Zionism

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Politics in the Yishuv and Israel

Women’s status in Israeli political arena has been shaped by two major contradictory forces that operate simultaneously. On the one hand, women are defined as part of the collective and are recognized, treated, and organized as a social category, mainly on the basis of traditional roles as wives and mothers. On the other hand, the politics of identity has been restricted by marginalizing and denouncing social identity as a basis for political action, and thus excludes women.

Hantze Plotniczki

When she was fourteen, her brother Eliyahu brought her into the Freiheit movement on the eve of his immigration to Palestine in 1932. Although Plotniczki was well-versed in Polish literature and culture and spoke only a broken Yiddish peppered with Polish phrases, she nonetheless found a way to connect with the members and integrate into the movement.

Frumka Plotniczki

Whether in her family, the kibbutz training program or the movement, what set Plotniczki apart was her ability to combine penetrating, uncompromising analysis with a loving heart and maternal compassion.

Photography in Palestine and Israel: 1900-Present Day

Photography was the primary method used to document the Zionist enterprise in Palestine and photographers assumed the responsibility of creating and expressing its history.

Rivkah Perelis

As a historian, Perelis strove for moral principles, accuracy and the utmost openness, without sacrificing the personal emotional motivation behind her work. She struggled with the inevitable dilemma of every historian when dealing with the Holocaust—the dichotomy between the sense of personal-emotional commitment and the professional obligation to maximum objectivity—and learned to live within this contradictory space.

Florence Perlman

One of the women responsible for shaping Hadassah into its role of national prominence was Florence Bierman Perlman. A national board member of Hadassah from 1938 until her death, Perlman also held many other important positions within the organization.

Shoshana Persitz

Shoshana Persitz developed a line of school books and the Zionist library, Ha-Noar (For Youth), which included monographs about Jewish cities, villages and kibbutzim in Palestine and on the Zionist history of the quest to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. Throughout her years in the legislature she chaired the Knesset Education Committee and was instrumental in the passing of the State Education Law (1953), which replaced the schools, previously operated in accordance with various political ideologies, with one state general education system and one state-religious system.

Bracha Peli

Bracha Peli was unique among the literary community of pre-state Palestine, inasmuch as she created what was probably the most successful and dynamic publishing house in the country at the time, stressing distribution and sales rather than the content and editorial aspects which are the usual focus of publishing aspirations and inspiration.

Erna Patak

Erna (Ernestine) Patak was a social worker and one of the Zionist veterans in Vienna in the early twentieth century.

Palmah

Discussion of women’s military service, both pre-State and later, focused more on the need for participation and partnership than on the issue of equality of the sexes. Women’s participation in the Haganah, the Palmah, Ezel (Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi) and Lehi (Lohamei Herut Israel) during the struggle for statehood, as well as their role in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during the War of Independence, generated a sense of joint achievement, the result of common effort and sacrifice. They also engendered a feeling of having conquered a stronghold, a bridgehead in the fight for equality which must not be surrendered.

Paula Padani

]Padani was sent by the Joint Distribution Committee to tour some sixty refugee camps in the American-occupied zone in Germany. Here her outstanding number was her signature solo, Horah, which was such a success that audiences refused to let her leave the stage. She then made a long tour of the United States, where her solo dances evoked similar enthusiasm.She devoted herself to teaching and to her family—a daughter, Gabrielle, born in 1951. She joined the famous Wacker studio before renting a studio of her own, first in the rue de Tournon and then in the rue du bac. She taught both professional dancers and amateurs, whose creative talents she loved to nurture.

Yehudit Ornstein

A dancer and choreographer, Yehudit immigrated to Palestine from Vienna in 1921, together with her mother Margalit Ornstein and her twin sister Shoshana.

Shoshana Ornstein

After emigrating to Palestine with her mother and twin sister at the age of ten, the Ornstein sisters formed a celebrated dancing duo. In addition to years of performing dances in the style of German “Free Dance” and influenced by her pioneer status in Erez Israel, she taught for sixty years at the Ornstein Studio in Tel Aviv, one of Israel’s most prominent schools.

Margalit Ornstein

Margalit Ornstein (nèe Oppenheimer) is perceived as the “founding mother” of Israeli dance, a pioneer of modern dance in Erez Israel and of the revolutionary ideas of the new “body culture” movement.

Old Yishuv: Palestine at the End of the Ottoman Period

Both men and women came mainly to fulfill their wish to live in the Holy Land and to devote their lives to religious obligations. They have become known as the people of the Old Yishuv (settlers). From 1882 on, some of the newcomers arrived with new nationalistic ideals.

New Zealand: Modern (Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries)

Jews in New Zealand have always been a tiny minority, and while their actual numbers grew in the last years of the nineteenth century, particularly through migration from South Africa and the countries of the former Soviet bloc, their percentage in the total population steadily shrinks.

Modern Netherlands

Dutch Jews acquired full citizenship rights in 1796. Overnight the “Jewish Nation” as a legal corporation was transformed into a community of individual “Jewish Netherlanders.” In the nineteenth and twentieth century they had to secure a place for themselves in a society which sometimes welcomed them but which was nevertheless permeated with anti-Jewish sentiments and prejudices. Consequently, even fully integrated, “modern” Jews retained an ambivalent relationship with mainstream Dutch-Christian culture.

Shulamith Nardi

An accomplished English editor and Hebrew-English translator, Shulamith Nardi made a substantial contribution in all the many fields of her interest; her achievements were extensive and varied.

Rachel Natelson

As a young girl, Rachel Natelson corresponded with an uncle who had been studying with Henrietta Szold. From him, she learned about Palestine and the Zionist movement. These exchanges were to lay the foundation for her extraordinary life as a leader on behalf of the Zionist cause—including being one of the founding members of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.

Yocheved [Judith] Herschlag Muffs

During much of her tenure (1964–1990) at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Judith Herschlag Muffs worked with major book publishers to correct inaccuracies in their accounts of Jews and Judaism. Stressing accuracy and objectivity, she succeeded in modifying dozens of textbooks and reference books.

Anitta Müller-Cohen

Anitta Müller-Cohen was one of the most famous Jewish women in Vienna in the early twentieth century, earning her fame as a social worker, journalist, and politician.

Moshavah

The moshavah, the Hebrew version of what is known world-wide as a village, was the pioneer settlement type of the Jews in Palestine. It was based on private ownership of the land, one-family based agricultural homesteads and free patterns of marketing, consuming and economic organization.

Mizrahi Feminism in Israel

The phrase “Mizrahi feminism” has been increasingly used to refer to the academic discipline and literature, as well as the practices, which seek to extend the liberal Israeli feminist discourse into a multicultural context—specifically, to include women originating in Arab/Muslim countries.

Mo'ezet Ha-Po'alot (Council of Women Workers)

Founded in 1921 following the establishment of the Histadrut (General Federation of Workers in Israel), the Mo’ezet ha-Po’alot (Council of Women Workers) was the elected apparatus of Histadrut women, subordinated to the Va’ad ha-Po’el, the executive committee of the Histadrut.

Eva Violet Mond Isaacs, Second Marchioness of Reading

Lady Eva Violet Mond Isaacs, née Melchett, Marchioness of Reading, was born into one remarkable family and married into another. She occupied a unique place in Anglo-Jewry; as Vice President of the World Jewish Congress and President of its British section she was an eloquent and vocal supporter of the Zionist cause and the young state of Israel.

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