Is America Different? Antisemitism in the United States in Historical Perspective

Is America Different? Antisemitism in the United States in Historical Perspective


Thu, Jan 14, 2021    
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Event Type

Sponsored by The Jewish Center Princeton
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With Professor Jonathan D. Sarna

Recently, we have witnessed an unexpected spike in anti-Semitic activities in the United States, including two deadly attacks on synagogues. Is this a new phenomenon? What role has antisemitism actually played in American history? Is it a pervasive phenomenon, a late and alien phenomenon, or something in between?

This lecture will trace the course of antisemitism in the United States and consider the question of American exceptionalism. Has America been different from Europe with respect to antisemitism? How worried should we be about the spread of the world’s oldest hatred to America’s shores?

Jonathan D. Sarna is University Professor and the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, where he directs its Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. He also is the past president of the Association for Jewish Studies and Chief Historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Author or editor of more than thirty books on American Jewish history and life, his American Judaism: A History – recently published in a second edition — won six awards including the 2004 “Everett Jewish Book of the Year Award” from the Jewish Book Council. Sarna is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Academy of Jewish Research. His most recent books are When General Grant Expelled the Jews, Lincoln & the Jews: A History (with Benjamin Shapell), and an edition of Cosella Wayne, by Cora Wilburn, the first (and hitherto unknown) American Jewish novel.



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