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A history
Editor: Derek Fraser

The book is a comprehensive and definitive history of the Leeds Jewish community, which was – and remains – the third largest in Britain. It is organised in three parts: Context (history, urban, demography); Chronology (covering the period from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1940s); and Contours (analysing themes and aspects of the history up to the present time). The book shows how a small community was affected by mass immigration, and through economic progress and social mobility achieved integration into the host society. It is a story of entrepreneurial success which transformed a proletarian community into a middle-class society. Its members contributed extensively to the economic, social, political and cultural life of Leeds, which provided a supportive environment for Jews to pursue their religion, generally free from persecution. The Leeds Jewish community lived predominantly in three locations which changed over time as they moved in a northerly direction to suburbia.

Nigel Grizzard

Introduction This period saw the transformation of Leeds Jewry from a migrant community to a community of Englishmen of the Jewish persuasion. The impact of the Aliens Act of 1905 on the community, the slowdown of immigration and the rising proportion of English-born children all changed the face of the community. The outbreak of the First World War put the Jewish community in the political firing line, with discussions about Jewish loyalty in the local press. The period 1914–18 was one

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
Ian Vellins

. Lipman’s comments on the character of the wider Jewish community found their echo in Leeds: The rise in real earnings increased demand for Jewish employment in the service and distributive trade and in consumer-orientated industries, so Jewish hairdressers, taxi drivers, newsagents, tobacconists and confectioners were able to start their own businesses as self-employed workers, in retail shopping and chain stores … Anglo-Jewish communities were ones in which the descendants of the Eastern European immigrants of 1881 onwards had been fully

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
Jewish identity in late Victorian Leeds
James Appell

possesses a vividness that resonates with modern readers. Few other contemporary sources have so successfully brought the Leylands to life and given the report’s brevity – it stretches over barely five pages of the journal – even fewer have been so richly detailed. For that reason, time and again, those who seek to tell the story of the Leeds Jewish community have returned to the report of the Special Sanitary Commission for inspiration. The Lancet ’s report stuck largely to its stated task of investigating links between conditions in the

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
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The Jewish population of Leeds – how many Jews?
Nigel Grizzard

This is a question that has been asked not just in Leeds but in Jewish communities worldwide. Is the Jewish community growing, declining or staying numerically static and what are the future projections? Will there still be a Jewish community in ten, twenty or fifty years’ time? Counting Jews Counting Jews in the United Kingdom has always been difficult. The figures obtained are often regarded as ‘best estimates’. Over time, researchers have used techniques such as the Frequency of Distinctive Jews Names, where the frequency of names such as Cohen and

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
Derek Fraser

There were three main developments which characterised the Leeds Jewish community in the decades after the Second World War: social mobility; relocation to a new ‘unwalled ghetto’; and numerical decline. For much of the twentieth century, as previous chapters have illustrated, Leeds Jewry was predominantly a proletarian community. When the writer first came to Leeds as a student in the late 1950s, he lodged with a family in Chapeltown where the householder was a cutter at Burtons, among the elite of the skilled workers there. Thousands

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
Integration and separation
Aaron Kent

growth. But for its Jewish community it was also one of evolution. Bernard Silver noted that ‘thousands of … Jewish immigrants … all came with the purpose of commencing a new life – free from the perils, hardships and persecution of Eastern Europe’. He went on to say that it was also ‘a period of terror for Jews’. 1 Any Jew’s experiences there were largely dependent on what drove them to the city and how they were embraced. There were varying levels of integration and separation within the Leeds Jewish community and the city at large. An exploration of personal and

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
Abstract only
Derek Fraser

the characteristic immigrant comfort of the extended family network. Dietary laws required specially prepared foods which spawned retail outlets for this growing but specialised market. Jewish communities have always been characterised by both informal and formal mutual aid activity, which could only be sustained in a concentrated urban environment. Above all, Jews looked to their synagogues to provide spiritual cohesion, whatever their degree of religious observance. With synagogues came Sabbath and festival celebrations and the vital lifeblood of religious

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
Irina Kudenko

This chapter offers an alternative conceptual framework for looking at the diversity of individual experiences of Jewish identity in the Leeds Jewish community, at present and in the past. Borrowing from the field of citizenship studies and identity politics, it argues that to understand local expressions of Jewish belonging, they need to be framed in the wider context of the national discourse on Britishness and citizenship. This means that changing notions of national identity inevitably trigger changes in how people express and

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
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Leisure and sporting activities
Phil Goldstone

Introduction There is a view that while British Jews have made their mark in many areas of economic, social and cultural life in Britain – particularly in the professions of law and medicine, the sciences, politics and business – sport has seen only a limited contribution. This view is erroneous and more recent research has shown to what extent the Jewish community has made significant contributions on both the playing and administrative sides of professional and amateur sport in Britain. Since the emergence of

in Leeds and its Jewish Community