Zionism and its Critics - Sarah Hirschorn
Zionism today is a little studied, yet much maligned ideology. For some, it is the truest expression of Jewish sovereignty and a holy enterprise. For others, including member-states of the United Nations, Zionist has been derided as racism. Yet, what is Zionism? (Or more accurately, what are the various streams of Zionisms?). This CSP lecture will briefly examine the proponents and opponents of the ideology of Zionism, or Jewish nationalism, from the late nineteenth century to the present. The central theme of this discussion is the inherent dialectic of contestation — both internal and external to the Jewish community —of Zionist thought over the course of its short, but important history. The session will present an overview of major thinkers and movements, as much as possible, in their own words.
Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor in Israel Studies at the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies at Northwestern University. Her expertise focuses on Diaspora-Israel relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Israeli ultra-nationalist movement. Her first book, City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement (Harvard, 2017), hailed as a landmark contribution to the field, was the winner of the 2018 Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature Choice Award, a finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Award, and a nominee for the 2021 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. She is currently working on a new book manuscript tentatively entitled New Day in Babylon and Jerusalem: Zionism, Jewish Power, and Identity Politics Since 1967 on American Zionism since the Six Day War. Dr. Hirschhorn teaches courses and mentors both undergraduate and graduate students in Israel Studies and related fields. Prior to her appointment at Northwestern, Dr. Hirschhorn was the University Research Lecturer and Sidney Brichto Fellow in Israel Studies at the University of Oxford (2013-2018) and a postdoctoral fellow in Israel Studies at Brandeis University (2012-2013). She is a graduate of Yale University (B.A.) and the University of Chicago (M.A., Ph.D) and the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships. Apart from her academic work, Dr. Hirschhorn is also a prominent voice bringing scholarship into the public square as a frequent public speaker, writer, media commentator, and foreign policy consultant on Israel/Jewish Affairs. Follow her work at sarahirschhorn1@twitter.
Sponsor: Community Scholar Program (CSP)