Localism and pluralism in British Jewry 1900—80

The use of terms such as ‘Anglo-Jewry’, ‘British Jewry’, ‘the Jewish com? munity’, ‘the Jewish public’ and ‘the Jewish population’ as though they are all synonymous is common today. This imprecise use of language and concepts is indicative of the lack of intellectual rigour which is common in dealing with society, so I must establish my own terms and concepts here with more clarity and at greater length than would otherwise be necessary. I shall use the term ‘British Jewry’ for the totality of members of the Jewish public and rely wherever possible on the term ‘population’ for aggregates of individual Jews. I shall restrict my own use of the term ‘community’ to Jewish institutional or corporate activities.

For a social scientist operating in a contemporary urban context Gans’ definition of a community is most helpful. He uses the term when referring to an aggregate of people who occupy a

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