Libmonster ID: U.S.-1543

The Central Zionist Archive (Israel) (Hebrew-ha-archion ha-zioni ha-merkazi, hereinafter - CSA) is one of the main institutions of the country for the storage and study of documents, where a huge amount of materials on the history of the Zionist movement is collected. The archive was created in Berlin in May-June 1919 by Georg Goerlitz on the order of Arthur Hantke, a member of the executive Committee of the Zionist Organization 1. In the 1920s and 1930s, the accumulation of books, photographs, newspapers, and documents from Zionist missions in Europe and the Jewish National Fund began. [www.zionistarchives.org.il].

After the Nazis came to power, it was decided to move the archive out of Germany. According to the archivists themselves, 154 boxes of documents were unloaded in Palestine at the end of 1933. Opened in Jerusalem in 1934, the archive also began collecting materials on the history of the Yishuv, the Jewish community of Palestine, as well as personal collections of prominent figures in the Zionist movement. Thus, the archive of one of the leaders of the movement, Theodor Herzl, was brought to Jerusalem from Vienna in 1937.

The creation of the Jewish state naturally influenced the work of the Central Jewish Agency: documents from Yishuv institutions in the 1920s and 1930s 3 and various departments of the Jewish Agency (EA)4 were deposited. Since the second half of the 1950s, the archive has been tasked with acquiring materials from Jewish organizations dating back to the period of the Catastrophe of European Jewry (1933-1945). as well as continuing to collect personal archives of leaders of the Zionist movement. In 1956, the XXIV Zionist Congress5 recognized the CSA as "the historical archive of the Zionist Movement, the World Zionist Organization, and the Jewish Agency" and encouraged these organizations to "archive those documents that are no longer needed for their current work", which contributed to the replenishment of funds [www.zionistarchives.org.il]. In November 1987, the CSA building was opened on Zalman Shazar Boulevard in Jerusalem, where it is still located today.

The archive is curated by two organizations - the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and EA. It is estimated that the CSA has about 80 million units of storage [www.iafi.org.il/education/Russian/Special/wza.html]. These are documents of the two supervising organizations, the Jewish National Fund, materials of Zionist congresses, organizations and institutions of the British mandate period, Zionist associations of various European states, as well as documents on individual consular institutions (including the UPR-


1 The Zionist Organization (later the World Zionist Organization) was formed at the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897.

2 The Jewish National Fund (Hebrew: Keren Kayemet le Yisrael) is an organization founded in 1901 to purchase and develop land in Palestine.

3 "State on the Road" (Hebrew: madina ba - dereh) is the name used in Zionist historiography for the period from the proclamation of the Balfour Declaration on the Jewish National Home to the formation of the State of Israel (1917-1948).

4 The Jewish Agency (full name-the Jewish Agency of Palestine) / Jewish Agency of Israel, Hebrew-ha-sohnut ha-yehudit le-eretz-Israel, founded in 1929 with reference to Article 4 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. The organization was responsible for the political representation of the Zionist Organization, immigration and resettlement of newcomers. Now it is a non-governmental institution.

5 The Zionist Congress is the congress of supporters of the Zionist movement, the highest body of the Zionist movement.

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the Russian Consulate in Jerusalem is also mentioned), personal archives of prominent Zionist figures and persons who sympathized with Zionism, including the founders of the archive A. Hantke and G. Goerlitz, documents of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his wife Hemda, Meir Dizengof6 and many others.

The Central Zionist Archive has copies of documents from the archives of other countries - Austria, the Czech Republic, Canada, France, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, the United States, as well as Israeli archives and research institutions related to the history of the Zionist movement. The authors of the documents wrote in many languages: English, French, German, Russian, Romanian, Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish, etc. The CSA stores about 54,000 maps and plans, including those of the Jewish Colonization Society (PICA)7 and various departments of the Jewish Agency. It also has a rich collection of photos. So, many researchers are familiar with the collection of Aryeh Rafaeli (Centsiper)8 on the history of Zionism in Russia, containing about 7 thousand photographs from 1884 to 1937. The archive has a large collection of printed materials-posters, emblems, leaflets, postcards, books (the last about 100 thousand copies) and a collection of films-the Spielberg Jewish Film Archive [Central Zionist Archives. Guide to the Archive Record Groups and Collections / Madrikh le-hativot archioniot ve-osefim. Jerusalem, July 2003]. It is interesting to note that researchers who worked in the CSA participate in the replenishment of the book collection, providing the archive with their works written on the basis of documents stored here. In the archive's reading room, in addition to bilingual and explanatory dictionaries and encyclopedias, rare publications of 9 documents are freely available, including all British "Parliamentary Papers" concerning Palestine, in particular official government policy statements (the so-called White Papers).

