January 11-12 (Sun & Mon), 2015, Tokyo Station College, Saitama University

Open to the public, no need for registration

Aim and Scope

Although Israel has broadly been defined as the West in the Middle East, most founding fathers of Israel were born in Russia or Poland. Of course, they hardly identified themselves as Russians or Poles, attempting rather to fit themselves into Western culture. Nevertheless, just as we distinguish between Russian Westernizers and West European modernists, we have to distinguish, for example, between Russian Zionist Westernizers and West European Zionists.

In the Russian Empire including Poland, Jewish people long played roles of intermediaries such as merchants, handicraftsmen, and intellectuals, connecting several elements in the Empire and beyond. While the Zionist movement strove for the revolutionary transformation of Jewish life so that the Jewish people could become an independent nation, that aspiration emerged in the long history of entanglement with East European history. Moreover, one could argue that the Zionist movement itself served to mediate between (East European) Jewish elements and non-Jewish ones such as modern nationalism and socialism, and thus—either consciously or unconsciously—allotted to Jews a new role as middlemen between Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Broadly, this conference deals with the connection between Israeli history and East European history with special focus on Russia and Poland. More specifically, in order to put Zionism into the contexts of Jews and Eastern Europe simultaneously, the conference will not presuppose the existence of Jewish/Zionist culture and East European culture as given, but it will examine how each individual or movement attempted to utilize spiritual and material resources available in each environment, while encountering structural limitations for minorities. By doing so, the conference will provide a new perspective to conceive of Israel as an entity beyond the definition of Israel as a colony of the West. This would in turn shed light on a forgotten but integral aspect of East European history, since it is also a history of leaving Eastern Europe as a result of interaction with it.

Panels and Timetable

Jan. 11 (Sun) 10:30-18:15

Introduction 10:30-10:45
Taro Tsurumi (Saitama University)

Russia and Transformation of Jewishness 10:45-12:30
Olga Litvak (Clark University) “What’s Love Got to Do with It? Jewish Sexual Politics and the Russian Origins of Zionism
Taro Tsurumi “Between Hyphenated Jews and Independent Jews: The Collapse of Empire and the Courses of Russian Jewish Identity”
Discussant: Mitsuharu Akao (Osaka University)

Empire and East/West 13:45-16:15
Israel Bartal (Hebrew University of Jerusale,) “'Little Russia' in Palestine? Imperial Past, National Future (1860-1948)”
Arieh Saposnik (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) “Zionism, Territorialism and Empire”
Rafi Tsirkin-Sadan (Hebrew University) “The East-West Dichotomy in Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky's Samson”
Discussant: Susumu Nonaka (Saitama University)

Law, Rights, Citizenship 16:30-18:15
Benjamin Nathans (University of Pennsylvania) "Refusniks and Rights Defenders: Jews and the Soviet Dissident Movement"

Nir Kedar (Sapir College) “The East European Roots of Israeli Civicism and Rule of Law”
Discussant: Nobuo Shimotomai (Hosei University)

Reception 18:30-20:30

Jan. 12 (Mon) 9:30-18:00

Poland, Democracy, and Demography 9:30-12:00
David Engel (New York University) “Democracy and Diaspora: On the Nature and Extent of Israel's East European Heritage”
Kenneth Moss (Johns Hopkins University) “Zionist Sociologies of Polish Jewry, and Vice Versa, 1929-1937
Haruka Miyazaki (Hokkaido University of Education) “The Jewish Problem from the Point of View of Polish Nation-Building”
Discussant: Jun Yoshioka (Tsuda College)

Socialism and Transnational Kibbutz 13:15-15:45
Ziva Galili (Rutgers University) “The Paradox of Soviet Influence: The Case of Kibbutz Hashomer Hatza’ir from USSR”
Chizuko Takao (Tokyo Medical and Dental University) “The Joint and the Zionist youth (Hehalutz) movements in Ukraine and Crimea in the 1920s”
Rona Yona (New York University) “Connecting Poland and Palestine: Organizational Aspects”
Discussant: David Wolff (Hokkaido University)

General Discussion 16:00-18:00

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Abstracts of Papers

Jan. 11

Olga Litvak

"What’s Love Got to Do with It? Jewish Sexual Politics and the Russian Origins of Zionism"

