Isidore Singer.

The Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) online

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ning of the nineteenth century may be enumerated

the Basevis,
D 'Israelis, Ri-
cardos, Samu-
das, Uzziellis,
Lopezes, and
Ximines. Not
that the Sephar-
dim were left
without some
important fig-
ures: Hauanel
de Castro, David
Abravauel Lin-
do, Jacob and
Moses Mocatta,
not to mention
Sir Moses Mon-
tefiore, were still
left to uphold
the more rigid
traditions of Be-
vis Marks (Gas-
ter, " Hist, of
Bevis Marks,"
p. 172, London,

Tlie hegemony
in the comnui-
nity was thus
transferred to
the Ashkenazic
section, which
had been reen-
forced by the
powerful per-
sonality of Na-
than Meyer
Rotlischild, who
had removed
from Manches-
ter to London in 1805 and who thenceforth became
the central figure of the community. By his side
stood the venerable figure of the "Rav," Solomon,
Herschel. Even in the literary sphere the Ashke-
nazim began to show ability. Whereas David Levi
liad been almost their sole representative at the end
of the eighteenth century, in the first third of the
nineteenth Michael Josephs, Moses Samuels, and
llyman Hurwitz treated the various branches of
Hebrew learning; and the arts were represented by
John Braiiam in secular, and by the two Aschers in
sacred, music. Against these names tlie Sephardim
could only show those of Elius Hyam Lindo and




Grace Aguilar in letters and that of Carlo Delpini
in drama.

Though the parliamentary struggle for emancipa-
tion was intended for the benefit of all British Jews,
and has, therefore, been described in some detail
under England, it centered mainly
Strug'g'le around London. The influence of the
for Eman- Jews in the city had increased. David
cipation. Salomons was one of the founders of
the London and Westminster Bank ;
tlie London Docks began their great career througli
the influence of the Goldsmids; the Alliance Insur-
ance Company was in large measure the creation of
Sir Moses Montetiore and his brother-in-law, Nathan
Rothschild. These and similar institutions brought
Jewish merchants into ever-widening relations with
men of influence in the city. Their bid for justice
was widely supported by the citizens of Loudon.
Thus, at the first attempt to pass the "Jew Bill " in
1830 the second reading was supported by a petition
of no fewer tlian 14,000 citizens of London; and this
was supplemented at the second attempt in 1833 by
a petition of 1,000 influential names from Westmin-
ster. Again, the Sheriffs' Declaration Bill of 1835
was in reality concerned with the shrievalty of Lon-
don, for which the popular David Salomons was
making d gallant fight; in this he succeeded that
year, to be followed two years later by Moses Mon-
tefiore, who was soon afterward knighted by Queen
Victoria. In the same year (1835) Salomons was
elected alderman, but was unable to occupy that
office owing to his religion. For ten years he urged
the right of liis coreligionists to such a position,
till at last he succeeded in getting a bill passed al-
lowing Jews to become aldermen in the city of Lon-
don and, thereby, eligible as lord mayor. Salo-
mons was the first Jewish sheriff (1835), the first
Jewish alderman (ISIT), and the first Jewish lord
mayor (1855) of Lonilon. He was clearly destined
to be the first Jew elected member of Parliament,
though, appropriately enough, it was Baron Lionel
Rothscliild who first actually took his seat as mem-
ber for the city of London, which had shown so much
sympathy for Jewish emancipation (see England).
The sympathy thus attracted to Jews in the city
was prominently shown during the Da.mascus Af-
fair, when a Mansion House meeting was held
(July 3, 1840) to protest against the threatened dis-
aster. Incidentally, the struggle for Reform aided
in opening out new careers for the disfranchised
Jews of London. Francis Goldsmid, one of the
most stienuous fighters for the cause, was admitted
to the bar in 1833, though there were doubts as to
his eligibility. He was followed in 1842 by John
(afterward Sir John) Simon, who was ultimately one
of the last sergeants-at-law.

Meanwliile the community in both its sections was
rent by a schism wliich left traces almost to the end
of the century. Alike among the Ash-
Reform kenazim and the Sephardim the more
Movement, cultured members liad been increas-
ingly offended by the want of decorum
shown both at Bevis Marks and the "Great Shook"
Protests were made in 1812 and 1828 in tlie former
synagogue, and in 1821 and 1824 in the latter; but
on Dec. 4, 1836, matters were brought to a crisis by

a definite proposal for Reform presented to the ma-
hainad by a n umber of the " Yehidim. " The petition
was rejected as were similar ones in 1839 and in 1840,
so that in 1840 twenty-four gentlemen, eighteen of
the Sephardic and six of the Ashkenazic section of
the community, determined to organize a congrega-
tion in which their ideas as to decorum in the serv-
ice should be carried out. The new congregation
dedicated its .synagogue in Burton street Jan. 27,
1842, notwithstanding a "caution" which had been
issued Oct. 24, 1841, against the prayer-book to be
used by it, and a "herem" issued five days before
the inauguration of the synagogue against all Jiold-
ing communion with its members. This ban was
not removed till March 9, 1849. For the further
history of the movement see Reform .Judaism.
The schism produced disastrous effects upon the
harmony of the community. The older congrega-
tions would not even allow deceased members of the
new one to be buried in their graveyard; and it was
necessary to establish a new cemetery at Ball's
Pond (1843). The Board of Deputies, under the in-
fluence of Sir Moses Montefiore, refused to recognize
the new congregation as one qualified to solemnize
valid Jewish marriages; and a special clause of the
Act of 1856 had to be passed to enable the West
London Synagogue of British Jews to perform such

It is not without significance that the beginnings
of the Jewish press in London coincided in point of

time with the stress of the Reform

The Jewish controversy. Both "The Voice of Ja-

Press. cob," edited by Jacob Franklin, and

"The Jewish Chronicle," edited by D.
Meldola and Moses Angel — the latter of wiiom had
in the preceding j^ear become head master of the
Jews' Free School, over which he was to preside for
nearly half a century — came into existence in 1841.
About the same time a band of German Jewish
scholars established themselves in England and
helped to arouse a greater interest in Jewish litera-
ture on scientific principles than had been hitherto
displayed. Among these should be especially men-
tioned Joseph Zedner, keeper of the Hebrew books
in the British Museum ; the eccentric but versatile
Leopold Dukes; H. Filipowski; L. Loewe; B. H.
Ascher; T.Theodores; Albert LOwy; and Abraham
Benisch, who was to guide the fortunes of " The Jew-
ish Chronicle " during the most critical years of its
career. The treasures of Oxford were about this
time visited by the great masters Zunz and Stein-
schneider. They found few in England capable of
appreciating their knowledge and methods, Abra-
ham de Sola, David Meldola, and Morris Raphall
being almost the only English Jews with even a tinc-
ture of rabbinic learning. On the other hand, the
native intellect was branching out in other directions.
Showing distinction in the law were James Graham
Lewis, Francis Goldsmid, and John Simon ; in dra-
matic management, Benjamin Lumley ; in song,
Mombach in the synagogue, and Henry Russell out-
side it; in music, Charles Sloman, Charles K. Sala-
man, and Sir Julius Benedict; in painting, Solomon
Alexander Hart, the first Jewish R.A., and Abra-
ham Solomon ; in commerce, besides the Rothschilds
and Goldsmids, the Wormses, Sassoons, Sterns, and




Sir Benjamin Pliillips were rising names distin-
guished both within and without the community.
J. M. Levy and Lionel Lawson were securing a hirge
circulation for llie tirst penny London newspaper,
the "Daily Telegraph." Confining their activities
within the community were men like Barnet Abra-
hams, dayyan of the Sephardim ; Sampson Samuel;
H. N. Solomon; N. I. Valentine; the Beddingtons;
Louis Merton ; and Sampson Lucas. All these may
be said to have flourished in the middle of the cen-
tury, toward the end of the struggle for complete in-

Poor to revise the system of charity conducted jointly
by the three synagogues according to the treaty
of 18U5. This bod}' soon developed loan, industrial,
apprenticeship, visitation, and immigration com-
mittees, and for eighteen years (1862-79) took
medical care of the Jewish poor, mainly tinder the
supervision of Dr. A. Asher. Lionel Cohen, together
with the last-mentioned, then devoted his attention
to the solution of the financial and other problems
brought about by the western extension of the Lon-
don ghetto up to the middle of the century. The
Jews of London had remained concentered in the

Jewish Board or Guaruians Bi'ildkng, Lo.ndo.v.

(From a photograph.)