The search for archive funds is computerized. Many storage units are available in scanned form. CSA employees started creating an electronic catalog and digitizing documents in the second half of the 1990s. To date, approximately 4 million documents, 350 thousand photos, and 8 thousand documents are available in scanned form. maps and 3 thousand posters [www.zioni-starchives.org.il].

In principle, there are no closed documents. Although, if employees are currently working with them - they are transferred to electronic format - the documents may not be issued. At the same time, access to some storage units may be restricted: this is possible if the papers relate to issues of land ownership and the history of an individual family and employees believe that the disclosure of such information will violate privacy. The archive staff itself organizes information about land ownership, conducts genealogical surveys, and provides information based on specific requests from visitors. This area of work has been developed since the 1990s, which was partly due to the need to attract financial resources. The Archive, in cooperation with other organizations, also provides tourist services and holds exhibitions in its own gallery.

The archive staff conducts significant search work. In 2003, for example, to raise funds and promote Jewish history, EA launched the "Every Person has a Document" campaign, encouraging Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora to apply for information about relatives whose fate is unknown. 10 The CSA also has joint research projects with other Israeli archival institutions and research foundations, such as: <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url>, <url> with the Nevzlin Center at the University of Jerusalem.


6 Dizengoff, Meir (1861-1936) - prominent figure of the Zionist movement and Yishuv, since 1921-Mayor of Tel Aviv.

7 The Jewish Colonization Association (PICA) is a philanthropic organization founded in 1891 by Baron Maurice de Hirsch, originally created to promote the settlement of Argentina; since 1896, it has participated in the colonization of Palestine.

8 Raphaeli (Centsiper), Aryeh-Leib (1900 - 1977) - historian, figure of the Zionist movement in Russia in the 1920s. : Gerasimova I. // Russian Zionism: History and Culture, Moscow, 2002, pp. 87-110.

9 As, for example, "Documents on the History of the Hibbat Zion and Yishuv movement "(Ktavim le-toldot Hibbat zion ve-yishuv Eretz Yisrael): In 3 vols. Odessa, [1919-1932]; In 6 volumes [Tel Aviv], 1982-1992; Political documents of the Jewish Agency. Vol. 1 - 2. 1996 - 1998; The Minutes of the Zionist General Council: the Uganda Controversy. Vol. 1 - 2. 1970 - 1977 и т.д.

10 www.iafi.org.il/Education/Russian/Special/wza.html

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There are difficulties in the work of the archive, and above all, the lack of funding is one of the most important problems. The archive is partly forced to perform uncharacteristic functions - to earn money. Another problem is the outflow of qualified personnel. The salary of an employee is not considered high, and a good specialist, of course, can not always be replaced. Recently, the CSA has also been facing a recruitment problem. The supervising organizations - VSO and EA - are reluctant to transfer materials to the archive for a number of reasons. Thus, the last third of the XX century is poorly represented in the funds. (By the way, many documents in the same EA, mainly on repatriation, remain closed, which poses certain problems for researchers.)

Nevertheless, the CSA has accumulated a huge amount of documents and materials from the period of the birth and formation of the Zionist movement-the end of the XIX - the first half of the XX century. Despite the difficulties, research is underway. The archive's collections are known to many scholars and are the basis of many original works on the history of Zionism, the Yishuv, and the State of Israel.


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D. L. SHEVELEV, CENTRAL ZIONIST ARCHIVE // New-York: Libmonster (LIBMONSTER.COM). Updated: 07.07.2024. URL: https://libmonster.com/m/articles/view/CENTRAL-ZIONIST-ARCHIVE (date of access: 25.07.2024).

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