JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: First Jews in England #general


In a message dated 7/17/2005 1:02:27 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, adds is own comments to a series of other comments
on hi topic (sorry, I can't figure ot the various authors

The first Jewish families arived in Britain perhaps with the
Phoenicians, far more tha 2000 years ago, as Simon Goulden of the
United Synagogue writes here: Daf Hashavua 23/9/2000

Or else they surely came with the Roman conquest, but even if they did
arrive with William the conqueror as late as 1066, your expectation of
great genealogical resources is not very reasonable. ;-} " <<

The Jews of England were kicked out and only returned after Oliver
Cromwell invited them back. The oldest synagogue in England is
Sephardic, dating >from 1702, and is still very much in use today
despite, not the least, an IRA bomb. I understand that they hold very
good records going back 300 years. The oldest Ashkenazi synagogue from
this period is in Plymouth going back 250 years and I am sure they,
too, have some records.
Ervetjan commented:

< David, the fact they were kicked out strengthens my thesis in that the
1702 sephardim where not the first.

< Why do you think that before the fimal kick-out of 1395 they had no
synagogues? Only because of lack of evidence? >

My comments:
==I missed out on that discussion on synagogues. But I do know this: the
Jews were brutally expelled >from England in 1290, and there was no Jewish
community there in 1395. Bevis Marks was built n 1701 but there hd been earlier
Sephardi synagogues and the first Ashkenazi synagogue in London was inaugurated
in 1690.

==These first English Jews came mostly >from northern France, and followed
northern French Jewish customs. Some came >from came >from Italy and Germany,
and some others fro Spain, Russia, and the Muslim countries. They had
communities in London, Lincoln, Winchester, York, Oxford, Norwich, Exeter,
Bristol, Gloucester, Bury St. Edmunds, Dunstable, King's Lynn, Stamford,
The King setup special registries for loans granted by Jews to Gentiles, in
every Jewish community--26 registries altogether!

==English Jews in the Middle Ages served essentially as bankers to the
nobility, and initially enjoyed the Royal Court' s protection. There were also
some outstanding Jewish scholars, peytanim and rabbis. An enormous font of
information is available about these Jews, both >from Jewish sources and >from the
meticulous record keeping of the English at that time.

Michael Bernet, New York,

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