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Sons of Abraham in the Civil War: What Was It Like To Be a Jew in Lincoln’s Armies?

Hosted By: Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP)

What was it like to be a Jew in Lincoln’s armies? The Union army was as diverse as the embattled nation it sought to preserve, a unique mixture of ethnicities, religions, and identities. Almost one Union soldier in four was born abroad, and natives and newcomers fought side-by-side, sometimes uneasily. Yet though scholars have parsed the trials and triumphs of Irish, Germans, African Americans, and others in the Union ranks, they have remained largely silent on the everyday experiences of the largest non-Christian minority to have served. In ways visible and invisible to their fellow recruits and conscripts, the experience of Jews was distinct from that of other soldiers who served in Lincoln’s armies. Join the Orange County Community Scholar Program to examine the collective experience of Jewish soldiers and recover their voices and stories. Prof. Mendelsohn will explain why Jews decided to enlist, share stories about the encounters of Jewish soldiers with fellow soldiers, and describe how Jewish soliders created community within the ranks.

The event listed here is hosted by a third party. My Jewish Learning/70 Faces Media is not responsible for its content or for errors in the listing.

Teacher

Adam D. Mendelsohn

Adam D. Mendelsohn is Director of the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of History at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of The Rag Race: How Jews Sewed Their Way to Success in America and the British Empire and co-editor of Jews and the Civil War (with Jonathan D. Sarna) and of Transnational Traditions: New Perspectives on American Jewish History (with Ava Kahn), as well as curator of exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society, Princeton University Art Museum, and the Center for Jewish History. He has just finished the first book of a two volume history focused on the experience of Jewish soldiers during the Civil War.
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