Jewish Socialism and Zionism - backgrounds

A majority of the Russian Jews, who immigrated to Denmark at the beginning of the nineteenth century, belonged to the working classes, and most of these were Bundists.

Many of the workers were tailors by profession and absolutely unused to the Danish trade union culture. The Tailors' Union was at first very sceptical of the Jewish tailors, however they later changed their viewpoint and attempted to organise them instead of rejecting them. The Tailors' Union therefore supported the Jewish Tailor Club, which had its origins in the Bund and which acted as an individual branch of the Union.


In Denmark, Zionism was a national question. It was the Danish Doctor Louis Frænkel who started a Danish Zionist movement at the beginning of the 20th century. A minority within the immigrant community supported his movement. With the advent of World War I in 1914, the International Zionist Federation moved a number of its activities to neutral Copenhagen. One of their goals was to strengthen Zionism in Scandinavia, and one of the initiatives was the publishing of a daily newspaper written in Yiddish, yidishe folks-tsaytung 1914-15. However it was after the Balfour Declaration in 1917 that Zionism really began to establish itself in Denmark. This occurred mainly in the form of Worker Zionism or Socialist Zionism.

Socialist Zionism

Socialist Zionism, just as Bundism, had its roots in Russia. The movement agreed with Herzl on the principle of a Jewish state in Palestine, however their goal was a socialist state. It was they who developed the concept of
collective farming, which resulted in the Kibbutz movement. Socialist Zionism had a broad appeal among Jewish workers in particular and became the main political force in the establishment of the State of Israel. Likewise, after 1917, numerous Danish Jewish immigrants became Zionists. Others became Socialists or Social Democrats.

Space and spaciousness

- an exhibition about Jews in Denmark

The exhibition is a broad story of Jewish life in Denmark and focuses on co-exixstence and indentity through 400 years. Read more...

Openings hours

September - May:
Thursday: 12:30 - 18:30 
Friday- Sunday: 12 - 17
Monday - Wensday: closed

June - August
Tuesday - Sunday: 10-17
Monday closed