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Showing papers in "Jewish culture and history in 2010"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that we are mistaken if we look in the past for representations of what we recognise today as "the Holocaust" or if we treat the apparent marginalisation of the Jewish experience as a sign of malevolence.
Abstract: During the 1990s historians began paying attention to how societies in the postwar era reflected on the destruction of Europe's Jews between 1933 and 1945 and soon a consensus evolved that there had been a brief burst of media coverage and outrage related to the liberation of the concentration camps and war crimes trials in 1945–46 which soon faded. However, from 1999 a number of historians looking at the USA and other countries went beyond the identification of a postwar ‘silence’. They argued that it was broken by a deliberate effort of Jewish organisations, mainly in America, for the purpose of creating sympathy for Israel and the Jews more generally. This contribution re-assesses recent trends in the scholarship concerning post-war responses in Britain to the Jewish catastrophe of 1933–45. It argues that we are mistaken if we look in the past for representations of what we recognise today as ‘the Holocaust’ or if we treat the apparent marginalisation of the Jewish experience as a sign of malevolence o...

11 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors traces the evolution of studies in and of British Jewish literature and culture, and identifies new directions currently animating this field of research, and describes the development of a body of work exploring the complex ambivalence of Semitic representations and challenges more regressive tendencies that regard representations of Jews exclusively as evidence of an enduring and hostile anti-Semitic tradition in Britain culture.
Abstract: This article traces the historiographical evolution of studies in and of British Jewish literature and culture, and identifies new directions currently animating this field of research. It describes the development of a body of work exploring the complex ambivalence of Semitic representations and challenges more regressive tendencies that regard representations of Jews exclusively as evidence of an enduring and hostile anti-Semitic tradition in Britain culture.

10 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors consider why the radical tradition of Judaic-informed dissent has not only remained marginal in the Anglo-Jewish experience but why few researchers, if any, have sought to investigate further.
Abstract: Offering a broad overview, this contribution seeks to consider why the radical tradition of Judaic-informed dissent has not only remained marginal in the Anglo-Jewish experience but why few researchers, if any, have sought to investigate further. It takes as its premise the urgency for the mobilisation of the radical tradition in this time of acute environmental crisis. However, its historical method is to attempt to apply Albert Hirschman's famous 1970 ‘Exit, Voice and Loyalty’ thesis, about subaltern strategies in the face of dominant power, to the Anglo-Jewish community. Its findings are that successive, even competing Anglo—Jewish elite formations have subordinated ‘voice’ to ‘loyalty’ with ‘exit’ effectively ‘loyalty’ under a different heading. Our conclusion is that if we wish to explore genuine Jewish dissent (‘voice’) we must investigate beyond normative communal confines while equally seeking to understand why conformity within the community has become hegemonic over time.

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore the question "What happened to British Jewish Studies? In Search of Contexts?" and conclude that "nothing happened to the British Jewish studies" in the 20th century.
Abstract: (2010). Whatever Happened to British Jewish Studies? In Search of Contexts. Jewish Culture and History: Vol. 12, No. 1-2, pp. 1-26.

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors analysed the experiences of and responses to Jewish child survivors of the Holocaust who came to Britain to recuperate months after the end of the Second World War. But their focus was on Windermere and the Lake District where the largest number of the children were initially settled.
Abstract: This study analyses the experiences of and responses to Jewish child survivors of the Holocaust who came to Britain to recuperate months after the end of the Second World War. It does so through the literary-cultural trope of the ‘Wandering Jew’, a figure which, from the eighteenth century onwards and especially through Romanticism, was represented in an increasingly ambivalent manner. The focus is on Windermere and the Lake District where the largest number of the children were initially settled. Through the exploration of place identity and Englishness, it analyses how far the experiences of these children have become part of local narratives of the past.

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article explored the ways in which these questions are debated within a range of contemporary Jewish literature and concluded that contemporary British-Jewish writers highlight the desire to identify the particularity of their difference, whilst acknowledging that difference is neither fixed nor final, but always open to change, re-signification and reinterpretation.
Abstract: In fiction, memoirs and journalism, writers are addressing increasingly challenging questions about what it means to be both British and Jewish in the twenty-first century. This article will explore the ways in which these questions are debated within a range of contemporary Jewish literature. The article concludes that contemporary British-Jewish writers highlight the desire to identify the particularity of their difference, whilst acknowledging that that difference is neither fixed nor final, but always open to change, re-signification and re-interpretation.

