Zionism - Israeli Flag

Zionism and Israel - Biographies

Nachman Syrkin - Biography

Nachman Syrkin - Biography

Nachman Syrkin was born in Belorussia in 1868. He attended high school in Minsk after his family had moved there, and joined the  'Hovevei Tzion (lovers of Zion) in that city, but also was in contact with contact with Russian revolutionary circles. In 1888, he was arrested. He then fled to London and thence to  Berlin, where he studied psychology and philosophy.  In Berlin, Syrkin helped  found the Russian-Jewish Scientific Society, whose members included future Zionist leaders such as Shmaryahu Levin, Leo Motzkin and Chaim Weizmann. Syrkin tried a career as a writer, but returned to complete a Phd in Bern in 1903.

Nachman (Nachman) Syrkin: A Founder of Socialist Zionism
Nachman Syrkin (1868-1924 )
A founder of Socialist Zionism

By 1888, Syrkin had conceived of his hallmark idea: the combination of non-Marxist socialism and Jewish nationalism. In 1897, he was a leader of the Socialist Zionists at the First Zionist Congress. In 1898, Syrkin published the article The Jewish Problem and the Socialist Jewish State, which appeared in an Austrian Socialist monthly.

Syrkin was known for his outspoken views. His frequent attacks on different ideologies led to loud protests at Zionist congresses. He criticized the "bourgeois and clerical" elements in the Zionist Organization. He  attacked Achad Ha'am's Cultural Zionism, for disregarding realities such as anti-Semitism, and took issue with The Marxist Zionism of Ber Borochov.  Syrkin was exiled from Germany in 1904, spent some time in Paris and, after the 1905 revolution, went to Russia where he continued to work with Zionist-Socialists. He emigrated to the United States in 1907. He joined the Poalei Tziyon and  remained the leader of the American Poalei Tziyon until his death. 

During World War I, Syrkin helped organize a Jewish Congress in America and supported the creation of a Jewish Legion that would fight on the side of the Allies to liberate Palestine. In 1919, Syrkin was a delegate at the Versailles Peace Conference.

Syrkin intended to settle in Palestine, but died suddenly of a heart attack in 1924. In 1951, his remains were reinterred at Kibbutz Kinneret with the other founders of Labor Zionism.

Ami Isseroff

Copyright 2005- 2008, by the author. May not be reproduced at Web sites or for profit without permission.

See also:

Nachman Syrkin - The Jewish Problem and the Socialist Jewish State

More Israeli and Zionist Biographies The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

History of Zionism and the Creation of Israel

Labor and Socialist Zionism 


External Zionism Links

This site provides resources about Zionism and Israeli history, including links to source documents. We are not responsible for the information content of these sites. These links are NOT intended to be an exhaustive reference about Zionism, but the list will keep growing...

Please tell us about your favorite links and we will review them for inclusion.

Please do copy these links to your Web site and tell your friends about  https://zionism-israel.com Zionism and Israel Information Center

 Thank you.

Please link to us and to  our Sister Web sites -   http://zionism.netfirms.com Zionism Pages  and Zionism and Israel On the Web

Wikipedia article about Zionism - A comprehensive article including the history of Zionism  as well as links to specific topics and articles about anti-Zionism.

Zionism - Table of contents at the Jewish Virtual Library

Zionism article at Infoplease

Zionism - Definition and Brief History - A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish anti-Zionists.

Labor Zionism - Early History and Critique - Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

The US Library of congress has a comprehensive and balanced set of articles about Zionism:

Zionist Precursors - US Library of Congress

Political Zionism - US Library of Congress

Cultural Zionism - US Library of Congress

Labor Zionism - US Library of Congress

Revisionist Zionism - US Library of Congress

Jewish Agency Zionism pages - Links to basic information about Zionism from the Jewish Agency

Ambassador Herzog explains Zionism in the UN


Active Zionism - A Zionist advocacy site with many useful links

Israel-Palestina - (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... Israël-Palestina Informatie -gids Israël, Zionisme, Palestijnen en Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective - Dutch and English.

ZioNation - Zionism-Israel Web Log    Zionism & Israel News  Israel: like this, as if Albert Einstein Bible History of Zionism Zionism FAQ Zionism Israel Center Maps of Israel Jew Israel Advocacy Zionism and its Impact Israel Christian Zionism