Zionist Thought and StatesmanshipProfessor Allan Arkush
Time: Thursday, 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Location: The Tikvah Fund, 530 Fifth Avenue, between 44th and 45th streets in Midtown Manhattan.
About the Course
This course will focus on the ideas and careers of the most influential thinkers and actors in the history of Zionism, from 1881 to the creation of the State of Israel. We will analyze these men’s visions of the Jewish state, their diverse strategies for bringing it into existence, and their conflicts with each other. The politicking that led to the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, the impact of the Holocaust on Zionist thought and politics, and Ben-Gurion’s concept of “statism” will be among the issues that will be examined in depth. Readings include works by Arthur Hertzberg, Ahad Ha’am, Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, Louis Brandeis, Abba Hillel Silver, Menachem Begin, David Ben-Gurion, and others.
About the Professor
Allan Arkush is Professor of Judaic Studies and History at the State University of New York at Binghamton and senior contributor editor of the Jewish Review of Books. He holds degrees from Cornell University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Brandeis University. He is the author of Moses Mendelssohn and the Enlightenment and co-editor of Perspectives on Jewish Thought and Mysticism: Essays in Memory of Alexander Altmann. His numerous essays on modern Jewish thought and Zionism have appeared in Modern Judaism, Jewish Social Studies, Jewish Quarterly Review, Polity, and other periodicals and books. He is the translator of Moses Mendelssohn’s Jerusalem and Gershom Scholem’s Origins of the Kabbalah. Professor Arkush has been a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and a Starr fellow at Harvard University. From 2006 to 2009 he was the editor of AJS Perspectives, the magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies. Currently, Professor Arkush is a visiting fellow at Princeton University.