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper explored the activities of the principal Anglo-Jewish committees associated with military service and found that their responses to these dilemmas adversely affected the traditional relationship between the communal leadership and the state, and resulted in the resentment of many Jewish soldiers.
Abstract: Wartime military service severely challenged the Jewish community in Britain, comprised at fin de siecle of a small anglicised component and a much larger immigrant sector, in which ethnicity remained central to its identity and modus vivendi. Recent research has focused on the conscription of Russian Jews, with little attention given to the reluctance of many ‘new’ British Jews to volunteer, or to the impact of military duty on young Jewish men. These perspectives are explored through the activities of the principal Anglo-Jewish committees associated with military service. Confronted with the complexities of identity, their independent enlistment campaigns and liaison role at the War Office exposed the dichotomy of integration and separation in a diverse community. Their responses to these dilemmas adversely affected the traditional relationship between the communal leadership and the state, and resulted in the resentment of many Jewish soldiers.

5 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a critical analysis of archival photographs of the Holocaust is presented, which explores what is and is not represented in such photographs, the range of approaches towards the use of photographs, particularly in museums, and some of the ethical questions these raise, for example, in relation to putting atrocity photographs on public display.
Abstract: The present article offers a critical analysis of archival photographs of the Holocaust. It explores what is – and is not – represented in such photographs, the range of approaches towards the use of photographs, particularly in museums, and some of the ethical questions these raise, for example, in relation to putting atrocity photographs on public display. This broader thematic discussion in the first part of the article is then applied to three case studies in the second part.

5 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the Wissenschaft des Judentums had little affinity with art and aesthetics, and the lack of a visual antenna was attributed to the movement's original national-philological orientation.
Abstract: As common opinion has it, the Wissenschaft des Judentums had little affinity with art and aesthetics. This article begins by relating this lack of ‘visual antenna’ to the movement’s original national-philological orientation. By scrutinising relevant passages from the writings of hard-core Wissenschaftler such as Leopold Zunz, Michael Sachs, Moritz Steinschneider, David Henriques de Castro and David Kaufmann, it then explores how traditional Jewish philologists coped with art and the visual when confronted with the non-textual, supranational dimensions of Jewish material culture, which became more and more prominent as the nineteenth century drew to a close.

5 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper explored the goals of Jewish and Christian sponsored orphanages in late nineteenth and early twentieth century England and identified ways that religious institutions served the needy, constructed their self-identify, and that of their "inmates".
Abstract: This paper explores the goals of Jewish and Christian sponsored orphanages in late nineteenth and early twentieth century England and identifies ways that religious institutions served the needy, constructed their self—identify, and that of their ‘inmates’. Christian charities, especially evangelical institutions such as Barnardo's and the National Children's Homes (NCH), focused not only on the rescue of children, but their salvation. Policy at Norwood, the Jewish orphanage, reflected a combination of Jewish charitable tradition, alongside a self—consciousness about reputation and anxiety over anti—Semitism, and anti-alienism. In response, Norwood developed an extensive programme designed to raise respectable, anglicised Jews who would remain members of Britain's Jewish community.

