Father, Goethe, Kant, and Rilke: The Ideal of Bildung, the Fifth Aliyah, and German-Jewish Integration into the Yishuv
- Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
- Purdue University Press
- Volume 35, Number 2, Winter 2017
- pp. 21-53
- Additional Information
This paper examines the ideal of Bildung (self-development and education) as an obstacle to integration for German-Jewish immigrants of the Fifth Aliyah to Palestine. Drawing on a number of unpublished memoirs of German Jews, including several memoirs written by women, the article argues that the salient values of Bildung, including an individualistic view of the self, impacted the ability of the new immigrants to assimilate to the dominant pioneer, Zionistsocialist ethos of the Yishuv. By privileging the voices and stories of memoirists not previously discussed in scholarly literature, this article illuminates a unique aspect of German-Jewish life in the Yishuv, namely, the role of the imagination in immigrant experience and the way that the values and ethos of Bildung impacted shifting cultural identities.