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International Jewish Humanitarianism in the Age of the Great War
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In 1914, seven million Jews across Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean were caught in the crossfire of warring empires in a disaster of stupendous, unprecedented proportions. In response, American Jews developed a new model of humanitarian relief for their suffering brethren abroad, wandering into American foreign policy as they navigated a wartime political landscape. The effort continued into peacetime, touching every interwar Jewish community in these troubled regions through long-term refugee, child welfare, public health, and poverty alleviation projects. Against the backdrop of war, revolution, and reconstruction, this is the story of American Jews who went abroad in solidarity to rescue and rebuild Jewish lives in Jewish homelands. As they constructed a new form of humanitarianism and re-drew the map of modern philanthropy, they rebuilt the Jewish Diaspora itself in the image of the modern social welfare state.


‘The Great War was a pivotal moment in the evolution of humanitarian activism. Granick's landmark study breaks new ground by recognizing the central place of Jews and Jewish causes at this critical juncture: it represents essential reading not just for Jewish historians, but for historians of US foreign policy, humanitarian activism and global civil society.'

Abigail Green - author of Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero

‘Jaclyn Granick's book is a pathbreaking study. Within the growing research on the history of the aid sector's formative period after the First World War it fills an important gap. It will serve as an invaluable reference with regard to the distinct role of American Jewish organizations.'

Daniel Maul - author of The International Labour Organization: 100 Years of Global Social Policy

‘This is a pioneering monograph on global Jewish social policy from the First World War through the 1920s. Granick deftly illustrates the synergy between American-Jewish funders and administrative experts in Europe, their Herculean efforts to assist Jews in war-torn regions, and the challenges they faced as trans-national actors in a world increasingly defined by nation-states.'

Derek Penslar - author of Shylock's Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe

‘Overall, Granick tells an important story that contextualizes the relative positions of European, Palestinian, and American Jewish communities between the world wars … Recommended.’

A. Lieberman Colgan Source: Choice Magazine

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