Jewish philanthropy and Jewish credit cooperatives in Eastern Europe and Palestine up to 1939: A transnational phenomenon?

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

At the end of the nineteenth century, and more pronouncedly between the two World Wars, Jews in Eastern Europe created wide networks of credit cooperatives, which at their peak supported about a third of the non-Soviet Jewish population in Eastern Europe. The establishment and continuous management of these cooperatives were greatly assisted by the two major Jewish philanthropic organizations of the period, the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). These organizations acted as charitable institutions but also as third-sector organizations which aspired both to assist and to socially engineer East European Jewish society. In British Mandate Palestine a Zionist branch of the movement was established, which was, however, free from the influences of these philanthropic organizations. The article describes and analyzes this little-researched phenomenon while seeking to place it within the theoretical frameworks of philanthropy and transnationalism. It concludes with an observational comparison between the political context in which Jewish credit cooperatives were created, namely East European ethnic regimes, and the Israeli ethnic democracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-170
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2008

Keywords

  • Bernard Kahn
  • JCA
  • JDC
  • Jewish credit cooperatives
  • Jewish philanthropy
  • Philanthropy
  • The American Joint Reconstruction Foundation
  • Transnationalism
  • Yishuv

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations

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