The Israeli left between culture and politics: Tzavta and Mapam, 1956-1973

Tal Elmaliach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Tzavta club in Tel Aviv (until 1956 called the Center for Progressive Culture) was founded in 1946 by Hakibbutz Ha'artzi-Hashomer Hatza'ir kibbutz movement. Cultural activity was a traditional means used by political movements to increase their influence in society. However, as part of the "cultural front" of Hashomer Hatza'ir and Mapam, Tzavta had the additional goal of strengthening "ideological collectivism" among the members of the movement and the party. This article analyzes Tzavta's activity between 1956 and 1973, arguing that it was created to combine two functions - cultural and political. Although the leadership of Mapam intended to use the club as a political tool for disseminating the party's views and controlling internal conflicts, Tzavta became increasingly culturally autonomous and eventually uncontrollable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-183
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural front
  • Hashomer Hatza'ir
  • Mapam
  • New Left
  • Tzavta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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