ANNA MARIA GOLDSMID AND THE LIMITS OF HISTORY
The Women of Israel in the foregoing pages lived and wrote in reference to particular pressures. They had to respond to conversionists depicting them as malleable and vulnerable, as too spiritual for the heartless rituals of their dead letter religion. They had to respond to Jewish men who accused them of being undereducated (while refusing to educate them) and of being seduced by the insincere persuasion of the romantic dominant culture. Finally, they found themselves responding to one another’s representations of Jewish women, as, collectively, they tried to define Jewish women’s privileges, duties and needs. Their definitions differed depending on a number of complexly related factors, including how long their family had resided in England, whether they were Ashkenazic or Sephardic, whether they were middle or upper class, and whether they were traditionalist or reformist. Yet, although these women did not for the most part act as a group, although they found themselves divided from one another along many lines, in retrospect it is apparent that they formed a loose community of writers in dialogue about the necessity for women’s education. Moreover, while arguing for women’s intellectual emancipation in the Jewish world, many of them were arguing for Jews’ emancipation in the Victorian world. They did so, by and large, under the constraint that they must at all times represent their project in the language of Victorian Jewish domestic ideology, which restricted women’s activity to the sphere of the home and to charitable work among the poor. Working within these constraints, they were still able to find many different ways of exploiting domestic ideology’s demand that they be “mother-instructors”: they discovered a way to speak in a public voice as if they were merely dispensing maternal wisdom within the confines of the home. And they discovered a genre, the romance, in which they could imagine a release for their heroines from the constraints they themselves experienced.
Their contributions to Jews’, women’s, and Victorian literary history are many. Virtually unknown today, early Anglo-Jewish women writers produced the English Jews’ most significant attempts at self-definition during the period of emancipation and religious reform (1830–80). Moreover, they were the preeminent Jewish women writers in the world during the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century. They produced the first Jewish novel, the first Jewish women’s periodical in modern history, the first history of Jews in England written by a Jew, and the first modern Jewish conduct manual and cookbook in English, among other achievements. Their writings were extraordinarily popular with both Jewish and general audiences, sometimes running to more than thirty editions (as many as Dickens). These audiences met with writers who consistently revealed the complexity of a number of dominant cultural Victorian trends, such as trends in liberalism, domestic ideology, women’s education, the feminization of religion, and the development of the novel by women.1 In literary terms, they were able to make the historical romance genre, a form generally used by conservatives like Scott, serve progressive ends. They produced very popular examples of domestic fiction. They overturned the standard representations of Jewish women as malleable and undereducated. And they discovered a way to rewrite Jewish male literary genres like midrash Aggadah from their perspective.
Although the term must be qualified, there were elements of this perspective that were feminist. These women were transitional foremothers who came to prominence by decking themselves submissively in the mother’s mantle, but who nevertheless managed to create a woman-centered vision of Jewish history and Jewish practice. Their works would have served as a starting point for more of their forthrightly feminist descendants had they not been systematically suppressed and forgotten. Grace Aguilar, Celia and Marion Moss, and Judith and Charlotte Montefiore were only the most important of the many Anglo-Jewish women writers, who included Maria Polack, Emma Lyons, Constance and Anna Rothschild, “Little Miriam,” R. H. A., and Abigail Lindon. These writers together laid the groundwork for the development of a more formally and consciously structured coalition of English and American Jewish women writers that developed later in the century. In England, Amy Levy, Julia Frankau, Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick, and Lily Montagu stepped into the cultural space opened by these early and mid-Victorian Jewish women writers, while in the United States it was, among others, Rebecca Gratz, Rebekah Kohut, Henrietta Szold, and Emma Lazarus who took the next step.2
Anglo-Jewish women did all this despite the many obstacles they faced from a philo-Semitic liberal culture and from Jewish men, obstacles that sometimes threatened to define them out of their subjectivity. A final biographical sketch of the life and work of Anna Maria Goldsmid, a contemporary of Aguilar’s and also her successor, can serve to suggest the ways in which these women resisted others’ definitions, as well as the ways in which early Victorian Jewish women’s goals would be carried into the next generation. Among Anglo-Jewish women, Goldsmid was the exception to every rule, the breaker of every barrier. Her life seems to suggest that in a liberal culture hegemonic institutions and ideologies do not always manage to prevent, punish, or “contain” every behavior that transgresses societal expectations.
