Jewish identity in the long 19th Century

BETWEEN ASSIMILATION AND ZIONISM
Jewish nationality was not recognized in the area of the Habsburg Empire or the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the Jews found themselves in the gap between the ruling žMagyars and many other national minorities in Hungary. At the time of the Jewish settlement in Croatia, the Jews generally spoke German or Hungarian, languages of the dominant nations in the Monarchy.At the time when the Jews became full citizens of the Habsburg Empire, the national struggle of the individual peoples of the Monarchy was in full swing and each domestic national movement expected from the Jews to take the right side.
During the revolutionary years of 1848 and 1849 the Croatian Jews mostly took the side of Ban Josip Jelačić, who supported the idea of civil rights of the Jews.In the 1860s in the Austrian Dalmatia Vid Haj Morpurgo, the Jew from Split, was politically very active.He was a prominent representative of the National Party (Narodna stranka), one of the founders of the newspaper Narodni list,and the owner of the bookstore which served as a meeting place for the members of the Split People’s Party.
In 1870 he was chosen to be the candidate of the National Party for the Dalmatian Parliament. He significantly contributed to the victory of the National Party in the 1882 local elections in Split. After the victory he was appointed municipal president and became the president of the Trade and Industrial Chamber.
The linguistic assimilation began in the mid-19th Century. Until then the Jews usually spoke the languages of the areas from which they came (mostly German, and in the second half of the 19th century, more and more Hungarian). Linguistically, Jews assimilated relatively fast thanks to the fact that most children attended public schools. Croatian as a language of teaching was introduced in the Zagreb Jewish school in 1865.
In 1880 55.6 percent of Croatian Jews listed German as their mother tongue, 30.3 percent listed Croatian and 11.7 percent listed Hungarian; at the turn of the century 42 percent of Jews listed German as their mother tongue, 35 percent listed Croatian and 21 percent listed Hungarian. The assimilation was significantly faster in the city of Zagreb (in 1900 54.1% of Jews in Zagreb listed Croatian as their mother tongue).
The similar process happened with the name changes. At first, the Jews mainly had the traditional Jewish, or traditional German names. Already in the middle of the 19th century they often gave their children Croatian names.
The Jewish elite lived in larger cities (Zagreb, Varaždin, Rijeka and Osijek). They were regarded as the wealthier and the productive citizens who contributed the large number of intelligentsia, while the majority of the Jewish population who lived in small towns belonged to lower middle class, and even some form of the proletariat. Since the 1880s, the number of Jews in liberal professions constantly grew.
In 1846 the Jewish humanitarian society (Israelitischer Humanitätsverein) was founded in Zagreb and it was the first humanitarian organization in Zagreb. The founders were the members of the Epstein family, who wanted to build bridges to other peoples and religions. In time, this society evolved into the association of Jews and Christians – Zagrebačko družtvo čověčnosti, (Zagreb Humanitarian Society), which included many respectable citizens and was dismantled only in 1946.
At the same time, since the 1860s and especially since the 1870s, with the appearance of Antisemitism, national Judaism also appeared in various forms, from Territorialism to Zionism. Zionism evolved as a delayed national movement in Central and Eastern Europe, but also as a reaction to the failures of emancipation and the rise of anti-Semitism, whose results were the pogrom in the Russian Empire in 1881. and the Dreyfuss affair in France.
In Croatia and Slavonia Zionism found its supporters in the mostly limited circles of the university youth, intellectuals, and the minority of Orthodox Jews. In 1898, the Jewish student society Literarni sastanci židovske omladine, cionističke orijentacije, (Literary meetings of the Jewish Youth of Zionist orientation) was founded, and in 1904 the first Zionist conference of college and university students of the southern Slavic nations took place in Brod na Savi (Slavonski Brod).
In 1906 the local organization of the Jewish National Fund, Keren Kajemet Le Israel was founded in Osijek, and three years later, in 1909, the National Association of the Zionists of the southern Slavic countries of Austria-Hungary was founded, also in Osijek. In 1906, the Jews of the Zionist orientation started the first Jewish newspaper in the Croatian language, Židovska smotra which was published until 1916.