Page 164 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 42

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
tions o f Zionist ideology. Moshe Davis, the founder o f the Insti­
tute o f Contemporary Jewry and organizer o f the Seminar,
believes, for example, that “Zionism should be understood not
only as the movement for the re tu rn o f the Jewish People to its
Homeland, but also as the creative historical process which
intensifies the content o f Jewish life everywhere.”
AREA STUDIES
The study o f contemporary Jewry may be approached not only
through subject-oriented inquiry (research on the Holocaust, on
Zionism, etc.), but also through geographical specialization.
T h u s , Soviet and East E u ro p e an Jew ry , W e s te rn Jew ry
(including American Jewry and the communities of the British
Commonwealth), the communities of the Mediterranean and
North Africa, and of Latin America all constitute separate areas
o f inquiry. Books published by Institute faculty in the Soviet and
East European field include the following:
Prophecy and Politics. Socialism, Nationalism and the Russian Jews
1862 -1917
(Cambridge, 1981) by Jonathan Frankel, describes
and analyzes the formation o f Jewish political movements and
their competing programs. The au thor discusses in particular the
bitter disagreement between those who favored the establish­
ment of a Jewish territory and an exodus from Russia, on the one
hand, and those who advocated active Jewish participation in the
revolution against the Tsarist regime, on the other. Close studies
o f important leading figures o f the various movements as well as
o f the Jewish socialist Bund, the party that was committed to both
class war and Jewish autonomy, are included. The book closes in
1917, the year in which the pull of the new Moscow and the
promise o f the new Jerusalem compounded the unprecedented
stress on Russian Jewry.
Mordechai Altshuler’s book,
The Evsektsiia in the Soviet Union:
Between Nationalism and Communism
(Hebrew: Tel-Aviv, 1980),
presents the history o f the Jewish sections of the Soviet Commu­
nist Party. The legacy of the Evsektsiia was finally expunged at
the end of the 1940’s and it is a closed chapter today. This pe r­
spective allowed the au thor to treat the question from a position
of scholarly detachment. He examines the Evsektsiia within the
framework o f the nationality policy o f the Soviet regime in
general, and in particular with regard to the Party’s attitude to