Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 35

BookPolin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 35

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 35

Promised Lands: Jews, Poland, and the Land of Israel

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, 35


January 1st, 2023



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An in-depth and multifaceted investigation of how Polish Jews, Polish Zionism, and Polish culture influenced Israel’s cultural and political development, as well as of how the Zionist project influenced Jewish life in Poland. From its inception as a political movement, Zionism had as its main goal the creation of a ‘New Jew’ who could contribute to building a Jewish state, preferably in the historic homeland of the Jewish people, where Jews would free themselves from the negative characteristics which, in the view of the ideologues of Zionism, had developed in the diaspora. Yet, inevitably, those who settled in Palestine brought with them considerable cultural baggage. A substantial proportion of them came from the Polish lands, and their presence significantly affected the political and cultural life of the Yishuv, and later the State of Israel. In this volume, scholars from Israel, Poland and elsewhere in Europe, and North America explore different aspects of this influence, as well as the continuing relationship between Israel and Poland, up to the present day.

Author Information

Israel Bartal is Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and dean of the Faculty of Humanities there. His books include The Jews of Eastern Europe 1772–1881 (2005) and Cossack and Bedouin: Land and People in Jewish Nationalism (Hebrew; 2007). François Guesnet is Professor of Modern Jewish History, University College London and chair of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies. His publications include ‘Chanukah and its Function in the Invention of a Jewish-Heroic Tradition in Early Zionism’ in Nationalism, Zionism and ethnic mobilisation (ed. Michael Berkowitz, 2004) and Sources on Jewish Self-Government in the Polish Lands from Its Inception to the Present, edited with Jerzy Tomaszewski (2022). Antony Polonsky is Emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies, Brandeis University, and Chief Historian of the Global Education Outreach Program at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. His three-volume history the Jews in Poland and Russia (2010–12), also published by the Littman Library, was awarded the Pro Historia Polonorum Prize of the Polish Senate for the best book on the history of Poland in a language other than Polish. Scott Ury is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University and director of the Eva and Marc Besen Institute for the Study of Historical Consciousness. He is the author of Barricades and Banners: The Revolution of 1905 and the Transformation of Warsaw Jewry (2012).

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Israel Bartal, François Guesnet, Antony Polonsky, and Scott Ury
I. Before Zionism
Hasidic Communities in the Land of Israel in the Nineteenth Century
Uriel Gellman
Polish Distinctiveness in Jerusalem, Congress Poland, and Western Prussia in the Nineteenth Century
Yochai Ben-Ghedalia
II. From the Beginnings of Zionism to the Second World War
Between Attraction and Repulsion, Disaster and Hope: Jews, Poland, and the Land of Israel before 1948
Łukasz Tomasz Sroka
Zionism in Poland, Poland in Zionism
Anna Landau-Czajka
The Fourth Aliyah and Zionist Fulfilment in the Land of Israel
Meir Chazan
Nalewki Street in Tel Aviv? The Political Heritage of East European Jewry in the Yishuv and the State of Israel
Gershon Bacon
Between Tłomackie 13, Warsaw, and Kaplan 2, Tel Aviv: The Role of the East European Jewish Press in Shaping Israeli Journalism
Ela Bauer
Jewish Politics Without Borders: How Ben-Gurion Won the Elections to the Zionist Congress of 1933
Rona Yona
A Bridge between West and East: Polish Economic Policy and the Yishuv
Katarzyna Dziekan
Palestine for the Third Time: Ksawery Pruszy {n'}ski and the Emergence of Israel
Wiesław Powaga
III. From the War to the Israeli Declaration of Independence
Imagined Motherland: Zionism in Poland after the Holocaust
Natalia Aleksiun
Between Hostility and Intimacy: Christian and Jewish Polish Citizens in the USSR, Iran, and Palestine
Mikhal Dekel
Mordecai Tsanin: Yiddish Orphanhood in Israel and Afterlife in Poland
Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska
IV. From Israeli Independence to the End of Communism
Art and Society between Poland and Israel: The Life and Work of Henryk Hechtkopf 
Hanna Lerner
Yom-Tov Levinsky, Jewish Ritual, and Exile in Israeli Culture
Adi Sherzer
Israel Expunged: The State of Israel as the Subject of Communist Censorship of the Polish Catholic Press, 1945–1968
Bożena Szaynok
Homeland, State and Language: The Cultural Integration of Polish Jews in Israel
Elżbieta Kossewska
The Polish Exodus of 1968: Antisemitism, Dropouts, and Re-emigrants in Nowiny i Kurier
Miri Freilich
V. From the End of Communism to Today
Home as a 'Place of No Return': Return Journeys to Poland in the Writings of Child Survivors and the Second and Third Generations
Efraim Sicher
Israelis? Poles? Blurring the Boundaries of Identity in Contemporary Israeli Literature
Shoshana Ronen
Other Family Stories: The Third Post-Holocaust Generation’s Journey to Poland 
Jagoda Budzik
Neuland, or the Displacement of an Ideal: Israel in the Work of Eshkol Nevo
Alina Molisak
Israel and Poland Confront Holocaust Memory
Yifat Gutman and Elazar Barkan