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Autumn and beginnings...

Dear members,

It is a pleasure to write to you as we turn from summer and its delights to the autumn and its renewed routines. At JHSE we now return to the events of our anniversary year, and to long-term planning for the well-being of our Society. The main challenge is to attract new members from among the many people interested in Jewish history. We hope to appeal to people of Jewish heritage, but also to those interested in British history more broadly, and who recognise what an important part the Jewish stories are within it.

Every member can help, by extending the idea to join to friends and family. Becoming a member opens opportunities to learn and grow, but it is also a contribution to the only historical society that combines academic excellence with broad outreach and community activities.

The National Trust recently opened a new exhibition: Country Houses, Jewish Homes. It focusses on the life of Sir Thomas Colyer-Fergusson. Fergusson was a member of the JHSE in the time of Israel Solomons. The exhibition is at Upton House near Banbury, and this link provides information and the chance to book a place:

This would make for a lovely day out. It also exemplifies the new type of partnerships that historians of English Jews - like JHSE member Professor Abigail Green who directs the project - are being forged with national heritage institutions.

As part of our Anniversary celebrations we are visiting centres that produce or curate Jewish history and heritage. We are therefore delighted that the Parkes Institute at the University of Southampton has invited JHSE members to spend tie with them on 9 October 2023, and learn about their research, teaching and outreach. The Director, archivist, librarian, and others will be our hosts at this event, which is free to members. Do sign up here:

Several Trustees will attend and we look forward to conversations with those members who can attend.

An important new book about Jews in the 18th century across Britain and the Continent forms the centre of another event, as together with our colleagues at King's College London, the JHSE welcomes Professor Shmuel Feiner on 30 November 2023 to dicuss the new world that opened up for Jews as they gained new civic rights and professional opportunities at the very end of the eighteenth century. You can sign up to attend via Eventbrite, here. we hope may of you will come to this easily accessible central London venue and meet other members following what is bound to be a very interesting lecture.

With a view to an active and productive year for JHSE I wish all our members on behalf of the Trustees a very happy Jewish New Year - Shana Tova! In the Middle Ages, the period I study, there was no custom of sending cards, nor of dipping apples in honey, but they did make the traditional sounds to mark change:

I wish that all the changes the year 5784 brings will be for the good.

Your President. Miri Rubin


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