En Route to Palestine: Jewish Mobility and Zionist Emergence

Maja Gildin Zuckerman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter follows on the heels of the participants of the first modern Jewish-cum-Zionist pilgrimage to Palestine in spring 1897. It was organized by the British Jewish society the Maccabean Club, and spearheaded by the lawyer Herbert Bentwich, who, on Zionist leader Theodor Herzl’s request, gathered a group of 21 Jews and non-Jews to explore the potential of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. From London to Palestine and back, the chapter unfolds how early explorers of Zionism made sense of Jewishness, nationhood, and territorial attachment or detachment to both Europe and Palestine. More specifically, it traces how the participants identified different distinctions along the way between Jewish and non-Jewish as well as civilized and non-civilized, and argues that these differences later would crystallize into Zionist and non-Zionist positions. The chapter elicits a new pragmatistic framework in which we can see Zionist (and non-Zionist) emergence as a reality that had to be validated through experiences, sensemaking, and boundary work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on Jewish Cultural History : Boundaries, Experiences, and Sensemaking
EditorsMaja Gildin Zuckerman, Jakob Egholm Feldt
Number of pages27
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9780367341244
ISBN (Electronic)9781000468397, 9780429324048
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this