Cultural aspects of philanthropy: Belle Époque administrators and Jewish peasants in the Galilee

Yair Seltenreich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Jewish settlements - moshavot - in Galilee in Palestine at the beginning of the twentieth century were administered by a French Jewish philanthropic society, JCA. The JCA administrators, in their behaviour and in their world view, reflected the mentality which was framed by the French bourgeoisie culture during the Belle Epoque. An understanding of the bourgeois viewpoint is the key to comprehending the approach of JCA administrators to the world of the Eastern European Jews that resided in the moshavot. These conceptions led to a paternalistic, and even quasi-colonialist, attitude of the administrators towards the Jewish peasants. Thus, the encounter between those two social groups became tense and complicated, generating mutual loathing and frustration. This article describes the different expressions of these attitudes and tries to explain the process of their development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-51
Number of pages17
JournalMediterranean Historical Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Belle Epoque culture
  • French colonialism
  • Galilee
  • Jewish Colonization Association
  • Moshavot
  • Philanthropy
  • Rural settlement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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