4 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore Count Dracula as an articulation of the Jewish immigrant "other", an interpretation which draws upon the broader national context and anxious socio-cultural climate in which the novel was produced, and suggest that, remarkably, Dracula appears to disrupt rather than validate the typically rigid and polarised positions which mark out, define and quantify difference.
Abstract: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) has evolved into a fantastical staple of the gothic horror genre for the modern age, yet the metaphorical implications of the tale still remain illusive and, consequently, contested. Stoker himself chose to perpetuate this illusiveness, admitting that ‘every book of the kind must contain some lesson’ yet intriguingly insisted that he ‘prefer that readers should find it out for themselves’. Exploiting that ‘free licence’ this article explores Count Dracula as an articulation of the Jewish immigrant ‘other’—an interpretation which draws upon the broader national context and anxious socio-cultural climate in which the novel was produced. However, when read in this way, it is suggested that, remarkably, Dracula appears to disrupt rather than validate the typically rigid and polarised positions which mark out, define and quantify difference. Instead the novel celebrates the blurring of boundaries between the British-Self and the Semitic-Other—a conclusion given credence by Bram Sto...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article provided an overview of the variety of Jews and Jewish life seen on British television from 1946 to 1955, including examples of television's first engagement with the Nazi persecution of the Jews of Europe.
Abstract: Through the use of production files, correspondence and press cuttings held at the BBC's Written Archives Centre, this article provides an overview to the variety of Jews and Jewish life seen on British television from 1946 to 1955, including examples of television's first engagement with the Nazi persecution of the Jews of Europe. In so doing it demonstrates not only the diversity of representations, and thereby the multiple Jewish identities on display in post-war Britain, but also the richness of television and the BBC's archives for scholars of British Jewish studies.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper explored some of the strategies used by late mediaeval and early modern Jews living in German lands to counter powerful and ubiquitous Christian images, symbols and holidays, including the cross, churches, church bells and Christmas.
Abstract: This article explores some of the strategies used by late mediaeval and early modern Jews living in German lands to counter powerful and ubiquitous Christian images, symbols and holidays. Drawing on a variety of sources, including accounts written by converts from Judaism, Jewish attitudes to the cross, churches, church bells and Christmas are examined. While Jews were very much aware of the dangers of any open expression of their antagonism to Christendom, they developed a range of everyday acts of resistance, such as conscious avoidance of Christian places, linguistic strategies that included Hebrew puns on Christian terminology, and refraining from Torah study and instead reading ‘Toldot Yeshu’ on Christmas Eve.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examined scientific theories concerning Jewish origins and racial difference, setting contemporary research on these contentious subjects in the context of Anglo-Jewish scholarship from the inter-war period, focusing on conflict between two senior British scholars of Jews, Charles Singer (1876−1960) and Redcliffe Salaman (1874−1955), who argued about the extent and implications of Jewish/non-Jewish racial difference.
Abstract: This article interrogates scientific theories concerning Jewish origins and racial difference, setting contemporary research on these contentious subjects in the context of Anglo-Jewish scholarship from the inter-war period. In particular, it explores academic discussion and debate about how to respond to Nazism, focusing on conflict between two senior British scholars of Jews, Charles Singer (1876–1960) and Redcliffe Salaman (1874–1955), who argued about the extent and implications of Jewish/non-Jewish racial difference. These inter-war debates then provide the context for an analysis of the proliferation of contemporary research into Jewish origins and difference. Ultimately, it contends that research of this nature, like its historical antecedents, remains inextricably tied to ideological considerations, and that personal beliefs continue to render the study of the Jewish past and present as contentious as it was in the inter-war period.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the history of an institution making extensive use of oral history based on the recollection of scholars' accounts from the Jewish orphanage, Norwood, has been investigated, revealing a culture of counter-institutionalism that was exceptionally expressed in the Norwood Rebellion.
Abstract: This study researches the history of an institution making extensive use of oral history based on the recollection of scholars' (i.e. students') accounts from the Jewish orphanage, Norwood. Their version reveals a culture of counter—institutionalism that was exceptionally expressed in the Norwood Rebellion. The rebellion was one act of defiance. As an ongoing protest against the regimentation, it was organised as opposition to the discipline and in particular corporal punishment endemic at Norwood. The importance of oral history as a source is examined in the last section. The counter-cultural research provides an addition to the institutional assessment for judging whether Norwood was ‘good enough’ for the children.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article argued that the writing of Anglo-Jewish history became detached from the modern Jewish history more generally, and that the price of this isolation has been the loss of a pan-Jewish, transnational perspective with the potential, ironically, to shed light on events and trends in Anglo- Jewish history and to explain what is uniquely "English" or "British" about them.
