The struggle to establish the London Jewish Hospital: Lord Rothschild versus the barber*

At the beginning of this century there were many in the Jewish community who thought there was a need for a specifically Jewish hospital for the Jewish poor. One correspondent of the Jewish Chronicle,((Jewish Chronicle (hereafter JC) 14 Septem? ber 1900. For a more detailed account of the rise and fall of the London Jewish Hospital see the author’s unpublished PhD thesis, Health and Medical Care of the Jewish Poor in the East End of London, 1880-1939 (Leicester University 1987) 251-320.)) a Manchester doctor, said that many poor uneducated Jews refused, or at bast hesitated, to enter non-denominational hospitals in England as well as abroad, because they had a presentiment that the absence of Jewish sympathy and ministration would bring about death instead of a cure. The belief that some sick poor failed to enter hospital for this reason was a theme repeated throughout the straggle to establish a Jewish

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