Preface

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With the present volume of Transactions most of the arrears of papers read before the Society, that have accumulated and were awaiting publication, have been disposed of and the list of papers ready for inclusion in Volume XVIII is at present a short one.

Volume XVII follows its predecessor after an interval of about a year, and it is hoped henceforward to issue to members at least one volume a year, in addition to pamphlets. This aim can be achieved only by reviving a former practice of the Society which fell into desuetude a generation ago. The ordinary income of the Society has never sufficed to cover the cost of administration as well as that of an annual volume and as time passes the gap between the ordinary income and the total expenditure grows wider. To bridge that gap a Publications Fund has been introduced. No general or public appeal is or has ever been made for contributions to this fund. Only well-wishers of the Society who might be expected to contribute have been asked to do so. Members who feel that the publications of the Society should continue to appear annually are earnestly asked to help in a practical manner towards this objective.

The relatively short interval between the appearance of Volumes XVI and XVII of the Transactions has necessarily reduced the length of the record of the activities of the Society with which this volume, like its predecessors, is prefaced. Seven or eight meetings have, as usual, been held in each session and a selection of the papers read at those meetings appears in this volume or will appear in its successor. A list of the meetings held since the end of the 1950-51 session appears on a later page. Since the appearance of Volume XVI "The Sephardim of England", by Mr. Albert M. Hyam son, a book written and published under the authority of the Wardens of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Congregation of London in connection with the celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the consecration of the Sephardi Synagogue in Bevis Marks in September 1701, has been distributed to members of the Society. This has been made possible by the generous terms given by the Congregation for the purchase of copies. A smaller book, "Israel and the Diaspora," the Seventh Arthur Davis Memorial Lecture by the Rev. Dr. James Parkes, was also distributed in the course of the year. Several other volumes are projected and should reach members in the course of the next few years. The completion of the new Gustave Tuck Theatre and Museum to house the Gustave Tuck collection of Jewish ritual silver and the Moccatta Library which was destroyed in an air raid in the course of the Second World War, should also mark the near future in the history of the Society. The collection of silver, which fortunately escaped destruction, has been catalogued by Mr. A. G. Grimwade. At the same time the library, which was for the most

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