Zionism is a movement to build a Jewish homeland, born in the mid-1800s from European Jews’ sense of betrayal, heartbreak, and anguish after centuries of judgment and dislocation. Dr. Daniel Gordis discusses Zionism’s origins and how it is used – and misused – in modern political and activist discourse.

Gordis 1 – Zionism, Fact and Fiction

On Nov 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to allow the creation of Israel leading to the War of Independence which ultimately did not end until early 1949. Dr. Daniel Gordis explores the sentiment of the Jewish people in Israel at that time and explains the transformation of the Jewish psyche from the victim hood … Continue reading Gordis 7 – The Creation of Israel

Gordis 7 – The Creation of Israel

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, waves of Jewish immigrants made Aliyah to the region, each bringing particular experiences and ideas to the land that would become a Jewish state in 1948. Dr. Daniel Gordis describes these waves, the eruption of violence and antisemitism that met them, and first talk of partition, including … Continue reading Gordis 5 – Aliyah, in Waves

Gordis 5 – Aliyah, in Waves

From the labor Zionism of Ze’ev Jabotinsky to the revisionist Zionism of AD Gordon to the spiritual Zionism of Ahad Ha’am, various interpretations and manifestations of Zionist thought developed through the 20th century and into the 21st. Dr. Daniel Gordis sorts it all out and suggests how each informs Israeli culture and society.

Gordis 3 – Zionism 2.0: Beyond Herzl

Dr. Daniel Gordis explores whether the clock is ticking away on a two state solution, the meaning of settlements, and the Israeli relationship with American Jews. He discusses why it is important to have a basic understanding of Israeli history to be able to form an opinion and why Israel should be held accountable to the same standards to which the world holds every other country.

Gordis 22 – The State of Israel in the Summer of 2020

Why do the ultra-orthodox Jews maintain power over certain issues in Israel to this day? Dr. Daniel Gordis answers this question as well as discussing the controversial issue of reparations in the early 1950’s and how it affected Israel.

Gordis 10 – Power of the Ultra-Orthodox and Reparations

While many believe Americans always supported Zionism, Americans Jews have had conflicted feelings with Zionism throughout the years. In this episode, Dr. Daniel Gordis discusses American Jews’ relationship with Israel beginning in 1915 and continuing through present day.

Gordis 12 – American Jews and Israel

In the decade before the establishment of Israel, three paramilitary groups emerged that played a critical role in the state’s establishment. These groups were each run by a man who ultimately becomes one of Israel’s prime ministers: (1) the Haganah, run indirectly by David Ben Gurion; (2) the Irgun (Etzel), run by Menachen Begin; and … Continue reading Gordis 6 – The Military Might Leading to Statehood

Gordis 6 – The Military Might Leading to Statehood

We see his name on streets in Israel and his portrait hangs in some official buildings, but who is he? Zionism grew as a political movement within the Jewish Diaspora in the late 1800s and early 1900s – driven by this Budapest-born writer, playwright and journalist. Dr. Daniel Gordis describes the compelling life of Herzl and … Continue reading Gordis 2 -Who’s Theodor Herzl?

Gordis 2 -Who’s Theodor Herzl?

Israel began as a socialist nation. Dr. Daniel Gordis explores Israel’s socialism including the kibbutz, utilities and medicine. Dr. Gordis also discusses the status of Israeli Arabs and the military authority over Israeli Arabs between 1948-1966 as well as the status of Mizrahi Jews and intellectual life of the country during its early years.

Gordis 11 – Israel’s Early Years