Writing Palestine 1933-1950

Writing Palestine 1933-1950

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Dorothy Kahn Bar-Adon
Edited by Esther Carmel-Hakim & Nancy Rosenfeld

ISBN: 9781618114952 (hardcover) / 9781618116369 (paper)
Pages: 290 pp.; 17 illus.
Publication Date: August 2016

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From her immigration to Mandatory Palestine in 1933 until her death in 1950 American-born Dorothy Kahn Bar-Adon worked as a reporter for The Palestine Post (later The Jerusalem Post), while freelancing for periodicals in Palestine and abroad. Bar-Adon covered life in towns, kibbutzim and Arab communities of Mandatory Palestine during this period of World War, armed conflict between Arabs and Jews, immigration to Israel of Holocaust survivors. Close to 60 years after her death, this edited collection of Bar-Adon’s writing offers a vivid view both of daily life in the Jewish and Arab communities of pre-State Israel, and of the burning issues of the day.


Dr. Esther Carmel-Hakim, a historian of Zionism at the University of Haifa, explores with host Gilad Halpern the central role women played in the Jewish national movement from its early stages, and explains why they’ve been marginalized by the official historiography.

Esther Carmel-Hakim is a lecturer at the University of Haifa. She is a researcher on women and women's organizations in the Zionist movement and in Israel; Carmel-Hakim has initiated internet sites and movies on women and regularly delivers public lectures on women trailblazers.

Nancy Rosenfeld teaches in the English Studies Unit and in the Humanities Enrichment Program of the Max Stern College of Emek Yizreel (Jezreel Valley), Israel. She is the author of The Human Satan in Seventeenth Century English Literature: From Milton to Rochester (Ashgate, 2008), and has published articles on John Milton, John Bunyan, John Wilmot, second earl of Rochester, John Keats, Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon.

Table of Contents

Editors' Preface

Foreword By Linda Steiner
Chapter 1: Biography of Dorothy Kahn Bar Adon
Chapter 2: Zionism and immigration to Palestine
Chapter 3: The German Jews Conquer Tel Aviv
Chapter 4: “Our Cousins” – on the Arab Population of Mandatory Palestine
Chapter 5: Jerusalem: A City Not Yet Divided
Chapter 6: World War II – the Palestine Home Front
Chapter 7: The Collective Village
Chapter 8: Youth Aliya

Suggested Reading


Writing Palestine by Dorothy Kahn Bar-Adon takes the reader back to the seventeen most eventful years (1933 – 1950) in Mandatory Palestine and the beginning of the Jewish state. The author, a Jewish American-born journalist, wrote extensively about everyday life concerning all its aspects. The two editors of these unique documents, Esther Carmel–Hakim and Nancy Rosenfeld collected them from her private unknown archive and from the English daily The Palestine Post, later to become The Jerusalem Post. This book brings forth the noises, sights and feelings of these unforgettable years.
— Margalit Shilo, Professor in the Land of Israel Department, Bar Ilan University
Historians and the broader reading public are lucky to have a new primary source in English offered by the lively voice of Dorothy Bar-Adon. She is witty and empathic, and her lost articles and memoir help us understand why courageous American Jewish souls were attracted to the Zionist project—in a more innocent time than the present.
— Deborah Hertz, Herman Wouk Chair in Modern Jewish Studies, University of California, San Diego
The writings of American-born journalist Dorothy Kahn Bar-Adon provide a fascinating window onto the politics and culture of pre-state Palestine in the 1920s through 1940s. This treasure trove of previously unpublished material from The Palestine Post and Bar-Adon’s personal archive introduces us to a witty and perceptive reporter, who writes in a uniquely female voice. A welcome and significant contribution to the historical record!
— Joyce Antler, Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture, Brandeis University