Research Seminar – Jews and Ukrainians: A Surprising History of Intergroup Relations

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Date(s) - 19/03/2015
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Engel picACJC Research Seminar Series

In the contemporary Jewish imagination Ukraine often figures as the site of a centuries-long tradition of violent anti-Jewish hostility.  Yet that image obscures a brief interval in the early twentieth century when diaspora Jewish and Ukrainian leaders worked assiduously to forge a political alliance between their two peoples.  Although those efforts ultimately foundered, their very existence reveals much about the opportunities and limitations that ethnic minority groups face when they try to advance their collective interests within an international regime of nation-states.  The lecture traces the history of the abortive Ukrainian-Jewish alliance, the reasons for its failure, and its implications for understanding a key feature of modern international politics.

David Engel is Greenberg Professor of Holocaust Studies, Professor and Chair of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, and Professor of History at New York University and a Senior Fellow of the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Centre at Tel Aviv University.  The author of seven books and more than 70 scholarly articles on aspects of modern Jewish history, he is a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and an elected fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research.