HAOLAM, the central organ of the World Zionist Organization, published as a weekly from 1907 to 1950 (except for short intervals). Established on the initiative of N. *Sokolow during his service as general secretary of the World Zionist Organization, Haolam was a Hebrew counterpart of Die *Welt, the German-language official organ of the Zionist Organization. Like Die Welt, for most of the years of its existence Haolam also had a yellow cover, which, according to *Herzl, symbolized the transformation of the shameful "yellow badge" to a color of pride and respect. At first Haolam was edited in Cologne – the residence of David *Wolffsohn, then president of the Zionist Organization – and printed in Berlin. Sokolow, who was preoccupied with other affairs, left most of the editing to his assistant, A. Ḥermoni. It soon became clear that Western Europe was not the appropriate place to publish a Hebrew paper; moreover, most of the members of the Zionist Executive regarded the paper as a burden upon the budget. As a result, at the end of its second year of publication (December 1908), the paper was moved to Vilna, where it became the organ of the Zionist Organization in Russia, under the editorship of A. *Druyanow. In the spring of 1912, upon the initiative of M.M. *Ussishkin, Haolam was moved to Odessa and continued its publication there until the outbreak of World War I.
Publication was resumed in 1919, in London, which had by then become the seat of the Zionist leadership, with Abraham *Idelson as editor (until 1921). Idelson planned to transfer the paper to Berlin, which had become a center of Hebrew literary activity in the early postwar period, but he died before achieving his aim. It was not until 1923 that Idelson's plan was realized, and H. *Greenberg, S. *Perlman, and M. *Kleinmann became the new editors. The former two soon left the editorial board, leaving Kleinmann as the sole editor until his death in 1948. In 1924, when conditions in Germany took a turn for the worse, Haolam's editorial offices were again moved to London. For several years the printing was done in Paris. Its final move took place in 1936, when the paper was transferred to Jerusalem, which by then had also become the headquarters of the World Zionist Organization. Upon Kleinmann's death, his two assistants, M. Chartiner and M. Cohen, became its editors until February 1950, when the paper ceased to exist.
For two generations, Haolam served as a faithful reporter of events and developments in Zionist and Jewish affairs. It also had a literary section, which published articles and the complete works in installments of outstanding Hebrew authors and scholars (such as Sokolow's book on *Spinoza, A.A. *Kabak's work on Solomon *Molcho, S.L. *Zitron's history of Hebrew journalism, stories by *Abramovitsh (Mendele Mokher Seforim), etc.). The paper carried excellent informational columns, and A. Litai's column on events taking place in the yishuv has retained its value as an important historical source.
A. Ḥermoni, Be-Ikkevot ha-Bilu'im (1952), 128–66; Haolam (Feb. 21, 1950), last issue, includes its history.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.