Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader
Chair: Trudy Gold
The life of Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) was as puzzling as it was brief. How did this cosmopolitan and assimilated European Jew become the leader of the Zionist movement? How could he be both an artist and a statesman, a rationalist and an aesthete, a stern moralist yet possessed of deep, and at times dark, passions? And why did scores of thousands of Jews, many of them from traditional backgrounds, embrace Herzl as their leader? Acclaimed historian Derek Penslar shows that Herzl’s path to Zionism had as mu to do with personal crises as it did with antisemitism.
Derek Penslar is the William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History at Harvard University, and was previously the Samuel Zacks Professor of European Jewish history at the University of Toronto since 1998. He is a historian of modern European Jewry, Zionism, and the State of Israel.
Trudy Gold is the former C.E.O of the London Jewish Cultural Centre, and one of the founder members of the British delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. She has taught Modern Jewish History in schools and universities and for adult groups throughout the World. She has coordinated teacher training in Jewish History and Holocaust Studies in Eastern Europe and latterly in China. She is the author of The Timechart History of Jewish Civilisation and the student resources “Understanding the Holocaust” and the digital resource “Lessons of the Holocaust.”