The relationship between the development of Jewish nationalism and the invention of Zionist machismo has been the subject of considerable controversy. But most treatments of this touchy subject are confined to the mature stage of the movement, when representations of the aggressively masculine body began to proliferate in Zionist iconography. This paper takes a different approach, one that draws on the dynamics of Jewish sexuality in late nineteenth-century Russia rather than on normative statements about sexual identity. I argue that the construction of a homosocial ethos was not a by-product of the “Hebrew renaissance,” but its underlying cause; from the beginning, national politics were sexual politics. The post-emancipation scandal of feminization afflicted precisely that institution — the study house — which provided “Palestinophilism” with its intellectual leadership and the terms of its discourse, prior to the interwar years when Zionism became a mass movement. Focusing on the work of M. L. Lilienblum, both the founder and the ideological fountainhead of Russian Zionism, I will show that the national revival mobilized male anxieties about the contradictions of the Russian-Jewish sexual regime and attended to the defense of Jewish masculinity from the predations of modernity. 

Taro Tsurumi

"Between Hyphenated Jews and Independent Jews: The Collapse of Empire and the Courses of Russian Jewish Identity"

Did Jews live in Russia only incidentally, retaining their cultural and social unity, or were they fused with Russian society by late nineteenth century? While Zionist historiography has represented Russian Jews as a nation distinguished from non-Jewish Russians, non-Zionist and anti-Zionist historical accounts claim that they were something other than a nation, such as a religious group or a cultural group. This paper proposes a new view: the problem is not how to categorize Russian Jews per se but how to connect the "Russian" and the "Jews" in "Russian Jews." As Sergei Witte put it, the Russian Empire was a conglomerate of several nationalities all dependent on each other. There were Jews including Zionists who shared this view, which became more apparent when the Empire collapsed. The most typical, yet little-discussed, example was that of Jews involved in the Russian White movement during the Civil War. These Jews devoted themselves to the defense of Great Russia not as a "Russians" per se but explicitly as Russian Jews. Several factors stood behind this phenomenon. First of all, as members of an ethnic minority, they preferred a strong state apparatus that would defend Jews from pogroms. More interestingly, they considered that Jews could be most effectively Jewish in Russia by maintaining a role as intermediaries: Westernizers of backward Russia, capitalists in poor Russia, or a Hebraic element in a future Hellenistic empire. This paper will argue that it was such an organic nexus or contextualized identity that Zionists, especially following the collapse of the Empire, strove to reject in their pursuit of independent Jewish identity.

Israel Bartal

"'Little Russia’ in Palestine? Imperial Past, National Future (1860-1948)"

Much of the scholarship on the emergence of the Jewish national entity in pre-1948 Palestine deals with the emergence of Jewish modernist movements in the Russian Empire. Surprisingly enough, most studies pay little attention, if any, to the impact of the Russian ‘Imperial environment’ as such on the shaping of the New Yishuv (Jewish settlement) in the years 1881-1948. One may study the Jewish community in Pre-1948 Palestine as a cluster of immigrant settlers' groups coming from several Empires. The New Yishuv was not built by Jewish farmers and laborers only. An influential group of intellectuals played a hefty role to shape an infrastructure for a new ‘national culture’ in Palestine. This culture, to become a principal element in the Israeli identity, was unprecedented in Jewish history. By appearances, its roots were planted among several Jewish renewal movements that surfaced and developed in Central and Eastern Europe only in the century preceding the First Aliya (1881- 1903). However, this culture is unique in its blend of an attachment to pre-modern religious traditions, with concepts, values, and outlooks absorbed from European modernism. The Holy Land had transformed in the modern Jewish mind to a historical-political entity. This was a radical turning point. The cultural-political tendency to compromise traditional beliefs and ancient creeds with Western secularist ideas of all sorts was strongly radicalized by the agents of the nascent Hebrew culture in Palestine (mostly immigrants from the Russian Empire), who took action to stamp out the pre-modern cultural legacies while selectively integrating some of their elements in a secular-national way. They sought to 'nationalize' the imperial cultures that the new immigrants had imported in the national ‘aliyot, i.e., to translate, rework, and adapt them to the new Hebrew national discourse.
It is my claim that contemporary Israel can be better understood if one connects the following trends in Russian-Jewish history to events and currents in the annals of pre-statehood Palestine:
1. Jewish exposure to Western influences via the Russian Imperial political and cultural filters.
2. Center and periphery (Imperial and provincial) in Russian Jewish history.
3. Russian acculturation of the Jews as part of an Imperial project.
4. The shaping of ethnic identities East European style.
5. The encounters of Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Jews of Eastern Europe.
6. Internal migrations and emigration movements from the Imperial point of view.