“If Grace Aguilar had been spared to add an eighth part to her volume on ‘the Women of Israel’ we cannot doubt that Anna Maria Goldsmid would have been enrolled among them.”3 So writes the editor of the Jewish Chronicle on the death, in 1889, of one of the most active women in Victorian Jewish history. In posthumously enrolling Goldsmid in Aguilar’s magnum opus, the editor both acknowledges that Aguilar’s massive effort has opened a cultural space for the recognition and remembrance of important Jewish women, and at the same time suggests that Aguilar was not the only, and not necessarily the most powerful, Anglo-Jewish woman of her day. Indeed, if anyone could challenge the critical consensus that Grace Aguilar was a Jewish woman sui generis, it was Anna Maria Goldsmid, translator, lecturer, reformer, pamphleteer on behalf of persecuted Jews abroad, founder of girls’ schools, and advocate of teacher’s colleges. Both Aguilar and Goldsmid were reformers, both advocated women’s education, both advocated Jewish emancipation. But these women’s differences in class and religio-cultural heritage influenced the positions they took on these issues and the form in which they expressed their positions.
Goldsmid was born in 1805 into a family of wealthy Ashkenazim who consistently broke the established rules in the community and nevertheless remained prominent members of it. Her father, Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, was one of the first emancipationists, acting on his own to contact MPs when he felt that the Board of Deputies was moving too slowly to lobby for reforms. Her brother, Francis Henry, was the first English Jew called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn, wrote very influential tracts on behalf of Jewish emancipation in the 1830s and 1840s, and became one of the first Jewish MPs in 1860. As concerned with education as his sister, Francis established the Infant School for the Jewish poor while Anna Maria established the West Metropolitan School for Girls, the first such institutions in the community. In addition, he founded the Jews’ College, a school intended to train indigenous rabbis and sermon-givers, which England sorely lacked. Along with his sister and several other prominent families, he founded the West London Synagogue for British Jews, which was not only the first reform synagogue in England, but the first joint synagogue of Sephardim and Ashkenazim. For this act, he and the other founders—called “seceders”—were temporarily expelled from the community. In the West London Synagogue, he delivered sermons in English at a time when such an act was considered heretical or Christian.4 In other words, he very nearly fits the type of what David Sorkin calls in the German-Jewish reform context a Gebildeter, a reform ideologue. Because of their wealth and Ashkenazic heritage, these Goldsmids were in the unique position to bring the German reform movement to England.
