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American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise

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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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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