This paper examines the construction and mobilization of age categories in the German-language cultural Zionism of the turn of the 20th century. Presenting examples of texts and visual art that employ models and metaphors of different age identities, I suggest that age functioned as a conceptual language through which the cultural Zionist community expressed their relationship to the Jewish past and Zionist future. I argue that these conceptions of age cannot be detached from the community’s assumptions about gender, meaning that even the metaphorical use of age imagery remained tethered to the social reality of family structures and bourgeois gender roles.
Rose Stair is DPhil student in the Theology & Religion faculty at the University of Oxford, and previously studied at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Her doctoral research looks at age and gender in German-language cultural Zionism, and their articulation through textual and visual sources.