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What is Zionism?
The Founding Thinkers

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 seminar 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 between the First Zionist Congress and the present-day reality of Israel? Through essays and speeches by figures such as Theodore Herzl, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Ahad Ha’am, David Ben-Gurion, and Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, we will probe how different views of Zionism shape the past, present, and future of the Jewish State.