Henry Srebrnik (PhD University of Birmingham, England) teaches comparative politics and ethnic relations at the University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada. He is the author of London Jews and British Communism, 1935-1945 (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 1995); Jerusalem on the Amur: Birobidzhan and the Canadian Jewish Communist Movement, 1924-1951 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2008); and Dreams of Nationhood: American Jewish Communists and the Soviet Birobidzhan Project, 1924-1951 (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2010).
This pioneering study makes a major contribution to the history of Canadian Jewry by arguing that Zionism has historically been a unifying factor within the community. During the formative period 1898-1921, Zionism was not a source of divisiveness, as it was in the neighbouring United States, but a shared arena in which the Canadian Jewish community expressed its ideological and political divisions. Employing primary sources, largely in Yiddish, Srebrnik discusses the role of Zionism in community-building and in the process sheds light on an area of scholarly study that has too long been neglected.--Rebecca Margolis, Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program