But as instrumental as Francis Henry was in bringing this movement to England and interpreting it for English Jews, the initial credit really ought to go (and in standard histories never has gone) to his sister. Anna Maria Goldsmid brought the reform movement to England when she translated its main German-Jewish proponent’s sermons into English in 1839, two and a half years before the founding of the West London Synagogue. The act of translation was understood to be a Jewish male activity, and undertaking such an important translation as Götthold Salomon’s sermons as her first effort was shocking. Even more shocking was that she afterward suggested to her brother that he read one of the sermons before their congregation in St. Alban’s Place, which he did, stirring the first serious reform/orthodox rift in the community. That rift died down, but two years later enough families wanted vernacular sermons that they “seceded” and formed the West London Synagogue. Goldsmid’s choice of translation had a large impact on the community. By 1860, not only the reform, but the orthodox members of the community would be clamoring for sermons as well. As her obituary puts it, “Miss Goldsmid, among the Jewesses of her age, was quite the leader in thought.”5
She was also the first Jew to justify her written efforts as attempts to qualify mothers as instructors, setting a trend that, as we have seen, numerous women would follow. As she says in her preface to her translation of Salomon’s sermons: “To all who are engaged in the formation of the religious character of the young, but above all to mothers, whose especial vocation it is, diligently and lovingly to foster true piety in the hearts of their children, everything must be valuable, that can assist them in this, their most important duty. To mothers and instructors then, I especially offer such aid as these sermons can furnish” (iv). Perhaps because she was so involved with the West Metropolitan School for Girls and the Infant School, she was especially aware of the need for English instructional materials.6 Although her brother officially established the Jews’ Infant School, according to her obituary, he did so “largely due to [her] enthusiasm.” In this effort to educate poor children, she followed in the mold of other such wealthy educators of the poor as Charlotte Montefiore. She contributed a large amount of financial support as well as time to helping Miriam Harris, her closest friend and the head mistress, to make the venture a success. She had full reason from her experiences to call for vernacular instructional materials. She did not take full credit for advocating instruction in English herself, however. She felt she had to justify her translation and her aim by saying that “My father, who has acted, both in public and private, on the opinion that religious education can be best conducted at home, shares with me this hope” (iii). She probably felt this gesture necessary for the same reason Aguilar felt it necessary to deny her desire for notoriety—if she took credit for the position herself, she would have been identified as a self-directed woman rather than as an other-directed caregiver. But whether or not Isaac Lyon shared her view, Anna Maria was the first Jew in England to articulate this position in public.
Grace Aguilar acknowledged Goldsmid’s leadership in this point when she quoted the passage from the translator’s preface to Salomon’s sermons in Spirit of Judaism.7 And Marion Hartog drew on this justification to support her Jewish Sabbath Journal. Although Goldsmid was not known as a woman writer so much as the translator of important texts, she showed women the way to justify entering into print by denying that as motherly women they had any agency. In addition, this passage shaped English reformist men’s relationship to female education. David Woolf Marks, first preacher of the West London Synagogue, in his first sermon, also repeated this passage almost word for word without acknowledging Goldsmid. The prefatory note to his Sermons Preached on Various Occasions at the West London Synagogue of British Jews, citing “the dearth of Jewish discourses in the English language,” says that they are for “furnishing Jewish families with the means of home instruction in matters that appertain to the essentials of the Mosaic faith.”8
Goldsmid followed the reform sermons with numerous translations, each one having a large impact on the community. In her subsequent efforts, Goldsmid moved on from promoting home instruction of women to translating books that would speak primarily to Jewish men. Her translation of German reformer Ludwig Philippsohn’s Development of the Religious Idea in Judaism, Christianity, and Mahomedanism in 1855 came at a time when the West London Synagogue was denied access to all communal funds and institutions, and constituted a plea to the Chief Rabbi to remove the ban. Her translation from French in 1872 of J. Cohen’s The Deicides. Analysis of the Life of Jesus and of the Several Phases of the Christian Church in their Relation to Judaism was a theological and emancipationist tract much like her brother’s tracts. “With the exception of Mon. Renan’s ‘Life of Jesus,’ ” one tribute says, “there is probably no work extant which throws so much light upon the vexed question of the relation of Christianity to Judaism.”9 By the time she translated the pamphlet Persecution of the Jews of Roumania from French in 1872, her public persona was a far cry from the meek translator hiding in her father’s shadow. The translator’s preface to Persecution shows her speaking on behalf of the entire international Jewish community, indeed, on behalf of the “whole civilized world”: “While the perpetrators of Jewish wrongs in Roumania shrink not from the committal of the crimes which are here detailed, they do shrink from being held up to the merited execration of the whole civilized world. … The only weapons, therefore, which the advocates of my unfortunate co-religionists can wield, are those of pen and speech. I would employ them in order to declare to the Roumans once and for all, that the only course by which they can avoid the censure of mankind, is to cease to deserve it.”10 At the age of sixty-seven, she could carry off this rhetoric because she was herself a well-known figure among both Jews and Christians. She had an acquaintance with Lord Brougham, Thomas Wyse, Crabbe Robinson, Harriet Martineau, and the composer Felix Mendelssohn. She helped the Haham (clergyman) of the Sephardic synagogue with his English sermons. She was a staunch member of the Anglo-Jewish Association, a literary association almost exclusively open to Jewish men. She regularly corresponded with such internationally renowned German-Jewish reformers as Leopold Zunz and Ludwig Philippsohn, and was friends with Moses Montefiore, with whom she worked to free persecuted Jews around the world. Indeed, one friend told her that she was “really a sort of female edition of Sir Moses,”11 quite a comparison, considering that Montefiore has been the most lauded person in Anglo-Jewish history, and one of the most influential Jews in modern times. By comparison with this truly atypical Anglo-Jewish woman’s life, Aguilar’s life and fictions appear, not sui generis, but rather exemplary of her age.