Arieh Saposnik

"Zionism, Territorialism and Empire"

In an early piece from his days as an ardent Herzlian Zionist, Israel Zangwill mused that “had Disraeli remained in the Ghetto, he might have applied his unifying intellect to Israel instead of to the British Empire, as sprawling and incoherent in his day as Israel in ours”. To Zangwill, Zionism was in this sense a project aimed at bringing together the disparate pieces of the Jewish people in a construction effort that shared at least something with a Disraelian task of empire building.
Indeed, empire served Zangwill in these early days of political Zionism as a constant point of reference in conceiving his Jewish national project. Later, as president of the Jewish Territorial Organization (ITO) after its secession from the Zionist Organization, Zangwill would explore a wide range of geographical prospects for Jewish immigration. In contrast with Zionism, for which the target territory, its native population, and the imperial players were largely given (although the latter a bit less so), ITO would conduct negotiations for prospective Jewish lands with multiple global powers, over a large number of territories that those powers had either colonized or hoped to colonize. Inevitably, this entailed a need to conceptualize the Jews’ place in a world of empires, colonizers and colonized peoples—a question that was often coupled with the knotty problem of whether the Jews were (or should be) “orientals” or “occidentals”.
This paper examines ITO’s national-territorial project upon the critical backdrop of its era—an age not only of nations, but of empires. The division between “East” and “West” often served in this context as a conceptual foundation, in which the Jews held a unique and complicated place. By adopting a comparative approach looking at both Zionism and Territorialism, this project aims to shed light on how both movements understood the Jewish predicament and the world of nations, empires, and the East-West divide in which they operated.

Rafi Tsirkin-Sadan

"The East-West Dichotomy in Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky's Samson"
The paper promotes a post-colonial reading in writer, translator, journalist, and Zionist leader Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky's most important fictional text. Assuming that Jabotinsky is active in two sets of discourse  -Jewish nationalism and Russian literature-  the novel Samson epitomizes the clash between these different cultural and intellectual identities. The novel's chronotope includes a variety of historical sites and points in time: antiquity and the Modern era, the Land of Israel and Eastern Europe. In this sense the discussion of the east-west dichotomy in Jabotinsky's work is based on a situational definition of these concepts which function in the novel as cultural signifiers. The terms 'east' and 'west', for instance, are first introduced as part of the Russian literary discourse, but gradually the Russian dichotomy projects onto the Jewish internal discourse, and in particular on the author's effort to define the goals of Zionism as a Modern European movement. Furthermore, the rise of Jewish nationalism is not only marked by the encounter with the Russian Imperial discourse, but also by the influence of the British one. Special emphasis is therefore given to analyzing the representations of 'Empire' in the novel – Eastern/Russian  vis-a-vis Western/British. 

Benjamin Nathans

"Refuseniks and Rights Defenders: Jews and the Soviet Dissident Movement "

How did relations evolve between advocates of Soviet Jewish emigration and the broader dissident movement from the 1960s to the 1980s?  What happened when individuals shifted from one network to the other or operated simultaneously in both?  This paper will explore  the two movements' overlapping personnel, compare their strategies of building alliances with foreign entities (in Israel and the West), and analyze their deployment of ideas about human rights, including the right to leave one's country.  It will conclude by comparing the place of Jews within two larger historical forces: the revolutionary movement of late Imperial Russia and the dissident movement of late Soviet socialism.

Nir Kedar

"The East European Roots of Israeli Civicism and Rule of Law "

The paper will track the ways in which civic and legal ideas fashioned in 19th century Russia were later developed and realized in Israel. Israeli society is often criticized of lacking a genuine respect to democracy, the rule of law and other civic values. According to a central explanation to this problematic political culture Israel could not develop into a fully-fledged democracy since most of its citizens migrated from Eastern Europe and the Moslem world, two areas withno tradition of democracy or rule of law and with no progressive civil society. The purpose of my paper is to offer a new historical account of Jewish modern legal and civic history, showing the East European roots of Israeli “civicism” and rule of law. 19th century East European Jews underwent complex processes of modernization, that were influenced by Western political and legal Ideas, as well as by the intellectual, cultural and political reality in 19th century Russia. The significant presence of law and the modern idea of the rule of law in the minds and social life of East European Jews eased the integration of Jewish immigrants in Western civil societies, and enabled those immigrating to Palestine to develop a stabile law abiding democracy. 

