• British Jewish Organizations and the Politics of Zionism: Evolution of a Political and Social Movement, 1880-1920

      Berman, Lila Corwin, 1976-; Glasson, Travis; Glasson, Travis (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      British Zionism developed into a major political and religious movement between 1880 and 1920. It was initially seen differently by two leading Jewish organizations in Britain, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the English Zionist Federation. For many years, the work of the Board of Deputies and the EZF involved petitioning the government either in support of or opposition to the development of Zionism in the United Kingdom. For much of its history the Board of Deputies opposed Zionism and instead advocated for relative assimilation into British society, culture, and politics, whereas the Federation consistently advocated for Jewish emigration to Palestine and the establishment of a Jewish state. However eventually the two organizations worked cooperatively to advance the Zionist cause. For many generations Jews in Britain had worked to insure that their loyalty to Britain would not be questioned and to thereby insure that they would have a chance at a prosperous life. The years between 1880-1920 are particularly crucial to understanding British Zionism because of the creation of modern political Zionism under the leadership Theodor Herzl. The onset of the First World War saw British Jewish leaders finally gain support from the British government for a Jewish homeland. Nineteenth Century Europe experienced a surge in anti-Semitism which affected all levels of European society and many nations including Britain. This rampant anti-Semitism affected the Board’s and Federation’s efforts to find a solution and led to conflicting approaches, most notably assimilation versus emigration to Palestine. The research set forth herein belies the assumption that all Jews subscribed to the Zionist ideology. However, despite their early differences these organizations ultimately joined together to influence the government during the years leading up to and including the First World War, and their efforts changed British Jewry and Zionism forever.