The Wandering Jew


  • Michael Woolf CAPA: The Global Education Network



Myth, Wandering Jew, Diaspora history, Cosmopolitanism, Study Abroad, Education abroad


This essay examines the interaction between the myth of the Wandering Jew, diaspora history and the notion of cosmopolitanism. This is a paradoxical synthesis that points in several directions: towards the ideals embedded in international education; towards the roots of anti-Semitism; in the direction of the notion of cosmopolitanism as a crime against the nation (something that Hitler, Stalin and Henry Ford agreed upon). The figure of the Wandering Jew has roots in history and myth and is a presence in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The figure wanders through history as an emblem of a cursed outcast, the possessor of arcane secrets, and a sophisticated global flâneur. The essay explores Biblical, literary, and historical sources with further reference to memoirs including Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes.


Download data is not yet available.


Antin, Mary. From Plotzk to Boston. Boston: Clarke, 1899.

Brichetto, Joanna L., “The Wandering Image: Converting the Wandering Jew,” M.A. thesis, Vanderbilt University, May, 2006.

Child, Theodore . “Jews in Paris,” Fortnightly Review 45, January-June, 1886.

Crane, Thomas Frederick. Italian Popular Tales. no. 56 London: Macmillan, 1885.

De Waal, Edmund. The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance. London: Vintage, 2010.

Drumont, Edouard-Adolphe. La France juive, essai d’histoire contemporaine. Paris: Marpon et Flammarion, 1886.

Euripides. Medea. David Kovacs, ed. Perseus Digital Library, Accessed December 2, 2017.

Ford, Henry. International Jew, the World's Foremost Problem, Being a Reprint of a Series of Articles Appearing in the Dearborn Independent from May 22 to October 2, 1920. Dearborn, Michigan: The Dearborn Publishing Co., 1920.

Goldberg, Jeffrey. “No One Has Been Slandered More Than the Jews,” The Atlantic Monthly, September 7, 2010. Accessed June 26, 2017.

Kritzler, Edward. Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom and Revenge. New York: Anchor, 2009, p. 51.

Lazarus, Emma. “The New Colossus”, The Poems of Emma Lazarus v. 1. Narrative, Lyric and Dramatic. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1989.

Le Bas, Damian. “The possible implications of diasporic consciousness for Romani identity,” All Change! Romani Studies through Romani Eyes. Ed. Damien Le Bas and Thomas Acton. Hatfield: U Hertfordshire Press, 2010, pp. 61-69.

Lindemann, Albert S. The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs (Dreyfus, Beilis, Frank) 1894-1915. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991.

Manguel, Alberto. “The Exile's Library,” The Guardian, Saturday 21 February 2009,, accessed 25 June 2017.

Mendes-Flohr, Paul R, and Jehuda Reinharz, eds. The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1980.

Percy, Thomas. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, vol. 2. Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1858. This collection was first published in 1765.

Potok, Chaim. Wanderings. New York: Fawcett Cross, 1980.

Roberts, R. de Boland, and Jane Roberts, Growing up with the Impressionists: The Diary of Julie Manet. London: Sotheby’s, 1987.

Sue, Eugene. The Wandering Jew. New York: Harper, 1884.




How to Cite

Woolf, M. (2018). The Wandering Jew. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 30(1), 20–32.

Most read articles by the same author(s)