Jan. 12

David Engel

"Democracy and Diaspora: On the Nature and Extent of Israel's East European Heritage"

Because the large majority of Israel's founding fathers came of age in eastern Europe, and some obtained actual political experience there before migrating to Palestine, it makes sense to hypothesize that certain early twentieth-century east European political concepts and practices found expression in the Jewish state. This paper seeks to identify those concepts and practices, the manner in which they found expression, and the modifications they underwent as they were transplanted from Europe to the Middle East. It also seeks to identify fundamental concepts and practices of Israeli politics that may have developed without reference to parallel notions evident in eastern Europe. In particular, it examines Israeli understandings of democratic government and of the relation between state and diaspora and explores the possible sources of those understandings in eastern Europe and elsewhere.

Kenneth Moss

"Zionist Sociologies of Polish Jewry, and Vice Versa, 1929-1937"

This paper examines two distinct sites of what we might call Zionist sociopolitical thought in the 1930s. First, it examines how Zionist activist-observers and scholars from Zionist various camps tried to make sense of Polish Jewish society and its rapidly changing and fragmenting political culture. Here, I focus particularly on a set of analyses that are marked by richness of sociopolitical and anthropological observation (however correct or mutually contradictory), notably those of a succession of young socialist-Zionist emissaries from the Yishuv’s burgeoning kibbutz movement, the reportage of the centrist and anti-socialist Alter Druyanov, and the analyses of the leading Zionist sociologist in Poland Aryeh Tartakover. Second, my paper turns to how Polish Jews themselves (both articulate elites and non-elites) negotiated new relationships to the Yishuv in Palestine in this period, pivoting around the years of mass migration from Poland to Palestine 1932-1936 (the “Fifth Aliyah”). Situating these analyses in relation one to the other, I ask how they intersect and diverge, how they can be combined to reveal new developments in Polish Jewish political culture and consciousness, and how they revise our account of what Zionism actually was in the 1930s.

Haruka Miyazaki

“The Jewish Problem from the Point of View of Polish Nation-Building”

This presentation is a comparative study of Polish nationalism and Polish Zionism during the interwar period. Even after 1919, the concept of the Polish state was open to interpretation and the prerequisites for “being a citizen of Poland” were unclear. For example, Eugeniusz Romer, a geographer representing the Polish National Committee at the Paris Peace Conference, insisted that Poland is the “bridge” between the East and West and between the Baltic and the Black Seas. In The Great Statistical and Geographical Atlas of Poland (1916, 1921), he described that the Polish lands had a large number of minority groups forming a cultural mosaic in the area. In other words, no ethnic group
not even the Polish majoritycould stake their claim on a “homeland” without sharing it with other ethnic groups, especially Jewish people. This is why Romer, sympathizing with the National Democratic ideology, tried to distinguish between the “land-owning Poles” and the “migratory Jews” in his Atlas. However, this was not in keeping with the ground reality. In this presentation, I will examine the conflict for citizenship in the new Poland: it could be a nation-state only for the Polish or a federal republic consisting of multicultural ethnic groups, including the Jews. I will thus clarify why several Polish Zionists once believed that Jewish equalization could be compatible with Polish “patriotism” (e.g., the All-Polish movement of the National Democrats) and misinterpreted the prerequisites for citizenship in the Second Republic. 

Ziva Galili

"The Paradox of Soviet Influence: The Case of Kibbutz Hashomer Hatza’ir from USSR"

Building on my studies of Zionism in the early Soviet Union, this paper will examine the often-paradoxical effects of formative years spent in Soviet Russia on the ideological stance and political culture of Palestine-bound veterans of “Soviet Zionism.” I focus on the Socialists among them, who were inspired by Soviet collectivism and Bolshevik visions of a comprehensive remaking of society and the individual. Many of these activists became the institutional backbone of the labor movement in Palestine, particularly the Histadrut and its leading parties. 
Transplanting Soviet slogans and models into Palestine entailed tensions and contradictions, which I examine through the experience of Kibbutz Hashomer Hatza’ir from the USSR (not coincidentally, the community where I grew up and a focal point of my family history). It was founded in 1924 by veterans of Hashomer Hatz’air, a youth organization promoting individual and collective self-fashioning inspired by a range of existing models, such as British-style scouting, Socialist Zionist thought, pioneering organizations in Palestine, and contemporary Soviet discourse. Hashomer Hatz’air members did not attend a “training kibbutz” or Hechalutz farms, where many immigrants learned the rudiments of physical labor and communal life. During their early years in Palestine they struggled to integrate the disparate identities they developed in Soviet Russia and adjust to an unfamiliar reality. They saw themselves as members in a close-knit community of youth, but also as producers and proletarians engaged in constructing “a socialist Palestine.” They were torn between individual self-fashioning and ideological collectivism, internationalism and military activism, belief in Marxist superiority and deep suspicion of Communism. Their ambivalences triggered internal crises and led to unorthodox alliances. Their story offers a useful perspective on Soviet influences on shaping the labor and kibbutz movements in Jewish Palestine.