Beyond advocating for home instruction in her translation of Salomon’s sermons, Goldsmid maintained her distance from other Jewish women’s literary forms and life paths. While Aguilar and Hartog both wrote sermons for women, they recognized that this was mainly a male form, the kind of thing that Gebildeters like Goldsmid’s brother presented at the synagogue. While they called for emancipation, for the most part they did not write emancipation tracts—again, because emancipation tracts were a male form. Translation, whether of ancient literature or reformist writings and biographies, was also a male form; indeed, it was the prevailing form in such men’s periodicals as the two Hebrew Reviews and the Voice of Jacob. While Aguilar did attempt one translation, at the request of Moses Mocatta, the “oral tradition” she hoped to transmit was one of tales. The Mosses specifically claimed that “flowery paths of romance” were female paths, but Goldsmid did not take them. She did not take a typical female life path either, at least insofar as she chose not to marry. On the other hand, like many wealthy women she did endow charities, in her case, the Jews’ Deaf and Dumb Home, the University College Hospital, and the Homeopathic Hospital.
But to say that Goldsmid took atypical paths for a Jewish woman is not to say that she was unaware of, uninterested in, or unaffected by Jewish women’s issues. In particular, the issue of increasing female education seems to have been one on which all the Anglo-Jewish women writers agreed that something needed to be done. Goldsmid used her unique position in the community, not only to call for changes in Jewish girls’ education, but to effect them. Already in the 1830s she was working to establish the West Metropolitan School for Girls, years before the public debate on female education had taken place. By the time her translations were well known in the 1870s, she was ready to take a bolder step in advocating equal education for women. In April 1874, she was the first woman to be asked to give one of the “Lectures to Jewish Working Men,” a forum sponsored by the Jews’ and General Scientific and Literary Institute, a Jewish men’s organization founded by some of the “seceders” of the West London Synagogue thirty years before.12 She used the historic occasion to deliver a lecture on “What Jewish girls should learn, what Jewish wives and mothers should practice, and how fathers and husbands should help them.”13
From the start, she calls attention to the uniqueness of the occasion—a woman being asked to lecture in a men’s forum—in order to establish her credentials for speaking to this audience. She begins by placing the lecture within the framework of the debate for women’s “rights” and the establishment of their “duties”: “I am sure that all of you have of late heard much talk about the ‘Rights of Women.’ It occurred therefore to the Committee of this Association that one of these rights was that the women should have a lecture about themselves, and another was that the lecturer should be a woman also. It was thought that ladies should be spoken about and advised as to what are their rights and duties. No one can have the one without performing the other.” Having set up this liberal framework of rights and duties, she goes on to give her credentials for lecturing on the subject: “There is a further reason why you see me, a woman, lecturing here instead of a man. Who knows so well to tell women how to do their duty as a woman?” If she establishes an equality with the women in her audience by appealing to their common gender, she also immediately establishes their difference in education and class. “I imagined that if I spoke to you,” she tells them, “I should take those who listened to me to be sensible women, who did not care to listen to fine speeches, but who desired to do all they could do for the good of themselves.” This wealthy educated woman could provide them “fine speeches,” but knowing that they are working class and undereducated, she chooses not to.
