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Title: Jews in Edinburgh : 1880-1950
Author: Gilfillan, Mark
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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The thesis makes a contribution to the study of the history of modern Scotland, and examines the history of an ethno-religious community in Scotland's capital. It also adds to British-Jewish historiography. The study commences with a brief outline of the origins of Edinburgh Jewry, before proceeding to an account beginning with the arrival of thousands of Jewish immigrants in the latter half of the nineteenth-century, and concluding with the decline of the community which marked the period after the Second World War. The thesis has three main aims: firstly, it seeks to illuminate the circumstances in which Jewish immigrants to the city found themselves in the period 1880-1914; secondly, it aims to explore the manner in which this community adapted and integrated into Edinburgh society in the following decades; and thirdly, it seeks to evaluate the nature of Jewish/non-Jewish interactions throughout the period under discussion. While the focus of the study is to a large extent 'local,' it is intended that the national and international connections of the community under study do not go unacknowledged. The thesis proceeds in a largely chronological format. A strong thematic element will also be apparent, broaching such topics as: Jewish economic activity, education and social mobility, religion and culture, and issues of assimilation and acculturation. The majority of the thesis is concerned with a period spanning some 70 years, during which time there was mass emigration from Russia, technological advancement in transport and in all walks of life, two world wars, and genocide targeting Europe's Jews. It is necessary, therefore, to incorporate these events in a manner relevant to the study. The thesis uses a wide variety of source material, including a broad range of primary sources to argue that, like its counterparts across Britain, from its genesis Edinburgh's immigrant Jewish community was engaged in a struggle both to integrate and to maintain its distinctiveness. It will be argued that in many respects the Edinburgh Jewish experience bears great similarities to broader trends in British Jewry. It will also be argued that the story of Edinburgh's Jews is to some extent unique.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available