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Toni Pitock, PhD

Toni Pitock, PhD

Assistant Teaching Professor of History
Department of History
Center for Interdisciplinary Study
Jewish Studies
Office: 5022 MacAlister


  • PhD, University of Delaware, 2016
  • MA, History, Villanova University, 2008
  • MSc, Education, University of Pennsylvania, 1998
  • BA, English and Psychology, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, 1987

Curriculum Vitae:

Download (PDF)

Research Interests:

  • Atlantic World
  • Colonial American History
  • American Revolution and Early National Period
  • Migration and Diaspora
  • Economic Culture


My research focuses on Atlantic world trade during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In particular, I explore the ways that kinship bonds and ethno-religious ties facilitated business enterprises, and well as the ways that trade opened the door to intercultural connections. My current book manuscript, tentatively titled “Trust and Confidence: Jewish Networks, Philadelphia, and the Atlantic World, 1736-1783” looks at the economic lives of Philadelphia’s earliest Jewish settlers. My research shows that credit and reputation were critical to trust in all trading relationships.

I am also interested in what it meant to be Jewish. My work explores the ways the business gave Jews -- historically perpetual outsiders, marked by religion and ethnicity – commercial and social access to a relatively tolerant Christian culture. They acquired and nurtured complex insider-outsider status in an ethnically, religiously, and culturally heterogeneous environment.

I also work on a project that documents Jamaica’s Jewish history, including cataloging and conserving cemeteries and archival collections and making the information available for researchers.

At Drexel I teach a range of course on American History, History of the Atlantic World, and Jewish History and Culture.

Selected Publications:

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • “Imperial Enterprise: David Franks, Commerce, and British Expansion.” Jewish Entanglements in the Atlantic World, Aviva Ben-Ur and Willem Klooster, (eds). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press (forthcoming: January 15, 2024)
  • “Separated from us as far as West is from East: Eighteenth-Century Ashkenazi Immigrants in the Atlantic World.” American Jewish History, Vol. 102, No. 2 (April 2018)
  • “Commerce and Community: Philadelphia’s Early Jewish Settlers, 1740-1776.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 140, no. 3 (Oct., 2016)

Digital Publications and Public Scholarship