With them. l)ut of a later generation, were grow-
ing u|) men who were destined between 1850 and
1880 further to consolidate the London community,
now firmly established in the respect
Further and confidence of tiie other citizens.
Consolida- The chief rabbi, N. M. Adler. began the
tion(1856- process by establishing Jews' College
1871). for the training of Jewisii ministers,
in 1860 following it up, in coopera-
tion with Dayyan Barnet Abrahams, with the estab-
lishment of lh(! Jewish Association for tlie DilTusion
of Religious Knowledge. E]Wiraiin Alex witli Die
aid of the energetic Lionel L. Cohen founded in 18r)9
the Board of Guardians for the Relief of the Jewish

Whitechapel district witii the classic "Petticoat
lane " as a nucleus; but as wealth increased among
the Ashkenazic Jews a steady western exodus took
place, so tliat it was necessary as early as 185o to es-
tablish, under tlie ministry of the Rev. A. Ij. Green,
in Great Portland street, a brancli synagogue of
the •' Great SIiool." Synagogues at Bayswater(lH63),
in the Bmougii (1867), and at Nortii Londcn (1868)
were further evidences of the ('ispersion tciidency;
and it became necessary to secuie liarmonvin divine
service and consolidation in tiiiancial responsil)ility by
bringing these synagogues luider one management.
At the suggestion of Chief Rabl)i X. M. Adler,
the three city synagogues — the Great, the Ilambro',




and the New— with their western branches at Port-
land street and Bayswater agreed to a scheme (April
19, 1868), which was submitted to the Charity Com-
missioners of England and embodied by them in an
Act of Parliament. This was passed July 14, 1870,
although the legislature hesitated to establish the
Synagogue just at the time when it was disestablish-
ing the Irish Church. The original five synagogues
have since been joined by ten others (see United
Synagogue). One of the consequences of this ar-
rangement, which upon the face of it appears to be
merely financial, was to give a certain pontifical im-
portance to the chief rabbi, without whose consent,
according to a special declaration attached to but
not forming part of the Act of Parliament, no

de Mesqnita (d. 1751). Moses Cohen d'Azevedo again
raised the position of haham to some consequence
during his rule (1765-84). Of his successors, Ra-
phael Meldola (1805-28), Benjamin Artom (1866-
1879), and Moses Glaster, the present incumbent
(elected in 1887), have been the most distinguished.
But bj- the end of the eighteenth century the
" Ravs " or chief rabbis of the Ashkenazim had be-
gun to vie in importance with the hahamim of the
Sephardim. The first of these was Aaron Hart (Uri
Phoebus), brother of Moses Hart, founder of the
Great Synagogue. He was succ«eded by Hirschel
Levin (sometimes called " Hirschel Lobel " and
" Hart Lyon ") who held oiflce only seven years
(1756-63), and then returned to the Continent. He

Wentworth Street, Formerly "Petticoat Lane," London.

(From a photograph.)

changes in ritual could be undertaken by any con-
stituent synagogue.

Indeed, one of the characteristic features of the
London community has always been the impor-
tance of tlio fhicf rabbi (called among tiie Seplianliiii
"haham") of the promincmt congregation, around
whom as a sort of center of crystallization the com-
munity has rallied. At first the Bcpliardim held

this position, whicli had been secured

The by the important work of David Nif^to,

Rabbinate, who became chief of the Sephardim

in 1702 and was one of the most dis-
tinguished Jews of liis time, being equally noted as
philosoplier, physician, mathematician, and astron-
omer. His predecessors, Jacob Sasportas (1656-66)
and Solomon Ayllon (1689-1701), were not s\uted
either by cliaracter or by attaiimients to acquire
great influence. David Nieto was succeeded by his
SOD Isaac, who in turn was followed by Moses Gonie/.

was succeeded by David Tebele SchifT, who was
chief rabbi from 1765 to 1792, and who founded a
hereditary rabbinate for the next century, though
his sticcessor. Solomon Ilerschell (1802-42), was re-
lated to SchilT's predecessor, Hirschel Levin. Chief
Rabbi N. M. Adler, who followed Ilerschell, was a
relative of SehiiT, and did much for the harmonizing
of the London conununity ; Jews' College, the United
Synagogue, and, to a certain extent, tlie Board of
Guardians owe their existence to his initiative. He
was succeeded by his son, Herman Adler, the pres-
ent (1904) incumbent of the post.

