Herzl Important Dates


Herzl is born in Budapest, the second capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


Herzl joins the Jewish school run by the Budapest Jewish community.



Herzl attends the “Realschule” (Technical School) in Budapest.


Herzl celebrates his bar mitzvah with an aliyah to the Torah.


Herzl founds a literary society called “Wir” (We), in an effort to instill more German culture among its members. It was through this club that Herzl published his early works.


Herzl attends a Protestant high school.


Herzl’s sister, Pauline, dies and the family moves to Vienna immediately afterwards. That same year, Herzl begins studying law at the University of Vienna.


Herzl joins the student fraternity “Albia,” which was a German nationalist organization.


Herzl protests anti-Semitic outbursts from a fellow member of “Albia” at an evening in memory of composer Richard Wagner. In the wake of this incident Herzl resigned from the fraternity.


Herzl receives his doctorate in law. He decides not to work as a lawyer, but instead becomes a reporter and writer of plays and literature.


Herzl is sent to Paris as a reporter for the Austrian liberal newspaper Neue Freie Presse. He remains in Paris until July 1895. During his time there Herzl is exposed to various forms of anti-Semitism and begins to conceive of different ways to resolve the Jews’ distress.


In October, a Jewish officer, Alfred Dreyfus, is accused of spying against his country. Herzl reports on the trial for his paper in Vienna. As part of his job Herzl was present in the courtroom when Dreyfus was found guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment, and was also present during the public ceremony when Dreyfus had his captain’s rank ripped from his uniform. He heard the French mobs cry out “Death to the traitor!” and “Death to the Jews!”


Herzl returns to Vienna as a feuilleton editor for theNeue Freie Presse, a post he would continue to hold evenafter becoming leader of the Zionist Movement.


Herzl’s book Der Judenstaat is published.


The first Zionist Congress is convened in Basel and the “Basel Program” is formulated.


Herzl meets with the German Kaiser Wilhelm II in order to gain his support for the idea of Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel.

º The first office of the Jewish Colonial Trust is founded in London, as an instrument for Zionist economic and political activity.
º The Jewish National Fund is established as a national fund whose goal is to purchase land in Eretz Israel using money raised by the Jewish people.
Publication of Herzl’s novel, Altneuland, in which Herzl envisions the Jewish State as it would be in 1923.
Herzl meets with the Turkish Sultan Abd al-Hamid in order to obtain permission for Jews to come and settle in Eretz Israel and Syria.
The “Anglo-Palestine Company” is founded as a subsidiary of the Jewish Colonial Trust. This company will later become Bank Leumi Le-Israel.
Herzl dies.