Biographical History of Jews of Oxford from the Medieval Period to the Modern Era

Thursday, 22 May, 2014 - 12:22 pm


The recorded history of Jews of Oxford dates back to the Norman Conquest in 1066. In the Domesday book of 1086, the only Jew living in England is recorded as living in Oxfordshire. Subsequently, Oxford, as a seat of learning and academia, has been intimately connected to the history of the Jews of England from the medieval period until the modern era.

The following work is the first comprehensive biographical sketch of past Oxford Jewish personalities, who lived or visited Oxford, from the medieval period until today. It consists of around a hundred and seventy five people, including distinguished academics, great rabbis of the medieval period, leading financiers, as well as local residents, who played an important part in the fabric of every day life in Oxford.

This comprehensive work, culled and developed from many sources, aims to indicate the critical role and huge contribution of Jews of Oxford to the history and development of the Univeristy of Oxford and the city. As will be demonstrated, it is evident that despite the offcial edict of expulsion of Jews of England in 1290 by King Edward I until their permission to return in 1656 by Oliver Cromwell and the formal admission of Jews to Oxford University only in 1856, Jews have nontheless been intimately and prominantly connected with the development of this distinguished institution and city, whether formerly or informerly, dating back to its founding in the medieval period until today. 


Town hall.jpgDavid of Oxford (d. 1244), prominent financier, son of Asher of Lincoln, lived on St Aldate's on southern half of what is now Oxford Town Hall. His first wife was Muriel of Lincoln, who he divorced in 1242, and remarried Licoricia of Winchester, mother of Benedict and Cockerel (Isaac) from former marriage. David and Licoricia had a son Asher or Duceman. Click here for an essay on the life of David of Oxford.

Haggai of Oxford, formerly Robert of Reading, converted to Judaism from Christianity and married a Jewish wife in the Oxford Jewry. He was given an ultimatum by the provincial council, held at Osney Abbey, charged with applying the Lateran decrees in England, that he must abandon his faith or be burned at the stake. Upon responding negatively to the ultimatum, on 4th Iyar, 27 April, 1220, he was burnt alive at the stake at the entrance to Osney Abbey. A plaque was erected on the site in 1931 to commemorate this heroic act of Jewish martyrdom of the medieval period.

Copin of Worcester (d, 1235) had four sons, Bonamy, Josce, Vives and Abraham. He did business with David of Oxford and acquired a property from the Priory of St Frideswide that became the synagogue on the site of what is now Christ Church college. Bonamy and Vives were part of the Parliament of the Jews in 1441 held at Worcester. Abraham's wife was Joya and they had a son Bonefey. Josce had four children: Jacob, Benedict, Bonamy and Moses.

Copin of Oxford (d, 1252) son of Bonefey (d. 1238). His two brothers were Bonefey and Batekin. His wife was Mildegod and had son called Jacob and daughter who married Benedict. Copin was prominant member of Oxford Jewry, one of local representatives at the Parliament of the Jews in 1241. He was suspected of coin clipping in 1238 but subsequently cleared.

Gamaliel of Oxford, son of Rabbi (Magister) Meir or Milo, had a brother also called Meir who married Rose. In 1250 he was suspected of coin clipping before being exonerated. He moved to London by 1257.

Gamaliel son of Aaron of Oxford, had brother Elias, and moved to London and lived in Wood Street, corner of Lade Lane. 

Lambard of Cricklade (d. 1277) was an Oxford fanacier 'the King's Jew'. From Cricklade, Wiltshire, before moving to Bristol and then Oxford. Was accused of coin clipping and imprisoned. Owned much real estate in Oxford including what later was called Moyses Hall on Pennyfarthing Street. It's been suggested that modern day Lumbard Lane was formerly his property. He had two sons, Bonefie and Solomon. Solomon married Joilette, daughter of Lumbard of Marlborough and granddaughter of Solomon of Marlborough, who converted to Christianity. Older son Bonefie was at the time of the expulsion Oxford's wealthiest Jew, though was imprisoned in 1290 for an offence to do with the forest (hunting?). In the Middle Ages, there is recorded a Meir of Cricklade.

Jacob le Eveske (Cohen) (d. 1279) was a magnate and son of Benedict le Eveske, a prominent London Jew, and brother of Elias le Eveske, Archpresbyter of English Jewry 1243-1257, who appealed in 1254 for permission for the Jews to leave England, before becoming an apostate. In 1244 Jacob was appointed a chirographer to the London Archa and the king granted him in 1246 the house of St Aldates (Fish Street), currently part of the site of what is now the Post Office. In 1273, he travelled to Gascony without permission and gave the key to the chirograph chest to his son. He lost his properties as punishment, subsequently was imprisoned in Tower of London in 1275 and died in 1279. His son Benedict owned the house on Fish Street at the time of expulsion in 1290.

Moses of Bristol (d. c. 1186) had two sons, Yom Tov ('Simeon'), and Isaac. Yom Tov had two sons, Magister Isaac and Master Moses of London (d. 1268). Magister Isaac married Slema and they had three sons, Moses, Abraham and Meir. Master Moses of London, known formerly as Moses of Oxenfort (Oxford), was a very important scholar in medieval Anglo Jewry and most likely born in Oxford in the home of his father Yom Tov. He most likely lived in Moyses Hall near corner of Pennyfarthing St and Fish St.

Master Moses had six childrenCresse (1269); Vives (1284); Rabbi Elias (d. 1284), who lived in London; very learned Benedict, known as a Tosafist Rabbi Berachiah of Nicole; Hagin, who settled in Lincoln; and Jacob (d. 1277), who moved back to Oxford and became known as Jacob of London in Oxford. Jacob married Hena, and had at least three children, Moses, Benedict and Antera, married to Benedict le Eveske.

Jacob owned much property in Oxford and lived most likely in Jacob's hall on Fish Street (St Aldate's) with solar facing the Geat Bailey (Queen's Street). In 1267, he sold some of his properties, one of whch was sold to Walter de Merton, which became part of Merton College. His wife inherited his wealth in 1277 but Queen Eleanor claimed that the king granted her, when in Gascony, all the 'profits' of the town of Oxford, which included all the property of the deceased Jews and Hena had to struggle to keep a dwelling for herself. 

Jacob Barnet - Throughout the Middle Ages, and right through to the 1850's, the University of Oxford required all members of the University to be Christian, and members of the established church. Thus, unconverted Jews could never be members of the University. Nevertheless a small number of Jews did work on the fringe of the University, giving students private tuition in Hebrew, or by working on the Hebrew Manuscripts in Bodley's Library. One of these was Jacob Barnet, a young ambitious man of real ability and intellect, and well versed in Hebrew literature and Jewish learning.  He eventually however had to face the ultimate temptation - would he accept Christian baptism, and gain the academic career he wanted, as well as the great privileges and benefits of the University?  One Jew, Jacob Wolfgang had already done so two years before Barnet arrived in Oxford, in 1608.

He came to Oxford, after he met the famous French Huguenot scholar Causabon in 1609.  The two of them got on very well, and Causabon enjoyed debating religious questions with him.  Causabon was so impressed by his talents that he soon employed Barnet as his personal secretary. In 1610 Causabon came to Oxford with Barnet, and both were well received by the University.  Barnet was a man of real charm, as well as learning, and gained the liking and respect of the academics. Everything went well for Barnet in Oxford, and then one day as the result of his conversations, he intimated to Causabon that he would be willing to accept Christian Baptism.  Causabon informed the Vice-chancellor of the University, who was ecstatic.  The rest of the University were delighted too.

The University determined to baptise Barnet with great pomp and ceremony, before the whole University, in special ceremony in the University Church of St Mary's.  Plans were laid, and preparations made.  The great day duly arrived, and the University gathered with excitement and expectation in St Mary's. But horror of horrors, the star of the occasion was nowhere to be found! Jacob Barnet had thought better of renouncing Judaism, and had fled the town on foot.  This left a University Church filled with an incensed vice-Chancellor, and irate University officials.  The Vice-Chancellor immediately instructed the University Police to give hot pursuit to Jacob Barnet on the London Road.  In the meanwhile the preacher had to rapidly change his sermon of triumph, to one on "the perfidy of the Jews"! After a chase, the University arrested Barnet, and some months later Jacob Barnet was deported from these shores under the sleeping edict of expulsion in 1613.  Causabon later wryly commented that he thought it was no crime for a man to change his mind on such a religious matter. 

Rabbi Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra was born at Tudela, Navarre in 1089, and died c. 1167, apparently in Calahorra. In 1158, he travelled to Oxford as part of his extensive travels. Ibn Ezra was one of the most distinguished Jewish scholars of the medieval period.

Hirtz Tzeviand, owner of an Oxford Astrolabe with Hebrew inscription, currently at the Museum for the History of Science in Oxford. Thought to have possibly lived in Oxford after the expulsion. The existence of a 14th century Oxford Astrolabe, with Latin and Hebrew inscriptions, and the name of its Jewish owner (Hirtz Tzeviand) supports the old tradition that some Jews stayed, sheltered by the university. 

John of Bristol, a converted Jew, taught Hebrew at Oxford in c.1323, just after the Expulsion of 1290. This supports the possibility that some Jews appear to have remained in England even after the expulsion of 1290.


Bodley.jpgSir Thomas Bodley (2 March 1545 – 28 January 1613), founder of the Bodleian Library in 1602, was an accomplished Hebraist, who studied Hebrew from French Protestant Hebraist Antoine Chevallier, and employed various Jews.  In December, 1607, he instructed his librarian Thomas James ‘to gette the helpe of the Jewe, for the hebrewe catologue, for it can not be done witout him’. The earliest manuscripts in Hebrew were received in 1601 and in the first catalogue of the library (1605) there are 58 books with titles in Hebrew script. They are mostly of Venetian origin, where Hebrew printing was then in its prime. Thomas Bodley took a personal interest in them and, at the end of the catalogue, he added his own corrections in Latin of some misprints in Hebrew. After Bodley’s death, the Library continued to enrich the Hebrew collections becoming one of the best Hebrew collections in the world (Bodleian).

Jacob of Merton College drew up the first Hebrew Manuscript catalogues in Oxford. This may well be Jacob Wolfgang, who converted in order to become a member of the University in 1608.

Jacob Wolfgang was a German Jew who converted to Christianity and became reader at the Bodleian Library on 22 May, 1608. He matriculated the following week. He taught Hebrew but was sneered at for not being able to 'dicate (without much difficulty) two lines in that language (Latin) with congruity'.

Paul Isaiah, Alesandro Amiedo and Jacob Ben Asher (1650's) taught in Oxford. Isaiah taught at Magdalen College in 1656 for a stipend of £3. (Roth: Jews in Oxford)

Cirques Jobson or Jacob the Jew opened the the first coffee shop in Europe in 1654 at the corner of Queen's Lane and High Street in Oxford, presently still called Queen's Lane Coffee Shop. During the seventeenth century, the coffee house was a favourite place for scholars to debate issues of the times. Lord Danby who donated the plot of the former Jewish cemetery to the university as a Botanic Garden led a protest to have the coffee shop closed.

Walter Gostelow (bap. 1604, d. 1662?), the Millenarian Royalist and would-be visionary, who came from Cropredy, near Banbury, Oxfordshire, ws later to announce to Menasseh ben Israel, that, ‘About the 18th year of my age I was in several of your synagogues, my eldest Brother a student and fellow of Corpus Christi College in Oxford, there with me, to observe, & accomplish himself for the good of others.  He, Sir, having conversed with diverse of your rabbis, did after tell me what they so believed, and not to be moved from.’  Gostelow, in the 1650s, shared the views of Menasseh ben Israel, as he hoped that by admitting the Jews to England, they could be converted with the advent of the hoped for Millennium, and that the exiled King Charles II would be the ideal candidate to achieve this.

Philip Ferdinand (1555, Poland - 1598, Leiden) was an English Hebraist and thought to have been the first Jewish student who studied at Oxford. Born in Poland to Polish Jewish parents, he converted first to Roman Catholicism and then to Protestantism. He was a poor student at Oxford University, where he taught Hebrew. He matriculated at Cambridge University in 1596. He became professor of Hebrew at Leiden, where he died. He translated Rabbinic works into Latin.

Rabbi Dovid Oppenheimer (1664-1736), Chief Rabbi of Prague - his famous 7,000 Hebrew library, Oppenheimer collection, including 1,000 manuscripts, was bought by the Bodleian Library in Oxford in 1829 for a mere 9,000 thalers (about $6,435). He serves as one of the most important Hebrew collections in the academic world.

Isaac Abendana (ca. 1640 – 1710) moved to England in 1662 and became hakam of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London. He taught Hebrew at Cambridge University and completed an unpublished Latin translation of the Mishnah for the university in 1671. While he was at Cambridge, Abendana sold Hebrew books to the Bodleian Library of Oxford, and in 1689 he took a teaching position in Magdalen College, Oxford, until 1696 (J. Quarterly Review - C. Duschinksy on David Oppenheimer).

Sir Moses Montefiore, born in 1784, was one of the most famous British Jews in the 19th century. In 1812, he married Judith Cohen (1784-1862), daughter of Levi Barent Cohen; her sister, Henriette (or Hannah) (1791-1866) married Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836).

Judith wrote extensive diaries and inserted that on Thursday 14th July 1825 they left London to Ireland. On the way, they travelled to Oxford, most likely by steam-powered stagecoach. While in Oxford, Sir Moses stayed at the Kings Arms, on the junction of Broad Street, Holywell Street and Parks Road. On Friday 15 July, they toured Oxford and visited the Radcliffe Camera and New College, though due to the intense heat, Judith writes, they were unable to visit other colleges. As would be thirty one years later in 1856 when Jewish undergraduates would be permitted to study in Oxford, one might wonder whether Sir Moses, always trying to assist the plight of the Jews, raised this issue with the governoring body of the University during his visit. He passed away in 1885. 

Selig Newman, German Hebraist; born at Posen, Prussian Poland, in 1788; died at Williamsburg, N. Y., Feb. 20, 1871. He was educated at Posen and came to England in 1814, where he was appointed minister to the Plymouth congregation, teaching Biblical Hebrew and the Tanach (Hebrew Scriptures) at the same time at the University of Oxford. His faith debarred him from a professorship, but among his pupils were numbered many distinguished Christian and Jewish scholars. While in London Newman took part in a spirited debate with some Christians on the Messianic prophecies. At an advanced age he travelled to America and settled in New York, gaining a livelihood as teacher and writer. In 1850 he published a work entitled "The Challenge Accepted," consisting of a series of dialogues between a Jew and a Christian respecting the fulfilment of the prophecies on the advent of the Messiah. He published also: "Emendations of the English Version of the Old Testament," 1839; a "Hebrew and English Lexicon," 1841; and a Hebrew grammar, which was much used for elementary instruction among English Jews. Bibliography: Jewish Chronicle, March, 1871; Morais, Eminent Israelites of the Nineteenth Century. He married Elizabeth Meyers. (Jewish Encyclopedia 1906)

Zunz.jpegLeopold Zunz or Yom Tov Lipmann Tzuntz, 1794 – 1886, was a German Reform rabbi and writer, the founder of what has been termed "Jewish Studies" or "Judaic Studies", the critical investigation of Jewish literature, hymnology and ritual of the synagogue. In this pursuit Zunz travelled in April, 1855 (1846?), to England and spent twelve days in the British Museum and twenty days in the Bodleian at Oxford, followed by three days in Paris, inspecting 280 manuscripts and 100 rare books. He first visited the Oppenheimer library when it was still in Hamburg in 1828, before it was purchased by the Bodleian Library in 1829, which explains why he would have visited Oxford later on. Although affiliated with the Reform movement, Zunz appeared to show little sympathy for it for various reasons. 


Hirsch Edelmann (1805 – 1858) was a Russian Jewish author and editor. He spent about ten years in England, and was one of the first competent scholars to examine the manuscripts and rare printed books of the Oppenheimer collection in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and to give the outside world some knowledge of their contents. In this work he was assisted by Leopold Dukes; and they jointly edited and published "Ginze Oxford" (with an English translation by M. H. Bresslau, London, 1851). 

Leopold Dukes (Hungarian, 1810, Pozsony - 1891, Vienna) was a Hungarian critic of Jewish literature. Dukes spent about 20 years in England, and from his researches in the Bodleian Library and the British Museum (which contain two of the most valuable Hebrew libraries in the world), Dukes was able to complete the work of Leopold Zunz. 

James Joseph Sylvester, born September 3, 1814 in London, as James Joseph, was an English Mathematician. He added the name Sylvester when his brother emigrated to the USA requiring a proper surname. He was born into a Jewish family and his father's name was Abraham Joseph. In 1831, Sylvester matriculated as a student at St John's College, Cambridge. However, although he took the tripos examination in 1837, he did not graduate in that year as he refused, being Jewish, to sign up to the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England before graduating. 

He made fundamental contributions to Matrix theory, invariant theory, number theory, partition theory and combinatorics. He played a leadership role in American mathematics in the later half of the 19th century as a professor at the John Hopkins University and as founder of the American Journal of Mathematics. In 1883, he returned to England to take up the Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University, which he held until he retired in 1892 to London. He passed away on March 15, 1897. 

Steinschneider.jpgProfessor Moritz Steinschneider (March 30, 1816, Prostějov, Moravia Austria– 1907) was a Bohemian bibliographer and Orientalist and Professor in Berlin. In 1836 Steinschneider went to Vienna to continue his studies, and, on the advice of his friend Leopold Dukes, he devoted himself especially to Oriental and Neo-Hebrew literatures, and most particularly to bibliography, which would become his principal focus. On March 17, 1848, Steinschneider, after many difficulties, succeeded in becoming a Prussian citizen. The same year he was charged with the preparation of the catalogue of the Hebrew books in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Catalogus Librorum Hebræorum in Bibliotheca Bodleiana, Berlin, 1852-60), a work which was to occupy him thirteen years, in the course of which he spent four summers in Oxford.

Abraham Zacharias, born in Koenigsberg, Prussia in 1817 moved to Oxford and worked as a silversmith, jeweller, and watch & clock maker at 2 Cornmarket St in the 1850s. He set up his son Joel Zacharias in business at No. 27 Cornmarket St in the 1870s as a china and glass dealer. In the late 1880s the business expanded into No. 26, and started selling waterproof clothing, and by about 1896 stopped selling china and glass altogether. When Joel Zacharias died in 1905, the business was taken over by Henry Osborn King of Wolvercote, who was succeeded by his son Cecil. The business closed in 1983. ‘ZACS for Macs’ became a well-known advertising slogan in Oxford used widely in newspapers, on posters and on bus adverts, to publicise its waterproof clothing business. The name Zacharias was, thus, synonymous according to John Chipperfield (Oxford Mail, 15 Feb, 2010) with Cornmarket Street for more than 120 years. 

Karl Marx (1818-1883) visited St Ebbe's when researching "Das Kapital" (myth) 

Alfred Edersheim.jpg

Alfred Edersheim, born in Vienna of Jewish parents on 7 March 1825 was a Biblical scholar. His father, Marcus Edersheim, a banker and a man of culture and wealth, had come originally from the Netherlands, and his mother was Stephanie, nee Beifuss, of a well-known Frankfurt family. Edersheim was a bright child, and as English was spoken at home he became fluent at an early age. He was educated at a local Gymnasium and also at a Hebrew school, and in 1841 he entered as a student at the University of Vienna. However, his father suffered financial ruin before the completion of his university education, and he was thrown on his own resources.  

Edersheim next journeyed to Pest, in Hungary, where he supported himself by giving language lessons and met Dr John Duncan (1796-1870) and other Presbyterian ministers, who were acting at the time as chaplains to the Scottish labourers engaged in constructing the bridge over the Danube. Under their influence Edersheim converted to Christianity, and later he accompanied Duncan on his return to Scotland. Edersheim then studied Christian theology both in Edinburgh and also (under Hengstenberg, Neander, and others) in Berlin, and in 1846 he became a Presbyterian minister. Shortly afterwards he travelled abroad, and for a year he preached as a missionary both to ethnic Jews and to Germans living in Jassy in Romania. He also met there his first wife, Mary Broomfield, whom he married in 1848 after returning to Scotland.

Edersheim was particularly skilled in preaching; the incumbent at a large church in Aberdeen, he was soon appointed minister of the free church in Old Aberdeen, where he remained for twelve years. During this time he translated several philosophical and theological works from German to English, including Historical Development of Speculative Philosophy, from Kant to Hegel (1854), History of the Old Covenant (1859), History of the Christian Church (1860), and Theological and Homiletical Commentary on the Gospel of St Matthew (1861). He also wrote, while living in Old Aberdeen, History of the Jewish Nation from the Fall of Jerusalem to the Reign of Constantine the Great (1856), and he contributed learned articles to the Athenaeum and other periodicals.

In the winter of 1860-61 poor health led Edersheim to move to Torquay, where his first wife died. He subsequently married Sophia, nee Hancock. Through his influence, the Presbyterian church of St Andrew was built at Torquay, and he became its first minister. In 1872 his failing health prompted him to retire from active work and to devote himself to writing. He therefore resigned his charge at Torquay and moved to Bournemouth. In 1874 he published The Temple: its Ministry and Services at the Time of Jesus Christ. Through his work he met and became friends with Dr George Williams, theologian, and thanks to his influence Edersheim took orders in the Church of England in 1875. From 1876 to 1882 he worked in the parish of Loders, near Bridport, in Dorset. Here he wrote his most important work, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (2 vols., 1883), arguably lacking in critical acumen but encyclopaedic in its range of information; he also used his personal knowledge of both Judaism and Christianity to write a fluent and engaging essay. 

In 1880 Edersheim was appointed Warburtonian lecturer at Lincoln's Inn in London, an office which he held for four years. In 1882 he moved from Loders to Oxford where he had been granted an MA honoris causa the previous year. He had also been awarded honorary degrees from Kiel (PhD) and Vienna, Berlin, Giessen, and New College, Edinburgh (DD). In 1884-5 he was select preacher to the University of Oxford, and from 1886 to 1888 and 1888 to 1890 he was Grinfield lecturer on the Septuagint. In 1885 his Warburtonian lectures appeared, entitled Prophecy and History in Relation to the Messiah. Soon afterwards he wrote, with the co-operation of D. S. Margoliouth, a commentary on Ecclesiasticus for the Speaker's Commentary on the Apocrypha (1888). His next project was to be a work on The Life and Writings of St Paul; he had already written the opening chapters when he fell suddenly ill and died, on 16 March 1889, at Menton, France, where he had been spending the winter on account of his health. Edersheim was remembered fondly for his tolerance and good humour, as well as for his skills as a preacher and writer. His daughter Ella wrote a short memoir of his life which was published as a foreword to Edersheim's Tohu-Va-Vohu ('Without form and void', 1890). (Adapted from the ODNB)

Neubauer.jpgAdolf Neubauer was born at Bittse, Hungary, March 11, 1831. He received a thorough education in rabbinical literature, and his earliest contributions were made to the "Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums" and the "Journal Asiatique" (Dec., 1861). In 1865 he published a volume entitled "Meleket ha-Shir," a collection of extracts from manuscripts relating to the principles of Hebrew versification. In 1864 Neubauer was entrusted with a mission to St. Petersburg to examine the numerous Karaite manuscripts preserved there. As a result of this investigation he published a report, in French, and subsequently "Aus der Petersburger Bibliothek" (1866). But the work which established his reputation was "La Géographie du Talmud" (1868), an account of the geographical data scattered throughout the Talmud and early Jewish writings and relating to places in Palestine.

In 1868 Neubauer's services were secured by the University of Oxford for the task of cataloguing the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. The catalogue appeared in 1886, after eighteen years' preparation. The volume includes more than 2,500 entries, and is accompanied by a portfolio with forty facsimiles. While engaged on this work Neubauer published other works of considerable importance. In 1875 he edited the Arabic text of the Hebrew dictionary of Abu al-Walid (the "Book of Hebrew Roots"), and in 1876 published "Jewish Interpretations of the Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah," which was edited by Neubauer and translated by Driver jointly in 1877. In the same year he contributed "Les Rabbins Français du Commencement du XIVe Siècle" to "L'Histoire Littéraire de la France," though, according to the rules of the French Academy, it appeared under the name of Renan. In 1878 Neubauer edited the Aramaic text of the Bookof Tobit, in 1887 the volume entitled "Medieval Jewish Chronicles" (vol. ii., 1895), and in 1897, with Cowley, "The Original Hebrew of a Portion of Ecclesiasticus."

In 1884 a readership in Rabbinic Hebrew was founded at Oxford, and Neubauer was appointed to the post, which he held for sixteen years, until failing eyesight compelled his resignation in May, 1900. Neubauer's chief fame has been won as a librarian, in which capacity he enriched the Bodleian with many priceless treasures, displaying great judgment in their acquisition. He was created M.A. of Oxford in 1873, and was elected an honorary fellow of Exeter College in 1890. In the latter year he received the honorary degree of Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg and was made an honorary member of the Real Academia de la Historia at Madrid. Neubauer now lives in Vienna.


Ludwig Mond (1839 – 1909) FRS, born to a Jewish family in Kessel, Germany, was a chemist and industrialist who took British nationality. Mond found a solution for the mass production of Soda and also discovered nickel carbonyl, a previously unknown compound. In October 1866, Mond married his cousin Frida Löwenthal (1847-1923) in her native town of Cologne. They soon moved to England and had two sons, Robert and Alfred. He and his son Alfred, who became 1st Baron Melchett and a Fellow of the Royal Society, founded the chemical company which merged with others to become ICI, one of the largest companies in the world, of which Alfred became the first chairman. Ludwig recieved an honorary DSc from Oxford in 1907. Alfred and Ludwig were great benefactors and philanthropists.

Frumkin.jpgRabbi Aryeh Leib Frumkin (1845–1916) was the founder and pioneer of Petah Tikva, the first yishuv created in the pre-state of Israel. He also was an author of halachic texts and operator of a wine shop, L. Frumkin & Co. in the East End of London where he moved to in 1893 after an Arab attack on Petah Tikva. His daughter married Moses Hirsch Segal, tutor of the bible and semitic studies in Oxford, where he frequently visited and befriended József Patai, when he did research at the Bodleian in 1909. Rabbi Frumkin was the great-grandfather of Rabbi Lord Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom. 

Joel Zacharias-Jessel, born in Oxford in 1851, was son of Abraham Zacharias from Koenigsberg, Prussia (1817-1894) and served as a City Councillor in Oxford and worked as a waterproof manufacturer and director of Zacharias & Co at 26-27 Cornmarket St. He married Rebecca Frankenstein (b. 1862) from Manchster and had three children, all born in Oxford: Arthur Jessel (b. Oxford 1891-d. Oxford - Wolvercote cemetery - 1922); George Zacharias (1882); and Victor Albert-Villiers Zacharias-Jessel (1896-1917). He passed away 1 Aug, 1905, and is buried at Oxford Jewish Wolvercote cemetery.  

József Patai (1855 - 1928) was a Hungarian Jew, born in Gyöngyöspata. In 1904 his family’s surname changed from Klein to Patai. He did research in the Bodleian Library for eight weeks in 1909 on unpublished manuscripts of Hebrew poets to be translated into Hungarian. His son Raphael Patai was schoolfriend of Imre Angyalfi, grandfather of Rabbi Eli Brackman, rabbi in Oxford since 2001. 

Lord Professor Frederick Lindemann (1856-1957) was appointed in 1919 professor of experimental philosophy at Oxford University and director of the Clarendon Laboratory, largely on the recommendation of Sir Henry Tizard who had been a colleague in Berlin. In July 1941 Lindemann was raised to the peerage as Baron Cherwell, of Oxford in the County of Oxford and in 1956 he was made Viscount Cherwell, of Oxford in the County of Oxford. During the Second World War he served as Winston Churchill's leading scientific adviser.

Professor David Samuel Margoliouth (1858 – 1940), born to Jewish parents, was an orientalist and became Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford from 1889 to 1937. Many of his works on the history of Islam became the standard treatises in English, including Mohammed and the Rise of Islam (1905), The Early Development of Mohammedanism (1914), and The Relations Between Arabs and Israelites Prior to the Rise of Islam (1924).

Henri-Louis Bergson (1859 - 1941), French Philosopher, lectured in Oxford and received an honorary doctorate of Science in 1911. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1927. 

Alexander.jpgProfessor Samuel Alexander, 6 January 1859-13 September 1938. Philosopher. Recipient of the Order of Merit. He was born in Sydney, Australia, his father, also Samuel Alexander, having died shortly before his birth. His mother was Eliza Sloman. He was educated at Wesley College, Melbourne, at the University of Melbourne, where his academic performance was outstanding, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he won a scholarship (1878), beating George Curzon, another contender. He took a double first in classical and mathematical moderations (1879), a first in literae humaniores (1881), and gained his MA (1884). On being elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford (1882-1893), he became the first Jew ever to be a fellow at an Oxford College. He was an honorary fellow of Lincoln College (1918) and Balliol (1925). He spent a year under Münsterberg in Germany, and taught briefly at Toynbee Hall, London, on experimental psychology. He was a lecturer in Philosophy at Lincoln College (from 1883), and for some time at Oriel College, Oxford. He joined the Aristotelian Society (1885), was an active participant, and became its President (1908-1911; 1936-1937). In 1887, he was awarded the Green Moral Philosophy Prize for his essay Moral Order and Progress; an analysis of ethical conceptions, the basis of his first major publication (1889), which he dedicated to A. C. Bradley. He was appointed professor of philosophy at Owens College, University of Manchester (1893-1924). In 1908, he published a book on Locke. He was elected FBA (1913). He delivered the Gifford Lectures at Glasgow University (1917, 1918) on Space, Time, and Deity, (published in 2 volumes in 1920), a metaphysical work of synthesis, incorporating elements of “neo-Hegelianism, the new realism, Bergsonianism, Kantianism, relativity theory, emergent evolution and experimental psychology” [Slater]. He delivered the Herbert Spencer Lecture at Oxford (1927). His Spinoza and Time was based on the fourth Arthur Davis Memorial Lecture delivered to the Jewish Historical Society of England on 1 May 1921. His reputation and his eminent place in British philosophy (in particular in ethics, metaphysics, and the philosophy of art) had been long secured, and he was appointed to the Order of Merit (June 1930), the first Jew ever to receive this very high and rare distinction. He published articles on philosophy and on the creative process of artists, especially regarding Molière (1926), Jane Austen (1928) and Pascal (1931); Beauty and Other Forms of Value appeared in 1933. Manchester University took pride in its esteemed philosopher, and he acted as the Presenter of Honorary Graduands to the university until 1930. He had been an examiner at Oxford, Cambridge and London Universities, and he received honorary degrees from St Andrews, Durham, Oxford, Cambridge, Liverpool and Birmingham universities. Jacob Epstein made a bronze bust of him, and this was unveiled in the Arts Building of Manchester University (November 1925). He presided at a meeting on the eighth centenary of the birth of Maimonides (1935). Alexander supported Zionism, and it was he who introduced Dr Weizmann to politician and fellow philosopher A. J. Balfour. Alexander was a Member of the Academic Council of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He died in Withington, Manchester, unmarried. In his will, he left a first edition of Keats’ Endymion to Manchester University. He was an impressive and enthusiastic lecturer, but had suffered the lifelong disadvantage of deafness requiring his frequent use of an ear trumpet. A bearded figure, Alexander was particularly kind, generous, patient, and was remembered for his distinctly charming manner. (MICHAEL JOLLES. 11 DECEMBER 2006. Times 14 September 1938, p.12; JC 16 September 1938, p.12; JC 23 September 1938, p.14; Slater, J. G., introduction to the reprint of Alexander’s Moral Order and Progress (2000);ODNB.)

Frederick Henry Jessel (1859–1934) was a nephew of Sir George Jessel, who entered Parliament as Liberal member for Dover in 1868 and was appointed solicitor general in 1871 and Master of the Rolls, becoming the first Jew to hold ministerial office in England. He compiled the standard English bibliography on playing cards (1905) and left his comprehensive collection on the subject to the Bodleian Library, Oxford. 

Herman Joseph Cohen (1860 - 1932) studied at Jews College and received an Open Scholarship to study at Jesus College, Oxford. According to the Birmingham Daily Post of 16 June 1883, he was the first Jew to receive a Hebrew scholarship at Oxford. He was subsequently appointed a Fellow in Criminal Law and Evidence at University College. 

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook was born in 1865 in Griva in the Courland Governorate of the Russian Empire in 1865, today a part of Daugavpils, Latvia. In 1904, he moved to Ottoman Palestine to assume the rabbinical post in Jaffa. The outbreak of the First World War caught him in Europe, and he was forced to remain in London for the remainder of the war. While in London, he travelled to Oxford for short periods of time to research and view the Hebrew manuscripts at the Bodleian Library. He refers to his visits to Oxford in his works and calls the city in Hebrew "Ihr HaSeforim" (City of Books). Rabbi Kook went on to become the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine and founder of Yeshiva Mercaz HaRav Kook. He passed away in 1935. 

Colonel Herbert Merton Jessel, 1st Baron Jessel (27 October 1866 – 1 November 1950), known as Sir Herbert Jessel, Bt, was son of Sir George Jessel QC (1824-1883), who entered Parliament as Liberal member for Dover in 1868 and was appointed solicitor general in 1871 and also Master of the Rolls, making him the first Jew to hold ministerial office in England. Sir Herbert studied at New College, Oxford, and between 1917 and 1924 he served as a British soldier and Liberal Unionist, and later Conservative politician. His second cousin is Toby Jessel MP for Twickenham (b. 1934), who studied at Balliol Colege and is son of Second World Way navel hero Richard Frederick Jessel commander of HMS Zealous. 

Alfred_Mond.jpgAlfred Mond FRS (23 October 1868–27 December 1930), born in Farnworth, Widnes, Lancashire, the younger son of Ludwig Mond FRS, was 1st Baron Melchett, known as Sir Alfred Mond, Bt, between 1910 and 1928. He was a British industrialist, financier and politician. In his later life he became an active Zionist and visited Palestine with Chaim Weizmann in 1921, became President of the British Zionist Foundation and appointed President of the Technion in 1925. He received an honorary Doctorate from Oxford in 1928.

Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel GCB OM GBE PC (6 November 1870  – 2 February 1963), 1st High Commissioner of Palestine, studied at Balliol College, Oxford. He was appointed Minister of Transport. 

Professor Moses Hirsch Segal (1876 - 1968), tutor of biblical and semitic studies at Oxford, described by his Oxford friend Jozsef Patai, as 'scholar of the Bible and the Mishna', and 'the ritual slaughterer of the small Jewish congregation of Oxford'. He lived at 57a-b St Clements and was the Minister of the Oxford congregation until 1927, when he became Prof. of Semitic languages at the Hebrew University. 

Dr. Charles Duschinsky, born 1877, Nameszto, Hungary, passed away 1944, London, England. Lived during the First World War in Oxford and author of Jacob Kimchi and Shalom Buzaglo and "Rabbi David Oppenheimer: Glimpses of His Life and Activity, Derived from His Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library,” Jewish Quarterly Review 20 (1929/30): 217–247.

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, to a Jewish family in the city of Ulm in the Kingdom of Wuerttemberg, Germany. His father was Hermann Einstein, a salesman who later ran an electrochemical works, and his mother was Pauline née Koch. They were married in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. Albert studied Maxwell's electromagnetic theory at the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich (ETH Zurich), and received his diploma there in September 1896 and in 1900 he was granted his teaching diploma. In 1902, he obtained employment as a technical assistant examiner at the Swiss Patent Office, which became permanent in 1903 and obtained his doctorate under Alfred Kleiner at the University of Zurich in 1905. During 1905, in his spare time, he wrote four articles that participated in the foundation of modern physics and these papers made him widely known as one of the greatest physicist of all time. Based on these papers he formulated the special and general theories of relativity. In addition, he made significant advancements to quantum theory and statistical mechanics.

In 1911, Einstein became first associate professor at the University of Zurich and in 1912 he became full professor at ETH Zurich. In 1914, just before the start of the First World War, Einstein settled in Berlin as professor at the local university and became a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. He took Prussian citizenship. From 1914 to 1933, he served as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin. The first German-Jewish academic to take up a post at Christ Church, Oxford, already before 1933, was Albert Einstein. He first came to Oxford in 1931, through the initiative of Frederick Lindemann, Professor of Physics at Oxford, who had excellent connections with scientists in Germany. Lindemann, later Lord Cherwell, is most famous as Churchill's wartime scientific adviser, his 'Prof'.

Einstein stayed in Oxford for three short periods between May 1931 and June 1933. He was accommodated at Christ Church; he was happy to accept the offer of a research studentship (fellowship) at Christ Church for five years, at an annual salary of £400. In late May 1931 Einstein wrote to the Dean of Christ Church to thank him for the hospitality he had enjoyed. The following month the Dean wrote to Einstein, offering him a research studentship, 'for something like a month during term time in the course of the year at such periods as may be convenient to you'. On 23 October 1931 the Dean was able to inform Einstein that the college's Governing Body had elected him to a research studentship and to express 'our earnest hope that we may often have the pleasure and honour of seeing you in our Society'. However, on 24 October the Dean received a letter from Professor J.G.C. Anderson protesting vehemently against Einstein's appointment, on the grounds that those who had framed the relevant statutes had never intended emoluments to go to people of non-British nationality, and that it was wrong to 'send money out of the country' in the dire economic situation of the Great Depression, especially as the university was receiving a large grant from public funds. The Dean replied the same day, arguing that the academic benefits to the college from the appointment far outweighed narrow nationalism: 'I think that in electing Einstein we are securing for our Society perhaps the greatest authority in the world on physical science; his attainments and reputation are so high that they transcend national boundaries, and any university in the world ought to be proud of having him.'

Einstein, unaware that he had incurred the wrath of Anderson reluctant to burden the British taxpayer with foreign scientists, was delighted to accept the appointment on 29 October. But on 2 November Anderson wrote to the Dean a further letter arguing that 'Oxford emoluments were never meant to be used for the benefit of foreigners, however eminent. The University cannot carry on its work without a very large Government grant, and yet a College can pay out money to subsidize a German.' After 1933, Einstein could not return to Christ Church, so he proposed that his salary be used to create posts for scholars for whom regular funding was not available. Thanks in part to his generosity, German-Jewish refugee scholars deprived of their positions by the Nazis became dons at Christ Church. Meanwhile Einstein moved to the US to take up a post at Princeton.

Jacobthal.jpgProfessor Paul Jacobsthal, born in Berlin in 1880, was a scholar of Greek vase painting and Celtic art. In 1912 he published a catalog of the Greek vases in Göttingen, and received a position as a professor at the University of Marburgand. When the Nazis came to power, he was forced to flee Nazi Germany because of his Jewish origins and he found refuge in Oxford, where he was appointed in 1937 lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford. He made his name as a world leading expert in Celtic Art, publishing a ground-breaking book Early Celtic Art in 1944. He also left a stack of personal letters, which reveal his and his wife's experiences as refugees in Oxford. He passed away in 1957.

Oskar Ewald (1881 - 1940), Hungarian-Austrian Philosopher, died near Oxford  

Dr. Herbert Loewe, born in 1882, was appointed lecturer in Semitic languages at Exeter College, Oxford, from 1913 until 1931, before accepting a post at Cambridge as Curator of Oriental Literature, and Reader in Rabbinics. Before leaving Oxford in 1931, he was responsible for erecting three plaques relating to Oxford Jewish hertitage in the city: the site of the Medieval Jewish cemetery, currently Botanic Gardens; the site of Great Jewry Street, currently St Aldate's; and the site of the old Osney Abbey, where the martyer Haggai the Jew of Oxford (formerly Robert of Reading) was burned for refusing to convert to Charistianity. Herbert Loewe passed away in 1940 and his library of 5,000 items is held at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.   

Pte. Harry Mitchell Davidson (1883-1917), Oxford and Bucks. Light Infantry, aged 34, only son of Mr. and Mrs. D. Davidson, 57 St. Clement’s, died of wounds received in action at Salonika on May 9, 1917, leaving a wife and two children. He was an old Wesleyan Schoolboy, and was in business as a draper at 5, Cowley Road. (Mr. Jessel and Mrs. Davidson were siblings, thus the two above soldiers were cousins).

Sir Lewis Bernstein Namier (27 June 1888 – 19 August 1960), born in Wola Okrzejska, emigrated to the UK in 1906, worked for the Foreign Office responsible for Poland and taught at Balliol, 1920-21. He later became political secretary for the Jewish Agency in Palestine and friend of Chaim Weizman. 

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951), Austrian - English Philosopher, Oxford, 1950 

Basil.jpgSir Basil Henriques (1890–1961), born into a prominent Portuguese Jewish family, studied at University College, Oxford, and served with distinction in the Tank Corps during the First World War. He married Rose Loewe and together founded the Oxford and St George's Clubs in 1914-1915, a few months before the start of the First World War, to help integrate, socially and educationally, Jewish boys and girls of the East End of London, many of whom were underprivileged and lived in desperate living conditions. Basil Henriques was the author of several books, mostly concerned with the care of youth, including: What is Judaism (1945); The indiscretions of a magistrate (1950); Fratres: club boys in uniform, an anthology (1951); and The home-menders: the prevention of unhappiness in children (1955).

Goodhart.jpgArthur Lehman Goodhart, KBE, QC, (1 March 1891-10 November 1978) Jurist. Arthur was born in New York City, the son of stockbroker Philip Julius Goodhart and Harriet Lehman, sister of Senator Herbert Lehman, governor of New York. He was educated at Hotchkiss School, Yale, and Trinity College, Cambridge, and in WW1 joined the USA army. In 1919 Paderewski asked President Wilson to set up a commission to investigate pogroms against the Jews (and Lithuanians, White Russians and Ruthenians) in Poland. Goodhart, appointed counsel to the commission, described his nine week experience in Poland in Poland and the Minority Races (1920). He became a barrister (Lincoln’s Inn (1919; honorary bencher, 1938), and KC (1943) and was an expert in common law. He taught law at Cambridge (1919-1931) and edited the Cambridge Law Journal (1921-1925) and the Law Quarterly Journal (1926-1971). He was professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford (1931-1951) and was appointed Master of University College, Oxford (1951-1963). He was invited to serve on the Law Revision Committee (1936), the Monopolies Commission, The Royal Commission on the Police, the Supreme Court Procedure Committee. He was not only influential on law reform and legislation, but also in bringing together the minds of academic lawyers, the judiciary, legislators and practitioners. His numerous essays included: Determining the Ratio Decidendi of a case (1930); Essays in Jurisprudence and the Common Law (1931); Precedent in English and Continental Law (1934); The Government of Great Britain (1946) and Five Jewish Lawyers of the Common Law (1950). He helped Holdsworth (and Hanbury) in preparing four volumes of History of English Law. He was elected FBA (1952; vice-president 1962), and was the recipient of numerous doctorates, college fellowships, an honorary KBE (1948; he never naturalised British) and many other honours. He was a firm supporter of Israel and an admirer of its independent judiciary and the extent of the reception in Israel of common law principles. He was a benefactor of the British Academy, the University of Cambridge, and University College Oxford, and died in London. His sons include Sir Philip Goodhart MP, Baron William Howard Goodhart QC, and Charles A. E. Goodhart CBE FBA, Sosnow Professor of Banking and Finance at the LSE. (MICHAEL JOLLES 28 APRIL 2008. The Law Quarterly Journal 91 (October 1975);ODNBEJWWW; Times passim; Israel Finestein, Scenes and Personalities in Anglo-Jewry 1800-2000, (2002), pp.233-243.)

Max Grünhut (7 July 1893 – 6 February 1964) was a German-British legal scholar and criminologist. Of Jewish descent, he emigrated to the United Kingdom to escape Nazism in 1939. Prior to that, he was held a professorship at the University of Bonn. In England, he taught at the University of Oxford, becoming one of the most important British criminologists of his era, along with fellow emigrants Hermann Mannheim and Leon Radzinowicz. 

Belisha.jpgLeslie Hore-Belisha, 1st Baron Hore-Belisha PC (7 September 1893 – 16 February 1957), born in Devonport, Plymouth, studied at St John's College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union. During the First World War, he served in France, Flanders and Salonika and finished the war with the rank of Major. After the war he returned to Oxford and in 1923 qualified as a barrister. In 1934 he was appointed Minister of Transport, famous for introducing the the 30 mile an hour limit in urban areas, due to what he called mass murder on the streets and introduced also the Driving Test and the Belisha Beacon. In 1937 he was appointed by Neville Chamberlain as Secretary of State for War, where he became a victim of anti-semitism until he was dismissed in January 1940.

Harold Joseph Laski (1893 – 1950), a socialist, studied History at New College, where he was awarded the Beit memorial prize. He became chairman of the British Labour Party during 1945–1946, and was a professor at the London School of Economics from 1926 to 1950. One of his students was Raph Miliband.

Francis_Simon.jpgSir Francis (Franz) Simon CBE, (1893 – 1956), a German Jewish refugee was a physical chemist and physicist who devised the method, and confirmed its feasibility, of separating the isotope Uranium-235 and thus made a major contribution to the creation of the atomic bomb. He was invited by Frederick Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell to join the Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford in 1933. He became reader in thermodynamics in 1936. He performed pioneering work in low temperature physics, in particular in solidifying helium. He was commissioned by the MAUD Committee to investigate the feasibility of separating uranium-235 by gaseous diffusion in 1940 which was done with his collaborator, Nicholas Kurti. This technology was transferred to the Manhattan Project. He became a professor at Oxford University and a Student of Christ Church, Oxford in 1945. He became Dr. Lee's Professor of Experimental Philosophy and head of the Clarendon Laboratory in 1956, one month before his death.

Israel Brodie was born in 1895 in Newcastle and was educated at Balliol College, Oxford. He served as a Rabbi in Australia, was evacuated from Dunkirk, and finished the War as Senior Jewish Chaplain of the Armed Forces.

He became Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth soon after the war at the age of 53. He served as chief rabbi between 1948 and 1965 during the end of the British Mandate in Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel. On his retirement, he was knighted "for services to British Jewry"; the first Chief Rabbi to be so honoured, and passed away in 1979.

Lieutenant Victor Albert Villiers Zacharias-Jessel, born in Oxford in 1896, was son of Joel and Rebecca Zacharias-Jessel (JC 27 April 1917, p.19) and studied at Magdalen College. He fought in the First World War in the Durham Light Infantry, and was killed in action, whilst leading his men, in France, on 6 April 1917, aged only 21 years.  

Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann, (3 July 1899 – 18 March 1980), born in Tost, within Upper Silesia, Germany, was considered the top neurosurgeon in Germany in 1933 and fled in 1939 becuse of Nazi persecution to Britain, where he resided in Oxford, given housing at the Master's Lodge iat Balliol College. He is the founding father of organized physical activities for people with a disability in the world. 

Roth.jpgCecil Roth, born in London, 1899, was one of the greatest Jewish historians in the twentieth century, recognized expert in Jewish art and educator. The Roth family was descendant from Reb Y.T. Roth of Poland and there existed a family tradition that they were descendant from Rabbi Joseph Karo, the Sephardic author of the Shulhan Aruch, Code of Jewish Law. Cecil was an observant Jew his whole life and adopted the Sephardic minhag which he had learned in Florence, Italy. He served in the First World War in France. He was educated at Merton College, Oxford, (Ph.D., 1924) and returned to Oxford as reader in Jewish Studies from 1939 to 1964.

As an observant Jew, Cecil helped convince Oxford University to allow Jewish students to take exams on Sunday instead of Saturday. These Jews had to be sequestered so that they could not possibly learn what was on the exams, so many of them spent the time at the Roth home, a place popular among the students. Upon retiring from Oxford, Roth settled in Jerusalem and was visiting professor at Columbia University, Bar-Ilan University, Israel (1964–1965), and at the City University of New York (1966–1969). As early as 1933, Roth penned a letter of protest to the London Times against Hitler's declaration to boycott Jewish establishments. Roth wrote numerous articles and also developed books such as 'Jewish Contribution to Civilization' written to show the Germans and the world how Jews have contributed greatly to society. Many years after the Second World War, it was told that Roth obtained German documents that listed names and addresses of prominant people in Britain. He was shocked to have learned that he was on the list compiled by SS-General Walter Schellenberg naming those to be picked up immediately for assassination on the invasion of Britain. The list was of both Jews and Gentiles and was in strict alphabetical order. It included Cecil Roth, three Rothschilds, as well as Lord (Rufus Isaacs) Reading, former Jewish Viceroy of India (1860-1935), his wife Lady Reading, Vicereine of India, along with Harold Macmillan, Vita Sackville-West, Harold Nicholson, Virginia Woolf, Bertrand Russell and Noel Coward among the listed 2,820 names.

A prolific writer, Roth published more than 600 books and articles, which have been translated into many languages, including histories of the Jews in England (1941) and Italy (1946), A History of the Marranos (3d ed. 1966), The Jews in the Renaissance (1959), Jewish Art (1961), and The Dead Sea Scrolls (1965). His popular works include The House of Nasi (two volumes, of which Dona Gracia is the first), A Short History of the Jewish People, The Jewish Contribution to Civilization and The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia. He served as editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia Judaica from 1965 until his death. He passed away on 21 June, 1970 and is buried in Sanhedria cemetery in Jerusalem. The Cecil Roth collection is at Leeds University and contains 350 manuscripts and over 800 printed books, dated between the sixteenth century and 1850. There is a substantial number of modern printed books on the Jews in Europe and North America. 

File:Hans Adolf Krebs.jpgSir Hans Krebs (1900-1981) was born in Hildesheim, Germany, to Georg and Alma Krebs, and studied medicine at the University of Gottingen, Freiburg and Hamburg (PhD). He was barred from practising medicine in 1933 when the Nazis came to power and emigrated to England. In 1954, he was appointed Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Trinity College, and continued to work at the Radcliffe Infirmary after his retirement until he passed away. In 1953 he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology for his "discovery of the citric acid cycle." His son John Krebs, now Baron Krebs, is a renowned zoologist and now principal of Jesus College, Oxford. 

Richard Rudolf R. Walzer, 14 July 1900-16 April 1975. Classicist. Orientalist. He was born in Berlin, the son of Max Walzer, businessman, and Elfriede (née Mannheim). He studied at Berlin University, where he obtained his Dr.phil. (1927; dissertation published in 1929 as Magna Moralia und aristotelische Ethik), and worked as an assistant (1927) and privatdozent (1932). He studied Hebrew and Arabic, and concentrated on the tradition of Greek thought in Arabic, and on the recovery from preserved Arabic translations of those works whose original Greek versions had been lost. In 1933, leaving Nazi Germany, he lectured in Greek philosophy at Rome University (1933-1938). He emigrated to Britain (1938) and, at Oxford, was appointed lecturer in medieval philosophy (Arabic and Hebrew), reader in Greek and medieval Arabic Philosophy (1960), and professorial fellow at St Catherine’s (1962). He made important translations and editing of the works of Aristotle, Heraclitus of Ephesus, Plato and Porphyry. He co-edited Al-farabi de Platonis philosophia (1943), and translated and edited various works by Galen: Galen on Medical Experience (1944), Galen on Jews and Christians(1949) and Galeni Compendium Timaei Platonis (1951). He made further studies on Jewish and Medieval Islamic philosophy, and on the use of Arabic literature in the study of antiquity. He editedGreek into Arabic: Essays on Islamic Thought (1962). A highly regarded and leading scholar of classical and Arabic philosophy, he was an honorary professor at Hamburg University (1952), FBA (1956), a corresponding member of the Academy of Science and Literature at Mainz (1962), and was awarded Germany’s Grosses BVK (1968). His wife, Martha Sophie, daughter of art historian Bruno Cassirer, owned paintings by Monet and Cezanne. He died in Oxford. (MICHAEL JOLLES     26 AUGUST 2007. ODNBIBDCEEWWWTimes 23 April 1975, p.18; JC 2 May 1975, p.18.) 

LondonHeinz.jpgFritz Wolfgang London, 7 March 1900 – 30 March 1954. Physicist. Born in Breslau, the older brother of Heinz London (q.v.), Fritz was educated at Bonn, Frankfurt and Munich universities. He studied philosophy and physics. Fritz London, with W. Heitler made a major contribution to the quantum mechanical theory of the chemical bond (‘The Heitler London Theory’, 1927). In 1933, he left Nazi Germany for England, spending two years in Oxford (joined by Heinz), and then spent two years in Paris (Institut Henri Poincaré). In 1939, he was appointed to a chair at Duke University, USA. His important and pioneering ideas and research on superconductivity led to technological advances such as quantized flux devices to measure very low magnetic fields. He died in Durham, North Carolina, USA. (MICHAEL JOLLES. 14 APRIL 2006. C. C. Gillespie, ed., Dictionary of Scientific Biography, VIII, (1973), pp.476, 479.)

Dr Samuel (Sam) Segal, Lord Segal of Wytham was born in 1902. He lived in Wytham Abbey and also north Oxford. Starting out as a medical practitioner, he was elected in 1945 as a Labour MP, and assisted the Attlee administration in the creation of the National Health Service. He became Lord Segal in 1962 and subsequently became a Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords. As a reasonably prominent Jewish British life peer who had also lived in Egypt, he was instrumental (largely behind the scenes) in helping build the relationship between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat prior to the Israel - Egypt treaty. He was also an honorary fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. He died in 1985.

Weissmandl.jpgRabbi Michael Dov Weissmandl (1903–1957),  born in Debrecen, Hungary, was a scholar and an expert at deciphering ancient Hebrew manuscripts. In order to carry out his research of these manuscripts, he traveled to the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It is related that he was treated with great respect by the Chief Librarian of the Bodleian after an episode when he correctly identified the author of a manuscript which had been misattributed by the library’s scholars. While at Oxford University, Weissmandl volunteered on 1 September 1939 to return to Slovakia as an agent of World Agudath Israel. Later he was the first to demand that the Allies bomb Auschwitz. When the Nazis gathered sixty rabbis from Burgenland and sent them to Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovakia refused them entry and Austria would not take them back. Rabbi Weissmandl flew to England, where he was received by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Foreign Office. Explaining the tragic situation, he succeeded in obtaining entry visas to England for the sixty rabbis.

During the period of the Second World War, Weissmandl led the Working Group of Bratislava together with Gisi Fleischmann (see the next section). In 1944, Weissmandl and his family were put on a train headed for Auschwitz. Rabbi Weissmandl escaped from the sealed train by sawing open the lock of the carriage with an emery wire he had secreted in a loaf of bread. He jumped from the moving train, breaking his leg in the process, and hid in a secret bunker in suburban Bratislava. Rudolf Kasztner and his Nazi associate Kurt Becher took Weissmandl from his Bratislava bunker to Switzerland. This was highly unusual for both Kasztner and Becher. There is some speculation that Kasztner and Becher sought to reinforce their alibis for the predictable post-war trials.

When the Nazis, aided by members of the puppet Slovak government, began its moves against the Slovakian Jews in 1942, members of the Slovak Judenrat formed an underground organization called the Working Group. It was led by Gisi Fleischmann and Rabbi Weissmandl. The group's main activity was to help Jews as much as possible, in part through payment of large bribes to German and Slovak officials. At Rabbi Weissmandl's initiative already in 1942 the Working Group initiated high level ransom negotiations with the Germans (ref. Fuchs and Kranzler books). The transportation of Slovak Jews was in fact halted for a long time after they arranged a $50,000 (in 1952 dollars) ransom deal with the Nazi SS official Dieter Wisliceny. Weissmandl was an inspiration to his student Solomon Schonfeld, who studied at the yeshiva in Nitra (now Slovakia). When the scale of rescue work of Jews needed during the 1930s became apparent, he became the executive director of the Chief Rabbi's Religious Emergency Council, formed under the auspices of his father-in-law, Chief Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz in 1938 and personally rescued many thousands of Jews from Nazi forces in Central and Eastern Europe during the years 1938-1948. 

Professor S. Herbert Frankel, born in South Africa in 1903, arrived in England after the Second World War and was appointed a Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, and Professor in the Economics of Underdeveloped Countries at Oxford University from 1946 until 1971. From 1971 until 1989 he served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. In 1936, he went to Jerusalem to help Chaim Weizmann prepare the evidence to be presented by the Jewish Agency to the Royal Commission on Palestine chaired by Earl Peel. He passed away in 1996.

Lord Thomas Balogh (1905–1985) - emigrated from Budapest to England in 1930's and became Fellow at Balliol College (influenced current Head of Balliol, Dr. Andrew Graham, to apply to Balliol). As Economist, he was appointed Economic Adviser to the Cabinet in 1964 and became a Minister of State for Energy from 1974 to 1977. 

Klibansky.jpgRaymond Klibansky, 15 October 1905 - 5 August 2005, Historian of philosophy. Born in Paris, the son of Jewish parents, Hermann Armand Klibansky, a wine merchant, and Rose Scheidt (family from Franconia), he studied at Kiel, Hamburg and Heidelberg (PhD 1928) universities. In 1926, at Hamburg, he met Aby Warburg, who consolidated his interest in medieval and renaissance philosophers, and whose library Klibansky was to be of great assistance in successfully bringing to London (1933/4). He also met Ernst Cassirer, whose Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance Klibansky contributed to and co-edited (1927), and for whom an indebted Klibansky edited a festschrift Philosophy and History, essays presented to Ernst Cassirer (1936). In 1927, as research editor at Heidelberg Academy, he prepared Magistri Eckardi opera Latina…, which he published (1933-1936). He emigrated to Britain (1933), and held academic posts at KCL (1934-1936), Oriel College Oxford (1936-1948) and Liverpool (1938). He served as chief intelligence officer at the Political Warfare Executive (1941-1946), emigrated to Canada (1946), and was appointed professor of logic and metaphysics at McGill University, Montreal (1946-1975) and emeritus professor at Wolfson College, Oxford (1981-1995). His Saturn and Melancholy, co-authored with Panofsky and Saxl, appeared in 1964. He was the foremost historian of philosophy of his generation. He had devoted particular attention to Plato, Lucius Apuleius, Cusanus, Locke and Hume. Having suffered a disrupted life in Europe, he sympathetically defended Eastern European philosophers and dissidents (e.g. Jan Patocka). He received numerous honours in Canada (FRSC, 1970; CC, 2000) and internationally, and died in Montreal. (MICHAEL JOLLES - 5 MARCH 2007. IBDCEEJC 28 October 2005, p.12; WWTimes 30 August 2005, p.44)

Sir Ernst Boris ChainFRS (1906 – 1979) was born in Berlin, Germany, and received his degree in chemistry from Friedrich Wilhelm University in 1930. When the Nazis rose to power, aware that he would not be safe, he emigrated to England in April, 1933, with just £10 in his pocket. In 1935, he was offered a lecturership in pathology at Oxford University and in 1939, he joined Howard Florey to investigate natural antibacterial agents produced by microorganisms. This led him and Florey to revisit the work of Alexander Fleming, who had described penicillin nine years earlier. Chain and Florey went on to discover penicillin's therapeutic action and its chemical composition for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1945 together with Florey and Fleming. His mother and sister were killed in the War. In 1948, he married sister of Max Beloff, father of Michael Beloff QC, who served as President of Trinity College, Oxford, between 1996 and 2006. He became a member of the board of governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovot in 1954, ensured to raise his children within the Jewish faith, arranging much extracurricular tuition for them. His views were expressed most clearly in his speech ‘Why I am a Jew’ given at the World Jewish Congress Conference of Intellectuals in 1965 (ODNB).

Kurt Alfred Georg Mendelssohn FRS (1906-1980) a German Jewish refugee in 1933 was a medical physicist and great-great-grandson of Saul Mendelssohn, the younger brother of philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. He received a doctorate in physics from the University of Berlin, having studied under Max Planck, Walther Nernst, Erwin Schrödinger, and Albert Einstein. He worked at the University of Oxford from 1933, was Reader in Physics there 1955-1973, Emeritus Reader 1973 and Emeritus Professorial Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, 1973.

Heinz London, 7 November 1907 – 3 August 1970. Physicist. Heinz was born in Bonn, the son of Franz London, professor of mathematics at Bonn University, and Luise (née Hamburger) who died in 1942. He was educated at Bonn University (1926-1927), the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, and Munich University. At Breslau University, under F. E. Simon (q.v.), he obtained his PhD (1933). In his late twenties, his outstanding capability was soon recognized; the ‘London order parameter’ (a constant in an acceleration equation for superconducting electrons) was named after him. He emigrated to England (1933), worked at the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, with his brother Fritz, where they presented their phenomenology theory (1935), which led to a greater understanding of superconductivity. In 1936, he worked at the H. H. Wills Laboratory in Bristol. His research there contributed to the understanding of superfluidity in liquid helium, mainly by his thermodynamic interpretation of the fountain effect. In 1939, he married Gertrude Rosenthal (briefly), was interned on the Isle of Man (1940), became a British subject (1942), and married Lucie Meissner (1945). During WW2 he worked on isotope separation for the atomic bomb project, and in 1946 joined the Atomic Energy Research establishment at Harwell, rising to deputy chief scientist (1958). He designed a fractionating column using carbon monoxide for the enrichment of C13 and O18 supplying all the C13 in the UK and USA. His subsequent work focused on neutron production and neutron scattering experiments in liquid helium, techniques for producing high field superconductivity magnets, and the ingenious He3-He4 dilution refrigerator (extremely low temperatures). He was awarded the Simon Memorial Prize (1959) and was elected FRS (1961). He died in Oxford. (MICHAEL JOLLES.  14 APRIL 2006. ODNBBiog. Mems. FRS, 17 (1971), pp.441ff; C. C. Gillespie, ed., Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1973), pp.476, 479 ff.) 

Peierls.jpgProfessor Sir Rudolf Peierls (5 June 1907 – 19 September 1995). Theoretical physicist. Born in Oberschöneweide, Berlin, the son of Heinrich Peierls (1867-1945), an electrical engineer from Breslau, and Elisabeth (née Weigert), both of Jewish descent, he was baptised a Lutheran. At the age of 30 he was appointed professor of applied mathematics (later mathematical physics) at Birmingham University (1937-1963), having studied or worked at Berlin, Munich, Leipzig,  Zurich (1929-1932), Rome, Manchester (1933-1935; Hon DSc 1936), Cambridge (1935-1937, Mond Laboratories) and Birmingham (1937-1963). He contributed extensively to solid-state and nuclear physics. He presented, in January 1929, his explanation for the anomalous Hall effects (caused by magnetic fields on the electrical conductivity of metals), and worked out a kinetic quantum theory relating to heat conduction in crystals (DPhil 1929 Leipzig). He proposed a general theory of diamagnetism (1933). Working in Birmingham, in 1940, he and Frisch announced that a small critical mass of uranium 235 could result in a massive nuclear explosion (The Frisch-Peierls Memorandum). He went to the USA, and later joined the Manhattan project. He led the implosion dynamic group at the Los Alamos laboratory. He was let down by Klaus Fuchs who passed atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. In 1963, he was appointed Wykeham Professor at Oxford (Fellow, New College, 1963). From 1945, he helped form the Atomic Scientists’ Association (which publicised the dangers of radioactive decay and fallout), actively participated in the Pugwash movement (Chairman of International Pugwash, 1972), and urged Britain’s unilateral disarmament of nuclear weapons. He was elected FRS (1945), awarded its Royal Medal (1959) and its Copley Medal (1986), was appointed CBE (1946), was knighted (1968) and received many honorary doctorates and international honours. He was naturalised British in 1940, and died in Oxford. (MICHAEL JOLLES. 31 JULY 2008. ODNB: J. Mehra & H. Rechenberg, The Historical Development of Quantum Theory. Volume 6. (2001), pp.610,614, 626; NDSB (2008), vol.6, p.62; Biog. Mem. FRS, 53 (2007), 285.)

H.L.A. Hart was born in 1907, the son of a Jewish tailor of Polish and German descent. He was educated at Bradford Grammar School and New College Oxford, where he obtained a brilliant first class in Classical Greats. He practised at the Chancery Bar from 1932 to 1940 along with Richard (later Lord) Wilberforce. During the war, being unfit for active service, he worked in MI5. During this time his interests returned to philosophy and in 1945 he was appointed philosophy tutor at New College .

In 1952, given his chancery background, he was persuaded by J.L. Austin to be a candidate for the Oxford chair of Jurisprudence when Professor Arthur Goodhart resigned. He was elected and held the chair until 1969. From 1952 on he delivered the undergraduate lectures that turned into The Concept of Law (1961). He held seminars with Tony Honre on causation, leading to their joint work Causation in the Law (1959). His visit to Harvard in 1956-7 led to his Holmes lecture on 'Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals' (1958) and a famous controversy with Lon Fuller. Returning to the UK he engaged in an equally famous debate with Patrick (later Lord) Devlin on the limits within which the criminal law should try to enforce morality.

Hart published two books on the subject, Law, Liberty and Morality (1963) and The Morality of the Criminal Law (1965). A wider interest in criminal law, stimulated by Rupert (later Professor Sir Rupert) Cross  was signalled by his 'Prolegomenon to the Principles of Punishment' (1959). Hart resigned his chair in 1969, to be succeeded by Ronald Dworkin , a severe critic of his legal philosophy. He now devoted himself mainly to the study of Bentham, whom, along with Kelsen, he regarded as the most important legal philosopher of modern times. From 1973 to 1978 he was Principal of Brasenose College . In his last years he was much concerned to find a convincing reply to Dworkin's criticisms of his version of legal positivism. He was the most widely read British legal philosopher of the twentieth century. He passed away in 1992. 

Sir Alan Abraham Mocatta OBE QC (1907 - 1990) served as the leader of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of Britain. He attended New College, Oxford, following which he was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1930. In the Second World War, he first served as 2nd Lieutenant, promoted to Brigade Major, and finally to Lieutenant-Colonel General Staff, Army Council Secretariat, War Office, 1942-45. He returned to his legal career after the war and was appointed QC in 1951, elected a Bencher in 1960 and served as a Judge of the High Court of Justice from 1961 to 1981. He also became President of Restrictive Practices Court from 1970. He served as Chairman of the Council of Jews' College, 1945–61 and Vice-President of the Board of Elders of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, London, from 1961 to 1967, and President from 1967 to 1982.

Professor Nicholas Kurti FRS (1908 - 1998), Hungarian Jewish refugee, obtained his doctorate in low-temperature physics in Berlin, working with Professor Franz Simon, and as a refugee they joined the Clarendon Laboratory in Oxford. During the Second World War he worked on the Manhattan project, returning to Oxford in 1945. In 1956, Simon and Kurti built a laboratory experiment that reached a temperature of one microkelvin, for which he was elected a FRS. He became Professor of Physics at Oxford in 1967, a post he held until his retirement in 1975. 

Chaim Raphael CBE (14 July 1908 to 10 October 1994), was born Chaim Rabinovitch in Middlesbrough in 1908, as one of seven children. His father was David Rabinovitch, who was a chazan or minister at Middlesbrough, Birmingham’s Beth Hamedrash, and at Nottingham (c1911 - c1915). Chaim studied at Aria College, Portsmouth, where he was awarded a scholarship to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. At Oxford, he took a post-graduate course in Biblical studies and became a lecturer in post-Biblical Hebrew Literature at Oxford, 1933-40. After his career with the British Information Services and the Treasury, he returned to Jewish studies as lecturer at Sussex University (1970-75). Raphael's publications include The Walls of Jerusalem: an excursion into Jewish history (1968); A Feast of History: the drama of Passover through the ages (1972);A Jewish Book of Common Prayer, a study of the Sabbath Eve Service; and a history of Sephardic Jewry,The Road from Babylon (1985). He passed away in London 10 October, 1994.

Major-General Sir Henry Joseph D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, born in 1909, is the eldest son of Sir Osmond d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, 1st Baronet, who served as President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Chairman for the Jewish Agency for Palestine in London. Sir Henry studied at Balliol College, Oxford and served in the Second World War for which he was was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross in 1945. He was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Walsall South in 1955 and served as Chairman of the Anglo-Israel Bank from 1961 until 1971. He passed away in 1976. 

Solomon (Sol) Adler was born in Leeds in 1909 and studied Economics at Oxford University. In 1935 he moved to the US where he worked at the Treasury Department's Division of Monetary Research and Statistics. He subsequently moved to China where he passed away in 1994. 

Professor David Daube, 1909-1999, German Jewish refugee, descendent of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, became regius professor of civil law at Oxford and fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is author of a book of studies in Biblical Law Law in the Narratives, and close friend of Prof. Geza Vermes. 

Sir Isaiah Berlin, OM (June 6, 1909–November 5, 1997), was a political philosopher and historian of ideas, regarded as one of the leading liberal thinkers of the 20th century. Born in Riga, then part of the Russian Empire, he was the first Jew to be elected to a prize fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford. From 1957 to 1967, he was Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at the University of Oxford and helped to found Wolfson College, Oxford, becomingits first president. He was knighted in 1957, and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1971. He was president of the British Academy from 1974 to 1978 and received the 1979 Jerusalem Prize for writings on the theme of individual freedom in society. Berlin's work on liberal theory has had a lasting influence. His 1958 inaugural lecture, "Two Concepts of Liberty", in which he famously distinguished between positive and negative liberty, has informed much of the debate since then on the relationship between liberty and equality.

Berlin was born into a Jewish family, the son of Mendel Berlin, a timber merchant, and his wife Marie, née Volshonok, he spent his childhood in Riga, Latvia and St Peterburg (then called Petrograd), witnessing the Russian Revolution of 1917, and arriving with his family in Britain in 1921. In the United Kingdom, he was educated at St Paul's School, London, a private school, then at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he studied Greats (Classics) and PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics). He was to remain at Oxford for the rest of his life, apart from a period working for the British Information Services in New York (1940—2), and the British Embassies in Washington, D.C. (1942—6) and Moscow(1945—6). In 1956, he married Aline Halban, née de Gunzbourg. Berlin was a friend of the British philosopher Alfred Ayer. Berlin died in Oxford in 1997, aged 88, and is buried in Wolvercote cemetary. 

Alfred Jules (Freddie) Ayer, known as AJ Ayer, was born in 1910 and was a friend and colleague of Sir Isaiah Berlin. He was the only child of a Swiss-French father and a Dutch-Jewish mother. A J Ayer was one of the most influential philosophers of his generation and Britain's leading exponent of logical positivism in the 20th century. Christ Church granted him the academic post initially created for Albert Einstein. He passed in 1989.

Professor Philip Grierson (1910-2006), born in Dublin, was a student of Professor David Daube and foremost collector and expert of medieval coins. He was appointed Professor of Numismatics at Cambridge University and Ford lecturer at Oxford 1956–1957. In 1938, he flew to Germany to save two Jewish academics, father and father-in-law of David Daube, from Dachau concentration camp after being rounded up after Kristallnacht in November 1938.  He obtained a visa to visit Germany on 14 November and papers for the release under a British visa of Daube’s relatives expedited by the  MP for Cambridge university. After flying to Frankfurt on 18 November, Grierson arranged the release of Daube’s relatives on 20 November and 26 November, and travelled with them back to England.

Walter Eytan (24 July 1910 – 23 May 2001). Diplomat. Walter George Ettinghausen, born in Munich, was the son of Frankfurt-born Dr Maurice Ettinghausen, a scholar, linguist, and antiquarian book dealer, and Hedwig, daughter of Rabbi Ludwig Kahn of Heilbronn. He was educated at St Paul’s School London, and at Queen’s College, Oxford, where was appointed lecturer in German (1934-1946). During WW2, he was treasurer of the Oxford Hebrew community, served as temporary senior administrative officer (Foreign Office), working for British Intelligence at Bletchley Park. In 1946 he went to Jerusalem as principal of the Public Service College, Beth Hakerem. From 1948 to 1959, he served as director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading talks with Arab state representatives, and heading the Israeli delegation at Lausanne(1949). He was head of the Israeli delegation to the armistice negotiations at Rhodes (1948-1949). In 1960, he was appointed Israel’s ambassador in Paris, returning to Israel in 1970 to become Abba Eban’s special adviser, and from 1972 to 1978, chaired the Israel Broadcasting Authority. He was a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration, London. He was awarded the Légion d’Honneur. He wrote: LutherExegesis and ProseProse Style (1937); The First Ten Years: Diplomatic History of Israel (1958), and Israel Between East and West. He married Vera (née Schiff). His brother was Albert Alfred Ernest E. Ettinghausen (1913-2001), OBE, the distinguished librarian. (MICHAEL JOLLES. 24 SEPTEMBER 2006. JC 8 June 2001, p. 27; M. Sugarman, JHS, 40, (2005), p.203 ff; JHSET, 21, (1968); Leo Baeck Yearbook, 9, (1964), p.280; Palestine Personalia (1947) p.78; Who’s Who Israel (1952), pp.239-240.) 


Professor David Daiches, CBE (1912-2005) was born in Sunderland, into a Jewish family with a Lithuanian background; the subject of his 1956 memoir, Two Worlds: An Edinburgh Jewish Childhood. He moved to Edinburgh while still a young child, about the end of the First World War, where his father, Rabbi Dr Salis Daiches was rabbi to Edinburgh's Jewish community, and founder of the city's branch of B'nai Brith. He studied at George Watson's College and won a scholarship to University of Edinburgh where he won the Elliot prize. He went to Oxford where he became the Elton exhibitioner, and was elected Fellow of Balliol College in 1936. During the Second World War, he worked for the British Embassy in Washington, DC and following the War, he had a long and influential career teaching at universities in the UK, US and Canada, as well as chairing the panel of judges for the Booker Prize in 1980. He was known as a Scottish literary historian and literary critic, scholar and writer. 

Professor Judah Benzion Segal, Judah Benzion Segal MC, FBA, often known as Ben (21 June 1912 - 23 October 2003, Edgware, Middlesex) studied at Magdalen College School, Oxford and later also did his DPhil in Oxford in 1939, when he became Mansel Research Exhibitioner, at St. John's College, Oxford, between 1936 and 1939. He then became Professor of Semitic Languages at the School of Oriental and African Studies. His father was Professor Moses Segal and his brother was the doctor and Labour Party politician Samuel Segal. He had two daughters; one is Prof. Naomi Segal. 

Max Beloff, Baron Beloff of Wolvercote in the County of Oxfordshire, FBA, (1913 – 1999), studied  Modern History at Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he graduated with first-class honours. He was appointed Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, between 1947 and 1957, Gladstone Professor of Government and Public Administration, Oxford University, until 1974, Supernumerary Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford, until 1984 and elected Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, until he passed away. The Beloff family are descendants of Rabbi Meir Katzenellenbogen, the Maharam of Padua (1482-1565), thus tracing their lineage to the House of David as detailed in The Unbroken Chain (CIS publishers, 1990)

Philip Mayer Kaiser (July 12, 1913 – May 24, 2007), born in NY, was a United States diplomat and studied as a Rhodes Scholar in 1936 at Balliol College.

Lord Arnold Goodman (1913-1995), chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1965 to 1972 and Master of University College, Oxford between 1976 and 1986. He was a solicitor and also advisor to Harold Wilson.

Prof. Daniel Joseph Boorstin (October 1, 1914 – February 28, 2004), studied at Balliol College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and appointed twelfth Librarian of the United States Congress. 

Avraham (Abe) Harman, born in London in 1914, studied law at Wadham College, Oxford, received his degree in 1935, and immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1938. From 1959 to 1968, he was Israel's ambassador to the United States and from 1968 to 1983, he was the president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He passed away in Jerusalem in in 1992.

Sir Keith Joseph (1918-1994) studied Jurisprudence at Magdalen College, elected Fellow at All Souls College, and went on to serve as Secretary of State for Education and Science in the Thatcher Government. 

Madron Seligman (10 November 1918 – 9 July 2002),  read PPE at Balliol College, Oxford,  became president of the Union and was oldest friend of the former prime minister Sir Edward Heath whom he met at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1937. He represented Britain in skiing at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo. 

Loewe.jpgProfessor Raphael Loewe, born in India in 1919, was son of Dr. Herbert Loewe, and grew up in Oxford, where he studied at the Dragon School. While teaching in Cologne in 1938, he witnessed the rise of Nazism and served in the Armed Forces during the Second World War. He enlisted and was drafted into the Pioneer Corps, and later trained as an officer, posted eventually to the Royal Armoured Corps. He won a citation (MC) for bravery. As the only Allied officer able to read from the biblical prophets in the Sephardi manner, he took part in the rededication of the Great Synagogue of Tunis following the liberation in 1943. He was appointed Goldsmid Professor of Hebrew at the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department at University College London, and served as president of the Jewish Historical Society of England, the Society for Old Testament Study, and the British Association for Jewish Studies. He is author of two-volume verse translation of Isaac Ibn Sahula’s animal fables, entitled Meshal haqadmoni (2004). he passed away in 2011. 

Sir Zelman Cowen (Oct, 1919 - Dec, 2011), former Governor-General of Australia, studied after the War in 1945 at New College as a Rhodes Scholar and later became Provost of Oriel College. 

Lewis Geofrey.jpgProfessor Geoffrey Lewis CMG FBA, 19 June 1920 – 12 February 2008. Expert on Turkish language. Born in London, the son of Ashley Lewis and Jeanne Muriel (née Sintrop), he entered UCS, and at St John’s College, Oxford, studied classics, Arabic and Persian. During WW2 he operated radar and did V1 and V2 missile detection work. His DPhil thesis was on the theology of Aristotle. At Oxford, he was appointed lecturer in Turkish (1950-1954), senior lecturer in Islamic studies (1954-1964), senior lecturer in Turkish (1964-1986) and in 1986 became the first Oxford professor of Turkish. He was elected a fellow of St Antony’s College (1961) and an honorary fellow of St John’s College (2000). Each of his books was an unprecedented landmark publication for English language readers: Teach Yourself Turkish (1953), Turkey (1955), Turkish Grammar (1967) and The Turkish Language Reform: A Catastrophic Success (1999). He also wrote extensively on Turkish history and politics. The Atatürk I knew appeared in 1981. A frequent visitor to Turkey, he taught ‘Turkic’ languages from the eighth century Orkhon inscriptions onwards, including Azeri, Chaghatay, Kazakh and Uzbek. He was also an Islamic and Koranic scholar, approved of Atatürk’s language/alphabet reforms, generously helped other scholars, and promoted Anglo-Turkish friendship. He helped found the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (President, 1981-1983) and was President of the Anglo-Turkish Society (2003). He received several visiting professorships, honorary doctorates from Boaziçi and Istanbul universities, and three Turkish Government awards: Certificate of Merit (1973); Ministry of Foreign Affairs Exceptional Service Plaque (1991); and Turkey’s Order of Merit (1998). He was elected FBA (1979), appointed CMG (1999), and served as president of Oxford’s B’nai B’rith (1989). He was the foremost Turkish language expert in Britain and died in Oxford. (MICHAEL JOLLES 4 MAY 2008.)

Professor Edward Ullendorf FBA (1920-2011), Professor Emeritus at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, where he was Professor of Ethiopian Studies and then of Semitic Languages. He spoke at the Oxford Chabad Society on his experience serving in Palestine under the British Mandate. 

David Patterson (10 June 1922 – 10 December 2005). Hebrew Scholar. Founder of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. David was born in Liverpool, the son of Louis Patterson and Sarah Marshak (a descendant of Aaron Samuel ben Israel Kaldanover, known as Maharshak). He was educated at Oulton High School, and during WW2 worked as an engineering draughtsman in a Royal Ordnance Factory. He read Hebrew and Arabic atManchester University. In 1950, he married José Lovestone, with whom he worked on Kibbutz Kfar ha-Nasi (1951). He was appointed lecturer in Modern Hebrew at Manchester University (1953-1956), then Cowley Lecturer in post-biblical Hebrew at Oxford University (1956-1989), and Fellow at St Cross College (1965). In 1972, he founded, through his own initiative and perseverance, the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, soon to be based at Yarnton Manor, which was incorporated into Oxford University, thereby providing postgraduate degree courses, and becoming the leading teaching and research institute for Hebrew and Jewish studies in Europe. The Centre has accumulated a massive library and archive. He retired in 1992, becoming professor emeritus. He was editor of the (East West Library) Studies in Modern Hebrew Literature. He wrote: Abraham Mapu (1964); The Hebrew Novel in Czarist Russia; and A Phoenix in Fetters(1990). His honours included: several visiting professorships; Rockefeller Foundation Award (1959); Fellowship of the Jewish Academy of Arts and Sciences (USA); Honorary doctorate at Hebrew Union College; Honorary Doctorate at Baltimore Hebrew Union (and the Stiller Prize) in 1988; Webber Prize for Translation of Hebrew Literature (1989); Membership of the Senate of the Hochschule für Judische Studien at Heidelberg; and CBE (2003) for services to Jewish Studies. (MICHAEL JOLLES. 10 DECEMBER 2006. Times 16 December 2005, p.68; JC 16 December 2005, p.30; JYB 1993, p.80; JYB 2005, p.284; WWWJ 1965; D. Patterson, The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, JYB 2001, pp.41-47.)

