/ Rabbinic Torah Seminar (RTS)

New Day in Babylon and Jerusalem: Zionism, Jewish Power, and Identity Politics

Sara Yael Hirschhorn traces the history of Zionism and identity politics over the past five decades.
Photo: Jacob Lund/Adobe Stock
Photo: Jacob Lund/Adobe Stock
Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn is a member of the teaching faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America as well as its Chicago Scholars Circle. She joined the faculty of Northwestern University in fall 2018 as the Visiting Assistant Professor in Israel Studies at the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies, where her research, teaching, and public engagement activities focus on Diaspora-Israel relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Israel ultra-nationalist movement. Sara

New Day in Babylon and Jerusalem: Zionism, Jewish Power, and Identity Politics

Session 1

Session 2

Today, Zionism seems increasingly incompatible with other forms of identity politics. Sara Yael Hirschhorn traces these developments over the past five decades.

Session 1 discusses how the Six Day War and its aftermath transformed Zionism from a national liberation movement of the Jewish people to a colonialist enterprise in the Middle East in international eyes, and how the Arab-Israeli conflict abroad subsequently “disrupted” the construction of Jewish-Zionist communities at home. Examine how the incipient clashes between “Jewish Power” and “Black Power” post-1967 accelerated the process of “whitening” of Diaspora Jewry, problematizing the position of Israel’s allies in progressive spaces on the left, promoting an alignment with a new “Judeo-Christian” establishment on the right, and creating profound polarization over Israel ever since.

Session 2 examines some primary source documents from “New Jews” and “Radical Zionists” of the 1960s, to explore whether previous generations had answers to resolve some our contemporary dilemmas and how approaches to these issues have evolved.

NOTE: This program was part of our Summer 2021 Virtual Rabbinic Torah Seminar,  Torah of Possibility for an Uncertain Future

Join our email list


The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics