Jewish Education in England, 1944-1988

Between Integration and Separation

by David Mendelsson (Author)
©2012 Monographs 322 Pages


Today, the dominant model for Jewish education is the community-wide, technologically advanced day school, where the Judaic subjects are taught by professional educators using student-friendly, interactive methodologies. Not so long ago, however, most Jewish education consisted of rote repetition of prayers and biblical passages and their translation into awkward English by teachers with no formal pedagogic training, in classes – often located in synagogue basements – held on Sunday or once a week after ‘ordinary’ school.
This book explains the radical reconfiguring of Jewish education in England in historical and sociocultural terms. It explores the transformations that took place in every aspect of Jewish education: curriculum, religious/ideological orientation, school format (afternoon classes vs day schools), funding (private vs state), and more. The author shows that this dramatic transition directly reflects both changes in the socioeconomic profile and self-identity of Anglo-Jewry as well as demographic and cultural changes in British society in general. Tracking the shift from integration to separation, this book maps the effect of competing societal, personal and communal agendas, pedagogic paradigms, and pragmatic constraints on the rise of the Jewish day school in England.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (February)
Jewish Education in England transformations that took place in every aspect of Jewish education Judaic subjects socioeconomic profile and self-identity of Anglo-Jewry
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. XXIV, 322 pp., 1 ill., num. tables

Biographical notes

David Mendelsson (Author)

David S. Mendelsson graduated from the University of Manchester and received his MA and PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Contemporary Jewry. He teaches modern Jewish history at Hebrew Union College, where he is Director of the Israel Studies Program; he also teaches at the Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School. His present research interests include patterns of Jewish identity in Israel, Israeli identity, and the changing profile of Anglo-Jewry’s communal self-perception.


Title: Jewish Education in England, 1944-1988