Lionel Kochan was born August 20 1922 into a family of Polish Jewish origin in Willesden, northwest London. His father was a Hatton Garden jeweller. After graduating in 1942 from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and doing wartime service in the Intelligence Corps, he took his PhD at the London School of Economics, under Sir Charles Webster, professor of international history. He taught European history at Edinburgh University from 1959 to 1964, and then spent five years as reader in European studies at the University of East Anglia. Lionel was an expert on central Europe and Russia. In 1964 he published his famously readable book The Making of Modern Russia and in 1967 he wrote Russia in Revolution, 1890-1918. Controversially, he depicted the 1917 Bolshevik revolution as completing Russia's long-standing desire to modernise. Its early successes, he argued, owed much to extraneous events, like the peasants' revolt and policies that strayed from Marxist orthodoxy.

Once a devout Marxist, Kochan scrutinised communism with the intimacy of an insider. His later disillusion with Marxist verities was reflected in a healthy scepticism. His early books, Russia and the Weimar Republic (1954) and The Struggle for Germany 1914-45 (1963), grew directly out of his doctoral thesis. Increasingly his interest turned to Jewish history, as his own devotion to Judaism grew. He began studying the Torah and Talmud - a far cry from his secular childhood. On moving to Oxford in the 1970s, he and his wife, Miriam (they married in 1951), regularly attended Sabbath services at the community's Jericho Street synagogue. Without knowing Hebrew or the mooring posts of Jewish religious identity, he argued, any scholar of Jewish history would be as lost as a medieval European historian lacking Latin.

Kochan grew fascinated - some say obsessed - with the implications of the second commandment, the stricture on idolatry. In Jews, Idols and Messiahs: the Challenge from History (1990) and Beyond the Graven Image (1999), he wrestled with almost every conceivable aspect: theological, aesthetic, neurological, lexicographical, musical. Blending his twin enthusiasms, Kochan edited The Jews in Soviet Russia since 1917 (1970), which immediately became the definitive text in the field. The previous year, he had emerged as the ideal candidate to be the first Bearsted reader in Jewish history at Warwick University, a post he held until retirement in 1987. His review of Kristallnacht, Pogrom: November 10, 1938, published in 1957 at the invitation of the Weiner Library, in London, was justly praised as the first detailed analysis of the outrage.

Kochan later attacked the "Holocaust industry" by arguing that only experts should deal with a subject of such sensitivity. He opposed the institution of a Holocaust day, the idea of building a Holocaust museum in Britain and the notion of university departments of Holocaust studies. He felt that overt politicisation dishonoured the memory of the dead, and focusing solely on the Shoah risked obscuring the story of Jewish life in Europe before 1939. Kochan resented the image of Jew as victim. Proud of his roots, he wanted his forebears to be remembered for succeeding against the odds. Hence his final work, The Making of Western Jewry, 1600-1819 (2005), anatomises the extraordinarily varied experience of Jewry, from Livorno and London to Hamburg and Paris. While covering the phenomena of "court Jews", Hassidic rabbis and intermittent bouts of anti-semitism, it also addresses less familiar areas, rural Jewish life, secular communal leaders, the changing roles for women, the tensions between rich and poor, and the kehillah, or self-governing Jewish council. Lionel was fluent in French, Russian, Hebrew and German. In retirement he became a research associate of Manchester University, the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and a visiting fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1991-92). He passed away in September 2005.

Richard Arthur Wollheim (1923 - 2003), British Philosopher, Balliol College 

CohenJonathan.jpgProf. Jonathan Cohen (7 May 1923-26 September 2006). Philosopher. Jon, the son of Israel Cohen (q.v.), was born in London  and was educated at West Hampstead Jewish Day School, St Paul’s School (head boy), and Balliol College Oxford (open scholarship; president of the Cosmos Society 1942; DLitt 1982). In WW2 he trained at Bletchley Park, entered naval intelligence, learned Japanese, served in Mombasa and Colombo, and witnessed the Japanese surrender in Malaya. After brief academic posts at Edinburgh, Dundee, Princeton and Harvard, he was appointed Fellow and Praelector in philosophy at The Queen’s College Oxford (1957-1990); previously elected Jewish philosopher fellows at Oxford included Samuel Alexander and Isaiah Berlin (qq.v.)). He was elected FBA (1973) and was British Academy Reader in Humanities, Oxford University (1982-1984). He was president of the British Society for Philosophy of Science (1977-1979), and President of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (1987-1991). An expert on inductive reasoning, he proved the unreliability of adducing evidence based on those propositions or assertions which typically relied on misconceptions of what precisely can be inferred from those particular (often interrelated) observations which feature statements of probability (Baconian, Pascalian, Bayesian). His analysis of the misfit subtended between what was purported to be reasonably convincing evidence and what was, on critical scrutiny, not justified to be such, has undermined the traditional confidence reposed in the presumed validity of scientific method, medical diagnosis, issues of forensic probabilities, and the standard of judicial proof. His publications included: The Principles of World Citizenship (1954); The Diversity of Meaning (1962); The Implications of Induction (1970); The Probable and the Provable (1977); An Introduction to the Philosophy of Induction and Probability (1989) and An Essay on Belief and Acceptance (1992). He was general editor of the Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy (from 1973). He was invited to several visiting professorships and lectureships and died in Oxford. Visited by Oxford Rabbi Eli Brackman before his passing. (MICHAEL JOLLES 8 MARCH 2008. WWJC 1 August 1947, p.6; JC 27 October 2006, p.22;Times 3 October 2006, p.62; L. J. Cohen, Probability and Rationality (1991), pp.21-37.) 

Professor Géza Vermes (1924-2013), a Jewish Hungarian was foremost expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was the first scholars to examine the Dead Sea Scrolls after their discovery in 1947, and is the author of the standard translation into English of the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Dead Sea Scrolls in English (1962). He became the first Professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford University until 1991. He lectured at the Oxford University Chabad Society in honour of the late Classics student Isaac Meyers.  

Ernest Gellner, was born in Paris in 1925, grew up in Czechoslovakia and upon the German invasion in 1939 moved to London. At the age of 17, he won a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, to study PPE, specializing in philosophy, where he won the John Locke Prize and took First Class Honours in 1947. Gellner is known for his critique of linguistic philosophy in his book Words and Things (1959). He passed away in Prague in 1995.

Professor Baruch Samuel "Barry" Blumberg (July 28, 1925 – April 5, 2011), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1976, received his DPhil at Balliol in 1957 and became later Master of Balliol College from 1989 to 1994. He attended weekly Talmud classes, as often as possible. 

John Richard Schlesinger, CBE (16 February 1926 – 25 July 2003), born in London, was an English film and stage director and actor, studied at Balliol College. 

Professor Bezalel Narkiss (1926–2008) was an Israeli art historian and founder and first director of the Hebrew University. He published Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts (Jerusalem 1984) in which he mentions the Oxford Bodleian Library's Michael Mahzor (Germany 1258) with seven animals on the Kol Nidrei folio. He would have likely have visited Oxford's Bodleian Library in his research on Hebrew illuminated manuscripts.

Dr. Derek Samuel Brackman (1928-2004), scientist and father of Oxford Rabbi Eli Brackman, frequently visited Oxford and called it his second home between 2001 and 2004.

Prof. David Malcolm Lewis FBA (7 June 1928 – 12 July 1994). Historian. Classical scholar. Greek epigraphist. He was born in Willesden, the son of William Lewis, A.I.I. (an auctioneer, son of S. Lewis of Brick Lane, E1), and Milly [Esther], daughter of Simon Sadovsky (died 1931). David’s grandparents were immigrants from Poland or Lithuania. He was educated at the City of London School, Corpus Christi College Oxford, Princeton University (PhD 1952), and was a student at the British School at Athens (1952). He returned to Corpus Christi as junior research fellow (1954), then tutorial fellow in ancient history (1955), University Lecturer in Greek Epigraphy (1956), and university professor of Ancient History (1985). He was the world’s leading expert in the study and interpretation of Greek, particularly Athenian, inscriptions on stone. An authority on Greek, Persian and Jewish history, he was also an expert on Greek coinage, and was fully conversant with Elamite, Aramaic, Akkadian and Hebrew languages. He contributed to Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum III (1964). He re-edited Inscriptiones Graecae (Berlin Academy), revised Tod’s Greek Historical Inscriptions to the End of the Fifth Century BC (1969), and collaborated in the revision of Pickard-Cambridge’s Dramatic Festivals of Athens. He wrote Sparta and Persia (1977), and co-edited three volumes of the revised Cambridge Ancient History, to which he contributed extensively. He served (as did Neville Laski) as both president of the Oxford University Jewish Society and president of the Oxford Jewish Congregation, which latter body published his The Jews of Oxford (1992). He was elected FBA (1973) and a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute. He married Barbara, daughter of Samson Wright (q.v.), and died in Oxford. (MICHAEL JOLLES 3 NOVEMBER 2006. JC 25 February 1927; JC 15 June 1928, p.44; Times 18 July 1994; ODNB.)  

Michael Vivian Posner (August 25, 1931 - February 14, 2006), father emigrated from Russia to escape pogroms, grew up in London and attended Balliol College, Oxford.

Dr. Harry Shukman (1931-2012) Emeritus Fellow, St Anthony's College Oxford, and former Head of Russian and East European Centre. 

Raaphi Joseph Arie Persitz (26 July 1934 – 4 February 2009), born in Palestine, was an English–Israeli–Swiss chess master. He studied at Balliol College, Oxford, and represented Oxford University in the annual match against Cambridge University on three occasions (1954, 1955 and 1956) and also played for England and Israel. 

Robert Nozick (1938 - 2002), American Philosopher, visiting Fellow and lectured at Oxford

Mr Roger Van Noorden (8 July, 1939 - 12th April, 2010) was a Fellow of Hertford College where he taught economics from 1963 to 2006. He was involved with the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies for many years and served on the Board of Governors from 1987 to 2006. 

CohenGA.jpgProfessor Gerald Allan "Jerry" Cohen (14 April 1941 – 5 August 2009) was a Marxist political philosopher, formerly Visiting Quain Professor of Jurisprudence, University College London and Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, All Souls College, Oxford. Born into a communist Jewish family in Montreal, Cohen was educated at McGill University, Canada (BA, philosophy and political science) and the University of Oxford (BPhil, philosophy) where he studied under Isaiah Berlin and Gilbert Ryle.

Dr. Joseph Sherman (1944- 2009), Yiddish scholar, Oriental Institute, Oxford University.

Professor David Goodman (d. March, 2013) was professor of modern European history and taught at Continued Education at the University of Oxford. His lectured at the Chabad Society on the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. He is the father of the Goodman family who resided in Oxford before moving to Israel. 

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), famed author and journalist, studied at Balliol College. According to Hitchens, when his brother Peter took his fiancée to meet their maternal grandmother, who was then in her 90s, she said of his fiancée, "She's Jewish, isn't she?" and then announced: "Well, I've got something to tell you. So are you." 

Dr. Mike Woodin (6 Nov, 1965 - 8 July, 2004), Balliol College and Principal Speaker of the Green Party of England and Wales. Helped establish the annual tradition of kindling the 12ft Menorah on Chanukah in central Oxford inconjunction with Rabbi Eli Brackman and Chabad of Oxford.

Isaac Meyers (1979-2009) was a student in 2003 at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish studies and St Peter’s College, Oxford. He passed away tragically at 28 years while teaching at the Harvard Classics Department. He was a close friend of the Oxford University Chabad Society, where an annual memorial lecture in Jewish Classics has been established in his honour. 

Jonny Fraser drowned trying to save a friend in India, summer 2005, at 21-year-old, while studying in his second year politics, philosophy and economics, St Peter's College, Oxford University.

Antonia Bruch (Nov, 2009) was an undergraduate student studying theology at Regent's Park College, Oxford University.  

Copyright Chabad of Oxford - Rabbi Eli Brackman 



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