Like All the Nations?

The Life and Legacy of Judah L. Magnes

Edited by William M. Brinner & Moses Rischin

Subjects: Jewish Studies
Paperback : 9780887065088, 256 pages, September 1987
Hardcover : 9780887065071, 256 pages, September 1987

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Table of contents




Introduction: Like All the Nations?

Moses Rischin

Part I. Youth and Education

1. San Francisco-Oakland: The Native Son

Fred Rosenbaum

2. Cincinnati: The Earlier and Later Years

Marc Lee Raphael

Part II. New York: Vortex or Void?

3. A New American Judaism

Deborah Dash Moore

4. Between "Priest and Prophet"

Arthur A. Goren

5. Magnes: Zionism in Judaism

Evyatar Friesel

Part III. The First American Zionists

6. Two Paths to Zion: Magnes and Stephen S. Wise

Melvin I. Urofsky

7. Doing Good in Palestine: Magnes and Henrietta Szold

Joan Dash

8. Golda Meir and Other Americans

Marie Syrkin

Part IV. The Hebrew University

9. The Idea of a Jewish University

David Biale

10. The Appeal of the Incorrigible Idealist

Paul R. Mendes-Flohr

11. Gown and Town

Arnold J. Band

Part V. Arabs and Jews

12. The School of Oriental Studies: A Memoir

S. D. Gottein

13. He Looked Out on Zion from Atop Mount Scopus and Dreamt of Peace: A Memoir

Gabriel Stern

14. The Arab-Jewish Dilemma

Bernard Wasserstein

Abbreviations of Document Sources




This is the first study to examine the career of one of the most prominent American Zionists. Intellectually brilliant, socially and religiously committed, Judah Magnes was an inspiring speaker, reformer, and organizer. Sixteen leading American and Israeli scholars here focus their critical attention on the social, cultural, political, and theological themes central to Magnes' life.

Contributors chronicle Magnes' life from his birth in California in 1877 to his death in 1948—the year of the founding of the State of Israel, focusing successively on his youth and education, his seminal years on New York's Lower East Side, his place among the pioneers of American Zionism, his role as a founder of the first Hebrew University, and his relentless efforts to unite Arabs and Jews. Magnes was deeply committed to a Jewish renaissance, but did not see the prospering of Israel in isolation from its Arab peoples. In this insistence he was constant, and often unique. It is particularly in retrospect that we now realize the importance of Magnes' insistence that the Arab problem must be solved in order to establish a viable Israeli state. Both through the range of his involvements and the integrity of his quest, Magnes has left his mark on Jewish history. The contributors to this volume, who include two of the most diligent scholars of the man and of his times—Paul Mendes-Flohr and Arthur Goren—help illuminate the life, work, and legacy of Judah L. Magnes.

William M. Brinner is Professor of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the editor and translator of Volume 2 of The History of al-Tabari titled Prophets and Patriarchs, also published by SUNY Press. Moses Rischin is Professor of History at San Francisco State University and Director of the Western Jewish History Center of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley.