BRITISH-JEWRY-L ArchivesArchiver > BRITISH-JEWRY > 2006-03 > 1143408920
From: jeremy frankel <>
Subject: The Jews in Britain; a new book with a familiar sounding title
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 13:35:20 -0800
It's obviously tough coming up with novel titles which describe the
history of the Jews in Britain. There's Cecil Roth's A History of the
Jews in England which is a very similar title to V.D. Lipman's Social
History of the Jews in England. Lipman also continued Roth's history
with A History of the Jews in England since 1858. These were
followed by Todd Endelman's The Jews of Britain , 1656-2000 and of
course there's Harold Pollins' Economic History of the Jews in
England. There are also others which are variations on the theme.
So I wasn't surprised to see a new title on the library shelf at UCB
(University of California at Berkeley) entitled The Jews in Britain -
A Chronology this one by Raphael Langham. This one is different
however. Rather than simply write yet another version of the history
of the Jews of this sceptred isle, Langham employs a style which is
very familiar to genealogists and historians - a chronological
approach. Each page features the dates down the left side and
paragraphs on the right. As Langham freely admits, those areas of
interest to him garnered longer entries.
Beginning with an undated "BCE," this slim volume takes 97 pages to
bring British Jewish history up to the almost present time ending
with the 6 May 2002 Solidarity rally in Trafalgar Square, London.
Along with fourteen pages of notes, Langham has supplemented the
history with a number of tables such as a list of Arch Presbyters,
Hahamin and Chief Rabbis; early synagogues; a list of British
"firsts" since re-admission (surely bound to provoke some after
dinner interest); the population of Jews in Britain from 1200 to
2001; Jewish characters in British literature; major events in Jewish
history (worldwide); major events in British history (non-Jewish);
lists of monarchs and prime ministers; and perhaps most intriguing, a
list of elected Jewish MPs from 1859 to 2005.
If I had one niggle with the book it is this, while the
last-mentioned table goes up to 2005, I find it hard to believe that
the main chronology ends with the May 2002 rally and nothing of
importance happened for the next couple of years!
If I may be permitted to inject a personal bias, my great
grandfather's shul (which he co-founded in 1903), the Congregation of
Jacob, Commercial Road, Stepney, London, celebrated its 100th
anniversary in June 2003. Even the Chief Rabbi was on hand to
acknowledge this momentous occasion.
I'm sure this book will find its way to many libraries (public and
personal) as it does offer in a useful, readable style, the complex
and colourful history of the Jews in Britain for the past 350 years.
The book was published in 2006 by Palgrave Macmillan. The ISBN for it
Jeremy G Frankel
ex-Edgware, Middlesex, England
Berkeley, California, USA
|The Jews in Britain; a new book with a familiar sounding title by jeremy frankel <>|