The Military as a Jewish Career in Modern Europe

Twelfth Annual Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Lecture

For the Public
Monday, November 17, 2008
5:00 PM

College Hall, Room 209
Philadelphia, PA 19104

In modern times, the military has often been a vehicle for Jewish social mobility. Why would Jews choose a military career? What was a typical career path for a Jewish officer? What were the implications of a military career on Jewish marriage, family life, or relations to the community? Dr. Penslar’s talk will use the life stories of Jewish officers to throw new light on the relationship between Jews, the military, and the broader society in which they lived.


Derek Penslar

University of Toronto

Derek Penslar is Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History at the University of Toronto. His areas of expertise include Jewish political, economic, and cultural life in modern Europe, the history of the Zionist movement, and the State of Israel. Dr. Penslar is the author of several books, among them Shylock’s Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe (2001), and Israel in History: The Jewish State in Comparative Perspective (2007). This year, Dr. Penslar holds the Weiner Family Fellowship at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at Penn, where he is working on a book on Jews and the military in the modern world. 

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Kutchin Faculty Seminar Series of Jewish Studies, Department of History