The impact of the diaspora on family life in the Yishuv (1920–1948)

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Rejection alongside an embrace characterized the Yishuv’s attitude toward the diaspora, as shall be evidenced by the test cases discussed in this article. The concept of the ‘negation of the diaspora’ served as a central axis around which the Zionist leadership sought to organize Jewish society in Mandatory Palestine. Its implementation, however, proved to be a challenge. The majority of the population were immigrants who brought with them the views and cultural norms of their countries of origin. This article examines the complex role the diaspora played in the shaping of the Yishuv via two test cases drawn from family-life experiences. Drawing on diverse primary sources, the first relates to a wedding controversy in the 1920s, the second to birth-rate issues in the 1930s and 1940s. Representing contrary social practices, the test cases illustrate the way in which, while the diaspora was denounced in theory, it continued to play a role in the daily life of the Yishuv.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-402
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2022

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