Benjamin J. Elton
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From the Second World War to the Jacobs Affair
in Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970
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The most significant event in Anglo-Jewish religious history in between 1945 and about 1970 was the Louis Jacobs Affair. This chapter argues that the idea of a move away from a period of tolerance and civility in Anglo-Jewish religious affairs was an invention of the Jewish Chronicle in the context of the Jacobs Affair. Todd M. Endelman argues that this tolerance and civility was indeed abandoned as 'the religious atmosphere shifted rightwards' because 'Anglo-Jewry's leaders were increasingly self-made businessmen of East European background. After the Second World War, Jacobs became assistant rabbi at the Golders Green Beth Hamedrash. This synagogue's ideology fits within the romantic wing of the acknowledgement school. Geoffrey Alderman argues that Jacobs' New London Synagogue is identical to pre-war United Synagogues, but that the United Synagogue's 'relentless move to the right' meant that Jacobs' brand of Judaism was out of place by the 1960s.

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