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Preface Vol 10

<plain_text><page sequence="1">PREFACE. The publication of this Volume X. of the Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society synchronises with the completion of thirty years of the Society's existence. For a generation the work in Anglo-Jewish historical research has gone steadily forward in the spirit and aims of those who called the Society into being in 1893. Happily some of these pioneers are still with us, their zeal and powers unabated, and this latest volume bears testimony to their labours. Mr. Lucien Wolf and Dr. Israel Abrahams, to mention but two of the early sowers in the wide field of Anglo-Jewish history, are still scattering seeds which are fructifying, and others are now reaping what they have sown. It is a harvest of which we may well be proud, and that gratitude to those workers is enhanced by the knowledge that there are younger labourers in the vineyard who have already proved that they are worthy disciples of their great masters. A noteworthy feature of this volume, to which further reference will be made, is the appearance of Mr. Wilfred S. Samuel who has already established a reputation in historical investiga? tion, and who is destined to leave his impress upon this im? portant branch of study. The younger generation is represented also by Mr. Marcus Lipton who, after a successful Oxford career, is devoting himself to historical research. Thus all the signs are hopeful for the continued usefulness of the Society. The field covered by the term, Jewish Historical Society of England, is vast enough to invite the co-operation of historical students of all classes, and the Society enters upon a second generation of vii</page><page sequence="2">viii PREFACE. its history in the full confidence that its high standard will be maintained. The period covered by this volume has seen two distinguished occupants of the Presidential office. Dr. Bedcliffe N. Salaman and the Very Rev. the Chief Rabbi have proved worthy successors to the long and honourable roll of Presidents. Scholars in different fields they have both helped to shed lustre upon the Society's history. Dr. Salaman's tenure of office will always be remembered with gratitude for the zeal which he threw into the work. Apart from his own contributions, of which these volumes of trans? actions have given evidence, it is due to him that the membership has so largely increased, so that more than 500 names now appear on the roll. His labours on behalf of the Society carried him to the larger towns in the Provinces, in addition to the University seats at Oxford and Cambridge, where on the public platform he pleaded the importance of the work and appealed for workers and supporters. As the result of his efforts the Society has become more widely known and its value more generally recognised. The Chief Rabbi, amid the multifarious duties incidental to his high office, has made the Society a primary charge on his time. He consented to assume the Presidency on his return from his world tour, at a time when his hands were full with the many communal problems that have arisen since the war, and the Society is deeply appreciative of the services he has rendered. An extended account of that world tour formed the subject of his Presidential Address, and is to be found in this volume. Mention should be made here, too, of the addition to the Council of Mr. Cecil Roth and Mr. Philip Samuel, both of whom have shown their readiness to co-operate in its work. Dr. Abrahams continues his labours as Honorary Editor of Publica? tions a task that does not grow lighter, and the Rev. S. Levy, M.A., acts as the Society's Honorary bookseller. Mr. Gustave</page><page sequence="3">PREFACE. ix Tuck still gives his invaluable services as Treasurer. The Rev. B. Levine, M.A., who has been Honorary Secretary for four years, is shortly retiring, owing to the claims of his professional duties. He is to be succeeded by Mr. J. M. Eich who, in the short time during which he has acted as Secretary to the Board of Deputies, has shown himself peculiarly suited to take up this onerous position. During the period under review the following general meetings have been held at the headquarters of the Society, the Mocatta Library, University College. 1922, Jan. 23. Annual Meeting. Adoption of Report and Balance Sheet. Lecture by Dr. Charles Singer on " The Share of the Jews in Mediaeval Science/' ? Mar. 15. Paper by Dr. I. Z. Idelsohn on 44 The Originality of Jewish Music." Chairman, Mr. Harry R. Lewis. ? April 30. Fourth " Arthur Davis " Lecture by Professor Sir W. M. Flinders Petrie on 44 The Status of the Jews in Egypt." Chairman, Sir Philip Sassoon, Bart., M.P. June 13. The Chief Rabbi elected President. Paper by the new President on " The First Pastoral Tour to the Jewish Communities of the British Overseas Dominions." Nov. 5. Meeting in Liverpool, addressed by Dr. R. N. Salaman and the Rev. E. Levine, M.A. Dec. 19. Annual Meeting. Adoption of Report and Balance Sheet. Paper by Mr. Wilfred S. Samuel on " The First London Synagogue of the Re-Settlement, 1657?enlarged, 1674." 1923, July 5. Paper by Mr. Marcus Lipton, B.A., on " The Jewish Question in Anglo-Swiss Diplomacy." ,, Dec. 10. Annual Meeting. Re-election of the Chief Rabbi as President for another year. Paper by Mr. Herbert Loewe, M.A., on 44 Notes on Jews in India."</page><page sequence="4">X PREFACE. 