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Mahla, Daniel (2019): Contested Children: World War II Refugees and the Emergence of Israeli Orthodoxies. In: Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 24, No. 3: pp. 124-157

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In February 1943, several hundred Polish Jewish refugee children who had escaped the Holocaust in Europe and sojourned for several months in Tehran arrived in Palestine. The arrival of these "Tehran children" triggered bitter debates in the Yishuv, causing particularly, caustic political fights between the two major Orthodox political movements, Agudat Yisrael and Mizrahi. These clashes provide a valuable lens onto the transition of the center of traditionalist Jewry from prewar east-central Europe to pre-state Palestine and the transformation of Orthodox politics in accordance with radically changed postwar realities and the establishment of a Jewish state. Against this backdrop, this article uses the episode to trace some of the broader developments in Orthodox politics during the first half of the twentieth century and their impact on the emergence of two distinct Israeli milieus: ultra-Orthodoxy and national-religious Judaism.

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