The society is a great place to meet people with a shared passion for Jewish history and Anglo-Jewish history in particular. There are plenty of ways to get involved whether as an aspiring historian or professional academic. A unique organisation.
It is a matter for much celebration that the JHSE has done so much for over a century both to awaken and to satisfy the appetite of a wide audience to understand and appreciate the remarkable history of the Jews in this country and around the world.
The JHSE has provided me with a community of historians to share ideas, research and conversation with, both online and in person. I am very grateful to the society for facilitating and encouraging interesting discussions on a wide range of topics relating to Jewish history.
As a young man of 24 beginning my Anglo-Jewish History adventure and sharing an office with the Secretary of the Society (never imagining that I would one day become its Chair) I attended the JHSE Conference, 'Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain' at University College on 6th July 1975. In his introduction the late Israel Finestein wrote ' the Conference is intended to stimulate serious interest in the provincial Jewish history of the Victorian Age'. My attendance at this Conference most certainly whetted my appetite and I have been involved with the work of the Society ever since.
During the 1980s when I was carrying out my doctoral research and establishing myself in my first temporary jobs, the old guard (and there was then only an old, male guard) of the JHSE were united and consistent in their dismissal and discouragement of the new generation of British Jewish scholars – some of us even had the audacity to be female. Their rudeness and utter hostility encouraged us to make our own informal structures, publications and wider heritage activities that has laid the foundation for remarkable careers inside and outside academia as well as projects such as the Manchester Jewish Museum, and successful archive and building preservation. For this, in a back handed way, we must praise those dinosaurs of the JHSE who if nothing else, proved that Jews have been in this country since the Jurassic Period.