Chizuko Takao

"The Joint and the Zionist youth (Hehalutz) movements in Ukraine and Crimea in the 1920s"

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (the Joint) was established just after World War I broke out in 1914 to relieve the war-devastated Jews in Europe. In 1924 the Joint formed the “Agro-Joint” as a new organization specialized in the aid to Soviet Jews. From 1924 to its withdrawal from the Soviet Union in 1938, the Agro-Joint headed by Joseph Rosen cooperated with the Soviet government to aid the newly established Jewish colonies in Crimea and Ukraine. The Joint which spent a large amount of money for the Jewish agricultural colonization in Crimea, often criticized by Zionists in the United States. On the other hand the Agro-Joint was welcomed by the Soviet government and promoted its activities with many privileges including freedom of staff selection. Independent activities of the Agro-Joint often came into conflict with the local authorities. The local staff employed by the Agro-Joint included Zionists. In this paper we will discuss the aid of the Agro-Joint to the Zionist youth (Hehalutz) movement and communes, and introduce testimonies collected in Israel.

Rona Yona

"Connecting Poland and Palestine: Organizational Aspects"

If Israel is not a colony of the West, is it a colony of the East, i.e. eastern Europe? Sociologically, the state of Israel was created by Jewish immigrants, who came mostly from eastern Europe (70%). They were joined by a small yet important group of central Europeans, a few western Jews, and later the state was inhabited by mass immigration from the Middle East. Together, these groups borrowed important western political and cultural models. But the nature of Jewish immigration to Palestine was shaped not only by place of origin. One of its main characteristics was the origin of Jewish immigrants in minority communities, and more specifically a diaspora. This diaspora migrated to new countries, including Palestine. Being a minority was what Zionism aimed to change. The present paper will examine the dynamic of Jewish mass immigration from eastern Europe to Palestine during the interwar period, which was primarily Polish. It will focus on Hechalutz (the Pioneer) organization in Poland, which became the largest Zionist immigrant organization. It will show how due to the lack of a political and demographic Jewish center, Hechalutz was crafted as a transnational network of activists, which served as a conduit between Zionist concentrations in eastern Europe and Palestine. Together with other organizations it was part of a larger international network of Socialist Zionism, which mobilized young Jews, and enabled the rise of Labor Zionism to power. 

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Anyone coming to the conference can download papers here (not for citation without permission). To view this download page, you have to get the password by contacting Taro Tsurumi (taro_tsurumi[put atmark here]yahoo.co.jp, or his hotmail address).

Brief chronology and glossary that may help you read the papers are posted on our blog.



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Biographies of Participants

Mitsuharu AKAO is Assistant Professor at Osaka University, School of Letters. His research interest includes Hasiddim, Zionism, and modern Jewish literature in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian. He is currently engaged in a project on Jewish autonomy in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has the following English publications: "A New Phase in Jewish-Ukrainian Relations?: Problems and Perspectives in the Ethno-Politics over the Hasidic Pilgrimage to Uman," East European Jewish Affairs Vol.37-2 (2007), pp.137-155; "Hasidic Pilgrimage to Uman, Past and Present: The Ambiguous Centrality of a Jewish Sacred Place in Ukraine," Jews & Slavs Vol. 11(2003), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, pp.121-151.

Israel BARTAL Israel Bartal is Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History, and the former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2006-2010). Since 2006, he is the Chair of the Historical Society of Israel. Professor Bartal taught at Harvard, McGill, University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers, as well as at Moscow State University (MGU). In 2013-2014 Bartal served as Visiting Scholar at the Bildner Center at Rutgers University and an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Bartal is one of the founders of Cathedra, the leading scholarly journal on the history of the Land of Israel, and had served as its co-editor for over twenty years. He was on the Faculty of the Open University of Tel Aviv (1982-1993) and developed several courses in Modern Jewish History. Since 1998, he is the editor of Vestnik, a scholarly journal of Jewish studies in Russian. Among his numerous publications: Poles and Jews: a Failed Brotherhood (with Magdalena Opalski, Hanover, University Press of New England, 1992); Exile in the Land (published in Hebrew, Jerusalem, ha-Sifriya ha-Tsiyonit, 1994); The Jews of Eastern Europe. 1772-1881 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005, 2006, published also in Russian and German); The Varieties of Haskalah (editor, with Shmuel Feiner), Jerusalem, the Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2005); Cossack and Bedouin: Land and People in Jewish Nationalism (Tel Aviv, Am Oved Publishers, 2007); The Histroy of Jerusalem: The Late Ottoman Period (1800-1917) (editor, with Haim Goren), Yad Ben Zvi, Jerusalem 2010; To Redeem a People: Enlightenment and Nationalism in Eastern Europe, Carmel Publishing House, Jerusalem 2013.

David ENGEL is Greenberg Professor of Holocaust Studies, Professor and Chair of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, and Professor of History at New York University and a Fellow of the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center at Tel Aviv University.  He studies the history of the Jews from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century, emphasizing political thought and behavior and the relations between Jews and non-Jews, primarily in eastern Europe.  Recent work includes Zionism A Short History of a Big Idea (2008), Historians of the Jews and the Holocaust (2010); and The Assassination of Symon Petliura and the Trial of Scholem Schwarzbard (forthcoming).

Ziva GALILI is a Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University, where she has served as Dean of the Graduate School and of the School of Arts and Sciences. She is the author of The Menshevik Leaders in the Russian Revolution: Social Realities and Political Strategies (Princeton UP, 1989, Russian translation 1993) and co-editor with A.P. Nenarokov of the annotated documentary editions, The Mensheviks in 1917 (4 vols., 1994-1997, Russian) and The Mensheviks in Soviet Russia, 1918-1924 (4 vols., 1999-2004, Russian). In later years she studied the history of Zionist organizations in the early Soviet Union and published, among others, “The Soviet Experience of Zionism: Importing Soviet Political Culture to Palestine,” Journal of Israeli History, Vol. 24, No. 1 (2005); Exiled to Palestine: The Emigration of Zionist Convicts from Soviet Russia, 1924-1937 (with Boris Morozov, 2006); “Zionism in the Early Soviet State: Between Legality and Persecution,” in Revolution, Repression, and Revival. The Soviet Jewish Experience (Ed. Z. Gitelman and Y. Roi, 2007). She is currently working on two projects: An annotated edition of Zionist documents from Soviet archives (including the archives of FSB and SBU); and a book-in-writing exploring the ideological, communal, and personal dimensions of the lives of her parents, Klara and Lasia Galili, as members and activists of H ashomer Hatza’irin the USSR, the kibbutz it spawned in Palestine, and other socialist Zionist collectivities.

Nir KEDAR, Professor and SJD, is the Dean of Sapir College School of law in Israel. Formerly he was a Professor of law and legal history at Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law. Prof. Kedar has an LL.B. and a BA in history from Tel-Aviv University and an S.J.D. from Harvard Law School. He clerked for the Honorable President of the Israeli Supreme Court Prof. Aharon Barak. His main fields of interest are legal history, modern legal history, legal and political theory and comparative law. In these fields he has published numerous articles and four books. He is a member of the editorial staff of Comparative Legal History (CLH). Among his publications: Mamlakhtiyut: David Ben-Gurion’s Civic Thought, Yad Ben-Zvi & Ben-Gurion University Press 2009 (Hebrew). The book won the Shapiro Prize for Best Book on Israel for 2009 from the International Association for Israel Studies (AIS). His recent book The “Israeliness” of Israeli Law: The 100 Years’ Quest for an “Authentic” Israeli Law, will appear in 2015.

Olga LITVAK teaches modern Jewish history at Clark University.  A specialist in the study of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, she is the author of Conscription and the Search for Modern Russian Jewry (Indiana UP, 2006) and Haskalah: The Romantic Movement in Judaism (Rutgers UP, 2012).  Litvak is currently writing a book about Zionism in Russia.

Haruka MIYAZAKI is Lecturer of international politics at Hokkaido University of Education. Her research interest includes Polish nationalism, Zionism, and modern Jewish historiography in Polish. Her publications include The Polish Problem and Dmowski: Pathos and Logos of National Independence [in Japanese] (Hokkaido University Press, 2010).

