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.
Bill Williams, the historian of Manchester Jewry, once observed that their history is like ‘a walk up Cheetham Hill Road’. Likewise, the history of Leeds Jewry may be compared to a walk up Chapeltown Road, from the slums of the Leylands, the ‘East End’ of Leeds, through Chapeltown and Moortown Corner to Alwoodley (‘Alyidly’) and beyond. The settlement pattern of the Jewish community, whose presence in Leeds was built largely on the nineteenth-century textile industry, can be traced simply by a tour of the synagogues that they erected
vicious police-instigated pogroms spread throughout the west and south of the Empire, notably in Kiev, Warsaw and Odessa. In total, it has been estimated that there were over 200 attacks on Jewish communities between 1881 and 1884, provoking a massive exodus of Jews particularly to America, but also to places like London, Manchester and Leeds.
The other landmark event of 1881 was the publication in Germany of Eugen Duhring’s ‘The Parties and the Jewish Question’, which laid the foundation for scientific anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism had
The spirituality of Brunswick Chapel, Leeds, in the Victorian era illustrates the legacy of John Wesley when Wesleyan Methodism was a power in the land. The priorities were conversion, turning to Christ in repentance and faith, the Bible as the source of divine instruction, the cross as the way in which salvation was achieved and activism as the proper human response. These features were prominent in the whole of the broader Evangelical movement which Wesley inaugurated. There was concern with death, and especially last words, in providing evidence of the assurance on which Wesley insisted and which was cultivated in the class meetings he began. Prayer, Charles Wesley’s hymns and sermons loomed large. Men and women had their own channels for the expression of piety, but some avenues, especially in Sunday school teaching, were open to either sex. Some still professed Wesley’s sublime doctrine of entire sanctification. Towards the end of the period there were signs that the tradition was decaying, with the spirituality becoming shallower, but for the bulk of the period the tradition was flourishing.
Edward P. Thompson's activities and writings were diverse spanning literature, history, fiction and poetry, biography, adult education, socialist and libertarian politics, and peace-movement activism. This book explores the various aspects of his intellectual and political work, and its legacy to later generations of radical thinkers and activists in Britain and internationally. Thompson taught exclusively literature classes for the first three years at the University of Leeds, and aimed to attain and maintain a university standard of adult education. The book examines the way in which The Making of the English Working Class grew out of Thompson's day-to-day work at Leeds. Although Thompson's fusion of Marxism with social history constituted the central attraction of his work, he himself bore a degree of responsibility for subsequent dismissals of the Marxist dimension in his work. The book examines Thompson's career-long commitment to literature and to the craft of writing, and makes clear some significant continuities and contrasts within Thompson's specifically literary output. Thompson's concept of socialist humanism retained a resonance and distinctiveness for the twenty-first century, which was a defining characteristic of the early New Left after 1956. The content of Thompson's analyses provides us with one of the richest account of the flesh and blood of emancipation, and the experience, suffering, failure and courage of the working class. The book also looks at his peace movement from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s and 1960s to the European Nuclear Disarmament in the 1980s.
Leeds was one of the ‘shock cities’ of the nineteenth century, always cited along with Manchester and Birmingham as among the earliest examples of the modern industrial city, in the first country to have an industrial revolution. Yet Leeds was not an ‘instant city’ like, for example, Middlesbrough, which grew from a small hamlet to an industrial town in one generation. Leeds in fact had a long history and its medieval field patterns are still identifiable in the yards and alleys off the main street of Briggate. Leeds is mentioned in the
In June 1888, The Lancet medical journal published a report by its Special Sanitary Commission which gave an eye-witness account of life in Leeds’ predominantly Jewish quarter, the Leylands. For several years The Lancet had reported on the risks to the health of the general population posed by unsanitary conditions in the tailoring industry, particularly in the many hundreds of small, reeking, unventilated workshops, where ‘Jew sweaters’ toiled for 16 hours or more and, in the breaks between, snacked on bread and weak tea or
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 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
recreation generally is limited and not readily associated with the Jewish community. 1 Dee’s book looks at Jewish involvement in sport on a national basis through the prism of ‘Integration, ethnicity and anti-Semitism’ between 1890 and 1970, but what he does not cover to any significant degree is the growth in involvement in those provincial cities with a major Jewish population: Leeds is one such city.
The involvement of the Leeds Jewish community in Leeds sport, both from a professional and amateur perspective, is far more extensive than David