Abstract: This article examines how the writing of Anglo-Jewish history became detached from the writing of modern Jewish history more generally. It suggests that the price of this isolation has been the loss of a pan—Jewish, transnational perspective with the potential, ironically, to shed light on events and trends in Anglo-Jewish history and to explain what is uniquely ‘English’ or ‘British’ about them. It also argues that this detachment has impoverished mainstream Jewish historiography by depriving it of the contributions and insights that are the hallmark of Anglo—Jewish history writing—a tradition of social history and a well-developed sense of the way local environments and social formations and customs shape historical outcomes.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A comparison between two exhibitions of Jewish art and history taking place in London at the turn of the twentieth century reveals a gradual shift in the museological representation of Jewish identity from a focus on religion towards ethnicity as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Research on museums has proved useful in understanding the social dynamics of groups and societies and their use of material culture for the construction and reaffirmation of cultural identities. A comparison between two exhibitions of Jewish art and history taking place in London at the turn of the twentieth century reveals a gradual shift in the museological representation of Jewish identity from a focus on religion towards ethnicity. The inclusion of visitor perceptions and of unintentional and contradictory meanings of the exhibits, however, illustrates that these representations were not necessarily the outcome of a clear strategy and were socially contested.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper explored the long history of image control, from the efforts of the Jewish Dispersion Committee and others to encourage migration from the East End ghetto to the suburbs and provinces, to the very recent, heated debates concerning the construction of an eruv by the Orthodox community in North West London.
Abstract: In recent years, British-Jewish commentators, novelists, film-makers and others have identified and bemoaned the existence and persistence of a very ‘British’ preoccupation with image within the community. That preoccupation, which is grounded in the mentality that Jews in Britain should be neither seen nor heard, can be traced back to the period of mass Jewish immigration (and beyond), and can be identified in debates about Jewish space and place within London and elsewhere. This article explores this long history of image control, from the efforts of the Jewish Dispersion Committee and others to encourage migration from the East End ghetto to the suburbs and provinces, to the very recent, heated debates concerning the construction of an eruv by the Orthodox community in North West London.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper examined the career of the Lithuanian-born art critic Bernard Berenson and his ultimately unsuccessful efforts to establish himself as a disinterested, high-minded connoisseur, free of the taint of trade and his East European Jewish origins.
Abstract: Like socialism and science, aestheticism served as a programmatic rationale for the transcendence of Judaism and Jewishness in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It offered cultivated young Jewish men and, to a lesser extent, women a way of distancing themselves from the popular connection between Jews and the pursuit of commercial profit. This article examines the career of the Lithuanian-born art critic Bernard Berenson and his ultimately unsuccessful efforts to establish himself as a disinterested, high-minded connoisseur, free of the taint of trade and his East European Jewish origins.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Jewish Manual, published in Britain in 1846, is regarded as the first Anglo-Jewish cookery book as discussed by the authors, and it has established its author Judith Montefiore as a seminal cookery writer defining Jewish food in Britain.
Abstract: The Jewish Manual, published in Britain in 1846, is regarded as the first Anglo-Jewish cookery book. It has established its author Judith Montefiore, wife of British philanthropist Moses Montefiore, as a seminal cookery writer defining Jewish food in Britain. Yet the recipes contained in the cookery book no longer correspond to the construction of ‘Jewish’ food in modern Britain. The article surveys three groundbreaking Jewish cookery writers—Judith Montefiore, Florence Greenberg and Evelyn Rose—offering a close textual reading of their work to determine the historical and cultural processes which inform our ideas about the identity of Anglo-Jewish food.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, an accidental Jewish Historian is described as an "accidental Jewish historian" who was "an accidental Jewish historian". But this is not a complete list. [
Abstract: (2010). An Accidental Jewish Historian. Jewish Culture and History: Vol. 12, No. 1-2, pp. 327-336.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Anglo-Jewish Community and Its Archives as discussed by the authors, Vol. 12, No. 1-2, pp. 337-344, is a collection of the archives of the American Jewish Community.
Abstract: (2010). The Anglo-Jewish Community and Its Archives. Jewish Culture and History: Vol. 12, No. 1-2, pp. 337-344.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In 2010, the Jewish Museum London reopened following a £1Om transformation, creating a landmark museum celebrating Jewish life and cultural diversity as discussed by the authors. The launch of the new museum was greeted with acclaim in media ranging from The Times, Independent and New York Times, to the Culture Show and BBC TV News and Radio 4's flagship cultural programme, Front Row, and was also covered as far afield as India, Taiwan, Turkey and New Zealand.
Abstract: In March 2010 the Jewish Museum London reopened following a £1Om transformation, creating a landmark museum celebrating Jewish life and cultural diversity. The launch of the new museum was greeted with acclaim in media ranging from The Times, Independent and New York Times, to the Culture Show and BBC TV News and Radio 4's flagship cultural programme, Front Row, and was also covered as far afield as India, Taiwan, Turkey and New Zealand. Such extensive media attention could not have been presumed for a museum about the Jewish community in the UK nor would it have been likely in any of its previous iterations. The reopening of the museum represented the culmination of a long process, which relates closely to changing perspectives in British Jewish history, as well as to new concerns regarding the societal role of museums. Within a British context, the Jewish Museum has to face in two directions: it represents both a showcase presenting Jewish history and culture to the wider community, and a prism through which the Jewish community can examine its own roots and history. But in developing the museum we have sought to extend its contribution and to explore how it can play a more proactive role and fulfil a social purpose, for example by promoting community cohesion, by shifting perceptions and forging new relationships and connections whether between past and present, between the Jewish experience and the mainstream or between the Jewish community and other minority groups. As you enter the newly reopened Jewish Museum, you will be greeted not by a traditional array of objects from the Jewish community, but by five larger than life screens, which in the course of 20 minutes give you insights into the lives of ten extraordinarily diverse people who also happen to be British Jews. This display in our Welcome Gallery is only one of several aspects of the museum that challenges expectations of a conventional museum visit. On the floor above, the permanent displays conclude with the opportunity to investigate the Living Community through an interactive discovery table, while the adjacent Holocaust Gallery focuses on the narrative of

