The establishment of the State of Israel is one of the most remarkable achievements of the modern era. Never before had a people dispersed throughout the world, deprived of sovereignty for millennia, returned to its ancient homeland to build a thriving country. Who were the leaders and thinkers that helped craft a modern Jewish nationalism for a people so long deprived of self-determination? What moved them? What were their political teachings and key disagreements?
This course is a four-part exploration of the writings, legacies, and debates of Zionism’s early thinkers. We will study the teachings of Theodor Herzl, Micha Josef Berdichevsky, Ahad Ha’am, Isaac Jacob Reines, Abraham Isaac Kook, and other representatives of modern Jewish nationalist thought. In doing so, Dr. Gordis will help us see how the founding disagreements within Secular Zionism, Religious Zionism, and Ultra-Orthodoxy can shed light on the spirit of Jewish nationalism and the internal conflicts Israel still faces today.
Meet the Instructor
Dr. Daniel Gordis is Senior Vice President and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College in Jerusalem. The author of more than ten books, Gordis is a regular columnist for both the Jerusalem Post and for Bloomberg View.
Gordis’ newest book is a history of the State of Israel entitled Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, which received the 2016 National Jewish Book Award as “Book of the Year.”
Gordis’ writing has appeared in magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, Azure, Commentary and Foreign Affairs, and his books have received numerous awards. He previously won the National Jewish Book Award, in 2008, for Saving Israel, and two of his other books were finalists for the National Jewish Book Award.
Kate Havard Rozansky