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Care and Conflict

The Story of the Jewish Orphanage at Norwood

Lawrence Cohen

Norwood, an Anglo-Jewish childcare institution founded in the late nineteenth century, was one of several hundred such institutions in the UK, but the only Jewish one. Throughout its history, Norwood had the unusual task of adapting its childcare approach to both British and Jewish concerns. This book offers a unique study of one residential child institution within the broader British context, tracing the development of the institution and changing concepts of childcare over nearly one hundred years.
The story of Norwood is told chronologically, beginning with its origins in the early nineteenth century and its growth before the First World War. The inter-war years saw a period of stagnation that paved the way for the post-war revolution in institutional childcare, the demise of the orphanage idea and, with it, the demolition of Norwood. The book provides a narrative of the rise and fall of the childcare institution as much as the story of Norwood.
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The book is based on my PhD thesis. I wish to thank my supervisor, Tony Kushner at Southampton University, for the excellent help he has given me throughout my studentship. The student–supervisor relationship has benefited not just from the normal academic standards but has generated a fruitful cross-fertilization of ideas that enhanced the intellectual quality of my work on Norwood.

My special thanks go to Martin Rayment, responsible for the archives at Norwood. His help has been invaluable in making the archives freely available for my work.

I wish to thank the Norwood Old Scholars’ Association for access to its past newsletters. David Golding, a Norwood scholar, kindly let me have use of his autobiographical manuscript.

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