Kenneth B. MOSS is the Posen Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Johns Hopkins University. His current book project, The Unchosen People: the Polish Jewish Condition and the Jewish Political Imagination, 1928-1939, examines how a transnational Jewish intelligentsia divided among Zionists, diasporists, and territorialists confronted the spectre of a Polish Jewish community redefined by a politics of despair, futurelessness, and negative identity; tried to make sense of a new global order increasingly defined by extrusionary hypernationalism, capitalist crisis, imperial retrenchment, and the racialization of space and movement; struggled to understand the implications of the latter for the former; and sought with increasing desperation for a politics that would be adequate to these challenges. Moss’ first book, Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution (Harvard 2009), investigated the Jewish nationalist intelligentsia’s concept of culture through a comparative study of Hebraist, Yiddishist, nationalist, and socialist cultural projects during the first years of the Russian Revolution. The book received the Sami Rohr Prize for the best work of Jewish non-fiction from the National Jewish Book Council in 2010; a Hebrew translation will appear from Mercaz Zalman Shazar. Moss’ work has appeared in the Journal of Modern History, Jewish Social Studies, Jewish History, The Journal of Social History, Afn shvel and many other venues, and has been translated into Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish, Russian, and Portuguese. With Sarah Stein and Tony Michels, he is incoming editor of Jewish Social Studies. He lives with his wife and children in the city that saw the first publication of a poem by Shaul Tshernikhovsky.

Benjamin NATHANS is Ronald S. Lauder Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, USA). He is the author of Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia (2002), co-editor of Culture Front: Representing Jews in Eastern Europe (2008), and is currently completing a book entitled To the Success of Our Hopeless Cause: A History of the Soviet Dissident Movement. His work has appeared in The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and other venues. His most recent article, "Talking Fish: On Soviet Dissident Memoirs," is forthcoming in the Journal of Modern History.

Susumu NONAKA teaches modern Russian literature at Saitama University.  He is specialized in Andrei Platonov, Vasliy Rozanov, and Literary Theory (Bakhtin, Russian Formalism). The author of several articles about them.

Arieh SAPOSNIK is Associate Professor at the Ben-Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. A historian of Zionism and Jewish nationalism, Saposnik is interested, in the broader context, in the construction of national cultures and identities in the modern world. He is the author of Becoming Hebrew: The Creation of a Jewish National Culture in Ottoman Palestine, published by Oxford University Press. Currently, Saposnik is completing a study of the Jewish Territorialist Organization and the emergence of competing notions of the link between Jews and territory in the modern world. He has also published on imagery and symbolism of the sacred in the making of Jewish nationalism, and in Zionism and Israeli culture in particular. Prior to joining the faculty at Ben-Gurion University, Saposnik was the founding director of the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at the University of California in Los Angeles, where he also held the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies.

Nobuo SHIMOTOMAI is Professor at Hosei University, Faculty of Law and Politics. He specilizes in Russian and CIS politics and history. Former President of the Japanese Association of the International Relations, Chairperson of the org. comittee of the Makuhari congress of the ICCEES, Valdai club member, commentator on Russian Affairs, he graduated from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law. He visited Birmingham University as Honorary Research Fellow and Harvard Russian Research Center as Visiting Fellow and Fulbright Fellow. His publications include: Moscow under Stalinist Rule 1931-34 (Macmillan, 1991), Northern Territories and Beyond (ed. with Prof. V. Ivanov and Goodby, Praeger, 1995), Soviet Politics and Trade Unions: A Political History of the NEP [in Japanese] (Univ. of Tokyo Press, 1982), Contemporary Soviet Politics [in Japanese] (Univ.of Tokyo Press, 1987), The State Owned by the Party [in Japanese] (Kodansya, 2002), Cold War History in Asia [in Japanese] (Chuuoukouronnsinsha, 2004), Moscow and Kim IlSung [in Japanese] (Iwanami,2006; Russian version from MGIMO,2009).

Chizuko TAKAO is Professor in History at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University. Her field of research is Russian Jewish History. She received her Ph.D. in history from Waseda University in 2005. Her recent publications include Russia and the Jews: A Short History, Tokyo, 2014 [in Japanese]; “Siberian Intervention and the Dissemination of the Protocols of Elders of Zion in Japan: 1919-1921”, in Studies in Jewish Life and Culture, No.27, 2013, pp.23-36 [in Japanese]; “Russian-Jewish Harbin before World War II”, in Japanese Slavic and East European Studies, vol.32, 2012, pp.39-53.

Rafi TSIRKIN-SADAN has received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as the Stanley A. and Barbara B. Rabin Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. His research interests include: Russian literature, Hebrew literature, literature and history in history of ideas. Rafi is the author of two books  Jewish Letters at the Pushkin LibraryY.H. Brenner's work and its connection to Russian Literature and Thought (in Hebrew, Bialik Institute, 2013), and Wandering Heroes, Committed Writers:Nihilists and Nihilism in Russian Literature(in Hebrew ,Van Leer/Hakibutz Hameuhad, forthcoming in 2015).  Currently he is working on a new manuscript Hundred Years Together: The Encounter of Hebrew writers with Russian Literature, 1850-1950. In 2014-2015 Rafi teaches Russian literature and film at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem within the framework of Israeli Partnership in Russian Studies.

