A Clash of Heroes: Brandeis, Weizmann, and American Zionism by Ben Halpern

By Ben Halpern

Chaim Weizmann, steeped within the people tradition of the East eu shtetl and the humanistic technological know-how of imperative and Western Europe, used to be the ambassador of the Jewish humans to the English-speaking international. Louis D. Brandeis, however, was once often called the real exponent of Anglo-American civic tradition who gave his management at a severe second to the yank and global Jewish neighborhood. A conflict of Heroes experiences the clash among those dominant personalities, each one of whom has been hailed via dedicated fans because the hero of a vital period in fresh Jewish heritage. Halpern units the assembly, collaboration, and sharp clash among those males opposed to the moving heritage of an international at warfare and the shaky travail of revolution and reconstruction within the early twentieth century. via a comparability of 2 exemplary figures in Jewish management, Halpern paints a charming portrait of 20th-century Zionism and illuminates the advanced relationships among leaders and the general public and among Jewish nationalism and its prolonged setting.

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Extra info for A Clash of Heroes: Brandeis, Weizmann, and American Zionism (Studies in Jewish History)

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Nachman Syrkin. whose socialist-Zionists chose to meet at the same time in Basle, initiated discussions in which Weizmann and others joined privately, without 30 A CLASH OF HEROES formal approval of their group. Syrkin's proposal—to apply pressure on nonZionist Jewish philanthropic agencies and compel them to conduct their work of aiding emigrants in conformity with a nationalist strategy—was extreme. But still it was an example of the democracy in action Motzkin had always advocated; it even enjoyed a measure of Herzl's sympathy, though not support.

His other collaborators included Weizmann 31 two young men, Berthold Feiwel and Martin Buber, who served successively as editors of Herzl's journal, Die Welt. Until each broke with Herzl and left Vienna, they provided liaison with the WZO administration. For Feiwel and Buber, products of Slavic provinces in Austria-Hungary, Weizmann was a respected veteran Zionist colleague and an important contact with Russian Jewry. At the Youth Conference Weizmann met Samuel Shriro, a Baku oil magnate who was impressed by the conference and Weizmann's role in it.

The opposing position, adopted by the Russian Zionist majority at their preliminary meeting, was embodied in a congress resolution that proposed Zionist support for the cultivation of (secular) Hebraist culture. This provoked some initially supportive Orthodox circles into vociferous opposition and left those who remained in the Zionist ranks weakened and dissatisfied. It was hardly what Herzl needed; in subsequent congresses, he tried to win back Orthodox supporters by blocking debate on issues of culture.

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