Coping with Life and Death: Jewish Families in the Twentieth Century

By Peter Y. Medding | Go to book overview

Balfour's Mission to Palestine:
Science, Strategy and Vision
in the Inauguration of the
Hebrew University

Roy MacLeod
(university of sydney)

Palestine, great as is the place which it occupies in the history of the world, is but a small and petty country looked at as a geographical unit…. But what are the requisites of such development in Palestine as may accommodate an important section of the great race I am addressing? … One is skill, knowledge, perseverance, enterprise; the other is capital, and I am perfectly convinced that when you are talking of the Jews you will find no want of any of these requisites1

With these words, Arthur Balfour, Britain's foreign secretary, addressed a meeting of the English Zionist Federation at the Albert Hall in London in July 1920—three years after the publication of the declaration that bore his name, and five years before he would help inaugurate the new Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In this brief passage are summarized the principal sentiments that infused his vision of Palestine, the prospects of a Jewish homeland and his respect for the Jewish people and its culture. Between the lines can be read his understanding of the geopolitics of the region, its place within a larger political framework and its need for economic and technical development. Balfour's grasp of the central issues that day was as firmly in mind as his recent experience of the Versailles Conference, when the “Balfour Declaration” became indelibly associated with the British Mandate in Palestine. At the same time, his grasp of the region he had yet to visit remained deeply limited, and his understanding of the existing inhabitants of Palestine, almost nonexistent.

Coming to Jerusalem to open the university was to be a climax for Balfour—both the culmination of his keen sympathy for Zionism and a moment of cultural and philosophical synthesis as he preached the need for the organization and application of knowledge in the country for the betterment of all who dwelt therein. His views, which were framed by conventional European political interests and the doctrines of practical imperialism, were to survive unchallenged and possibly even reinforced by his visit; yet in retrospect, there arise a series of reflections that speak more clearly to our own time.

-214-

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Coping with Life and Death: Jewish Families in the Twentieth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Studies in Contemporary Jewry *
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Symposium - Coping with Life and Death: Jewish Families in the Twentieth Century *
  • The Place of Ethnic Identity in the Development of Personal Identity: A Challenge for the Jewish Family 3
  • Notes *
  • Marriage, Americanization and American Jewish Culture, 1900–1920 27
  • Notes *
  • Making Fragmentation Familiar: Barry Levinson's Avalon 49
  • Notes *
  • The Economics of Contemporary American Jewish Family Life 65
  • Notes *
  • Children of Intermarriage: How “jewish”? 81
  • Notes *
  • What Happened to the Extended Jewish Family? Jewish Homes for the Aged in Eastern Europe 128
  • Notes *
  • Cohesion and Rupture: the Jewish Family in East European Ghettos During the Holocaust 143
  • Notes *
  • The “family-Community” Model in Haredi Society 166
  • Notes *
  • We Are All One Bereaved Family: Personal Loss and Collective Mourning in Israeli Society 178
  • Notes *
  • Essays *
  • Evangelists in a Strange Land: American Missionaries in Israel, 1948–1967 195
  • Notes *
  • Balfour's Mission to Palestine: Science, Strategy and Vision in the Inauguration of the Hebrew University 214
  • Notes 228
  • Review Essays *
  • Vichy and the Jews: A Past That is Not Past 235
  • Notes *
  • Mastering the Middle East: Israel in a Regional Context 250
  • Examining the Oslo Process: A First Cut 256
  • Notes *
  • Book Reviews *
  • Antisemitism, Holocaust and Genocide 265
  • Notes *
  • Notes *
  • History and the Social Sciences 281
  • Notes *
  • Notes *
  • Notes *
  • Language, Literature and the Arts 307
  • Notes 309
  • Notes *
  • Religion, Thought and Education 325
  • Notes *
  • Zionism, Israel and the Middle East 339
  • Notes 349
  • Recently Completed Doctoral Dissertations 351
  • Studies in Comtemporary Jewry XV 360
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