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Editor(s): Fraser, Derek
Date: 2019
Abstract: The book provides a comprehensive history of the third-largest Jewish community in Britain and fills an acknowledged gap in both Jewish and urban historiography. Bringing together the latest research and building on earlier local studies, the book provides an analysis of the special features which shaped the community in Leeds. Organised in three sections, Context, Chronology and Contours, the book demonstrates how Jews have influenced the city and how the city has influenced the community. A small community was transformed by the late Victorian influx of poor migrants from the Russian Empire and within two generations had become successfully integrated into the city's social and economic structure. More than a dozen authors contribute to this definitive history and the editor provides both an introductory and concluding overview which brings the story up to the present day. Contents: Part I: The context 1 National: Jews in Britain: an historical overview - Geoffrey Alderman 2 Local: Leeds in the age of great cities - Derek Fraser 3 Demographic: The Jewish population of Leeds: how many Jews? - Nigel Grizzard Part II: The chronology 4 Jews as Yorkshiremen: Jewish identity in late-Victorian Leeds - James Appell 5 Britishness and Jewishness: integration and separation - Aaron Kent 6 Pragmatism or politics: Leeds Jewish tailors and Leeds Jewish tailoring trade unions, 1876-1915 - Anne J. Kershen 7 The Edwardian Jewish community and the First World War - Nigel Grizzard 8 Zionism in Leeds 1892-1939 - Janet Douglas 9 The unwalled ghetto: mobility and anti-semitism in the interwar period - Amanda Bergen 10 The Second World War - Ian Vellins Part III: The contours of the Leeds Jewish community 11 Jewish heritage in Leeds - Sharman Kadish 12 Fellowship and philanthropy - Derek Fraser 13 At rest and play: leisure and sporting activities - Phil Goldstone 14 The influence of personalities - Michael Meadowcroft 15 Spaces of Jewish belonging - Irina Kudenko 16 The community today and its recent history - Derek Fraser
Abstract: Mandated by the Leeds Jewish Representative Council (LJRC), a group of community lay
leaders and professionals, representing a wide cross section of the community (including
ages, gender, organisations and affiliations) undertook the challenge of producing a
strategic assessment of the Leeds Jewish community.
This exercise of analysis, needs assessment and planning is vital for Jewish communities that
want to thrive and grow in the complex times we live in, that in many cases make obsolete
many of the certainties of the past.
This cross-section group, which started its work with a year of training in community
development issues, could develop a comprehensive view (a sort of 'bird's eye view') of the
whole community beyond organisational boundaries. After this initial stage, the group
evolved into the Leeds Strategic Planning group (SPG), which, with the support of UJIA and
Leatid, undertook this strategic analysis.
The aim was to understand the current trends in the community, the needs of its different
populations and to envision different scenarios in the evolution of the community in the next
few years. This would constitute the basis for offering a set of strategic directions for the
community as a whole.
A strategic planning process requires many qualities from a Jewish Community. Not every
community is ready to undertake the challenge that a planning process demands. One
needs to have a solid basis to build on, a committed, positive leadership and the openmindedness
that comes from strong convictions and solid values. The community needs to
have the daring and the intellectual honesty to look at itself without preconceived ideas
and with the desire to improve and grow. The fact that the Leeds Jewish Community
undertook this task is further proof of its solidity and dynamism.
Author(s): Kudenko, Irina
Date: 2007
Abstract: In the last few years, multicultural citizenship, once hailed as a solution to national cohesion, has faced increasing political and academic accusations of inciting segregation and group divisions. This has prompted a re-evaluation of different institutional and discursive arrangements of national citizenship and their impact on the integration of minority ethnic groups. This research into the history of Jewish integration into British society analyses the relationship between changing forms of British citizenship and the evolution of British Jewish identities. In so doing, it enhances our understanding of how citizenship policies affect minority selfrepresentation and alter trajectories of integration into mainstream society. The research draws on an historical and sociological analysis of the Jewish community in Leeds to reveal how the assimilationist and ethnically defined citizenship of Imperial Britain conditioned the successful Jewish integration into a particular formula of Jewish identity, `private Jewishness and public Englishness', which, in the second part of the 20th century, was challenged by multicultural citizenship. The policies of multiculturalism, aimed at the political recognition and even encouragement of ethnic, racial and religious diversity, prompted debates about private-public expressions of ethnic/religious and other minority identities, legitimating alternative visions of Jewish identity and supporting calls for the democratisation of community institutions. The thesis argues that the national policies of multiculturalism were crucial in validating multiple `readings' of national and minority identity that characterise the present day Leeds Jewish community. Employing a multi-method approach, the study demonstrates how the social and geographical contexts of social actors, in particular their positions within the minority group and the mainstream population, enable multiple `readings' of sameness and differences. In particular, the research explores how a wealth of interpretations of personal and collective Jewish identities manifests itself through a selective and contextualised usage of different narratives of citizenship.