This book analyses the role of social networks in the process of migration. Based on stories of Polish Jews who migrated between Poland and Palestine in the 1920s, the author presents all stages of the journey and shows how networks of friends and families spread in different countries contributed to the migration experience. Presenting these stories through correspondence, she shows how migrants were not only motivated by traditional push and pull factors, or ideology, but also by dependence on other members of their social network. This book shows the process of migration from the perspective of their international social ties.
Chapter 3: Between Here and There
Looking through the rich correspondence of the Szyk family, exchanged between Warsaw and Tel Aviv, a careful researcher cannot help but focus on a picture attached to a letter, dated November 25, 1929. The picture, painted by one of the Szyk children, is a portrayal, in its own way, of the immigration to Palestine. Interestingly, the young artist depicts the “alejia” (original spelling on the picture) neither with views of Palestine nor Zionist symbols, but with the image of a steamer representing the journey across the sea to Eretz Israel.
Figure 3: Picture attached to a letter from Mania Szyk to Muniek Szyk, November 25, 1929, in: DA/Szyk Family Collection
This picture represents the way in which the youngest members of the Szyk family perceived relocation from Poland to Palestine. In the whirl of preparations for the journey to Palestine, and confronted with the practical problems of emigration, the traditional interpretation of aliyah (ascending to Eretz Israel) had lost its meaning. Instead, the idea of aliyah was transformed into an ordinary emigration process similar to that of Jews migrating to other countries different than Palestine. The ← 109 | 110 → Szyk family had probably discussed the process of emigration, and read letters they received from Muniek living in Tel Aviv. Consequently, the youngest members of the family had listened to adults’ conversations, and this led them to depict the process of emigration in such a way. Just as the Szyk family imagined the mode of leaving...
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