Judaism vs. Zionism

Difference Between Judaism And Zionism

Judaism, the religion of the Jewish people, is one of the world’s oldest faiths. Most U.S. Jews belong to one of four denominations: Conservative, Reform, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist. In other countries religious Jews are mostly Orthodox.

Many Jews do not identify with any of these denominations. Some call themselves secular Jews, taking pride in the Jewish contribution to world civilization without participating in the religious aspects of Judaism.

Zionism is a movement that seeks to rebuild the historic national Jewish homeland in Palestine and preserve the cultural heritage of Jews all over the world.

Jewish people had lived for thousands of years in Palestine before the Romans captured Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Some Jews remained in the Middle East. But most of them scattered to North Africa and Europe, where they prayed for the restoration of their national homeland.

In the later part of the 1800’s, a wave of anti-Semitism swept over Europe. Theodor Herzl, an Austrian Jewish journalist and lawyer, reasoned that Jews suffered because they had no country of their own. He called for restoring the Jewish homeland through a return to Zion. (“Zion” is the poetic name in Hebrew for “Palestine.”)


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