Zionism

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Founder
Theodor Herzl
Time Period
1897  - 1948
Description
Since the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem in 125 C.E., many debated the re-establishment of a Jewish state. With anti-Semitism rising in 19th century Europe, Hungarian writer Theodor Herzl founded and promoted political Zionism -- a movement for the re-establishment of a Jewish state, preferably in Palestine.

Many American Jews were tentative about Zionism, with Reform Jews viewing a Zionist position as being disloyal to the United States while Orthodox Jews opposing it on theological grounds. Nonetheless, Reform rabbis Abba Hillel Silver and Stephen Wise founded the Zionist Organization of America in 1897, the first American Zionist organization.

American Zionism increased in acceptance after Louis Brandeis, a prominent lawyer and later Supreme Court Justice, promoted Zionism. By 1917, the American Zionist movement had approximately 200,000 members.

The debate regarding Zionism subsided after 1948 with the creation of Israel. Acceptance increased, and some of the fiercest anti-Zionists at one time, like Reform Jews, now are strongly pro-Israel.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Social Movements and Religion
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian)
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Social Movements and Religion in American History
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian) in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Judaism Family
Judaism Family: Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Theodor Herzl portrait- Hathi Trust- from Die Stimme der Warheit by Lazar Schon

Abba Hillel Silver portrait- Hathi Trust- from The Union Bulletin, vol 13 (1923)

Rabbi Stephen Wise portrait- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-hec-19183

Louis Brandeis portrait 3- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ggbain-05511

Sir Howard with Washington Zionists- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-npcc-13306
Book/Journal Source(s)
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. New York: Facts on File.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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