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Nathan Birnbaum and Jewish Modernity – Architect of Zionism, Yiddishism, and Orthodoxy - Stanford Scholarship Online
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Nathan Birnbaum and Jewish Modernity: Architect of Zionism, Yiddishism, and Orthodoxy

Jess Olson


This book explores the life and thought of one of the most important but least known figures in early Zionism, Nathan Birnbaum. Now remembered mainly for his coinage of the word “Zionism,” Birnbaum was a towering figure in early Jewish nationalism. Because of his unusual intellectual trajectory, however, he has been written out of Jewish history. In the middle of his life, in the depth of World War I, Birnbaum left his venerable position as a secular Jewish nationalist for religious Orthodoxy, an unheard of decision in his time. To the dismay of his former colleagues, he adopted a life of stri ... More

Keywords: Nathan Birnbaum, Zionism, Yiddishism, Orthodoxy, Jewish nationalism, Nathan and Solomon Birnbaum Family Archives, Jewish political life, Jewish intellectual life, European Jewish history, religious identity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780804778732
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804778732.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jess Olson, author