Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Zionism: Autonomism

Jewish Autonomism, a non-Zionist ideology first enunciated in the early twentieth century by Simon Dubnow, crystallized in Eastern Europe. It believed in the future viability of Jewish life in the Diaspora as long as Jewry continues to maintain self-rule in community organizations; to sustain its educational and mutual-assistance institutions; and to develop its "spiritual nationhood."

The Autonomism ideology served as a conceptual foundation for the People's Party (Volkspartei) that operated mainly in Poland and Lithuania, and it appeared in various versions in the platforms of Socialist Jewish parties such as the Bund and the Sejmists. Some of the Zionist parties favored Jewish self-rule in the Diaspora as long as the Diaspora existed, but did not consider it a solution to the problem of the Jewish people.

The Holocaust put an end to the foundation of autonomism; today it has no practical impact on Jewish life and philosophy.