Skip to main content

Democratic Fraction

DEMOCRATIC FRACTION

DEMOCRATIC FRACTION , radical opposition faction in the Zionist movement between the years 1901 and 1904 that demanded the democratization of Zionist institutions, the organization of cultural activities by the Zionist Organization, and immediate settlement in Ereẓ Israel. Its leaders were Leo *Motzkin and Chaim *Weizmann. Their demand that the Zionist Organization conduct cultural activities sharply contradicted the stand of the religious wing, which violently opposed such programs, fearing that they would be used for the dissemination of "secular" culture. During the Fourth *Zionist Congress (1900) it was decided at a Zionist student meeting to establish a democratic-progressive faction or party. A conference was held in Basle, a few days before the Fifth Zionist Congress (1901), attended by about 40 delegates, most of whom were Russian Zionist students from German, Swiss, and French universities. The conference decided to establish the Democratic Fraction, which would remain within the Zionist Organization but would have separate headquarters and independent cultural activities. It was also decided to create a Jewish statistical bureau and to conduct research into suitable ways of settling Ereẓ Israel, preferring the cooperative method. The conference also recommended the democratization of philanthropic organizations in the Diaspora and the establishment of cooperatives to provide economic self-help for workers, stressing the need to form a trade union for Jewish workers. Finally, it demanded the separation of Zionism and religion and condemned the Zionist movement's submission to its Orthodox wing. The Democratic Fraction, which appeared for the first time as an organized bloc at the Fifth Zionist Congress (1901), prompted the unification of those who opposed, for religious reasons, any cultural activities by the Zionist Organization.

An Information Bureau in Geneva headed by Chaim Weizmann served as the secretariat for the Democratic Fraction. Its activities centered around the development of the publishing house *Juedischer Verlag, the establishment of the statistical bureau, and the creation of a fund to found a Jewish university in Ereẓ Israel.

The organization of the Fraction was weak, and it did not even hold the planned annual conference. Only a consultation of 11 men (including Weizmann, Feiwel, and Martin *Buber) was held in January 1904. When they decided to join the emerging opposition to the *Uganda scheme, the Fraction practically ceased to exist. Thereafter, its members worked individually for the overall Zionist Organization.

bibliography:

A. Bein, Sefer Motzkin (1939), 56–66; Ch. Weizmann, Trial and Error (1966), index; I. Klausner, Oppozizyah le-Herzl (1960); B. Feiwel, in: Ost und West (1902), 687–94.

[Israel Klausner]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Democratic Fraction." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Democratic Fraction." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 10, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/democratic-fraction

"Democratic Fraction." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved December 10, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/democratic-fraction

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.