Aaron Aaronsohn and the Zionist Conversion of Justice Louis Brandeis

32 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2014 Last revised: 9 May 2015

See all articles by Barbara Pfeffer Billauer

Barbara Pfeffer Billauer

Institute of World Politics; International Program in Bioethics, U. of Porto; Foundation for Law and Science Centers, Inc.

Date Written: March 25, 2014


Aaron Aaronsohn's discovery of mother wheat, the primitive wheat allowing the development of civilization in the Levant, led to his invitation to the US as guest of the Department of Agriculture.

His visits produced a 'fruitful' collaboration with USDA Section Chief David Fairchild, leading to his introduction of new species of fruits and advanced farming techniques into American Agriculture. His American sojourns also provided him with the opportunity to meet -- and influence many prominent people coopting and converting them to the Zionist Cause. Amongst those was Justice Louis Brandeis, the man who persuaded Woodrow Wilson to support The Balfour Declaration. Brandeis’ sudden conversion from a secular, assimilationist Jew into an ardent Zionist at the age of 54 has defied logical explanation. This article details Aaronsohn’s role in converting Brandeis to the Zionist cause.

Keywords: Aaron Aaronsohn, Louis Brandeis, Scientific Statecraft, Balfour Declaration, Science, policy, Zionism, deHaas, influence, conversion, Zionist Cause, Felix Frankfurter, Julian Mack, Louis Marshall, Julius Rosenwald, Henrietta Szold

JEL Classification: A13, N42, O11, O13, O31, O33, Q35, Q38, R51

Suggested Citation

Billauer, Barbara P., Aaron Aaronsohn and the Zionist Conversion of Justice Louis Brandeis (March 25, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2414425 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2414425

Barbara P. Billauer (Contact Author)

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