Prof. Anita Shapira

Prof. Anita Shapira

Prof. Anita Shapira is an IDI Senior Fellow and heads its Nation State research program. An Israel Prize laureate in history, she has taught and written extensively on Jewish History in the 20th Century, focusing on various aspects of Zionism and Israeli culture.

Projects: The Nation State

Professor Anita Shapira received her B.A. and M.A., cum laude, and Ph.D., summa cum laude, in History and Jewish History from Tel Aviv University, where she proceeded to fill many academic roles as teacher, instructor, lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor and full professor in the department of Jewish History.

Over the past four decades, Professor Shapira has participated in many academic projects of national importance, including the Institute for Zionist Research, the Weizmann Archives, Beit Hatefutsot (The Diaspora Museum), the National Planning and Grants Committee, the National Council for Art and Culture, the Shazar Center, the Yitzchak Rabin Center for Israel Studies, the Weizmann Memorial Board of Governors and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, among others.

Professor Shapira has received numerous academic and professional awards and fellowships from Israeli and foreign universities, including Yale, Brandeis, City University of New York, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, the Oxford Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, University of Toronto, Columbia and other universities and foundations throughout the world. She has also been very active in many eminent conferences and scientific meetings, and is 2008 Israel Prize for Jewish History laureate.

Professor Shapira has written extensively on Jewish History in the Twentieth Century, treating various aspects of Zionism and Israeli culture, including biographies, Jewish Education, Zionism and more. Among her books that have been translated to English are: Berl Katznelson, A Biography of a Socialist Zionist (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984); Land and Power, The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992; paperback edition, Stanford: Stanford UP, 1999); and Yigal Allon, Native Son (Pennsylvania University Press, Philadelphia, 2008).

As an IDI Senior Fellow, Prof. Shapira heads our Nation State research program.


1977 - Yad Ben Tzi Prize for the book "The False Struggle" (Hebrew)

1992 - Am Oved Prize for the book "Land and Power" (Hebrew)

1993 - Jewish Book Prize, Israel Category for the book "Land and Power"

2004 - Zalman Shazar Prize for Jewish History for "Yigal Alon: The Spring of His World"

2005 - Herzl Prize for Excellence in the Research of Zionism

2008 - Israel Prize for Jewish History Research

2012 - National Jewish Book Award for the book Israel: A History

  • Nationalism and Binationalism: The Perils of Perfect Structures

    Contemporary Challenges to the Nation State: Global and Israeli Perspectives (Volume 1)

    Year: 2013
    Editor: Prof. Anita Shapira, Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern, Alexander Yakobson

    The first volume of a three-volume set based on research conducted under the auspices of IDI’s Nation State Project, Nationalism and Binationalism analyzes Israel’s key challenges facing the contemporary nation state from a global perspective but with special emphasis on the Middle East and Israel.

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  • Israeli Republicanism

    Year: 2011
    Author: Dr. Avi Bareli, Prof. Nir Keidar
    Supervisor: Prof. Anita Shapira

    The republican civic-political ideology called Mamlakhtiyut in Hebrew is important for understanding Israel's patterns as a nation-state from its establishment to present times. This policy paper explains the present-day situation of Israeli republicanism and the possible and desirable directions in which it could develop, against the backdrop of the political-ideological discourse on the concept of Mamlakhtiyut that took place in Israel during the first decade of its statehood.

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English Books by Anita Shapira

Berl Katznelson, A Biography of a Socialist Zionist, Cambridge University Press, 1984 (400 pp.)

Land and Power, The Zionist Resort to Force, 188 1–1948, Oxford University Press, New York, 1992 (450 pp.). Paperback edition by Stanford University Press, 1999.

Yigal Allon, Native Son, Pennsylvania University Press, Philadelphia, 2008, 392 pp.

Israel – A History, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts, 2012, 475 pp.

English Books Edited by Anita Shapira

Reinharz, Shapira (Eds.), Essential Papers on Zionism, New York University Press, New York and London, 1996 (855 pp.).

Almog, Reinharz, Shapira, (Eds.), Zionism and Religion, Brandeis University Press, 1998 (352 pp.).

Shapira, Reinharz, Harris (Eds.), The Age of Zionism, The Shazar Center, Brandeis and Harvard Universities, Jerusalem 2000)

Israeli Identity in Transition, a collection of essays, ed. A. Shapira, Praeger Series on Jewish and Israeli Studies, London 2004.

Editor (with Derek Penslar) of The Journal of Israeli History: Politics, Society, Culture (since 2001).

