Creating Israel's National and Cultural Identity: From the Ottoman Empire to the Jewish State
Speaker: Professor Arieh Saposnik
Program Series: Jewish Enrichment
Location: Kehilat Shalom, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Date: Monday, April 9, 2018
"If the Jews wish to become a nation of 'Jewish Culture,'" Eliezar Ben-Yehuda wrote in 1904, "they must first become truly a nation."
Throughout the subsequent decade, Ben-Yehuda and other Zionist activists in Palestine attempted to transform a small, divided, economically depressed and demographically declining Yishuv into the foundation of a modern state. The new "Hebrew" culture they sought to create encompassed everything from the way the Yishuv Zionists dressed, the art they created and the literature they read, to the holidays they celebrated, the language they spoke and the accent with which they spoke it. Politics, economics, and even medicine were mobilized to become dynamic parts of a new Jewish identity.
In this lecture Professor Saposnik sheds new light on this transformation - the origins of Israel and Israeli culture.