1924, Jan. 15. Paper by Mr. Cecil Both, M.A., on " Some Relations between England and Italy?a Jewish literary causerie." Some of these papers are now presented. Some have appeared elsewhere, others will, we hope, be printed in a future volume. Pride of place is accorded in this volume to the paper by Mr. Wilfred S. Samuel. Mention has been made above of the entry of this young scholar into the ranks of Anglo-Jewish historians. His contribution here presented is one of the most valuable studies ever laid before the Society, and is the fruit of many months of research. For the prosecution of his subject he has had access to reports and documents which have been mastered with an amazing thoroughness. The paper is illustrated profusely and, in addition, is supported by copies of documents now for the first time brought to light. The whole is a complete record of the " First Synagogue of the Re-Settlement," and carries us further than the pioneer labours of Mr. Lucien Wolf, Dr. Gaster, and others. It is satisfactory to learn that Mr. Samuel has finished another study soon to be presented, and that he is now definitely wedded to the work of historical research. A few words on some of the other papers. The Chief Rabbi's account of his world tour deserves to find a permanent place in the transactions of the Society. It is the first tour of its kind, and this very uniqueness commends it. But there is more. It reveals how vast and extensive is the area covered by English speaking Jewry. From one end of His Majesty's Dominions to the other, our co-religionists are carrying the burden of British citizenship with the endeavour to preserve a healthy Jewish life. The success which attends this dual responsibility, as the Chief Rabbi attests, must form an important chapter in Anglo-Jewish history. A large vista for future historians is opened up. There is room here for wider co-operation between the Mother Country</page><page sequence="5">PREFACE. xi and the Dominions. The story is yet to be told, how in these far-away outposts of Empire Jews did the work of the pioneer, from small beginnings building up the large and important communities of our brethren which now are the distinguishing feature of some of the larger towns. And there are other smaller places which tell of bygone memories whose history might well be told. It may well be that some reader in these far-off places, chancing to see these lines, may be stimulated to delve into the records that are to be found and give the Society the results. They cannot but prove of immense value. Eeference must be made to one other paper which is set forth here. Although not delivered under the auspices of the Jewish Historical Society it is germane to its work. We refer to the paper by the Eev. D. Bueno de Mesquita on " The Historical Associations of the Ancient Burial-ground of the Sephardi Jews." This was read before the members of the Sephardi community, but the subject is too important to allow the paper to be the property of that one section. The old burial-grounds hold many a secret we would like to unravel, and every attempt to bring to light what is Lidden there must be welcomed. In this connection it may be mentioned that the question of the old disused cemeteries is engaging the attention of a special small committee. It will thus be seen that the Society, though true to its aims, interprets the term " Jewish History " in its widest sense. The sense of popularising history is not lost sight of. This is seen in the now firmly established series of annual Arthur Davis Lectures. The ninth volume of Transactions recorded the first four lectures on this foundation. The wonderful send-off given by Mr. Zangwill with his address on " Chosen Peoples " and followed by the Eev. E. Travers Herford, Dr. Abrahams, and Professor S. Alexander, has gained for this annual event an importance worthy of the scholar whose name and work the lecture commemorates.</page><page sequence="6">xii PREFACE. In 1922 the lecturer was Professor Sir W. M. Flinders Petrie, whose address dealt with the Jews of Egypt. The chair on this occasion was taken by Sir Philip Sassoon, Bart., M.P., and the large and representative audience which crowded the Botanical Theatre, University College, appreciated the learned paper of this world-famed scholar. The lecture was subsequently printed and circulated among the members. The lecturer for 1923 was to have been M. Israel Levi, the Grand Babbin of France. Every? thing was ready for the occasion, but to the great disappoint? ment of all, that eminent scholar was prevented by illness from coming to England. As a consequence the function had re? luctantly to be abandoned. In place of the lecture a paper by Mrs. Redcliffe Salaman is to be published to form the sixth of the Arthur Davis Lectures. At the time of writing arrangements are complete for the seventh of the series, and Dr. Paul Radin, the distinguished Cambridge anthropologist, has promised to lecture on " Monotheism and Primitive Peoples." Going further afield the Society, during the period under survey, has continued its association with London University in the scheme of Extension Lectures. Volume IX. told of the success that had attended these courses held at Toynbee Hall in past years. In 1922 the experiment was again tried with equal if not with even greater success. During the month of May in that year a course of five lectures was given at the same place, but the Society followed a new line. Recognising the close affinity between Jewish Philosophy and History, the subject of the course was Five Jewish Philosophers. The following is the scheme of the lectures and the names of the lecturers and chairmen :? May 2. Rev. Gerald Friedlander on " Philo." Chairman, Dr. Redcliffe N. Salaman. May 9. Rev. Dayan Mendelsohn, M.A., on " Maimonides."* Chairman, Dr. Charles S. Myers.