Holocaust survivor publishes PhD dissertation on ‘serendipity’ of Balfour

Paul Goldstein is not the oldest person to receive a PhD, but he comes pretty close. In September 2020, Goldstein earned a doctorate in political science from Israel’s Ariel University at age 87.

In September 2021, Goldstein’s dissertation on the Balfour Declaration was published as a book by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, another achievement he could not have foreseen earlier in his life.

That Goldstein would have the opportunity to pursue higher education, let alone a doctoral degree, was far from a given. As a child, his schooling was abruptly halted as he hid to survive during the Holocaust. As a young man, he had to make up for those lost years, and also find a way to support himself — first in his native Belgium, and then as an immigrant to Canada.

After learning English and earning a bachelor’s degree in political theory at Montreal’s Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in 1958, Goldstein worked for a packaging company. In a bid to be more financially independent and better able to support his Israeli-born wife and their three children, Goldstein moved into the financial services industry in 1966. He found success in the field, and still maintains some of his longtime clients.

Read More: Times of Israel