David SorkinJewish Emancipation: A History Across Five Centuries

This lecture aims to reorient Jewish history by outlining a comprehensive account of the process by which Jews became citizens with civil and political rights. Ranging from the mid-sixteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first, it will tell the ongoing story of how Jews have gained and kept, lost and recovered rights in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, the United States and Israel. Emancipation was not a one-time or linear event but a complex, multi-directional and ambiguous process characterized by deflections and reversals, defeats and successes, triumphs and tragedies.

David Sorkin
Lucy G. Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History, Yale University
Derek Penslar
William Lee Frost Professor of Modern Jewish History and CES Faculty Affiliate & Seminar Chair, Harvsrd University

About the Author


David Sorkin is the Lucy G. Moses Professor of History at Yale University. His books include The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna (Princeton), Moses Mendelssohn and the Religious Enlightenment, and The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780–1840.