Besides Jews' College, the Board of Guardians, and
tiie United Synagogue, the same generation arranged
for a more efiieient performance of its duties to-
ward Jews oppressed in other lands. This function
would naturally have fallen to the Board of Deputies;
but, owing to its action with regard to the Reform
Synagogue, certain members of this latter, espe-




daily Sir Francis Goldsmid and Jacob Waley, de-
termined to form an independent institution to act
for the British dominions in tlie same way that the
Alliance Israelite Universelle had acted for the Con-
tinent. Owing to the Franco-Prussian war the Alli-
ance had lost all support in Germany, and increased
support from England had become necessary ; this
was afforded by the Anglo-Jewish Association,
founded in 1871 witli Albert Lowy as its secre-
tary, who was instnmiental also in founding the
Society of Hebrew Literature in 1873.

By the beginning of tlie last quarter of the nine-
teenth century the London Jewish community had
fully overcome the difficulties which had beset it at
the beginning of the century ; and it

Social now organized all branches of its ac-
Condition tivity in a systematic and adequate

About manner. A series of remarkably able

1880. public servants — Aslier Asher at the
United Synagogue, A. Benisch at the
"Jewish Chronicle," Moses Angel at the Jews' Free
School, A. Lowy at the Anglo-Jewish Association,
S. Landeshut at the Board of Guardians, and S. Al-
mosnino, secretary of the Bevis Marks Synagogue
and of almost all the Sephardic institutions — gave a
tone of dignity as well as of efficiency to communal
affairs. They were supported by leaders, some of
whom, as Sir Julian Goldsmid and Baron Henry de
Worms (afterward Lord Pirbright), had shown their
capacity in national affairs, while others, like Lionel
L. Cohen and his brother Alfred, Barrow Emanuel,
David Benjamin, and Charles Samuel (to mention
only those who are dead), had devoted their great
abilities and administrative capacity to the internal
needs of the community. Other members of the
community were attaining distinction in the various
branches of professional life. Sir George Jessel was
the most distinguished judge, Judah P. Benjamin
the most renowned barrister, and George Lewis
the most noted solicitor practising English law. In
medicine Ernest Hart, Henry Behrend, and R. Lieb-
reich were noted ; and in chemistry Ludwig Mond
had become distinguished. Taste and capacity for
literature were being shown by Sydney M. Samuel
and Amy Levy; Frederic H. Cowen and in a less
degree Edward Solomon were gaining distinction
in music; and David James was famous in acting.

It Avas estimated about the year 1883 tliat tlie total
Jewish population of London then numbered 47,000
persons. Of these, 3,500 were Sephardim (including
500 " Reformers ") ; 15,000 could trace their descent
from the Ashkenazim of the eighteenth century;
7,500 from Jews who had settled in England in the
early part of the century; 8,000 were of German or
Dutch origin; and the remaining 13,000 were Rus-
sian and Polish. What might be called the native
element thus outnumbered the foreign contingent
by 26,000 to 21,000 (Jacobs, "Jewish Statistics, '"'iii.).
The various social classes into which they were
divided were summarized by the same observer as
follows, the numbers of the first four classes being
determined from estimates of Jewish names in tlie
"London Directory," of the last three from the ac-
tual statistics of Jewish charitable institutions; the
number of shopkeepei'S and petty traders also were
based on tlie last-mentioned source (ib. ii.):



Professional and retired living W.

Rich merchants living W

Merchants with private houses

livinff N., S., and E

Professional and retired living N.,

S., and K


Petty traders

Servants, etc

Board of Guardians, casuals and I

chronic j

Other paupers and afflicted

Russian refugees

5.400 f




7,911 ]


Family Income.

100 at £10,000
1,400 " 1,000

800 "

200 "
3,000 "
2,000 "










The total income was about £3,900,000, or an aver-
age per head of £82.

As regards their occupations, an examination of
the London directory for those merchants sufficiently
important to appear in its pages resulted in the fol-
lowing classification {ib. v.):

CO m

(O p

0) a

■o o

■g o




Eh $





















Merchants and




















Money-dealers . .















There were but three occupations having over
one hundred names : Stock Exchange brokers, 138;
general merchants, 131 ; and tailors, 123. Then
came clothiers, 89; bootmakers, 80; city of London
brokers, 78 ; diamond-cutters, 78 ; furniture-brokers,
60 ; watchmakers, 57. The trades in which Jewish
merchants had the largest representation were those
in coconuts, oranges, canes and umbrellas, meer-
schaum pipes, and valentines.