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Based on research carried out in the East End of London over a number of years, the authors sets out to present an agument in favour of comparative migrant studies, and demonstrates the issues arising from the migrant presence, particularly the impact of the outsider on housing and jobs, are not just a manifestation of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, but a recurrent theme, articulated in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries following the influx of French Calvinists.
Abstract: Based on research carried out in the East End of London over a number of years, this article sets out to present an agument in favour of comparative migrant studies. As the traditional first point of settlement for migrants, the East End is a rich resource of immigrant history and contemporary ethnic activity, for over a century providing a fertile laboratory for those wishing to study the migrant experience. All too often the studies have been mono—focal, concentrating solely on one of the three main groups that settled in the area from the seventeenth century onwards: Huguenots, Eastern European Jews and Bangladeshis. This article demonstrates the issues arising from the migrant presence, particularly the impact of the outsider on housing and jobs, are not just a manifestation of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, but a recurrent theme, articulated in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries following the influx of French Calvinists, in the late nineteenth century in reactio...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors consider judicial discourse on Jews and Jewishness in UK race relations law and explore the confusions, paradoxes, and underlying normativities revealed in both legislative and judicial narratives of Jews and Judaism.
Abstract: This essay considers judicial discourse on Jews and Jewishness in UK race relations law. Beginning with an account of how ‘the Jew’ appeared in legislative debates, the essay goes on to explore the confusions, paradoxes, and underlying normativities revealed in both legislative and judicial narratives of Jews and Jewishness. The essay concludes with a discussion of the first two decisions in the Jews' Free School case.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the theological image of God as a teacher of Torah in the world to come in apocalyptic traditions from Late Antiquity and examine the importance of the Torah is a prominent theme in apocalyptic literature of the seventh century.
Abstract: This paper examines the theological image of God as a teacher of Torah in the world to come in apocalyptic traditions from Late Antiquity. The importance of the Torah is a prominent theme in apocalyptic literature of the seventh century, yet this material has scarcely been discussed in analysis of the role of Torah in the future age. The discussion will focus on the distinctive image of God as a teacher in the midrashic apocalypse Pirqe Mashiah and related traditions. Pirqe Mashiah draws together concepts of the bet ha-midrash, the future Temple, the importance of Torah and ideas of election and judgement. This serves both to validate the existing practices of the synagogue and Torah study and to reiterate the election of Israel and the special relationship between God and the Jewish people at a time of political turmoil.


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The 1954 BBC television series Men Seeking God saw Labour MP Christopher Mayhew interview devout believers of the world's great living religions as discussed by the authors, arguing that it conflates Judaism, Jewishness, Anglo-Jewish and Israeli identity.
Abstract: The 1954 BBC television series Men Seeking God saw Labour MP Christopher Mayhew interview devout believers of the world’s great living religions. The present article uses press coverage, Mayhew’s and the BBC’s archives, and the surviving 15 minutes of footage to reconstruct and discuss episode three on Judaism, arguing that it conflates Judaism, Jewishness, Anglo-Jewish and Israeli identity.