 English Articles by Anita Shapira

"'The Left' in the Gdud Ha'avoda (Labor Brigade) and the Palestine Communist Party until 1928". Studies in Zionism, Vol. 1, Tel Aviv: 1975, pp. 127–157.

"The Option on the Ghaur-al-Kibd Land contacts between Emir Abdallah and the Jewish Agency Executive, 1932–1935", Studies in Zionism, Tel Aviv University, Vol. 1, October 1980, pp. 239–284.

"The Ideology and Practice of the Joint Jewish-Arab Labor Union in Palestine, 1920-1939", Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 12, No. 4, October 1977, pp. 669–692.

"The Debate in Mapai on the Use of Violence, 1932–1935", Studies in Zionism, Vol. III, Tel Aviv University: April 1981, pp. 99–124.

"The Origins of 'Jewish Labor' Ideology", Studies in Zionism, Tel Aviv University, Vol. V., April 1982, pp. 93–113.

"The Concept of Time in the Partition Controversy of 1937", Studies in Zionism, Autumn 1985, pp.21 1–228.

"'Jewish Labor' - Concept and Consequences", Comparative Jewish Politics, Vol. II, Stuart Cohen and Eliezer Don-Yehiya (Eds.), Bar Ilan University Press, 1986, pp. 92–100.

"The Yishuv and the Survivors of the Holocaust", Studies in Zionism, Vol. 7, Autumn 1986, pp. 277–301.

"Did the Zionist Leadership Foresee the Holocaust?" Living With Antisemitism, Jehuda Reinharz (Ed.), Brandeis University Press, 1987, pp. 397–412.

"Socialist Means and Nationalist Aims", Patterns of Modernity, Vol. I, S.N. Eisenstadt (Ed.), London, The West, 1987, pp. 109–121.

"Labour Zionism and the October Revolution", Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 24 (1989), pp. 623–656.

"Black Night – White Snow: Attitudes of the Palestinian Labor Movement to the Russian revolution, 1917–1929", Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Jonathan Frankel (Ed.), Vol. 4, The Hebrew University and Oxford University Press, 1988, pp. 144–171.

"The Dynamics of Zionist Leftist trends", Jewish History, Essays in Honour of Chimen Abramsky, Ada Rapoport-Albert and Steven J. Zipperstein (Eds.), London, 1988, pp. 629–682.

"Reality and Ethos: Attitudes Toward Power in Zionism", Vision Confronts Reality, Historical Perspective on the Contemporary Jewish Agenda, Ruth Kozodoy, David Sidorsky, Kalman Sultanik (Eds.), Associated University Presses, 1989, pp. 68–119.

"Native Sons", in: Essential Papers on Zionism (ed: Yehuda Reinharz, Anita Shapira), New York University Press, 1996, pp. 790-822.

"Herzl, Ahad-Ha-am, and Berdichevsky: Comments on their Nationalist Concepts", Jewish History, Haifa University Press, Fall 1990, pp. 59–70.

"The Religious Motifs of the Labor Movement", in Zionism and Religion, (ed: Shmuel Almog, Jehuda Reinharz, Anita Shapira), Brandeis University Press, 1998, 25 1–272.

Historiography and Memory: Latrun, 1948, Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 3, no. 1/ Fall 1996, pp. 20-61.

"Antisemitism and Zionism", Modern Judaism, 14, 1995, Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 215–232.

"Historiography and Politics: The Debate of the New Historians", History and Memory, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1995, pp. 9–40.

"The Origins of the Myth of the 'New Jew': The Zionist Variety", Studies in Contemporary Jewry, (ed. Jonathan Frankel), Oxford University Press, Vol. 13, 1997, pp. 253–270.

"The Zionist Labor Movement and the Hebrew University", Judaism, 178, Vol. 45, no. 2, Spring 1996, pp. 183–198.

"Ben Gurion and the Bible: The Forging of an Historical Narrative?" Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 33, No. 4, October 1997, pp. 645–674.

"The Holocaust and World War 2 as Elements of the Yishuv Psyche until 1948," Thinking About the Holocaust, ed. Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Indiana Uni. Press. 1997, pp. 6 1–82.

"Reflections on the Rise and Fall of Judaic Studies in the Final Quarter of the Twentieth Century," Jewish Studies Quarterly, vol. 3 (1996), pp. 112–122.

"A Comparative Study of Zionist Leadership: Abba Hillel Silver and David Ben Gurion," The Journal of Israeli History, Special Issue, Vol. 17 no. 1, Spring 1996, pp. 33–44.

