Derek Penslar

Professor Emeritus
Sidney Smith Hall, Room 2064


Fields of Study


Derek J. Penslar's research specialties are the history of modern European Jewry, Zionism, and the state of Israel. Penslar’s books include Zionism and Technocracy: The Engineering of Jewish Settlement in Palestine, 1870-1918 (1991, Hebrew version 2001); In Search of Jewish Community: Jewish Identities in Germany and Austria, 1918-1933 (1998, co-edited with Michael Brenner), Shylock’s Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe (2001); Orientalism and the Jews (co-edited with Ivan Kalmar, 2004), Contemporary Antisemitism: Canada and the World (2005), Israel in History: The Jewish State in Comparative Perspective (2006); and The Origins of the State of Israel 1882-1948:  A Documentary History (with Eran Kaplan, 2011).

Derek Penslar’s latest book, Jews and the Military: A History, was published in 2013 by Princeton University Press. Penslar is currently writing a biography of Theodor Herzl for Yale University Press’ Jewish Lives series and a book on Zionism for Rutgers University Press’ series on Keywords in Jewish Studies. Penslar is co-editor of The Journal of Israeli History and is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Academy for Jewish Research.


PhD, University of California, Berkeley