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The Collective Biography of British Jews

6:30 pm to 8:00 pm, 18 January 2018

Event Information

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Location

UCL Roberts Building, Malet Place WC1E 7JE
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IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF ENGLAND

Speaker: Michael Jolles

Drinks reception from 6.30pm, Room 120, Malet Place Engineering Building

Lecture 7pm in the David Davies lecture theatre

Entrance to both via UCL Roberts Building, Malet Place London WC1E 7JE

Until twenty years ago, the discipline of publishing collective biographies of British Jews was characterised by a surprising degree of under-performance. The genre of collective, as opposed to individual, biography has been under-recognised by historians and historiographers. Who the British Jews were, who did what, and who wrote about them, are the substance of this genre. The lecture will start with a definition of the discipline and an outline of the key milestones in the history of collective biography, the principal earlier exponents having included Isaac Vallentine, Elias Lindo, Asher Myers, Lucien Wolf, Joseph Jacobs, Paul Emden and Albert Hyamson. Recent trends will be described. Perhaps one could ask if British Jews under-commemorate themselves, and if it is safe to relax one's reticence about one's Jewish identity.

Michael Jolles is the author of: The Northampton Jewish Cemetery; A short history of the Jews of Northampton 1159-1996; Samuel Isaac, Saul Isaac and Nathaniel Isaacs; The Chatham Hebrew Society Synagogue Ledger 1836-1865; A Directory of Distinguished British Jews (1999; 2002); and Jews and the Carlton Club. He is a co-author of the Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History (2011). He is currently researching the history of chazanim in Britain and the history of the Jews in Hastings and St Leonards, East Sussex. He is a council member of the Jewish Historical Society of England and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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https://britishjews.eventbrite.co.uk