Having established her aim, her credentials, and her relation to her audience, she launches into her straightforwardly feminist address: “I hope to be able to make you clearly understand that from the day the children of Israel came out of Egypt …, God gave to woman the same rights and duties as He gave to man.” All the people, not just the men, participated in the Giving of the Law at Sinai and responded that they would perform and understand the commandments. All the people, without qualification, were commanded to gather to learn and observe the commandments. Girls and boys should receive the same education. After explaining Jewish women’s continuing domestic responsibilities to care for their breadwinning husbands and educate their children, she goes on to make these domestic responsibilities yet another reason for providing equal education: “Women naturally ask how can we do and understand all that is required of us, if it is never taught at our schools or shown to us. Why should these things not be taught?” Goldsmid appears to go a great deal further than Aguilar in her calls for reforms. Still, she does not address several problems with her advocacy of equal women’s education: if women are educated equally, why should they not be able to be employed equally rather than simply fulfilling their home responsibilities? And why has she herself, like Aguilar, not taken on these domestic duties if she is such a staunch advocate of them? Perhaps in a Jewish men’s forum, a forum presided over by Rabbi Arthur Green and several other men who toasted her at the end of the speech, she felt she could only say so much.
By the time she gave this speech in 1874, Goldsmid’s interest in education had already led her beyond the boundaries of the Jewish community to address the national issue of teacher training. She had argued that there were too few “normal schools,” schools for the training of teachers, to serve the developing national education system. At the same time she had argued that, because Jews and Judaism were excluded from most Victorian normal schools and curricula, Jews should set up their own educational union for the establishment of a Jewish normal school. The Chronicle’s retrospective for the year 1870 remarks that Goldsmid “tried to promote an educational union in our community, but was not successful.”14 In her speech to the working women, she explains that the paucity of women’s education is bound up with the poverty of the educational system as a whole, and particularly with the lack of trained teachers. She says that she desires, “before I pass away from life, the foundation of a real Jewish Normal School.” In the next few years, she was to endow a trust with £2000 for the purpose, but died in 1889 before her aim was achieved.
This “Woman of Israel’s” anomalous career began in 1839 with a call to increase the level of maternal home instruction by providing vernacular instructional materials. It ended some fifty years later with a broad appeal for credentialed universal education. In between, Goldsmid broke almost every rule. She spoke out on public causes. She did not marry. She employed “male” literary forms, and spoke on “male” topics to “male” institutions. She did not, after her first translation, give credit for her work to others. Yet when she died, she was one of the most lauded women in Victorian Jewish history. Why was she able to avoid the criticism for crossing established gender lines that so affected Aguilar and Hartog in their different ways? Perhaps she was shielded by her wealth and by the prominence of her family, a protection that middle-class Anglo-Jewish women writers such as Aguilar and Hartog did not have. Yet, although Goldsmid was able to transgress the domestic sphere without suffering punishment in her lifetime, history meted out the expected punishment after her death. Victorian Jews celebrated her, but they did not remember her. This short biography is the first to be published since her obituary a century ago.
The extent of Goldsmid’s contribution to the development of Jewish women’s awareness and education was accurately, if unwittingly, described by an anonymous Jewish antifeminist who wrote a letter to the Chronicle in 1879 complaining about the emergence of a group of Jewish feminists. He did not specify Goldsmid by name—perhaps her wealth, prominence, and family connections prevented him—but it seems probable that he was thinking of her: “it has recently come to my knowledge that a section (at present, happily, a small and unimportant one) of the ladies in our community are openly advocating what are known as ‘Women’s Rights.’ … It is this doctrine … which is insinuated now-a-days into the minds of young people by some mothers and by a few school-mistresses.”15 Whether or not he had Goldsmid specifically in mind, his claim that mothers and instructors had become the primary spokeswomen for women’s rights was an idea she would no doubt have embraced with pride.
