It was in her sister's home that she was first exposed to socialism and Zionism; when she returned to Mlwaukee at age 17, she became active in Poalei Zion
, "Workers of Zion"--a worldwide movement of Marxist Zionist Jewish workers.
stated that, "history of all hitherto existing societyis the history of class and nations struggles." At the core of Poalei Tzion ideology was the conquest of the "land along the conquest of work." In other words, Poalei Tzion supported and promoted the dispossession of Palestinian natives from their land as well as their working places.
The dailies I will discuss are the two socialist newspapers: Di tsayt, published from August 1920 to April 1922 by the Labor Zionist movement, Poalei Zion; and the much more successful Forverts (Jewish Daily Forward), founded in 1897, which was the most important Yiddish newspaper in the United States and also the most widely circulated foreign-language newspaper in the country.
The two largest organizations, the Arbeter-ring (Workmen's Circle), which had ideological ties to the Bund and was associated with the Forverts, and the Yidishnatsyonaler arbeter farband (Jewish National Worker's Alliance or, colloquially, "the Farband"), with strong ideological and organizational ties to Poalei Zion, did not admit women as members.
(21.) Rachel Rojanski, "At the Center or on the Fringes of the Public Arena: Esther Mintz-Abetson and the Status of Women in American Poalei Zion, 1905-1935," Journal of Israeli History 21 (Spring/Autum 2002): 40-41.
In a series of published letters and essays that appeared in Der forverts and the Poalei Zion newspaper Die zeit (The Times), Shohat, Medem, and other veterans of the Zionist-socialist skirmishes that colored Jewish life in revolutionary Russia debated anew questions of nationalism vs.
Shohat also devoted her considerable energies to cultivating the active support of American Poalei Zion. Though numerically insignificant compared to the 150,000 member strong Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), including Hadassah, and smaller than Mizrahi's 18,000 members, Shohat believed that the Labor Zionists could act as an effective pressure group within American Zionism.
considered a tailor who supported their party and attended the Nizhnii-Riabatskaia Street synagogue a worker, but treated the non-socialist Zionist leatherworker praying beside him as a petty-bourgeois.
Labor Zionists, or Poalei Zion, is a familiar, and in some ways quintessentially American, tale.
Seeking to establish for Poalei Zion a measure of popularity that the statistical evidence does not seem to bear out, Raider maintains that "Labor Zionism's growing influence on the popular level can be discerned" from the history of the American regiments of the Jewish Legion, the Jewish military force that helped England capture Palestine from the Turks in World War I.
In Palestine itself, the Zionist left and right battled over the future makeup of the state-to-be, but, as Aryeh Goren noted in a recent essay, such debates were "beyond the ken or care of most American Zionists, except for some intellectuals and the socialist Poalei Zion [Labor Zionists], who were more European than American." For the overwhelming majority of American Zionists, Goren writes, "their nonideological, philanthropic Zionism had little room for such issues as the type of settlers needed in Palestine, how they should be trained, what their ultimate purpose should be, and whether a national kibbutz or a federation of independent kibbutzim was preferable."(4)
Ilan Kaisar, by contrast, argues that "the Poale Zion-Zeire Zion leadership was unprepared to change the socialist Zionist ideology that appealed to the Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Eastern Europe and adapt it to meet the interests of a wider public." They "devoted too little effort and only limited resources" to the League for Labor Palestine, which Poalei Zion had established in 1932 for the ostensible purpose of reaching the second-generation, English-speaking American Jewish public.