Article: Louis D. Brandeis and Irish Zionism

A. Langer, “Irish Nationalism as an Inspiration for American Zionists in the Early Twentieth Century: As Exemplified by Boston Lawyer Louis D. Brandeis’s Speeches and Writings.” Studi Irlandesi: A Journal of Irish Studies 11 (2021): 323-340.



At the turn of the twentieth century, in light of increasing antisemitism and assimilationism, a growing number of American Jews discovered Zionism as a tool of resistance. Boston lawyer and later Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis was one of the first prominent supporters of Zionism in the US. While Brandeis’s approach to Zionism was influenced by European Zionist thinkers, he drew inspiration from non-Jewish independence movements too. Brandeis repeatedly referred to the Irish nationalist movement and offered the Irish experience as a model for Jews to realize their dream of an independent Jewish nation in Palestine. This paper will analyze speeches and writings by Brandeis written in the second half of the 1910s. An article on this particular aspect of the intersection of Irish and Jewish history might be especially helpful since today the Irish independence movement is usually compared to the Palestinian resistance movement rather than to early Zionism.



Antisemitism, Assimilation, Irish Nationalism, United States, Zionism