David Koffman - 2020 Sondra & Howard Bender Scholar

David Koffman photo Toward a History of Jewish–Native American Relations: 2020 Bender Visiting Scholar

David S. Koffman (PhD, NYU, 2011) is a cultural and social historian of the American and Canadian Jewish life. He holds the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry, and is an associate professor in the Department of History at York University in Toronto, where he teaches courses on Canadian Jewish history, religion in American life, the meanings of money, genealogy as history, modern antisemitism, and religion & capitalism. His first monograph, The Jews’ Indian: Colonialism, Pluralism, and Belonging in America (Rutgers University Press, 2019), explores the American Jewish encounter with Native America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His published work has appeared in several volumes of collected essays, and in journals including The Journal of American Ethnic HistoryThe Journal of Jewish EducationContemporary Jewry, and Canadian Jewish Studies. His newest book project, an edited volume entitled, No Better Place? Canada, Its Jews, and the Idea of Home, will be published by the University of Toronto Press in spring 2020. He serves as the associate director of York’s Israel & Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies, and as the editor-in-chief of the journal Canadian Jewish Studies / Études juives canadiennes.

In 2012, the Sondra and Howard Bender Visiting Scholars Endowed Fund was established to help bring leading scholars in Jewish culture, history, language and religion to CU campuses to further the curricular goals of CU’s Program in Jewish Studies.  Attending lectures by leading scholars in this growing field provides students with the opportunity to learn from a broad range of academics.  In addition, visiting lecturers create a unique opportunity for the Program in Jewish Studies and CU to engage both students and the local community.  Public lectures catalyze discussions that include participants from a wide variety of backgrounds, enhancing students’ ability to think about issues beyond the walls of the classroom.