Universalism, ethnic identity and divided nationality: Abba Hillel Silver's role in American Zionism

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Abstract

Among the most significant events in American Zionism between 1938 and 1948 was the rise of Abba Hillel Silver to the leadership of American Jewry in the late 1940s. A close reading shows that throughout his public career in general, and in relation to the establishment of Israel in particular, Silver sought, in theory and in practice, to enlarge the concept of Israeli sovereignty on one hand and to create a theoretical and practical basis for the continued ethnic-national existence of the Jews in the United States on the other. He tried to minimize as far as possible any injury to the status of Jews as American citizens because of their Zionist activity. Silver regarded Jewish national existence in the Diaspora in a most favourable light, maintaining that it could and must continue alongside Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)105-126
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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