Thursday, April 8, 2010

JEWISH MANCHESTER BY BILL WILLIAMS

PUNCA MASALAH DI DUNIA

Petikan ini adalah dari buku yang diterbitkan oleh Breedon Books Publishing Company Limited pada tahun 2008.

Introduction

Manchester Jewry is today the largest Jewish community in the British provinces, with a populaion conservativel estimated at 35,000. It is served by around 46 synagogues, which between them represent every religious segment of British Jewry, and by over 150 othe institutions that provide for the community's cultural, social, educational, political and charitable needs. This inclused 20 Zionist organisations, which highlights Manchester Jewry's support of the State of Israel. It has its own newspaper, The Jewish Telegraph, founded in 1950, which serves as a major vehicle of communication within the community. It was Manchester's largest monority community until the arrival of imigrants from the British Commonwealth in the years after World War Two. It was also a community of international importance, consisting of immigrants and refugees from almost every part of the Jewish world, reflecting all the major developments in Jewish communities overseas and itself playing a major role in the evolution of world Jewry. It was in Manchester that Chaim Weitzman, a lecturer in Chameistry at the University of Manchester, created the band of Zionists, the so-called 'Manchester School', that subsequently played a major role in persuading the British Government to issue the Balfour Declaration, on which the creation of the State of Israel was to be substantially based.

JEWISH LINK TO FREEMASONRY

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Barred by ancient prejudice from most other centres of local society in Liverpool and Manchester, some of the earliest Jewish settlers, including the Nathan brothers, had joined Freemason lodges, open without religious restriction, as a means of relating to the local populations and perhaps of confirming their own commercial integrity. Certificates survive showing that Lemon Nathan had belonged to a Freemason lodge in Liverpool before coming to Manchester and that Jacob Franks, a dealer in optical lenses, who had arrived in Manchester with the Nathan brothers and was one of the signatories of the lease of the Pendleton Burial Ground, joined a Manchester lodge in 1810. Aaron Jacoob, Reader at the first Manchester synagogue, was also a Freemason. Jacob Nathan's son Elias, who became an optician, was also a manufacturer of Masonic jewellery.

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In or about 1886, male members of the community created a charity of a unique kind. Known as the Bread, Meat and Coal Society, each of its subscribers received coupons to the value of his subscription which he could then distribute to those he believed to be in need and which could be exchanged in local shops for beef, coal and bread. Subscribers, it was said, thus 'had the satisfaction of relieving those whom they personally knew to be deserving'. Its only overheads were the rent of a small office, paid for by the proceeds of a ball held annually on the festival of Purim. The society appeaars to have been founded by the local furniture dealer Samson Levi, its other committee members linked to him solely by their membership of Zion Lodge, a Jewish Freemason lodge founded in 1879. In 1895 the presidency of the society passed to Aubrey Franks, who was the eldest son of the founder and first Master of Zion Lodge and grandson of the optician Jacob Franks, a founder member of Manchester Jewry. Another early member of the Bread, Meat and Coal Society was Frederick Hyman who, in 1887, founded and edited the only Jewish newspaper published (although only for a jew months ) in 19th Century Manchester.

JEWS IN BIG BUSINESSES START SMALL

                                                 THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD

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In 1799 these ex-peddlars making their way into the Manchester economy with mixed fortunes were joined by a Jewish immigrant from Frankfurt, whose ambitions stretched well beyond the retail trades. Nathan Mayer Rothschild, who then established himself in Manchester as a cotton merchant, was the son of Amschel Rothschild of Frankfurt who, to extend his already extensive commercial interests, had despatched his sons to centres of trade throughout Europe. In Manchester, where he acquired a house at Downing Street, Ardwick, some two miles from the Old Town, and a warehouse in Mosley Street in the town centre, Nathan Rothschild bought in cotton cloth from factories around Manchester for export to his home country. A surviving day book records his purchases and profits and notes the cases of wine with which he encouraged his suppliers. It is said that, in his 10 years in Manchester, he triples his initial investment of around GBP20,000 before moving to London, where in 1810 he establishedd the family's merchant bank in New Court.

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In 1845 municipal office was opened to Jews. ......................... In Manchester, 1858 marked a high point of Jewish confidence and it was also the point at which political emancipation was achieved nationally. By allowing Jewish MPs to avoid taking a Christian oath of allegiance, and with Baron Rothschild's entry to the House of Commons, Jews had become part of the government of Britain.

                                                            MARKS & SPENCER

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Among those arriving in Britain from the Russian Empire in 1882 was the young Michael Marks, who, afer first trading as a pedlar on the ste=reets of Leeds, opened a series of market stalls characterised by the phrase ' Don't ask the price, it's a penny', and thus known as 'Penny Bazaars'. In 1894 Marks settled in Manchester, where he entered into partnership with Tom Spencer, a former clerk at the Leeds warehouse from which he had obtained his goods, to create Marks and Spencer. His first shop, as distinct from market stall, was opened in the same year on Cheetham Hill Road where he himself first lived. In 1899 building work began in Derby Street for the construction of the firm's first head offices and warehouse, opened in 1901. It was only in early 1920s, after the firm had achieved spectacular success with its base in Manchester, that the company moved its headquarters to London's Baker Street. After Marks early death in 1908, and a brief struggle for succession, the firm passed into the hands of his son, Simon, and son-in-law, Israel Sieff.

