The Jews of Norfolk and Suffolk before 1840*

Some ninety-eight years ago, in the days of this Society’s infancy, Hermann Gollancz, the minister of the Bayswater Synagogue, was gathering material for a lecture he was to deliver at one of our meetings. In an apparent excess of scholarly modesty, he entided his paper ‘A ramble in East Anglia’.((Trans JfHSE II (1896) 106-40.)) Something along those lines might have been considered better suited for the present paper. Local historians, as Gollancz recognized, are all too well aware how limited any single interpretation of their subject matter must be. This is the point at which my debts to two principal sources should be acknowledged: Henry Levine’s booklet of 1961, and Cecil Roth’s presidential addresses of 1941 and 1942, the enduring qualities of which continue to mark them out as masterpieces from the middle period of Anglo-Jewish historiography.((H. Levine, The Norwich Hebrew Congrega? tion i84<D-ig6o (Norwich 1961); C. Roth, The Rise

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