Anglo-Jewry: A History of Controversy
Hosted By: The National Library of Israel (NLI)
The three earliest items recorded in Cecil Roth’s bibliography of Hebrew books printed for Jews in England are not learned words for scholars or even prayer books for the layman. Rather they are polemical works attacking or defending the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi against charges of having done a divorce incorrectly or the Sephardi Haham for supposedly holding heretical views.
So began the long history of virulent attacks against Anglo Jewish religious leaders that have continued to the present day. One printer even went so far as to attack the Chief Rabbi in his Machzor for Yom Kippur so that worshipers could interrupt their prayers to read his attacks.
The talk will consider these early attacks on Chief Rabbis for not being orthodox enough as well as controversies over the Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements together with demands from the Chief Rabbis’ own communities for changes in the synagogue service.
This event is part of the National Library of Israel’s series, “In Her Majesty’s Kingdom – Celebrating the Rich History of Anglo-Jewry”.
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