Preface

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Vol. XVIII of the Society's Transactions, which appeared early in 1958, included papers delivered up to February, 1955. This volume includes papers delivered up to January, 1959 but does not cover all the papers, suitable for publication, delivered up to that date. Some of these were not revised ready for publication by the middle of 1959 ; and it seemed better, in order not to delay the appearance of this volume, to hold them over for the next volume. It will be noted that this volume appears about two years after its immediate predecessor; and it is hoped in future to maintain roughly this interval between volumes, even if this makes them rather shorter than those which appeared at considerably longer intervals between 1939 and 1958. Two features, introduced in Vol. XVIII, are maintained in this volume. One is the great increase in the number of illustrations; the generosity of certain authors of papers in meeting the extra cost has made this possible. This should not only enhance the value of the papers but make them of more interest to the general reader. The other feature is the use of cross-headings, intended to facilitate reference and to give at a glance a conspectus of the contents of each paper.

Progress of the Society

Efforts to maintain and increase the membership have been successful, the number of members now standing at about 700; notices in the Press advertising the programme of the 1957/8 session brought in some 40 new members. Attendances at lectures have generally been near or about 100 and a welcome feature has been the presence of many younger members of the community among those attending. The outstanding event of the 1957/8 session was undoubtedly the Lucien Wolf Memorial Lecture delivered by Professor Sir Isaiah Berlin on 11th December, 1957. This lecture on the "Life and Opinions of Moses Hess" was given at Friends House to an audience of over a thousand. During the 1958/9 session, the Society collaborated with the Board of Deputies in commemorating the centenary of Emancipation : a lecture by Mr. Israel Finestein on "Anglo-Jewish Opinion in the Age of Emancipation" was given to a considerable audience at the Stern Hall.

The financial position of the Society has also continued relatively satisfactory for a learned society in present circumstances, although more funds would make possible a valuable increase in the programme of publications. The income of the Society was increased by the decision in 1957 to raise the annual subscription to ?2 2s. Od. After protracted negotiations with the income-taxL authorities, the Treasurer was able to secure a favourable decision on the recovery of income-tax under deeds of covenant. The Society have expressed gratitude to the Honorary Solicitors and Honorary Auditors for helping to bring this question to a successful conclusion without any legal costs being incurred by the Society.

Publications

Since the issue of Transactions XVIII in 1958, two publications have been dis? tributed free to members : (1) Jewish Monumental Inscriptions in Barbados, edited with an introduction by

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