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Leaving Zion: Jewish Emigration from Palestine and Israel after World War II


The story of Israel's foundation has often been told from the perspective of Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel. In this presentation, Ori Yehudai turns this historical narrative on its head, focusing on Jewish out-migration from Palestine and Israel between 1945 and the late 1950s. Based on previously unexamined primary sources collected from twenty-two archives in six countries, he will talk about how, despite the dominant view that displaced Jews should settle in the Jewish homeland, many Jews instead saw the country as a site of displacement or a way-station to more desirable lands. Covering events in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, Yehudai provides a fresh transnational perspective on the critical period surrounding the birth of Israel and the post-Holocaust reconstruction of the Jewish world.

Nicholas Breyfogle | Associate Professor, Department of History; Director, Goldberg Center
Ori Yehudai | Schottenstein Chair in Israel Studies and Assistant Professor, Department of History

This podcast is brought to you by the Clio Society of the Ohio State History Department, in partnership with the Bexley Public Library, and Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective.

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Posted August 20, 2021