Zionism - Israeli Flag

Zionism and Israel - Biographies
Biography - Manya Shochat (Mania Shohat)


Biography - Manya Shochat (Mania Shohat)

Manya Shochat - Zionist Socialist PioneerManya Shochat (Born 1880*; Died 1961) was the "mother" of the Kibbutz movement and collective settlement. She was born Manya Wilbushewitch in Belorussia to  middle-class Russian Jewish parents. As a young adult, she went to work in her brother's factory in Minsk to learn about working class conditions. She was imprisoned because of her contacts with  revolutionaries in 1899.   There she was indoctrinated by Zubatov, the head of the Tsarist Secret Police in Moscow. Zubatov conceived a plan that fit with Shochat's ideological notions, through which workers would form "tame" organizations that would work for reform rather than for overthrow of the government. She was persuaded that this would also help achieve rights for Jews. She founded the Jewish Independent Labor Party. The party was successful in leading strikes because the secret police supported it, but was loathed by the Bund and other Jewish socialist groups. The party collapsed in 1903 following the Kishinev pogrom. At a loss following the collapse of her ideas, she accepted an invitation from her brother Nachum, who was the founder of the Shemen soap factory, to visit the land of Israel  in 1904. 

Anticipating Arthur Ruppin, she understood that the model of plantation settlement where Jewish owners employed Arab workers, which favored by the Baron Rothschild,  could never be the basis for Jewish national life. She concluded that only collective agricultural settlement could produce Jewish workers and farmers who would be the basis for building a Jewish homeland. She returned in 1907 to help establish the country’s first ideologically based cooperative at Sejera, which later became the basis of the first Kibbutz. In 1908,  with Israel Shochat, she helped found the Hashomer guard organization, which evolved into the basis of Jewish self-defense. She later married Israel Shochat and had two children. In World War I, the Turks deported the Shochats and others who were not Turkish citizens to Bursa, in Turkey. They returned in 1919, after attending the Poalei Tziyon convention in Stockholm.  She was active in the G'dud Ha'avoda.    In 1930, Manya Shochat was among the founders of the League for Arab-Jewish Friendship. With Rahel Yanaait she traveled to the United States to raise money and organize Aliya.  In 1948 she joined the MAPAM party.

* Some sources give her date of birth as 1879.

See Also:



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


Text of biography copyright © 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center, May be printed out for non-profit educational use without permission. Other uses by permission only. Please link to these pages. Please do not copy them to Web sites or forums without permission. 

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


Dvar Dea - Israel Advocacy

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