Most Jews today love and support Israel, but do we understand the founding vision of the Zionist project? Or the great debates that shaped the emergence of the Jewish state? In this course, we will return to some of Israel’s founding figures to explore the many meanings of Zionism: Is Zionism meant to save the Jews from physical destruction or to renew the Jewish spirit? What is the relationship between Zionism and Judaism? How has the meaning of Zionism changed from the first Zionist Congress to the present day? Through essays and speeches by figures such as Theodore Herzl, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Ahad Ha’am, and Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, we will probe how different views of Zionism shape the past, present, and future of Israel.
Earn a Tikvah Certificate
For students who want to take at least 3 courses this summer, you can become eligible for special additional opportunities—including essay prizes/scholarships, special sessions w/ Jewish leaders, and a Tikvah online certificate.Learn More
Meet the Instructors
Seminars are taught by Tikvah faculty and experts in the subject matter. Please note that course faculty are subject to change depending on availability.
Daniel Gutkind is entering his fourth year at the University of Chicago, where he studies Economics and Fundamentals (a Great Books major). He grew up in New York and spent a year studying in Israel before attending college. Last summer, he was a Tikvah Summer Fellow, where he wrote a report on the relationship between Jewish identity and American citizenship. He co-created and taught this course at the University of Chicago and Oxford University, where it reached over 100 students.
Daniel Polisar is co-founder and executive vice president of Shalem College. He previously served as president of the Shalem Center from 2002-2013 and also served as its Director of Research, Academic Director, and Editor-In-Chief of the center’s journal Azure. Before joining Shalem, he was founder and director of Peace Watch, a non-partisan organization monitoring Israeli and Palestinian compliance with the Oslo Accords, and head of the Peace Watch observer team during the January 1996 Palestinian elections. Dr. Polisar received his B.A. in politics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, where he was the recipient of Truman and Fulbright scholarships, as well as of a Mellon Fellowship. His research interests include the history and philosophy of higher education, education in Israel, and Israeli constitutional development.
Brian Horowitz is the Sizeler Family Chair Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans. He is an award-winning and noted scholar of Zionism and Russian literature and the author of many books, including Vladimir Jabotinsky-The Russian Years (2020) and Russian-Jewish Tradition: Intellectuals, Historians, Revolutionaries (2017).