Derek Penslar 

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.
Jews and the Military
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 ...
The Rise of the Israeli Right

The Israeli Right first came to power nearly four decades ago. Its election was described then as ‘an earthquake’ and its reverberations endure. In The Rise of the Israeli Right, Professor Colin Shindler poses important questions – How did the Right rise to power? What are its origins? – tracing its development from the birth of Zionism to modern times. Professor Derek Penslar chairs.

Partition Voices
The partitions of India and Pakistan and Israel and Palestine are two of the most tumultuous events of the 20th Century. Remarkable parallels exist between the two experiences. Journalist and broadcaster Kavita Puri, in conversation with Harvard Professor Derek Penslar, explore the similarities in nationalism, relations with the international and diaspora communities, the acceptance or rejection of difference, the role of religion, and the role of memory and its legacy. Sponsored by th...
Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader
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 t...