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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52379
Doc. No:TL22333
Call number:‭NR59111‬
Main Entry:Tatjana Lichtenstein
Title & Author:Making Jews at home Jewish nationalism in the Bohemian Lands, 1918–1938Tatjana Lichtenstein
College:University of Toronto (Canada)
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:330
Abstract:This dissertation examines the efforts of Jewish nationalists to end Jews' social marginalization from non-Jewish society in the Bohemian Lands between the world wars. Through the 1920s and 1930s, the Jewish nationalist movement sought to transform Czechoslovakia's multivalent Jewish societies into a unified ethno-national community. By creating a Jewish nation, a process challenged by the significant socio-cultural differences dividing the country's Jews, Jewish nationalists believed that they could restore Jews' respectability and recast the relationship between Jews and non-Jews as one of mutual respect and harmonious coexistence. The dissertation explores Jewish nationalists' struggle to make Jews at home in Czechoslovakia by investigating a series of Zionist projects and institutions: the creation of an alliance between Jews and the state; the census and the making of Jewish statistics; the transformation of the formal Jewish communities from religious institutions to national ones; Jewish schools; and the Jewish nationalist sports movement. Exploring a Jewry on the crossroads between east and west, the dissertation delves into broader questions of the impact of nationalism on the modern Jewish experience. Within the paradoxical context of a multinational nation-state like Czechoslovakia, Zionists adopted a strategy which sought integration through national distinctiveness, a response embodying elements of both west and east European Jewish culture. The study thus complicates the history of Zionism by showing that alongside the Palestine-oriented German and Polish factions, there were significant ideological alternatives within which ideas of Jewish Diaspora nationalism co-existed with mainstream Zionism. Moreover, the study points to the continuities in the relationship between Jews and the state. As in the time of empire, Jews cultivated partnerships with the political elite, a strategy developed to balance the interest of the state and its Jewish minority. In the interwar years, Jewish activists thus looked to the state for assistance in transforming Jewish society. This dissertation seeks to broaden our understanding of Jewish responses to nationalism, the relationship between Jews and the modern state, and more broadly, about the complex ways in which marginalized groups seek to attain respectability and assert their demands for equality within modern societies.
Subject:Social sciences; Czech Republic; Interwar period; Jews; Nationalism; Slovakia; European history; Judaic studies; 0751:Judaic studies; 0335:European history
Added Entry:University of Toronto (Canada)