15 February 2017
The Jewish Chronicle newspaper has run a three-page feature on a major historical find at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS).
The virtually unseen archive from 1914-1918, belonging to the LJS, has been brought into public view for the first time in a century.
It is running on the The Heritage Lottery Fund’s London Jews in the First World War: We Were There Too project website at www.jewsfww.london.
In the late 1980s, former honorary archivist at the LJS, Sharon Lewison, discovered two bound manuscripts of stories, essays, poetry and drawings compiled by young people during 1915/6.
After the war, the books were lost for decades until she found them.
Eventually, having been restored, the volumes were returned to secure boxes where they have remained until now.
The books are now part of an archive, which, back in 2013, the National Archive at Kew deemed “a crucial source for the history of modern Judaism.”
Project director Alan Fell told the JC that the material is of immense historical importance, saying: “It shows how kids were caught up in the propaganda of the day. As far as we can find out, there is nothing like this in the world — a contemporaneous record of the views of young Jews. It has a resonance to what is happening in the world now.”
The project’s Mandy King added: “You can get stuff about soldiers. You might find a bit about women, particularly if they were in the Auxiliary Corps. This is the missing link. These are extraordinary impressions of the time.”
To access the LJS material, go to www.jewsfww.london and click on The First World War through the eyes of London’s Jewish children. If you have a story you would like to preserve on the site, email firstname.lastname@example.org.Click here to read the JC article
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