AT HOME AND BEYOND
The quarter century between 1924 and 1948 proved to be one of the most momentous periods in Jewish history. It raised wrenching questions about the future of the Jews and severely tested the proposition that real emancipation would be possible and that modernity would mean true integration for the Jews. In this relatively short period European Jews experienced an unprecedented escalation of antiSemitism in the countries that had been cut out of the patchwork quilt of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. They endured the rise of National Socialism in Germany in 1933 and later the devastating loss of 6 million Jews at the hands of the Nazis and their allies.
This period also witnessed another transformation. The Jews, who had been stateless since the beginning of the Common Era, established a home of their own with the creation of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. The emergence of an independent Jewish homeland shifted worldwide Jewish geography; most survivors of Nazi persecutions moved as soon as they could from Europe to Israel. The Jewish communities of North Africa and the Middle East—Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Iran—converged on the newly formed state and in the process redrew the Jewish map. From that date forward American Jewry would place Israel and its security high on their political agenda.
These momentous developments, involving loss and gain, tragedy and redemption, took place far from the United States. This transformative