Jews and the Military
Chair: Colin Shindler
Jewish active involvement in the military is often perceived as a relatively new phenomenon, associated with the establishment and defence of Israel. Derek Penslar’s Jews and the Military: a History challenges this popular misconception, exploring Jewish participation in the military across many countries and centuries. Penslar is in conversation with John Jay, whose Facing Fearful Odds tells the story of his father Alec, a British and Jewish POW, who made five escape attempts before teaming up with Czech partisans to fight the Nazis. The session is chaired by SOAS professor Colin Shindler.
John Jay, now an investment manager, was formerly a financial journalist. He has constructed his father’s war story using archival material from four countries and numerous other sources and POW accounts.
Derek Penslar is Stanley Lewis Professor of Israel Studies at Oxford. A native of California, he taught at the Universities of Indiana and Toronto, as well as Harvard and Columbia, before coming to Oxford in 2012.
Colin Shindler is Professor Emeritus and Pears Senior Research Fellow at SOAS, the first UK Professor of Israel Studies. He has written seven books including The Rise of the Israeli Right.
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