By Michael Clark
Lionel de Rothschild's hard-fought access into Parliament in 1858 marked the emancipation of Jews in Britain--the symbolic end of Jews' crusade for equivalent rights and their inclusion as electorate after centuries of discrimination. Jewish existence entered a brand new section: the post-emancipation period. yet what did this suggest for the Jewish group and their interactions with wider society? and the way did Britain's country and society react to its latest electorate? Emancipation was once ambiguous. popularity carried expectancies, in addition to possibilities. Integrating into British society required alterations to conventional Jewish identification, simply because it additionally widened conceptions of Britishness. Many Jews willingly embraced their setting and shaped a special Jewish lifestyles: blending in all degrees of society; experiencing financial luck; and establishing and translating its religion alongside Anglican grounds. besides the fact that, in contrast to many different ecu Jews, Anglo-Jews stayed unswerving to their religion. Conversion and outmarriage remained infrequent, and connections have been maintained with overseas family. The group used to be even keen now and then to put its Jewish and English identification in clash, as occurred in the course of the 1876-8 jap Crisis--which provoked the 1st episode of contemporary antisemitism in Britain. the character of Jewish life in Britain used to be doubtful and constructing within the post-emancipation period. Focusing upon inter-linked case experiences of Anglo-Jewry's political job, inner govt, and non secular improvement, Michael Clark explores the dilemmas of identification and inter-faith family members that faced the minority in overdue nineteenth-century Britain. This used to be a vital interval within which the Anglo-Jewish group formed the foundation of its glossy life, when the British kingdom explored the boundaries of its toleration.
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Additional info for Albion and Jerusalem: The Anglo-Jewish Community in the Post-Emancipation Era
I. Finestein, ‘The Anglo-Jewish Revolt of 1853’, in idem, Jewish Society, 114, and T. Endelman, ‘Communal Solidarity among the Jewish Elite of Victorian London’, Victorian Studies, 28/3 (1985), 497. ⁶³ Quoted in A. Kershen and J. Romain, Tradition and Change: A History of Reform Judaism in Britain, 1840–1995 (London, 1995), 3. Uniquely in the European context Reform Judaism in Britain emerged, in the main, from the Sephardic rather than Ashkenazic community. Establishment and Emancipation 41 in Britain.
Emancipation in England concerned the removal of a much less signiﬁcant range of disabilities than it did on the Continent. ²⁵ By the ﬁrst decades of the nineteenth century, Jews’ growing afﬁnity with England had begun to stimulate a desire for equality of status. The protracted revolutionary and Napoleonic wars had stymied Jewish ²⁰ T. , 1962), 75, 177, and Endelman, Jews of Britain, 75. ²¹ M. Scult, Millennial Expectations and Jewish Liberties: A Study of the Efforts to Convert the Jews in Britain up to the Mid-Nineteenth Century (Leiden, 1978), 58.
Claiming to espouse the only viewpoint of the minority, as if it were homogeneous, was an anachronistic idea, contradicting the logic of emancipation. Having fractured Jewish identity in the spirit of equality, emancipation had also invalidated any claims to an exclusive Jewish communal character. Attempting to impose one led, inevitably, to conﬂict and the eventual realization of the identity split at a communal level. ⁶³ With this act Reform Judaism was established ⁶¹ L. Gartner, ‘Emancipation, Social Change and Communal Reconstruction in Anglo-Jewry, 1789–1881’, Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, 54 (1987), 96.
Albion and Jerusalem: The Anglo-Jewish Community in the Post-Emancipation Era by Michael Clark