The existence of such an atypical intellectual woman in the Victorian Jewish community suggests that the powerful ideologies and institutions that sought to limit and define women—conversionism and missionary societies, sexism and journalistic censorship, domestic ideology and domestic fiction—were not wholly successful. If Goldsmid managed to evade the limitations placed on women by these ideologies and institutions much of the time, other Jewish women were able to do so at least some of the time. The Moss sisters were able to imagine publicly feminist and reformist heroines in their historical romances. Aguilar found that she could bargain for at least some measure of fame, education, and emancipation. Charlotte Montefiore took refuge in anonymity to criticize Jewish and mainstream inequities toward women and the poor. Because Anglo-Jewish women were able to discover these avenues for publicizing their subjectivities, the history of their writing reveals the limits of liberal Christian and Jewish male attempts to homogenize Victorian and Jewish culture.
This insight about the limits of liberalism and Jewish patriarchy can only be won by reconstructing the inequitable dialogues that took place between dominant and marginalized groups. What has been the general approach to representations of Jews in English literature—the deconstruction of Christian writers’ stereotypes of Jews by discovering their internal contradictions—is inadequate to the task of building an accurate picture of the Victorian world.16 This is true because members of marginalized groups often name the very hegemonic strategies that the dominant cultural discourse is intent on masking. The best of such deconstructive work has started with the premise that culturally privileged writers’ representations of the Other say more about those who circulate them than about those they purport to represent. But finally, such work is limited because, even if it is critical of the stereotypes, it offers no positive alternatives. Setting dominant stereotypes (even those attached to important names like Shakespeare, Scott, or Dickens) against the much more interesting and complex self-representations made by members of the marginalized group does more than reveal the inadequacy of the stereotypes, or the relations of power in which the dominant writers are engaged. This method renders audible the aspirations of actual Jews, aspirations that would otherwise remain forever lost amid the perennial and fruitless spats over whether Fagin is “true” or “false.”
That the voices of actual Jews have too often been rendered inaudible is a misfortune that must be attributed, not only to Victorian scholars, but to Jewish studies scholars as well. The historiography of Jewish modernity has largely been slanted in such a way as to exclude women’s experience. The prevalent emphasis on work done in so-called “Jewish languages” (e.g., Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Aramaic) has often worked to exclude women’s work that has appeared in so-called “hyphenated languages” (e.g., English). Furthermore, the organization of Jewish history exclusively around men’s struggles and achievements has done a disservice both to women and men by removing the dynamic social context in which men achieved. In consequence, much of both modern Jewish women’s history and the history of Jewish masculinity has been lost. But as in this case, some of the losses are recoverable. Historians need to continue to revisit the archives to reclaim what remains of the gendered experience of Jewish modernity.
Because literary critics interested in Jewish cultural studies are only now beginning the work of reconstructing voices once dismissed or unsuspected, it is easy to become discouraged by the depth of the silence that greets the researcher. But for all the ephemera, the reminiscences, and the texts that have been lost, for every image that has been forgotten or misremembered or deliberately suppressed, there are still hundreds of unique documents left to be read and reconstructed. An entire community waits to be reconstituted by the scholars to whom its debates and concerns most particularly speak. Those scholars interested in recovering the lost history of women, the diversity of English literature, and the complexity of the modern Jewish experience will find that the Victorian Jewish subculture is a place where the work may begin in earnest.