Unfortunately this prosperous condition of the
community was rudely disturbed by the Russian
persecutions of 1881 ; these mark an epoch in Anglo-
Saxon Jewry, upon whose members has fallen the
greatest burden resulting from them. On Jan. 11
and 13, 1882, appeared in "The Times" of Lon-
don an account of the persecution of
The the Jews in Russia, Avritten by Joseph

Russian Jacobs, which drew the attention of

Exodus, the whole world to the subject and
led to a Mansion House meeting (Feb.
1) and to the formation of a fund which ultimately
amounted to more tlian £108,000 for the relief of
Russo-Jewish refugees. This was supplemented by
a further sum of £100,000 in 1890, wlien a similar
indignation meeting was held at the Guildhall to
protest against the May Laws (see Mansion House
AND Guildhall Meetings).

The circumstances of the case, however, pre-
vented the Russo-Jewish Committee, even under the
able chairmanship of Sir Julian Goldsmid, from
doing much more than supplement the work of the
Board of Guardians, upon whicli fell the chief bur-
den of the Russian exodus into England. But the




publicity of the protest made on these occasions,
and the large sums collected, naturally made the
London comnuinity the head of all concerted at-
tempts to stem the rising tide of Russian oppres-
sion, and gave London for a time the leading posi-
tion among the Jewish communities of the world.
As passing events which helped to confirm the con-
sciousuess of this proud position may be mentioneil
the centenary in 1885 of Sir Moses Montefiore's
birth, celebrated throughout the world, and tlie
Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition (suggested and
carried out by Isidore Spielmann) at the Albert Hall,
London, in 1887.
This exhibition
led, six years
later, to the
foundation of
the Jewish His-
torical Society
of England.

The number
of refugees per-
manently added
to the London
Jewish commu-
nity — most of
them merely
passing through
on their way to
America — was
not of very large
proportions; but
an average of
about 2,o00 in a
condition of
practical desti-
tution annually
added to a com-
munity of less
than 50.000 souls
naturally taxed
the communal
resources to the
utmost. To pre-
vent evils likely
to residt from
the landing of
refugees unac-
quainted with
the English
language and
customs, the

Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter and the Jewish As-
sociation for the Protection of Uirls and Women
were founded in 1885.

Tlie newcomers generally showed a tendency to
reject or neglect tlie religious supremacy of the
Englisli ciiief rabbi; and to ciieck tliis and to serve
other purposesa ^^•derati()n of Eastp]nd Synagogues
was etlected in 1887 under the ausiiices of Samuel
(afterward Sir Samuel) Montagu. The want of
capacity and technical skill among the newcomers,
or "greeners," caiised them to fall into the iiands of
hard taskmasters, and resulted in tlieir becoming
victimsof the "sweating system." which formed tlie
subject of a parliamentary inquiry (1888-90). due to

Exteilor of the New AVest End Synagogue, London.

(From a photograph.)

the not overfriendly efforts of Arnold White. The
poverty resulting from this system led to serious
evils in the way of overcrowding with resulting im-
morality. Several remedial institutions were founded
to obviate these evil results in the case of boys, the
most prominent of which were the Jewish Lads'
Brigade (1885) and the Brady Street Club for Work-
ing Boys. It was nevertheless found necessary in
1901 to establish an industrial school for Jewish
boys who had shown criminal tendencies.

The increased tide of alien immigi'ation became
especially noticeable as it was mainly directed into

one administra-
tive district of
East London,
that of Stepney.
The overcrowd-
ing which al-
ready existed in
this district was
acce ntuated ;
and a certain
amount of dis-
placement of the
native inhabit-
ants took place
owing to the ex-
cessive rise in
rents, producing
a system of " key
money," by
which a bonus
was paid by the
incoming tenant
for the privilege
of paying rent.
Certain branches
of the tailoring,
trades tended to
become monopo-
lized by the
Russo -Polish
Jews settled in
Stepney. To-
ward the end
of the n i n e -
teenth century
a certain amount
of objection
began to be
raised to this and other tendencies of the immi-
grants. A special organization known as "The
British Brothers' League," Jieaded by ^Major Evans
Gordon, raised an agitation against any further
immigration of the kind ; and owing in large
measure to its clamor, a royal commission was ap-
pointed to examine into the alleged effects of unre-
stricted immigration. Though nominally directed
against all aliens, it was almost without disguise
applied chiefly to aliens of the Jewish faitii. A pre-
vious commission, appointed to consider the same
subject in 1889, had decided that the evils, if any,
Avere so insignificant that they did not require any
special legislation.

(From a photOKiaFh.j




The commission, on -which Lord Rothschild sat as
member, devoted a considerable amount of attention
to the subject, holding forty-nine public meetings
mostly with regard to the London Jews of the East

Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) → online text (page 42 of 169)