The story of Israel’s foundation has often been told from the perspective of Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel. Leaving Zion turns this historical narrative on its head, focusing on Jewish out-migration from Palestine and Israel between 1945 and the late 1950s. Based on previously unexamined primary sources collected from twenty-two archives in six countries, Ori Yehudai demonstrates that despite the dominant view that displaced Jews should settle in the Jewish homeland, many Jews instead saw the country as a site of displacement or a way-station to more desirable lands. Weaving together the perspectives of governments, aid organizations, Jewish communities and the personal stories of individual migrants, Yehudai brings to light the ideological, political and social tensions surrounding emigration. Covering events in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, this study provides a fresh transnational perspective on the critical period surrounding the birth of Israel and the post-Holocaust reconstruction of the Jewish world.
Jewish literature inspires, enriches, and educates the community.
Help support the Jewish Book Council.