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DJC Reading Circle: Pogrom – Kishinev and the Tilt of History

April 19, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

This event is in-person

Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History, by Steven J. Zippersrein, facilitated by Derek Penslar

(The 120th anniversary of the Kishinev Pogrom)

The methodical slaughter of forty-nine Jews on the streets of Kishinev, the capital of Moldova, over the course of three days in April, 1903, was a pivotal event in the history of modern anti-Semitism, the rise of Zionism, and, as a symbol of racist violence, a catalyst for the rise of the N.A.A.C.P. With extraordinary scholarly energy, Zipperstein uncovers sources in Russian, Yiddish, and English that show not only why this bloody event ignited the Jewish imagination, its sense of embattlement in exile, but also why it had such lasting resonance internationally.—The New Yorker

Zipperstein’s book is anything but a Holocaust book.  It’s about the impact of the Kishinev pogrom all over the world, including among African and Chinese Americans in the US The book has wonderful sections on Jewish reactions as well.

Derek Penslar is currently the William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History at Harvard and a resident faculty member at the Center for European Studies there. His approach takes into account modern capitalism, nationalism and colonialism.

Between 2012 and 2016 he taught at Oxford, where he was the inaugural Stanley Lewis prof of Modern Israel Studies and is an Honorary Fellow of St. Anne’s College. At the University of Toronto, he was Samuel Zacks professor of Modern Jewish History.

Among his books are Shylock’s children: Economics and Identity in Modern Europe; Jews and the Military: A History. In 2020, he published Theodore Herzl: The Charismatic Leader. A forthcoming book is titled Zionism: an Emotional State – the title reflects Professor Penslar’s interest in seeing Zionism through the prism of emotions like love, anger and fear. And he is working on a global history of the 1948 Palestinian War.


Now in its twentieth glorious year, the Danforth Jewish Reading Circle is a favourite among our book loving members, bringing us together throughout the year for interesting and animated discussions about a variety of books that touch on Jewish themes. And of course, when we’re done there’s always a little nosh. After all, this is a Jewish book group! The Danforth Jewish Reading Circle is open to all – no charge for members, $10 for non-members. To attend a meeting, all you have to do is drop us a line at djcreadingcircle@gmail.com – but please do so early. Space fills up quickly and names are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. You will receive a confirmation email with time and place details.


April 19, 2023
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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