Ben-Gurion Father of Modern Israel

Louis Brandeis and the Transformation of American Zionism: Vision, Identity and Legacy

Used by Media Technology Services

March 1, 2016

Opening Remarks:
David Ellenson, Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Visiting Professor in the Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

Lisa M. Lynch, Interim President of Brandeis University

Roundtable Discussants:
Yehudah Mirsky, Associate Professor of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies
Jonathan D. Sarna '75 MA'75, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and chair of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program
Frances Malino, MA'70, PhD'71, Sophia Moses Robison Professor of Jewish Studies and History, Wellesley College

Rachel Fish, PhD'13, Associate Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies

This roundtable conversation discussed how Louis Brandeis transformed, popularized, and idealized American Zionism in line with his progressive social ideals. Among other things, the speakers looked at what was distinctive about Brandeis’s Zionism, how his vision of Zionism was integrated with his understanding of Americanism, and why he believed that Zionism and social justice were intertwined. Comparative attention was paid to expressions of American Irish nationalism at the time which informed the thinking of many Zionist leaders.  This program is part of "Louis Brandeis 100: Then and Now" at Brandeis University, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Justice Brandeis' appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Guest Speaker Biography

Frances Malino, MA’70, PhD’71, is the Sophia Moses Robison Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Wellesley College. Director of Jewish Studies, she conducts research on Jewish and European history and is a founding member of the Digital Heritage Mapping and Diarna projects.

Her research, always with a focus on Jewish history, has encompassed Jews living in medieval Spain, the lands of Islam, France, and Europe. Recent publications have included a biography of a Jew in the French Revolution, an edited volume of Jewish women writers in contemporary Europe, and an article on adolescent Jewish identities in North Africa and the Middle East (1933-36). Her current book-length project is tentatively titled Teaching Freedom: Jewish Sisters in Muslim Lands 1889-1939.

Under her supervision, Wellesley College’s Jewish Studies Program has partnered with Diarna, an exciting and innovative 21st century project. Operating in an area often characterized by political and sectarian strife, Diarna (“our homes” in Judeo Arabic) is a multinational and interfaith collaboration among scholars and tour guides, technical experts who code and design the Diarna platform, young photographers and researchers who travel collecting material, and Middle Eastern youth eager to map virtual common ground.

The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Malino has been a fellow of Radcliffe College’s Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, Scholar in Residence at the Tauber Institute at Brandeis University, and an elected guest research fellow of Wolfson College at Oxford University. In 2012 she was named Chevalier dans l'Order des Palmes Académiques by the French Ministry of Education. She holds a BA from Skidmore College and an MA and PhD from Brandeis University.