In the aftermath of the 1903 Kishinev pogrom, the British-Jewish writer Israel Zangwill embarked upon a quest to find a territory that could accept millions of Jewish refugees from the Russian Empire. When the New York banker and railroad financier Jacob Schiff proposed redirecting Russian-Jewish migration through the port of Galveston, Texas, Zangwill believed he had found the solution to the 'Jewish Question.' This talk examines what came to be known as the 'Galveston Movement' and asks what it can tell us about global Jewish communities, national migration policies, and regional identities in the early twentieth-century.
Jeffrey Veidlinger is Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan and served from 2015-2021 as the Director of the University's Frankel Center for Judaic Studies. He is Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research, a former vice-president of the Association for Jewish Studies, and a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. His latest book, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and the Lionel Gelber Prize and was a Kirkus Top Nonfiction Book of 2021. Professor Veidlinger is also the author of the award-winning books, In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine, The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage, and Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire.