A recently acquired archive is comprised of pamphlets, books, prints, postcards, letters and other documents that reflect the participation of and support for Jewish soldiers in armies around the world, from 1814 and through mid-20th century. For British soldiers in the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, The Boer War, The First World War tiny prayer books and history books were produced for the Jewish soldiers, flexible for secretly carrying in little pockets of a uniform.  A photographic card shows soldiers participating in the Seder night, dressed in German uniform. Remarkable prints reflect artists’ impressions of prayers for Yom Kippur during the Franco-Prussian War. Over 400 unique artifacts reflect the patriotism of the Jewish population to its host country, as well as its connection with Jewish identity and religious observance. Derek J. Penslar, the Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History at the University of Toronto and author of Jews and the Military: A History writes, “From the beginnings of conscription in the late 1700s until the end of the Second World War, military service was of enormous concern to Jews throughout the world … the Jewish soldier in the diaspora deserves to be rescued from oblivion and subjected to serious historical study.” The material in this collection is rare and has not been published to date.


GALLERY