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Preface Vol 45

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies, volume 45, 2013 Preface Towards the next 120 By way of introduction to Volume 45 of Jewish Historical Studies: Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, I wish to recall the history of the early Zionist movement in the late nineteenth century. It is widely known that the Zionist Congress, held in Basle in the summer of 1897,was monumental. The event effectively launched Theodor Herzl's fledgling movement on the world political stage. It was the first effort, in modern times, to mobilize all of world-Jewry with the intention of ameliorating the condition of Jews overall. What is much less known, however, is that the second Zionist Congress, of 1898, also held in Basle, was perhaps an even more astounding achievement. Why? Because Herzl and his followers demonstrated that the meeting of the previous year was not a fluke. The movement had been and could be sustained, which was not a foregone conclusion in 1897. How does this brief aside relate to the contemporary Jewish Historical Society of England (JHSE) and the journal before you? On 28 August 2013, the JHSE held a conference at University College London (ucl) in order to mark its 120th anniversary. This one-day event featured eminent speakers including Miri Rubin (Queen Mary, University of London), Eliot Horowitz (Bar Ilan University), Philip Alexander (Manchester University), Anthony Grafton (Princeton University), David Rechter (Oxford University), Daniel Snowman (the BBC) and David Mazower (the BBC). The lectures were superb - as one might expect. Beyond this, however, each presenter deftly engaged the Society and the larger community - as represented by the huge and enthusiastic turnout, and the audience's animated exchanges with the speak ers. Thanks are due in great part to Piet van Boxel, President of the Society, for coordinating the conference, along with David Jacobs, Ann Ebner, Sheila Lassman, Alan Swarc, Raphe Langham and others. It is remarkable that the Jewish Historical Society of England has proven its longevity, and further more noteworthy that its next century and score {me'ah ve'esrim) is well under way. Such an event could not have taken place without a profound restructuring of the Society as was undertaken by the group mentioned above, and the JHSE in total, before Piet was invited to assume the Presidency. With far-sighted and courageous leadership, a portion of the material assets of the Society - some of the "family silver" held in storage, was auctioned in New York. Although the sale did not, in a direct sense, fund the conference, it gave the ix</page><page sequence="2">Michael Berkowitz Society confidence to pursue an ambitious event to mark its anniversary. Such a hearty commitment to the conference also meant that all participants and attendees were well-treated to refreshments and a catered reception, which added to the festivities and collégial spirit. In addition to the lectures, Piet arranged an exhibition of precious items from the Moses Montefiore collection of the Oxford Sebag-Montefiore Archive (Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Leopold Muller Memorial Library), held in the UCL Art Museum concurrent with the con ference. Many, if not most, of the attendees (and others) visited the display. Milena Zeidler of the Muller Library gave a brief talk about the exhibition before lunchtime, and César Merchán-Hamann, Piet's successor as the head Judaica librarian at Oxford, assisted with the exhibition. Although not part of the formal proceedings, there was an additional photographic exhibition, on Jews and boxing in Britain, held in the third-floor common room of Foster Court, the home of UCL's Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies. The exhibitions helped to illustrate the conference's theme of exploring a wide spectrum of Anglo-Jewish history, in which disparate attitudes to Jews' gaining "respect" and "respectability" were revealed. The conference and exhibitions represented both something new and something old. The JHSE has regularly sponsored lectures and conferences, with most of the events of the organization, until at least the 1950s, being held at University College London. But the breadth of topics in a single meeting, and dimension of public outreach of the 2013 gathering, was indeed unprece dented. It also was, in a sense, old, and fully in harmony with the history of the JHSE. The JHSE stated, as an addendum to the published Presidential Address of Sir Hilary Jenkinson (1953), roughly at the time of its sixtieth anniversary, that "it was felt by its founders that the annals of Anglo-Jewry are of significance in the history not of the Jews only but also of England, the study of the subject having thus a double importance." This was realized in all the 2013 conference papers, beginning with Miri Rubin's brilliant new research on the Blood Libel of William of Norwich, and closing with David Mazower's compelling discussion of a vital but little-remembered Yiddish actress, Fanny Epstein, also infamous for being party to the "white slave" trade. As of 1954, the JHSE had published "seventeen volumes of Transactions and five of Miscellanies, containing valuable papers on various aspects of Anglo Jewish History (some of them illustrated), in addition to a comprehensive Bibliography of the subject and over a score of volumes of more general appeal. Its headquarters in University College London formerly housed the Mocatta Library with its collections of Anglo-Judaica as well as the Gustave Tuck Collection of Jewish Ritual Art. Though the building and Library were completely destroyed in one of the first enemy bombing raids on London in</page><page sequence="3">Preface 1940, the contents of the Museum were saved, and good progress has been made towards reconstituting the collection of books. (Further assistance towards this will be eagerly welcomed.)'" A recent PhD dissertation by Kathrin Pieren has thoughtfully examined the burgeoning late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century