Resistance in the Smaller Ghettos of Eastern Europe: Glossary

General Terms

Agudat Israel 
(In Yiddish, Agudas Yisroel) Political party founded in Kattowitz in Poland in 1912 to represent Orthodox Jews. Although the founding conference of the primary political part of Orthodox Jewry took place in May of 1912, the serious organization of Agudat Israel in Poland began in 1916. It was internal Jewish developments, rather than external factors, which spurred the anti-Zionist Orthodox to organize politically for the first time. Agudat Israel represented Jews who wished to regulate all aspects of life according to tradition, with the assumption that this obligated Jews to manifest strong loyalty and peace toward the state in which they lived. Agudat Israel, therefore, felt threatened by Zionist activity (including that of the religious Zionist party, Mizrachi), its culture and nationalism, as well as by the Bund's secularist understanding of its mission.

Aliyah 
Ascent. Jewish immigration to the land of Israel.

Bund
Abbreviation in Yiddish for "Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Poyln un Rusland". The General Workers' Union was the Jewish Socialist party. Founded in 1897 in Vilna, it soon solidified its ideology: for autonomism, devoted to Yiddish language and culture, and secular nationalism. It proclaimed for Jews to live in "Doykeit" ("hereness"), an ideological perspective that supported changes in the place where Jews had lived for a millennium. The Bund embraced three major groups: parts of the working class, the radical intelligentsia and the semi- intelligentsia, and those Jews that lacked sufficient general education but were steeped in Jewish culture. It took on formidable battles against the Zionists, but occasionally collaborated in educational efforts with the Poalei Tzion, a socialist and Yiddish-based Zionist party. It helped spread many educational institutions and organizations for adults and youth, as well as important training in self-defense.

Chalutz(im) 
Pioneer(s). Agricultural laborers in Palestine.

Chanich(im) 
Student or trainee. A term used to refer to members of Zionist youth groups.

Eretz Israel 
The Land of Israel.

Kibbutz(im) 
The term used to refer to collective groups organized by Zionist youth movements in post-war Europe. Also used to refer to agricultural settlements in Palestine.

Hakhsharah 
Preparation. Agricultural training in preparation for aliyah.

Madrich(ah) 
Leader. Title applied to instructors in Zionist youth groups.

Oleh (olim) 
Jewish immigrant(s) to Palestine.

Shaliach—shlichah (f.) shlichim (pl.)
Emissary. Representative from the yishuv assigned to promote aliyah from the Diaspora.

Yishuv 
Settlement. The term used to refer to the Jewish community in Palestine.

Zionism
As a formal Jewish political movement, Zionism began at the end of the 19th century in Eastern Europe, pursuing the return of the Jewish people to their ancestral home, which resulted in the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. Although the attachment and yearning for the Land of Israel (Zion) was not a new idea of the 19th century, it was then that it was remodeled as a political national idea. To some, the persistence of antisemitism seemed to be an ineradicable feature of European non-Jewish society. The only way out of the conundrum was to achieve "autoemancipation" through a political sovereign state for the Jews. This national struggle, the Zionists believed, was to be linked to a necessary cultural transformation in which they would attempt to redefine Jewish culture as based on a Jewish national consciousness, using Hebrew as a daily language. Although other territoral solutions were considered, a state in Palestine came to be seen as the foremost goal for the movement. Issues of class, religion, and culture were debated by various strands of the movement embodied in diverse political parties and associated youth movements.

Selected Jewish Youth Movements

Betar
(The initials of Brit Yosef Trumpeldor, Joseph Trumpeldor Alliance)—youth group affiliated with Revisionist Zionism established in 1923 in Riga

Dror
Pioneering socialist-Zionist youth movement which participated in the interwar Hehalutz movement

Gordoniah
Pioneering socialist, non-Marxist youth movement established in Poland in 1925 and named after A.D. Gordon, whose writings and teachings on Labor Zionist settlement in Palestine formed the ideological foundation of the movement.

HaNoar Hatzioni
Formed in 1932, constituted the youth movement of the non-socialist General Zionists

Hashomer Hatzair
Zionist-socialist pioneering youth movement whose aim was to educate Jewish youth for kibbutz life in Israel. It was officially established in Vienna in 1916, although it first originated as part of Tze'irei Zion and Hashomer in Galicia. Hashomer Hatzair was influenced by the scouting movement and emphasized personal fulfillment and education. Ideologically, the movement combined an orientation to settlement in Eretz Israel with left-wing socialism and Marxism.

HeHalutz
An association of Jewish youth whose aim was to train its members to settle on the Land of Israel; it became an umbrella organization of the pioneering Zionist youth groups. Following World War I, the movement spread all over Europe, as well as overseas. At its peak between 1930-1935 the movement counted 100,000 adherents, with 16,00 members on hakhsharot or training centeers for the pioneering life in the Land of Israel.

Jungbor
(Jung Borochovistim)—named after the Leftist Marxist Zionist ideologue, Ber Borochov. The youth movement was affiliated with Left Poalei Zion.

Tzukunft
(lit. “future”)—the youth movement of the Jewish Labor Bund. Skif (Sotzialistisher Kinder Farband) was the children's group of the movement.