena of the World Zionist Organization 5 Coping Ideologically and Politically with the Establishment of the State of Israel, 1948-1950 6 Coping Ideologically and Politically with the State of Israel, 1951-1956 Part IV Hadassah and the State of Israel 7 Hadassah and Israel's War of Independence, 1947-1949 8 Israel's Formative Years, 1949-1956-Hadassah Prepares to Meet the Needs of the Fledgling State 9 Projects for Immigrant Youth 10 Education and Welfare Projects for Children and Youth 11 Comparative and Feminist Aspects 12 The Eretz Yisraeli Factor Epilogue

About the Author

Mira Katzburg-Yungman, who received her doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a scholar of American Zionist history, specializing in the history of Jewish women. She has published prolifically on these subjects, particularly on the history of Zionism and of American Jewry more widely. It is her deep knowledge in these areas that has allowed her to write a history of Hadassah that portrays the organization in its proper context. She has developed the field of American Jewish history at the Open University of Israel for many years and has made a particular contribution to the subject with the three-volume collection of documents and articles, The American Jewish Experience, which she compiled and edited and which is a widely acclaimed sourcebook used in universities and colleges throughout Israel.


FROM REVIEWS OF THE HEBREW EDITION 'Katzburg-Yungman brings an innovative element into the analysis and integration of scholarly material, placing ... Hadassah against the backdrop of the establishment of the State of Israel, not only as a Zionist organization but also as a women's organization. She presents its unique contribution as a result of its dual identity: a combination of nationalism and gender ... The three main parts of the book are brought together to present the history of Hadassah from its beginnings in a comprehensive and inclusive manner. This comprehensive and inclusive perspective is based on numerous primary sources that could also be relied on as points of support in other research ... The book is the result of comprehensive, broad and extensive research on the history of Hadassah ... This book will constitute the basis for all further research on the history of Zionism in the past hundred years.' Shifrah Schwartz, Harefuah 'An easy and enjoyable read despite the plethora of information ... thanks to the author's style and compelling presentation ... she has managed to present her material from a number of different points of view and to integrate it with personal biographies ... In this sense, Katzburg-Yungman represents a new trend in the social sciences whereby the areas of research are shifted from entire populations to individual lives, combining ethnography with biography ... According to the author, the Zionism of Hadassah was shaped by the characteristics of secular American Jews who seek to preserve their Jewish identity - an identity that combines Jewish and American elements ... To sum up: a book wholeheartedly recommended ... informative, enriching, and entertaining.' Rinah Ne'eman, Sotsiologiyah yisra'elit

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