Taro TSURUMI (organizer) is Associate Professor in Research and Development Bureau at Saitama University. His research focuses on Russian Jewish and Zionist history and historical sociology of ethnicity and nationalism. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo based on his dissertation on the ideological history of Russian Zionism (1881-1917) in 2010. His recent publications include "'Neither Angels, Nor Demons, But Humans': Anti-Essentialism and Its Ideological Moments among the Russian Zionist Intelligentsia," Nationalities Papers, 38(4); "An Imagined Context of a Nation: The Russian Zionist Version of the Austrian Theory of Nationality," in Brian Horowitz and Shai Ginsburg eds., Bounded Mind and Soul: Russia and Israel, 1880-2010, Bloomington: Slavica Publishers, 2013; "Jewish Liberal, Russian Conservative: Daniel Pasmanik between Zionism and the Anti-Bolshevik White Movement,"Jewish Social Studies (forthcoming); The Imagination of Russian Zionism [in Japanese] (Univ. of Tokyo Press, 2012).

David WOLFF is Professor of History at the Slavic Eurasian Research Center of Hokkaido University. Before moving to Japan, he was Director of the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center and CWIHP Senior Scholar. He is the author of To the Harbin Station: The Liberal Alternative in Russian Manchuria, 1898-1914 (Stanford,1999; Kodansha, 2014), co-author of Le KGB et les pays baltes (Paris, 2005) and more recently "Japan and Stalin's Policy toward Northeast Asia after World War II" in the Journal of Cold War Studies (Spring 2013). He is now working on a monograph about the Stalin-Mao relationship at the core of Stalin's postwar Eurasia policy.

Rona YONA is a postdoctoral fellow of the Israel Institute (2013-2015) at New York University, and editor of Israel: Studies in Zionism and the State of Israel published by Tel Aviv University. She holds a Ph.D. in Jewish history from Tel Aviv University (2014) and an MA in European History from the Hebrew University. Her dissertation examines Hechalutz in Poland and Socialist Zionism as an international mass movement. Her publications include: “A Kibbutz in the Diaspora” (Journal of Israeli History 31, 2012), “Zionist Terminology and the Jewish Sources: Berl Katznelson and the Creation of the Term ‘Hanchalat Halashon’ [Bequeathing the Language]” (Hebraic Political Studies 2, 2007), and “Muslims under Christian Rule in Late Medieval Spain” (Hayo Haya, 2 2003, in Hebrew).

Jun YOSHIOKA is Associate Professor at Tsuda College, Tokyo, Department of International and Cultural Studies. His research focuses on national minority problems in the process of the establishment of communist rule in Poland. He received his Ph.D. in history from Kyoto University in 2003. His recent publications include Fighting Poland: Poland and the Second World War (Toyo shoten, forthcoming) [in Japanese]; “Imagining Their Lands as Ours: Place Name Changes on Ex-German Territories in Poland after World War II,” in: Tadayuki Hayashi and Hiroshi Fukuda (eds.), Regions in Central and Eastern Europe: Past and Present (Sapporo, 2007); “The ‘Ukrainian Problem’ and the Process of the Establishment of Communist Rule in Poland,” Slavic Studies, 48 (2001) [in Japanese]; “National Aspects of the Land Reform in Poland after World War II,” in: Tomasz Szarota (ed.), Communism: Ideology, System, People (Warsaw, 2001) [in Polish].

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Street View of Sapia Tower サピアタワーのストリートビュー

Tokyo Station College, Saitama Unviersity
Sapia Tower* 9F, 1-7-12 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

*The same building as Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi (not Marunouchi Hotel), though the entrance is different; proceed to the office entrance on the 3rd floor and take a one-day pass from our reception; return the pass to the reception everytime you go outside the office entrance, even if you drop by the convenience store in the same building, for example. See photos below.

Raiway & Metro access: JR and Metro Tokyo Station (Nihonbashi Gate is the closest to the building; Yaesu North Gate is also close). Otemachi Station and Nihonbashi Station are also available. A lot of lines including Yamanote Line, Chuo Line, and Marunouchi Line are available to these stations. It takes about 10 min. from the platform of the Yamanote Line to our conference room.
We will open the conference room half an hour before the start of the conference each day.




Photos from Sapia Tower to the conference room

We will put our desk in front of the door (pic. above).

The conference room is on the left. Toilet is outside this door, near the elevators.

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Contact: Taro Tsurumi (taro_tsurumi[put atmark here]yahoo.co.jp)
Research and Development Bureau, Saitama University