A Secular (or secularised) Zionist Youth Society


The Hechalutz met over Altman’s Barber shop in Bury New Road. They had around 15–20 members who shared the leadership, although Apfelbaum was the most dominant individual (he later went on to become a Marxist lecturer at Hebrew University). As "pioneers", they wanted to prepare themselves for living in Israel. They therefore learnt all they could about the land and its politics. Socialism was integral to their preparation. "We became very concerned that we should take our part in what we considered the day to day struggle of people." They were a fairly militant group, who made it a practice to go on demonstrations against Hitler. They were often berated by other Socialists for retaining their Jewish identity, whilst the Zionist establishment disapproved just as heartily. On more than one occasion, their bookstall at the Zionist Bazaar had its literature torn up by their detractors. But the group felt that if Zionism was to have any meaning, it had to comply to the ideal of Socialism – the socialist content of the new Jewish State was as important to them as was the building of the country.


Joe Garman (J89, Oral History Tapes at the Manchester Jewish Museum)


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