Thursday, Apr. 05, 2007


What role did Einstein's Jewish identity play in his life and achievements?

His affiliation with the Jewish people was the strongest bond in his life, even though he did not adhere to the rituals of the religion. There was an anti-Semitic reaction both to the publicity he got and to the abstract and seemingly heretical nature of relativity theory. But the rise in anti-Semitism made him identify with the Jewish people even more. His first trip to America was to raise money for the Zionist movement, and in 1933 he fled Hitler and moved to Princeton. Near the end of his life, he was offered the presidency of Israel, which he politely declined.