Segments in this Video

"The Jewish State" (03:14)


Theodor Herzl's book began as notes for a meeting with Baron Hirsch. He started with a top-down approach to building the movement but realized he needed a grassroots approach. He also became a public person.

Following "The Jewish State" in Progress (02:23)

Herzl's diaries provided a window to his mental process as he began building the Zionist movement. This included his shift from addressing the Rothschild family to targeting a broader audience and evolving his ideas.

How Herzl Played his Cards (02:55)

Herzl knew he was launching a campaign and wrote about wrestling with the right strategies. Dr. Daniel Polisar woll examine Herzl's process for writing "The Jewish State" and analyze its meaning.

Creative Genius (05:58)

After meeting with Hirsch, Herzl used writing to process his thoughts on the Zionist campaign. In his diary, he described a deliberate mental freedom during the brainstorming phase; he felt the ideas were happening to him.

Targeting the Rothschild Family (05:56)

After brainstorming, Herzl decided to target the philanthropic Jewish family as an audience for his ideas. Using his experience as an author and playwright, he shaped his notes into a cohesive manuscript. He envisioned himself as the movement's intellectual leader.

Great Leadership (02:27)

Herzl's sense of Jewish honor, pride and hurt contributed to his Zionist vision. A passage from Herzl's diary reflected his ambition to become part of history.

Search for Partners (04:42)

Herzl could not gain access to the Rothschild family. Undeterred, he read his 78 page address to Jewish community leaders. Max Nordau joined his campaign and recommended going to England—beyond Herzl's comfort zone.

Shifting Zionist Campaign Strategy (02:46)

Upon Nordau's recommendation, Herzl contacted "Hamagid" and "The Jewish Chronicle" in London and translated "The Jewish State" into Yiddish and Hebrew to reach Eastern Europe. Rather than targeting individuals, he would launch a grassroots movement.

Committing to a Grassroots Strategy (02:07)

In England, Herzl gained the support of the Maccabeans. He met resistance to going public with his pamphlet before presenting it to Lord Rothschild. Herzl dismissed this for a mass audience.

Publishing "The Jewish State" (06:03)

Herzl decided against self-publishing to avoid resembling a businessman. His pamphlet was eventually printed by Breitenstein. The publication fit into his strategy for gaining intellectual support, building political institutions, and establishing a diplomatic power base.

"The Jewish State" (06:22)

In the opening passage, Herzl said his idea to restore the Jewish state was not new. He reassured readers that he believed in the proposal, and transferred responsibility to them.

Antisemitism (03:49)

Herzl acknowledged emancipation efforts among Western European Jews while arguing that staying to fight antisemitism would never succeed. He then called for Jewish solidarity in building a movement.

Ideas Fueling "The Jewish State" (03:01)

Herzl declared his proposal was not new, believed that antisemitism was inevitable until a Jewish state existed, and was fascinated with the technology that made a Jewish state possible on a practical level.

Solving Anti-Semitism through Political Sovereignty (03:06)

Herzl believed antisemitism was caused by resentment of Jewish success and competition with others. He proposed moving poor Jews to Palestine before moving middle class Jews. A Jewish state would remove suspicions of double loyalty among Jews choosing not to emigrate.

Credits: Herzl as the Leading Thinker and Writer of the Zionist Movement – Part I (00:08)

Credits: Herzl as the Leading Thinker and Writer of the Zionist Movement – Part I

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Herzl as the Leading Thinker and Writer of the Zionist Movement – Part I

Part of the Series : Theodor Herzl and the Birth of Israel
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Dr. Polisar introduces Herzl’s most important work, The Jewish State, and explains how the book was born.

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL182975

ISBN: 978-1-64481-793-3

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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