exhibitions of Jewish history and art in London, of which "The Mocatta Library and Museum" was a part - a joint venture of the JHSE and UCL.2 This is where the Gustave Tuck silver trove originated. Gustave Tuck (1857-1942) was able to draw on the formidable resources of his father, Raphael (1821-1900), who became one of the world's largest producers of printed matter in colour, spe cializing in Christmas cards!3 Also as of 1954, the JHSE was reputed to be "the last Jewish cultural institution of the kind left in Europe", which then counted "some 700 members."4 Its current membership numbers over 500. The JHSE stated emphatically in 1954 that "it is necessary to increase this number substantially in order to permit it to maintain its activities in spite of the heavy blow it has suffered. It is desired also to attract the interest of the younger generation of Jewish historical students."5 It is with a similar goal in mind - attracting new members, if not expressly "younger", then from a wide range of ages and backgrounds - that the flagship publication of the JHSE also is in the throes of change in 2013. Volume 44 of Transactions, which appeared at the end of 2012, was the first produced under the new rubric of publishing peer-reviewed articles as well as papers presented to the society (as lectures). But, as opposed to scholarly journals, generally, Transactions'' aim for that and future issues was to strike a balance between becoming a more enticing venue in which historians of Anglo-Jewry, and English-speaking Jewry generally, would seek to publish, while serving the interests of the Society. The overarching goal was and remains for the journal to enhance the Society. In this issue, as well, we have attempted to provide a forum for the mem bership of the JHSE, as both a lay and scholarly society, and to be a platform for original research in Anglo-Jewish history of the highest standard. Again 1 Hilary Jenkinson, "Jewish History and Archives," Presidential Address delivered before the JHSE, 3 Nov. 1953 (London: Jewish Historical Society ofEngland, University College, 1954), pamphlet back cover. 2 Kathrin Pieren, "Migration and Identity Constructions in the Metropolis: The Representations of Jewish Heritage in London between 1887 and 1956" (PhD diss., Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, 2011). 3 Adrian Room, 'Tuck, Raphael (1821-1900)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004); http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/39039, accessed 30 Sept. 2013. 4 Jenkinson, "Jewish History and Archives," back cover. 5 Ibid. xi</page><page sequence="4">Michael Berkowitz recalling the significance of the Second Zionist Congress, we can claim emphatically that it did not simply happen - but this is evidence of "repro ducible results". The goal is to serve a broad public of hundreds of JHSE members, as well as the dozens specifically engaged in Anglo-Jewish research and the wider academic community. The model set here is more or less the kind of mix that had been desired: of a bridge between the passions of the Society's membership and the concerns of a more universal community of historians whose interests include the study of Jewry in Britain. It should also be noted that the volume is appearing in a timely fashion, on schedule as an "annual". Let me turn now to the contents. Daniel Appleby's article on "The Jewish 'Circumcision Scandal' in Edwardian Britain" is a fascinating excavation of a significant but virtually unmentioned (and unmentionable) dimension of Anglo-Jewish history. It is an unusually engaging, thick description of prob lems surrounding London Jewry's "initiation rites" around the turn of the century, and also serves as a means to enlighten subjects pertaining to sickness and health as addressed by contemporary scholars of Central European Jewry. Continuing the theme of medicine in wider society, Kenneth Collins, in an expanded version of a paper presented to the JHSE, analyses two Jewish refugee psychologists, Joseph Schorstein and Karl Abenheimer. Shorstein and Abenheimer worked in Glasgow from the 1930s to the 1960s, and their "careers and Jewish writings touch on important topics in contemporary Jewish thought." While it is common knowledge that Sigmund Freud found refuge in London after fleeing Vienna, other questions about Jews and psy chology in Britain, such as those raised by Collins, are fertile ground for those concerned with Anglo-Jewish history and the history of psychology. Marilyn Lewis's contribution on "The Cambridge Platonists' attitudes towards the readmission of the Jews, 1655-56", concentrates on Benjamin Whichcote, Provost of King's College, Cambridge, and Ralph Cudworth, Regius Professor of Hebrew and Master of Christ's College, Cambridge. Lewis enriches our comprehension of the setting in which Jews returned, as a tolerated corporate body - one of the non-mainstream groups that would constitute English society. While there are admittedly speculative aspects of this essay, it entertains possibilities such as those recently raised by Anthony Grafton, also one of the speakers at the JHSE anniversary conference, who will be making an encore as a speaker for the Society in its 2013-14 lecture pro gramme. A strength of Transactions over the years is its willingness to call into ques tion conventional historical wisdom. Several previous articles have revised the notion that there is nothing to say about Jewry and Jewish history in England between the expulsion of 1290 and Readmission in 1655. The Jewish community may have been hounded out of the country but in "Robert of xii</page><page sequence="5">Preface Leicester's treatise on the Hebrew computus and the study of Jewish know ledge in medieval England," C. Philipp E. Nothaft shows that the intellectual legacy of Jewry nevertheless played a part in how leading Christian thinkers sought to order their own religious thinking and practise. "The significance of Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody in eighteenth-century London", likewise a reap praisal of Jewish/Christian relations, was