Herzl: Up Close and Personal
in pursuit of the Zionist vision

For ordering exhibition contact [email protected]

A presentation of the Herzl Museum and Educational Center

Department for Zionist Activities
World Zionist Organization

Teaching and programming material complementing the exhibition

Herzl: Up Close and Personal, the traveling exhibit produced by the Department for Zionist Activities, celebrates the visionary of the Jewish state on the 100th anniversary of his passing. In order to enhance the Zionist education and make full use of the exhibit in your community, we have also produced several educational and informational booklets. You are invited to use them as needed in your community.

Be prepared for long waits to view the material. We recommend downloading the file to your computer for easier access. For ordering any of the material or a CD ROM with all the material contact [email protected]

One page overview (149 Kb): a brief synopsis of the contents and themes of each of the five exhibit Gateways, suitable as a handout for all visitors.
[English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [French] [Russian]

Visitor's guide (5.11 Mb): a concise, user-friendly booklet including historical background, excerpts from Herzl's writings, original commentary, primary sources, biographical sketches, and questions regarding contemporary Jewish life, intended to enrich the visitors experience of the exhibition.
[English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [French] [Russian]

Visitor's guide – expanded version (8.63 Mb): an expanded version of the above, intended for educators or group leaders facilitating visits to the exhibition, and/or who are involved in teaching about Herzl and the relevance of Zionism today.
[English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [French] [Russian]

Educator's handbook Color (6.74 Mb): a fully-developed educational program expanding upon the themes addressed in the five exhibition Gateways; intended for those experiencing the exhibition, but also useable independently; includes five detailed learning modules of 1 1/2 to 3-hour duration; designed for adults and suitable for learners aged 16 and up in both formal and informal frameworks.
[English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [French] [Russian]

Educator's handbook Black and White (6.01 Mb).
[English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [French] [Russian]

Resource booklet (7.71 Mb): a convenient compendium of all the learning resources and activity pages found in the Educator's Handbook (above) that the educator might need to distribute in conducting the study sessions.
[English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [French]

Reproduction of the exhibition panels (59.7 Mb): miniature version of the exhibition for reference purposes only; cannot be enlarged to poster size.
[English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [French] [Russian]

A contemporary exhibition commemorating the visionary of the Jewish state on the 100th anniversary of his death.

Theodor Ze'ev Binyamin Herzl: visionary of the Jewish state, founder and leader of the institutions that brought it into being.

His life lasted a scant 44 years, and he dedicated only the last 9 of them to the Zionist cause. But in this brief and extraordinary span of less than a decade he was able to mobilize the forces and craft the infrastructure that would revolutionize the Jewish world and bring about the realization of the Jewish people's age-old dream of returning to Zion.

Herzl was well aware of the profundity and immensity of the mission he so passionately embarked upon. Immediately following the first Zionist Congress in 1897, he declared in his diary:

In Basle I founded the Jewish state. If I were to say this out loud today, people would laugh. But perhaps in another five years, certainly in another 50, everyone will recognize it.

Half a century later, true to this prophecy, the State of Israel indeed came into being.

  • Who was this man who so dared to dream?
  • What were the circumstances in which he lived, and the influences on his life that brought him to the conclusion that the only answer to the Jewish question was a Jewish state?
  • How was he able to convince others of the practicality of his implausible cause?
  • What obstacles and disappointments would he face in his fervent struggle to secure a homeland for the Jewish people, and how would he persevere in spite of them?
  • What, indeed, would a Jewish home fashioned by Herzl look like - and how do contemporary realities measure up against his century-old blueprints?
  • How do we understand the essence of Zionism today? In what ways does it continue to be relevant to our lives?
  • How do we carry on meeting the challenges and fulfilling the promise of Herzl's vision?

Now, 100 years after Herzl's passing, a unique exhibition and educational package has been created to engage the visitor in the exploration of these questions.

Herzl: Up Close and Personal
is designed for adults and suitable for audiences aged 16 and up.

It consists of:

  • 28 beautifully produced and easily assembled interlocking panels (each panel is 60 cm. wide and 1 m. tall) comprised of stimulating visuals and texts
  • An engaging, interactive guide for every visitor, expanding upon the themes of the exhibition
  • A handbook for community educators, teachers, and youth leaders, containing program suggestions and supporting materials for five 2-hour sessions
  • An exquisite catalog of supplementary resources that delve deeply into the life of Theodor Herzl and the Zionist vision

The exhibition is modular and can be set up in areas as small as 25 square meters (250 square feet) or the length of 16 meters (approximately 50feet)

The exhibition will give life to the man and the ideals which motivated him, while conveying Zionism as the rich and compelling ideology that it continues to be today.

Herzl: Up Close and Personal
is appropriate for:

  • standing display in schools, synagogues, community centers, sports clubs, and cultural halls
  • exhibition at special events, concerts, community gatherings, celebrations, and public ceremonies
  • presentation at seminars, weekend retreats, conferences, in-service training programs, and study days

Herzl: Up Close and Personal
is available for purchase or loan through your local Zionist Federation.

Through photographs, illustration, graphics and text, the exhibition and accompanying program and activity guides will bridge present and past, imbuing a new generation with an understanding of the Zionist vision, the context in which it emerged, and its relevance today.

The contents of the exhibition are divided modularly into five gateways:

Growing Up Herzl

In which the visitor gains some insight into the home and society in which Herzl grew up, and is confronted with questions regarding the factors impacting on identity formation today.

Transitions and Transformations

In which the visitor observes Herzl as he evolves from an assimilated Jewish journalist into the visionary of the Jewish state, and is challenged with questions regarding anti-Semitism today and the relationship between the Jewish community and society-at-large.

Blueprints for Utopia

In which the visitor becomes familiar with the powerful ideas articulated by Herzl in his major works The Jewish State and Altneuland, and is asked to consider what an exemplary Jewish society might look like today.

Seeking the Vision Within

In which the visitor is introduced to the debates between Herzl and his contemporaries regarding Zionist ideology and strategy, and is encouraged to frame a contemporary course for the Zionist movement.

Reality, Vision - Reality Check

In which the visitor accompanies Herzl on his historic visit to the Land of Israel at the turn of the century, and considers the reality of Israel today against the background of Herzl's legacy.

That legacy - the leitmotif of the entire exhibition, in pursuit of the Zionist vision - Herzl willed us only a few months before he died, when he declared,

I truly believe that even after we possess our land, the land of Israel, Zionism will not cease to be an ideal. For Zionism as I understand it includes not only the yearning for a plot of promised land legally acquired for our weary people, but also the yearning for ethical and spiritual fulfillment.

Herzl: Up Close and Personal reveals the boldness of Herzl's prophecies, while suggesting just how much remains to be done by those who would follow in his footsteps in pursuit of the Zionist vision.

Contact: [email protected]