. Along with studies of West Indian, Gypsy, Catholic, and Arab Victorian writing, Anglo-Jewish women’s writing can help to determine what kind of “minority discourse” was developing during the period. Such comparisons would make it possible to work out the relations between gender, ethnicity, religion, and race on a comparative basis. They would also help to determine the attitudes and institutions English Protestants adopted toward minorities living on what the Protestants considered their own shores. These attitudes and institutions toward domestic minorities could in turn be compared with imperial Britain’s “orientalist” strategies toward its dominions abroad. The similarities and disjunctions between its imperialist and domestic strategies for dealing with the Other would no doubt reveal a great deal about the tensions within Victorian liberalism and English national identity.
. The best sources for late-nineteenth-century Anglo-Jewish women writers are Amy Levy, The Complete Novels and Selected Writings of Amy Levy, 1861–1889, ed. Melvyn New (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1993); Ellen M. Umansky, Lily Montagu and the Advancement of Liberal Judaism: From Vision to Vocation (New York: Edwin Mellen, 1983); Ellen M. Umansky, ed., Lily Montagu: Sermons, Addresses, Letters, and Prayers (New York: Edwin Mellen, 1985); and Linda Gertner Zatlin, The Nineteenth-Century Anglo-Jewish Novel (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1981). For the Anglo-American crossover, see Linda Gordon Kuzmack, Woman’s Cause: The Jewish Woman’s Movement in England and the United States, 1881–1933 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1990). For the American women’s writing community, see Charlotte Baum, Paula Hyman, and Sonya Michel, The Jewish Woman in America (New York: Dial Press, 1976); and Diane Lichtenstein, Writing Their Nations: The Tradition of Nineteenth-Century American Jewish Women Writers (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992).
. David Woolf Marks and Rev. A. Löwy, Memoir of Sir Francis Henry Goldsmid, ed. Louisa Goldsmid, 2d ed. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1882). Also see F. H. Goldsmid, The Arguments Advanced against the Enfranchisement of the Jews. Considered in a Series of Letters (London: Colburn and Bentley, 1831), and Reply to the Arguments Advanced against the Removal of the Remaining Disabilities of the Jews (London: John Murray, 1848).
. “Death of Miss Goldsmid.” Also see Götthold Salomon, Twelve Sermons Delivered in the New Temple of the Israelites, at Hamburgh, trans. Anna Maria Goldsmid (London: John Murray, 1839). Subsequent references will be cited by page number parenthetically in the text.
. The lack of instructional materials was to continue to be a problem for the next thirty years. In 1860, a major controversy in the community took place when it was discovered that class books at the Jews’ Free School contained a passage that children were supposed to repeat out loud, saying that God “sent Christ to save me.” Neither the Head Master, Moses Angel, nor the educational committee claimed to understand how the passage made it into the class book undiscovered—but because of the dearth of vernacular materials, and because Angel had wanted “to provide a set of books on general subjects,” the class books had actually been taken from Christian classrooms. Attempts were made to paste over the offending passages, but this only led one writer, who wanted Jewish books by Jewish writers, to threaten to “paste my name over in the list of subscribers” to the Free School. The Hebrew Review and Magazine of Jewish Literature held the Chief Rabbi himself responsible, while the Jewish Chronicle tried to smooth things over, until a second offending passage was found. See lead article, “Revision of Our School Books,” HRJ, Apr. 27, 1860; lead article, “The Forthcoming New Class-Book for our Schools,” HRJ, May 4, 1860; and letters, HRJ Apr. 13, 20, 27, and May 4, 1860.
.VoJ records the founding of the JGLSI Apr. 12, 1844. By Nov. 1845, the institute is studying Mendelssohn, doing philology on Job, discussing whether man is a carnivore, debating the effect of Henry VIII’s destruction of the monastic establishment on the English community at large, opining on the politics of Pitt, etc.
.Critical Inquiry (fall 1989): 113–43; Bryan Cheyette, Constructions of “The Jew” in English Literature and Society: Racial Representations, 1875–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); and Michael Galchinsky, “The New Anglo-Jewish Literary Criticism,” Prooftexts 15, no. 13 (1995).