The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw an explosion of ideological
activity and creativity in Europe. Naturally, this age of isms left its mark on the Jewish world
as well, nurturing the growth of parallel movements among the newly-emancipated masses of
both Western and Eastern European Jewry. Secularism, assimilationism, socialism, and
nationalism in all its varieties (Zionist, Diasporist, Bundist, territorialist, linguistic, etc.) were just some of the new ideologies circulating among the members of a society that was
changing rapidly, for whom “progress” was the word of the day.
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