Integration of Jewish Immigrants in Glasgow, 1880-1939

Braber, Ben (1992) Integration of Jewish Immigrants in Glasgow, 1880-1939. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis analyses the process of integration of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in Glasgow between 1880 and 1939. At the turn of the 20th century several thousand Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe settled in Glasgow, where they joined a Jewish population of several hundred people who had come to the city or had been born there before 1880. The central question in this thesis is how integration developed. This is answered by adopting a traditional broad historical approach to the subject by examining, in turn, various aspects which played a crucial part in the immigrants' lives. The main areas dealt with here, to provide a picture of the immigrants' experience, were the development of the religious congregations, religious habits and lifestyle, the education of immigrant children, Jewish occupations and welfare, the participation of Jews in Glasgow's public life and the reaction of the non-Jewish population to the influx of immigrants. Throughout the thesis, integration of Jewish immigrants is reviewed within the wider context of the changes in Scottish society and the development of British Jewry. A wide range of primary and secondary sources, much of it from Glasgow Jewry and some of it used for the first time, is utilised. In general, it is found that the role of religion in Jewish life in Glasgow changed and was being supplemented as time went on by more secular ideologies in the post-1918 era, consequently religious habits and lifestyles were transformed. Immigrant children in Glasgow were educated in state schools, a development which provided a ready bridge into Scottish society. Jews found new occupations, notably in the professions. Some were very successful in business, manufacturing and in the professions. But not all immigrants were successful, many worked hard all their life while remaining poor. Jewish immigrants shared the urban experience of Glaswegians in general - the constant struggle to make ends meet, to get on. Jews were increasingly able to take part in general public life in Glasgow despite a rather ambivalent attitude towards Jews in general society. This thesis shows that during the period 1880-1939 there were various ways in which the Jewish immigrants integrated into Scottish society, but that in general they managed to integrate without losing their Jewishness.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: European history, Judaic studies
Date of Award: 1992
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1992-74982
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 14:46
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 14:46

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