"The Holocaust: Private Memories, Public Memory," Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 4 No. 2/ Winter 1998, pp. 39–58.

"Zionism in the Age of Revolution," Modern Judaism 18 (1998), pp. 217– 226.

"The Russian Roots of Israeli Culture", International Affairs, Vol.44, no.6,1998, pp. 64–74.

"Hirbet Hizah: Between Remembrance and Forgetting', Jewish Social Studies,Vol. 7 No. 1, Fall 2000, pp. 1–62.

"From the Palmach Generation to the Candle Children"' Partisan Review, vol. 67, no.4, Fall 2000, pp. 622–634.

"The Strategies of Historical Revisionism", The Journal of Israeli History, Special Issue on Israeli Historical Revisionism, from Left to Right, Vol. 20, no.2/3, Summer/Autumn 2001, pp.62–76.

"History, Memory and Identity", in: Stuart A. Cohen and Milton Shain (ed.), Israel: Culture, Religion and Society, 1948–1998, Bar Ilan University 2000, pp.6–22.

"Golda: Femininity and Feminism", in: Shulamit Reinharz and Mark Raider (ed), American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise, New England 2005, pp. 303–312.

"Whatever Became of 'Negating Exile'?" A. Shapira (Ed.), Israeli Identity in Transition, Praeger Series on Jewish and Israeli Studies, London 2004, pp. 69–108.

"The Bible and Israeli Identity", AJS Review, Vol. 28, No.1, April 2004, pp. 11–42.

"The Eichmann Trial: Changing Perspectives", The Journal Of Israeli History, vol. 23. (Special Issue, ed. David Cesarani) no. 1. Spring 2004, pp. 18–39.

"Brenner and the Russians", Kontexte der Schrift, Band 1, edited by Gabriella Gelardini, Stuttgart, 2005, pp. 420-430.

"'In the City of Slaughter' versus 'He Told Her'", Prooftexts, Vol. 25, No. 1+2, Special Issue , (ed. Alan Mintz and David G. Roskies), Winter-Spring 2005, pp.86–102.

"Israeli Perceptions of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism", Jeffrey Herf (ed.), Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism in Historical Perspective, New York 2006, pp.228–249.

"Brenner: Between Hebrew and Yiddish", in: Modern Jewish Literatures, edited by Sheila Jalen, Michael P. Kramer, and L. Scott Lerner, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, pp. 147–168.

"Jerusalem in 1948: A Contemporary Perspective" Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 17, No. 3, Spring/Summer 2011, pp. 78–123.

Book Reviews by Anita Shapira

Shabbetai Tevet, Kinat David, Tel Aviv 1980, Vol. 2, Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Vol. 1, University of India Press, 1984.

Jonathan Frankel, Prophecy and Politics Socialism. Nationalism and the Russian Jews, 1862–1917, CUP 1981. Studies in Zionism, Vol. 9, Tel Aviv University and John Hopkins University, 1984.

Raphael Patai, Nahum Goldman – His Missions to the Gentiles, The Jewish Quarterly Review, January-April, 1988.

Jehuda Reinharz, Chaim Weizmann: The Making of a Statesman, New York, Oxford University Press, 1993, American Historical Review, October 1994, pp. 1368–1369.

Ahad-Ha'am: "The Politics of Sublimation", Studies in.Contemporary Jewry, Oxford University Press, 1995, pp. 205–214.

"The Past is not a Foreign Country", a review article of Righteous Victims by Benny Morris and of the Iron Wall by Avi Shlaim, The New Republic, Nov. 29, 1999, pp. 26–33.

"Eyeless in Zion", a review article of One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, by Tom Segev, The New Republic, Dec. 11, 2000, pp. 26–34.

Book review: Midnight Convoy and other Stories, by S. Yizhar, with an introduction by Dan Miron, and Preliminaries, by S. Yizhar,Shofar, an Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. 27, no. 1, 2008, pp. 173–176.

Review Essay: "The Jewish-people deniers", a review of Shlomo Sand's book, When and How was the Jewish People Invented?, Tel Aviv: Resling, 2008, 358 pp., The Journal of Israeli History, vol. 28, No. 1, March 2009, 63–72.

Essay: "The Kibbutz and the State", Jewish Review of Books, No. 2, summer 2010, pp. 5–9.

Book Review: Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz,Perfect Heroes: The World War Two Parachutists and the Making of Israeli Collective Memory, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010, at:American Historical Review, June 2011, p. 908.

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