first delivered as a paper to the Society by Alexander Knapp. We are reminded that some entities which are thought to be timeless - such as the music one hears in synagogue and church - have specific and complex histories. Not surprisingly, each faith prefers to see itself as more authentic than any other. Yet they have, Knapp proves, more of a shared history than they would officially admit. Music is one of the realms where cross-pollination can be detected, as accomplished convincingly by Knapp. One might think that there is little left to investigate, of Jewish interest, in the life and times of Isaiah Berlin whose career was addressed in the previous issue of Transactions by Malachi Hacohen. Simon Albert, in an article derived from his MA research, reveals that Berlin attempted to subdue criticism of Britain's handling of Mandate Palestine by employing the controversial writer Freya Stark as a mouthpiece. It was a muddled but important attempt by Berlin to transcend being mainly a political thinker to a political actor - which did not pan out as he had hoped. Even though Berlin was a refugee, he was educated at St Paul's - one of the few Jewish boys attending at that time. The story of Berlin's experience is a world apart from that of most Jews then concentrated in London's East End, as told by Gerry Black. We are happy to present the introductory chapter of Black's book currently in press, The Right School in the Right Place: The History of the Stepney Jewish High School 1864-2013. This well-researched history (citing sources but without footnotes) draws on the author's vast expertise in Jewish education and social history generally, in modern London. In the book he also expresses his views on "The Future of Schooling in the United Kingdom: Comprehensive Schools, Grammar Schools, Academies, Free Schools and Faith Schools." Recognizing that any opinion ventured about Jewish education, and the relationship between education and politics, is bound to be highly contentious, Black includes in his book a section about his own background. He has, indeed, had (and continues to lead) an interest ing life, the details of which are no doubt of interest to many readers of Transactions. We are happy to include here, as well, Gerry Black's "Jewish C.V.". In the section for shorter items, Felicity Griffiths offers a thorough evalu ation of Madelyn Travis's pathbreaking study Jews and Jewishness in British Children's Education, in which many of the themes addressed by Black are xiii</page><page sequence="6">Michael Berkowitz approached from a different vantage point. Time did not permit, however, an extended review of the recent Palgrave Dictionary of Medieval Anglo Jewish History by Joe and Caroline Hillaby, which was published to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the founding of the JHSE. It is, in short, an essential, erudite and beautifully produced volume. Interestingly, many of the records that help constitute the Hillabys' book stem from the efforts of Sir Francis Palgrave (born as Francis Ephraim Cohen, 1788-1861). Cohen himself changed his name and religion, yet his work as a founder of the Public Records Office (now the National Archives), who also sought to publish the archival holdings, was essential for scholars such as Hillaby and the continu ing JHSE engagement in publishing the medieval Plea Rolls. Hilary Jenkinson, mentioned above for his perceptive analysis of "Jewish History and Archives", called Palgrave "a distinguished Jewish scholar". Complementing the issues raised at the outset of this preface, Hillaby, in the first "research note", offers a tribute to the founding fathers of the JHSE. In the form of both an announcement and extended research note, we are happy to present a brief history of The Jewish Journal of Sociology by Geoffrey Alderman, supplemented by the journal's current co-editor, Keith Kahn Harris. The Jewish world is renowned for its schisms, such the Litvaks versus the Poles, Sephardim versus Ashkenazim, and closest to home, the United Synagogue in Britain refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of Reform and Liberal Judaism. The JHSE harbours no such chauvinism, as we and Transactions constitutue part of a community of affinity with The Jewish Journal of Sociology, Southampton's Journal of Jewish Culture and History and Oxford's Journal of Jewish Studies and Modern Jewish Studies. No matter our differing approaches, we are products of our all-too-human histories. The final two research notes by Edgar Samuel and Miriam Rodrigues Pereira provide excellent material for scholars concerned, respectively, with "marriages at the Nidhe Israel synagogue, Bridgetown, Barbados", and Portugese Jewish refugees of 1728 and 1730 who became residents of London. The final section, before "Contributors", is devoted to our colleagues who died in the past year. Seth Wolitz gives an appreciation of Leon Yudkin, Michael Jolies recalls the life of Alfred Dunitz, and Joe Hillaby offers a testi mony for Barrie Dobson. In closing, I would like to thank the growing community of scholars who are helping to move Transactions in new directions. Among those who are not mentioned above I wish to thank David Cesarani (Royal Holloway, University of London), Arie Dubnov (University of Haifa), Jimmy Fisher (Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles), Tony Kushner (University of Southampton), James Renton (Edge Hill University, Liverpool), Louis Rose (Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio), David xiv</page><page sequence="7">Preface Ruderman (University of Pennsylvania), Robert Stacey (University of Washington, Seattle), Anne Kershen (Queen Mary, University of London), Judith Schlanger (Paris), Stephen Frosh (Birkbeck, University of London) and Susan Tananbaum (Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine). I also wish to express my continuing thanks and appreciation to Jeremy Schonfield for all his help and good sense with editing, and for the untiring efforts of Katharine Ridler in copy-editing. MICHAEL BERKOWITZ University College London xv</page></plain_text>