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Becoming HebrewThe Creation of a Jewish National Culture in Ottoman Palestine$
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Arieh B. Saposnik

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331219

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331219.001.0001

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 Babels and Assemblies

 Babels and Assemblies

Zionism in the Demographic and Cultural Patchwork of Palestine

Chapter:
(p.23) 2 Babels and Assemblies
Source:
Becoming Hebrew
Author(s):

Arieh Bruce Saposnik

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331219.003.0003

This chapter describes the social, economic, cultural, and demographic conditions in early twentieth‐century Palestine that served as the soil on which Zionist cultural work would unfold. It argues that the sense of crisis that pervaded the Yishuv in those years, along with ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, and organizational disunity, are critical to understanding Zionist efforts. It then describes two competing Zionist attempts at organizational unity: the Va'ad ha‐Agudot of 1902 and the “Great Assembly,” convened by Russian Zionist leader Menahem Ussishkin in 1903. These bodies became sources of new discord, based in differing understandings of the nature of the nation and its relationship to its land, as well as a changing connection between Jews in Palestine and in the Diaspora. The Hebrew Teachers' Association, also of 1903, would emerge as an important nationalizing tool.

Keywords:   Diaspora, Disunity, Great Assembly, Hebrew, Menahem Ussishkin, Palestine, Va'ad ha‐Agudot, Yishuv

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