To mark the publication of Controversy and Crisis – my book of collected essays (published in July by the Academic Studies Press) that cover some of the most sensitive and divisive issues to have confronted British Jewry in recent times – I am, in the interests of historical research, publishing electronically original documents in my possession related to these topics.
In 1992 the Department of Hebrew & Jewish Studies at University College London (UCL) was engulfed in a series of controversies involving its internal management and its relationship with the University of London, of which UCL was (and is) a part. These events were briefly referred to in the second edition of my monograph Modern British Jewry (Oxford University Press, 1998). I was then Chairman of the Academic Council of the University, as well as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Standards. I thus had a ‘ringside seat’ at the events which unfolded, but it also fell to me to deal in a professional capacity with the …
To mark the publication of Controversy and Crisis – my book of collected essays (published last month by the Academic Studies Press) : that cover some of the most sensitive and divisive issues to have confronted British Jewry in recent times – I am, in the interests of historical research, commencing the electronic publication of original documents in my possession related to these events.
The first, which I published on 7 August and which you can view at http://www.geoffreyalderman.com/pdf/deed.pdf , is the Deed of Submission (13 May 1985) that authorized the establishment of a special Beth Din [Ecclesiastical Court] to adjudicate on the dismissal from the staff of Jews’ College of the senior teacher of Talmud, Rabbi Simche Lieberman.
I now publish the second [ www.geoffreyalderman.com/pdf/Masorti.pdf ], which consists of two contrasting views of the Masorti movement by two successive British Chief Rabbis, Immanuel Jakobovits and Jonathan Sacks. On 24 September 1981 Jakobovits attempt…
To mark the publication of Controversy and Crisis – my book of collected essays that cover some of the most sensitive and divisive issues to have confronted British Jewry in recent times – I am, in the interests of historical research, commencing the electronic publication of original documents in my possession related to these events.
The first, which you can view at http://www.geoffreyalderman.com/pdf/deed.pdf , is the Deed of Submission (13 May 1985) that authorised the establishment of a special Beth Din [Ecclesiastical Court] to adjudicate on the dismissal from the staff of Jews’ College of the senior teacher of Talmud, Rabbi Simche Lieberman. This cause celèbre forms the subject-matter of ‘Albert Road: An Everyday Story of Jewish Folk,’ which was published as an appendix to my University of London Inaugural Lecture (1989) after having been banned by the Federation of Synagogues. The text of the lecture, and the banned appendix, are reproduced in full in Controversy and Crisis.
Professor Geoffrey Alderman is the acknowledged authority on the history of the Jews in modern Britain. During an academic career spanning forty years he has produced some of the most authoritative and controversial studies in this field, lighting up the dark corners of the Jewish existence in Great Britain and revealing secrets the Anglo-Jewish communities would rather have kept from public view. In this book he presents sixteen of these essays, covering fields as disparate as the history of the Jewish vote in the UK, the tr…
BRITISH GOVERNMENT'S CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS ACADEMIC LINKS WITH ISRAEL CONDEMNED AS "AN INSULT"
Prime Minister Gordon Brown's announcement today that the British government will only contribute £20,000 [$40,000] towards an academic co-operation programme with Israel has been condemned as "an insult" by leading Anglo-Jewish historian Professor Geoffrey Alderman.
Professor Alderman, who teaches politics and history at the University of Buckingham, England, but who is also Visiting Professor at York St John University and Emeritus Professor at Middlesex University (London) and Touro College (New York), said: "Compared to the money that the British government is giving to the Palestinian Authority, this is an insult. I would throw this back in their faces. If the government was seriously interested in a programme to foster academic cooperation, it would think in terms of millions."
Most of the money for the planned academic exchange scheme will come from p…
JEWISH EXAMPLE SHOWS THERE IS PLENTY OF ROOM FOR SHARIA WITHIN ENGLISH LAW
[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]
The experience of British Jewry demonstrates that there is plenty of room for aspects of Sharia to be incorporated within English law without in any way compromising the cardinal principle that all British citizens must be ‘equal under the law.’
This is the major theme of an address to be given by Professor Geoffrey Alderman to the Islamic Shari’a Council on Sunday 20 July 2008.
Professor Alderman, who teaches politics and history at the University of Buckingham, is the author of The Jewish Community in British Politics and Modern British Jewry (both published by Oxford University Press); he writes a weekly column for the Jewish Chronicle. He and his family are practising Orthodox Jews.
Supporting controversial remarks made earlier this year by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Professor Alderman, in his address, traces the history of the interface between Jews, Judaism and the English legal sys…
In today's Times Higher Education I invite Peter Williams, chief executive of the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Eucation, to examine the evidence I have collected supporting my view that the External Examiner system is no longer 'fit for purpose.'
Following the publication of Mr Justice Munby's ruling on a legal challenge to the admissions policy of the Jews' Free School, Kenton, London, I have issued the following statement:
" Mr Justice Munby has ruled that the JFS did not unlawfully discriminate against a boy whose mother was converted by a non-orthodox religious body.
He also said that the JFS's policy "of giving preference to children who are Jewish, applying Orthodox Jewish principles" was "essential" to its legitimate aim of pursuing its Orthodox ethos.
But the cases that I have been concerned with over several years are ones where the mother's conversion was by the supreme orthodox religious authorities in Israel. So, to that extent, I welcome the judge's words. In the two cases I have been concerned with the children remain fully Jewish in Israel, even though the Chief Rabbi of the United Synagogue in the UK refuses to recognize their religious status.
Josef Heinz Lobenstein, the resident gossip columnist of the Anglo-Yiddish Jewish Tribune – the newspaper of choice of the Anglo-Jewish so-called ‘ultra-orthodox,’ – has this past week [issue of 21 February 2008, not available online] turned his attention to the controversy triggered by a public lecture recently given by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In that lecture, Dr Williams argued for the incorporation within British law of certain aspects of Sharia [Muslim] law, and drew attention to some ways in which the religious requirements of Britain’s Jewish communities had already been similarly incorporated. I commented on this lecture – and supported the Archbishop’s position - in my Jewish Chronicle column of 15 February. Mr Lobenstein – who writes under the pseudonym ‘Ben Yitzchok’ – chooses not to comment directly on the contents of the lecture. He focuses his attention instead on criticisms of the response to that lecture from the Chief Rabbi of the United Syn…
Fifteen months ago the Esmé Fairbairn Foundation announced that it was funding the first independent review of primary education in England since the ill-fated inquiry presided over by Lady Plowden in 1967. That investigation led to a widespread, chilling decline in standards that have scarred successive generations of pupils. I had hoped that the new inquiry, chaired by Professor Robin Alexander, of Cambridge University, would avoid the obsession with reform for reform’s sake that had so comprehensively undermined the Plowden review. Now, with the recent publication of its latest batch of reports, I am not so sure.
The report which caught my eye is entitled Aims for Primary Education: the changing national context, co-authored by two London University academics, Stephen Machin and Sandra McNally. It makes a ritualistic bow to acknowledge that one of the aims – I would have thought an overriding aim – of primary education is to inculcate a basic proficiency in literacy and numeracy. …