Eric Hobsbawm: A man trapped by theory

By Colin Shindler, October 4, 2012

In 1940, Eric Hobsbawm, a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, characterised the war against Hitler as one of rival imperialisms between the Allies and Nazism and not as an anti-fascist struggle.


Hobsbawm the Marxist historian dies, aged 95

By Anna Sheinman, October 4, 2012

The eminent Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm died of pneumonia in the early hours of Monday morning at the Royal Free Hospital, aged 95.


Who will save Alexandria's Jewish property?

By Anna Sheinman, September 27, 2012

Ben Youssef Gaon is the last Jewish man in Alexandria. As the president of the Jewish community in the city, he controls huge swathes of property, including synagogues, cemeteries and commercial and residential properties, all administered by a large team of Egyptians.


The medieval Jewish poet who preceded Chaucer

By Jennifer Lipman, September 20, 2012

Rare poems documenting the persecution of Norwich's medieval Jewish community, in the period preceding the expulsion from England in 1290, are being given a new lease of life thanks to the work of a dedicated group of residents.


J S Bach, the misunderstood musician

By David Conway, September 3, 2012

The year 2012 is unlikely to go down well in the annals of Jewish-German relations.

In June, a German court ruled that religious circumcision of minors is a criminal act. Two months earlier, Germany's largest-selling daily broadsheet had published a poem by Nobel prize-winning author - and former SS recruit - Günter Grass, accusing Israel of endangering world peace.


Photo archive allows virtual tour of Leeds cemetery

August 9, 2012

Relatives of people buried at the Leeds Hill Top cemeteries can now visit their graves online as the result of a photographic archive.

As the name implies, the cemetery — containing the burial grounds of a number of synagogues past and present — has a high location, above a labyrinth of mining tunnels and shafts.


'Enemies' who fell in love with their adopted country

By Helen Fry, August 9, 2012

The issue of "enemy aliens" and identity raises some unique and often unexplored perspectives. At the outbreak of war in September 1939, the refugees who had fled Nazi Germany and Austria were classified as "enemy aliens" and, as such, had a number of restrictions imposed upon them by the British authorities.


Reinventing ourselves, throughout the generations

By Trudy Gold, August 9, 2012

How to define Jewishness? When Manassah Ben Israel petitioned for the readmission of the Jews to England in 1655 he referred to the Jewish Nation. In debates on emancipation during the 19th century, the term was Jewish Race. After emancipation, most Jews regarded themselves as Jewish citizens of the countries in which they lived. In this country, every new wave of immigrants tried to anglicise.


London Olympics: Bombay boxers and Hebrew basketball players

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2012

Next to the JC's report of French Jewish athlete Micheline Ostermeyer's successes in the 1948 Games, there was a "missing relatives" column. The missing aunts, husbands, friends, came from Warsaw and Riga, Odessa and Lvov. "Last heard from in 1932," read one.


Jerusalem's Yemin Moshe windmill to work again

By Jamie Michaels, July 26, 2012

Jerusalem's historic windmill is to be fully restored to its former working condition and launched at the end of August, 119 years after it stopped operating.