I am the President of the JHSE and a Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History at Queen Mary University with wide historical interests. My research has ranged across the period 1100-1600, through the exploration of themes in the religious culture of Europe. I am interested in inter-disciplinary encounters, and these have animated my work. I also enjoy disseminating history to diverse audiences all over the world. See a list of my publications and research output.
I studied history and have always found it to be the most interesting of subjects as I believe that what Carl Sagan wrote " You have to know the past to understand the present" is being proved correct on a daily basis. A vacancy for the office of Hon. Secretary arose in 2017 which I was asked to fill and this was confirmed by Council in 2018. In July 2019 the Hon. Treasurer resigned and I felt that as a Chartered Accountant, I could be of greater help to the Society as Treasurer so offered to step down as Hon. Secretary to take that office. This was confirmed by Council in November 2019 (so for a horrible 5 months I held both offices!)
I joined the JHSE in November 2019 as Honorary Secretary and became Chair of the Board of Trustees in April 2020. My background is in Compliance and Governance which complements the many other skills of my fellow Trustees. The lecture programmes provided by the Society are so varied that I always find a topic of interest and I am proud to be associated with the research the Society supports and education it provides furthering our awareness of anglo Jewish history.
I am editor of Jewish Historical Studies: Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England (UCL Press), an Executive Committee Member of the JHSE, and Professor of modern Jewish history at University College London. My most recent monographs are Jews and Photography in Britain (University of Texas Press, 2015) and The Crime of My Very Existence: Nazism and the Myth of Jewish Criminality (University of California Press, 2007). A native of Rochester, New York, I joined UCL in 1997.
Michael Crook, chairs the Sussex branch, and represents the branch chairs on the Board of Trustees. He is a retired Chartered Surveyor, who specialised in Town Planning work for major companies, Local and National Government for over 45 years. His family history in Brighton and association with the town’s Middle Street Synagogue goes back over 125 years. He was co-editor of the Anthology of the Brighton & Hove Jewish Community 1766-2016, published by JHSE to celebrate 250 years since the first record of a Jewish resident in Brighton.
I have been responsible for communications, corporate partnerships, marketings and sales activity for a variety of not-for-profits since 1997. Over the past few years, I have managed communications and related strategy for a variety of healthcare associations, medical societies and Royal Colleges. I also help to run campaigns and related fundraising drives for two charities on a voluntary basis.
I joined the JHSE Council in 1999 and served as the Chair of the Society from 2010 - 2016. I am currently a member of the Executive Committee.
I am the President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain and in 1983, was the co-founder of the Museum of the Jewish East End. Currently, I act as a voluntary consultant to two Lottery funded projects. The United Synagogue's Willesden Green Cemetery and also to the Jewish Association of South Wales.
I am an alumnus of the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department at UCL, a former Curator at the Jewish Museum London and now a PhD student at Birkbeck College, University of London. I currently work with the JHSE on maintaining their website.
I am an Executive Committee Member of the JHSE and Professor in the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations and History Department at the University of Southampton. I've has written widely on the British Jewish experience, especially social history and comparative migration. My most recent books are The Battle of Britishness: Migrant Journeys since 1685 (Manchester University Press, 2012) and Journeys from the Abyss: The Holocaust and Forced Migration from the 1880s to the Present (Liverpool University Press, 2017). I am currently working on a study of a Jewish triple murderer and, with Dr Aimee Bunting, Co-Presents to the Holocaust. I am co-editor of the journal Patterns of Prejudice and deputy editor of Jewish Culture and History.
I have been a trustee of the JHSE since 2018 and bring to the Executive the skills acquired in a long corporate career in economics, finance, strategy, governance and planning. I am a member and warden of Belsize Square Synagogue and was previously a trustee of the Bishopsgate Institute, an educational and cultural charity in the City of London. I have a PhD in medieval Jewish history and have written a book and articles on the subject of the Jews of the medieval crown of Aragon in Spain. I also teach Spanish history at the City Literary Institute.
I’m the Archives and Heritage Manager at the Board of Deputies of British Jews where I lead on a project called Hidden Treasures; celebrating Jewish archives in Britain which showcases archives which tell the Jewish story in this country. I also look after a number of disused Jewish cemeteries in parts of the country where there was once a flourishing Jewish community.