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In early February 1949 American Jewry’s most popular and powerful leader, Abba Hillel Silver (1893–1963), had summarily resigned from all his official positions within the Zionist movement and had left New York for Cleveland, returning to his post as a Reform rabbi. In the immediate years prior to his resignation, during the second half of the 1940s, Silver was the most outspoken proponent of the founding of a sovereign Jewish state. He was the most instrumental American Jewish leader in the political struggle that led to the foundation of the State of Israel. Paradoxically, this historic victory also heralded Silver’s personal defeat. Soon after Israel’s declaration of independence, he and many of his American Zionist colleagues were relegated to the sidelines of the Zionist movement. Almost overnight the most influential leader—one who was admired and feared by both supporters and opponents—was stripped of his power within both the Zionist and the American Jewish arenas. Shiff’s book discerns the various aspects of the striking turnabout in Silver's political fate, describing both the personal tragic story of a leader who was defeated by his own victory, and the much broader intra-Zionist battle which erupted in full force immediately after the founding of Israel. Drawing extensively on Silver’s personal archival material, Shiff presents an enlightening portrait of a critical episode in Jewish history. This book is most relevant for anyone who attempts to understand the complex homeland- diaspora relations between Israel and American Jewry.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication, About the Author
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Part One. The Early 1950s
  2. pp. 5-6
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  1. 1. The “Bridges and Walls” Approach
  2. pp. 7-16
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  1. 2. The “American Century” in the Wake of the Holocaust
  2. pp. 17-37
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  1. 3. Where Judaism Differed: A Call for External and Internal Reform
  2. pp. 38-54
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  1. Part Two. In Retrospect: Silver’s Pre-State Zionist Career
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. 4. Silver’s Early Struggle against Anti-Semitism and Nazism
  2. pp. 57-79
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  1. 5. The 1940s: The Holocaust as Political Leverage
  2. pp. 80-105
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  1. 6. 1947–1948: An American-Jewish or a Pan-Jewish Leader?
  2. pp. 106-118
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  1. Part Three. Israel Becomes an Ideological and Political Challenge
  2. pp. 119-120
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  1. 7. In the Wake of Israeli Statehood
  2. pp. 121-143
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  1. 8. Identification without Subordination
  2. pp. 144-166
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  1. 9. The Attempt to Regain Status in the Wake of Eisenhower’s Election
  2. pp. 167-194
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  1. 10. A Recurrent Existential Threat to the Jews
  2. pp. 195-216
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  1. 11. Unequivocal Support for Israel during the Suez Crisis
  2. pp. 217-242
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  1. Epilogue: Reform Jewish Prophet or Zionist Leader?
  2. pp. 243-244
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  1. 12. Silver as a Progressive Visionary
  2. pp. 245-256
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  1. 13. Nonetheless, a Zionist Leader
  2. pp. 257-272
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  1. References
  2. pp. 273-284
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 285-290
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  1. About the Author, Back Cover
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780815652809
Print ISBN
9780815610359
MARC Record
OCLC
880721013
Pages
288
Launched on MUSE
2014-06-28
Language
English
Open Access
N
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