Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Friday Nov 7

At Tikwath Yehuda club


Matt's Notes

A lot of the Zionist clubs Papa has hung around at had names designed to evoke Jewish heroes and had agendas designed to challenge the popular image of Jews as weak and bookish: His chapter of the fraternal organization, B'nai Zion, was nicknamed "The Maccabean" after the Jewish warriors of old; the Bar Cochba Club took its name from an ancient rebel leader who orchestrated a revolt against the Romans; the Blue-White club was an athletic organization geared toward conditioning young Jews for the rigors of living in Palestine; and today he visits the "Tikwath Yehuda Club," the name of which roughly translates as "the hope of Judah." According to my wife, Stephanie, the Tribe of Judah was the strongest tribe of Israel, was a source of kings and prophets, and was accordingly symbolized by a lion.

The Tribe of Judah is also, apparently, the tribe from which most modern Jews are descended, so the name of the Tikwath Jehuda Zion Club (as it's written in the 1917-1918 Jewish Communal Register of New York City) also refers more generally to the hopes Papa's contemporaries had for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. It looks like it was a chapter of the Zionist Organization of America, the group for whom Papa did most of his Zionist work, and met at 134 Rivington Street. Papa must have known this club well since he lived at 136 Rivington Street when he was in his early 20's (I wonder if he first got involved with the Z.O.A. through Tikwath Jehuda) though now he just lived around the corner at 94 Attorney Street. I'll add this spot to the map of Where Papa's Been.


References for this post:

Here's a Google Books snip from the 1917-1918 Jewish Communal Register of New York City:

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