</page><page sequence="7">PREFACE. xiii May 17. Professor S. Alexander, LL.D., on "Spinoza." Chair? man, Dr. M. Epstein. May 23. Mr. Israel Levine, M.A., on " Freud." Chairman, Dr. A. Eichholz, C.B.E. May 30. Dr. S. Brodetsky on " Einstein." Chairman, Professor A. Wolf, D.Lit., M.A. Each lecture occupied one hour, and an hour's discussion followed. The attendance was consistently large and composed for the most part of students who derived great benefit from the course. To the regret of the Council it was not found possible to hold an Extension Course in 1923, but it is hoped that a summer meeting will be held in 1924 to carry on this important aspect of the Society's work. These public lectures have not been allowed to lapse. The Union of Jewish Literary Societies has been doing this work with conspicuous success, and we are glad to record that the Society has been ready to subsidise the Union. In an indirect way, too, the Historical Society, by its represen? tation on the Press Committee of the Board of Deputies and its financial assistance to that Body, has helped in the work of countering anti-Jewish attacks in the press and other quarters.. With the co-operation of the Press Committee and the Joint Foreign Committee the Council has entrusted to the capable hands of Mr. Lucien Wolf the publication of documents in refu? tation of the ever-recurring Blood Accusation. Thus in many ways it remains watchful of the good name of Jew. The Mocatta Library and Museum, which, since its foundation in 1906, has been housed at University College, now contains nearly 8000 volumes. Since 1921, 54 volumes and 497 pamphlets, have been added to the collection, some by purchase, others by private gift. The generous gifts that have been made are greatly appreciated. Special mention is due to a presentation of para? mount interest. Thanks to the unfailing interest in the Society"</page><page sequence="8">?1V PREFACE. and the Library, always evinced by Sir Isidore Spielmann (a former President), Lady Savory handed over to the safe keeping of the Mocatta Museum the Memorial of the Citizens of London to Czar Alexander III. on behalf of the persecuted Eussian Jews. The Memorial was forwarded to the Czar in 1890, and was returned by the Eussian Government to the Lord Mayor. This document, with the original letters connected with the subject, is of great historical interest. The Chief Eabbi has been instrumental in procuring for the Museum three photographs of the ancient Synagogue and Cemetery, Upper Frederick Street, Liverpool. Arrangements for their transmission were made by Mr. Lionel Collins of that city. The Maccabaeans have kindly given a copy of the Meldola Medal awarded by the Institute of Chemistry in memory of Eaphael Meldola, F.E.S. The Mocatta Library is open to students and others at stated times, and the privilege of borrowing books is extended to members of the Society. The Librarian, Mr. L. Newcombe, is at all times ready to place his services at the disposal of readers. In closing, we must refer to the death of three of our most zealous workers in the field of Jewish history. Lady Magnus died very recently at a ripe old age. For many years she was known as a woman of great literary gifts, with an intense love of her people's history, and she has given the fruits of her industry to students of two generations. Her Outlines of Jewish History is known throughout the Jewries of English-speaking countries, and her other contributions to this branch of study have gained for her a high esteem in Jewish and non-Jewish hearts. The Society conferred upon her the dignity of Honorary Member, an honour which she deeply appreciated, in recognition of her labours to popularise Jewish history. We are happy to think that a new edition of her work is in the press, and that her name will live on for years to come.</page><page sequence="9">preface. XV Mr. Israel Solomons in the early years of the Society proved himself an assiduous and painstaking researcher. On more than one occasion he presented these fruits before the members and made ? valuable contributions. Especially noteworthy is his paper on the Lord George Gordon problem. He was known as a collector of * Judaica and gathered a famous library of books and manuscripts. Lastly, the Society has to record with grief the passing of Dr. S. A. Hirsch. This scholar, who had entered his eightieth year, was President in 1909-10, and right throughout the Society's history he had rendered yeoman service to the cause of Jewish history. A ripe scholar, a deep thinker, an inspiring teacher,, with a wide comprehensive grasp of the science of history and a&lt; sense of historical perspective, he was in many ways eminently fitted to write history. All his great qualities of mind and sympathy were brought to bear on any task he undertook, and the Society was fortunate to be able to publish under its auspices his first volume of Essays in 1905. The wide range of subject covered in this volume revealed a singularly fertile mind and a happy style of presentation. A second volume of Essays appeared last year, sponsored by Mr. Zangwill, who had no difficulty in persuading the Society to associate itself with the cost of publica? tion. These books show but a small part of Dr. Hirsch's versa? tility. They form but the parergon of a busy life, occupied in , teaching theology and training ministers of religion. The man himself was beloved by his colleagues on the Council and those who knew him, and his name will always be lovingly cherished by the Jewish Historical Society to whose work he devoted so much of his literary genius. It is meet that this volume, which appears soon after his death, should bear an inscription of tribute to his memory. Ephraim Levine.. April 1924.</page></plain_text>

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