Fairfield University's Adolf and Ruth Schnurmacher Lecture in Judaic Studies -"Beyond the Battlefield: Jews and the Civil War"



Image: A MendelsohnIn recognition of the 150th anniversary of the nation's Civil War, Fairfield University's Adolf and Ruth Schnurmacher Lecture in Judaic Studies will reassess the impact and importance of that war for the American Jewish community.

Taking place on Thursday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m., the lecture, "Beyond the Battlefield: Jews and the Civil War," will be delivered by author Adam Mendelsohn, Ph.D., assistant professor of Jewish Studies at College of Charleston.

"In essence I argue that the focus on the battlefield exploits of Jews conceals more than it reveals," said Dr. Mendelsohn. "Although more than 8,000 Jews fought for the Union and Confederacy, this wartime role left only a limited legacy and had only a very limited impact on the war itself. Not so, I argue, the legacy of the Jews who stitched and sewed hundreds of thousands of uniforms for both armies. Not only did Jewish entrepreneurs play a key role in clothing the Confederacy and Union, but their wartime experience had important implications for American Jewish history."

Free and open to the public, the event is presented by the University's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, and is made possible through the generosity of Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation.

Mendelsohn co-edited (with Jonathan Sarna) "Jews and the Civil War" (New York University Press, May 2010). He joined the Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston in 2008. Much of his teaching and research focuses on Jews in the South. He is actively involved in the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina and the Southern Jewish Historical Society. He is currently working on a book about Jewish involvement in the second-hand clothing trade (the 'shmatta business') in the United States and the British Empire in the nineteenth century.

The lecture will take place in the Dolan School of Business. Admission is free, and seating is limited. For reservations, call the Bennett Center at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.

For the more information on other lectures, visit http://www.fairfield.edu/judaic/js_lectures.html.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 21, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 90