Eastern European Jewish immigrants in England: a quarter-century’s view*

The last twenty-five years have seen Jewish immigration become increasingly central to the interests of Jewish historians in Western countries. Similarly, immigration has assumed a conspicuous place in British historiography and social science. The Jewish community, moreover, has been showing keen interest in its immigrant forebears. Lectures, conferences, exhibitions and popular writing have been in vogue, and scholarly interest has not been lacking. Perhaps we may reflect here on what has been done, and may yet be done, in the historical study of immigration.

Fields of historical study have frontiers which seem to be constantly on the move. We are just now witnessing the chronological movement forward from intensive concentration on the Holocaust itself to the period which just followed it in Europe, the years of displaced persons, emigration and the reconstruction of surviving Jewish communities from 1945 to about i960. Not every border, however, is chronological, nor is the

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