THE BIRTH OF ZIONISM

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                                                         ROLE OF ROTHSCHILD

By the beginning of the 19th century there were perhaps 10,000 Jews in a total Palestinian population estimated at between 150,000 and 300,000. During the first half of the 19th century, Jewish philanthropists ( particularly from the Montefiore and Rothschild families ) had given some shape to this sporadic resettlement by the planting of agricultural colonies. A small but steady stream of Russian immigrants, suffering under the anti-Jewish policies of the Tsar, made their way to the Holy Land, particularly after the easing of Ottoman discrimination against non-Muslims after 1856.

Manchester Jewry's first contact with Palestine took the form of 'haluka': money collected in the city and distributed to Palestinian Jews dependent for survival on such outside aid. During the 1860s and 1870s David Meyer Isaacs, minister of the Manchester Great Synagogue, was president of a Jerusalem Society founded for such a purpose. In 1878 the Russian immigrant optician, William Aronsberg, succeeded Isaacs as president of what had by then become known as the Manchester Society for the Relief of the Poor Perushim. There is record of his personal appeal in October 1879, after which funds were despatched to Palestine through the British Council.

It was not until 1880s, however, following the penal May Laws in Tsarist Russia, that evidence exists of a Manchester movement to actually promote the colonisation of Palestine. In 1882 Rabbi Dr. Brendt Salomon, the Danish minister of the Manchester Great Synagogue, wrote a strong letter to the Jewish Chronicle to suggest that Palestine was a more fitting destination than the United States for Jewsish immigrants from Russia.

Salomon's was a lone Manchester voice. Probably of greater influence was the creation in Russia in December 1884 of Chovovei Zion ( the Lovers of Zion ), to promote Russian immigrant prticipation in the more systematic colonisation of Palestine.

The ripples which flowed from Kattowitz, where Chovovei Zion (CZ) was founded, included the setting up of a Manchester Society for the Promotion of the Colonisation of Palestine at some time during the autumn of 1885. Said to have then found support 'among the humble Jews of Manchester ', its president was the Russian immigrant cap-making entrepreneur, Mark Doniger. A public meeting chaired by Judah Valentine, in September, 1885, ' to elicit the sympathy and advice of the leading members of the Manchester community ' suggests, however, that the 'humble' felt in need of more influential support. When this was not forthcoming, the society appears to have disbanded.

For the next five years, interest in Palestine was again confined to the raising of haluka, particularly by Louis Jacobs, the energetic secretary of the Manchester Talmud Torah, and Susman Cohen, then rising to prominence as the fiery minister of a chevra in Red Bank. During 1887, both delivered public lectures on the needs of the 'distressed Jewish poor' of Jerusalem. In a letter to the Jewish Record in July 1887, Jacobs made an impassioned plea for help from the Diaspora in establishing factories in Jerusalem. He believed Jewish settlers in the Holy Land were no longer to be seen only as 'vulnerable learned men' who had chosen to devote their lives to study; the majority were now 'men, young and middle-aged, though they spend some hours in study, employ the most part of the day in endeavours to make a living'. They requiired help, which they could not expect from the Ottoman authorities, in furthering the industrial and agricultural development of Palestine.
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                                                        ROLE OF MARKS & SPENCER
In 1904 Chaim Weitzman, a man of Russian birth and already an imporant figure in international Zionism, arrived in Manchester from Zurich to take up a post in the chemistry department at the University of Manchester. He was met at the station by Joseph Massel, in whose house he spent his first days in the city and through whom he made his first Zionist contacts. Throwing himself into local Zionist activity activity, while keeping in contact with the international movement, it was in Manchester that he built around himself a body of influential supporters, Jewish and non-Jewish, which included, on the Jewish side, Massel, Simon Marks and Israel Sieff, the joint managing directors of Marks and Spencer; Dr. Charles Dreyfus, owner of the Clayton Aniline Dye Company and a Conservative city councillor; Leon Simon,  the son of the minister of South Manchester Synagogue; Harry Dagut, the teacher-son of an immigrant Rabbi Mendel Dagutsky; Harry Sacher, a leader writer with the Manchester Guardian; the Hebrew book seller and 'Commander' of the Mount Horeb Beacon of the Order of Ancient Maccabeans, Isaac Chazan; the Sephardi merchant, Samuel J. Cohen and, on the non-Jewish side, the Manchester Guardian's editor, C. P. Scott; his colleagues, Herbert Sidebotham and Walter Crozier; and the Conservative MP for East Manchester, A. J. Balfour. It was Marks, Sieff, Simon and Dagut who in 1911 came together with Joseph Massel's son, Simon, to create the monthly Zionist Banner, one of the first Zionist periodicals in England.

It was largely through this Manchester School of Zionists and through the contacts he had made in the city that in 1917, after leaving Manchester for London, that Weitzmann was able to persuade the British Govevernment, in which Balfour was then Foreign Secretary, to issue, in November 1917, the Balfour Declaration, committing itself to support for a 'Jewish homeland in Palestine'. It was the Balfour Declaration, in turn, which provided a realistic basis for the creation of the Jewish State in what, in 1918, had become the British Mandate of Palestine.


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