The importance of being editor: The Jewish Chronicle, 1841-1991*

The 150th anniversary of the Jewish Chronicle has been marked by a flurry of articles in the British press, programmes on the BBC and a commemorative stamp issued by the Israeli postal service. The ‘JC, to use the term with which thousands of people ask for it at newsagents every Friday morning, has been called ‘British Jewry’s family newspaper’.((Mark Raven, ‘British Jewry’s Family Newspaper’, Commentary 1:3 (March 1951) 262-7.)) Indeed, the social and personal pages, dubbed ‘hatched, matched and dispatched’, have often been credited with both the paper’s commercial success and the affection in which it is held by the majority of Jews in the United Kingdom. But this alone cannot explain why the Jewish Chronicle has survived to become the oldest, continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world. Nor does it do justice to the paper’s immense significance in Anglo-Jewish history.

The Jewish Chronicle is, to paraphrase Freud on

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