The forthcoming book, Foreigners, Aliens, Citizens – Medway and its Jewish Community, 1066 – 1939 (by Irina Fridman), is due to be available Summer 2020.
The book provides a comprehensive history of one of the largest provincial Jewish community of Victorian Britain and fills in a gap in both Jewish and local historiography.
Starting with the puzzle of the first Jewish community of Rochester in the 12th and 13th centuries, it then proceeds to look at the aftermath of the Jewish expulsion from the country and the return of the Jewish community to England in the 17th century.
The pioneering study concentrates on closely examining the inception and the development of the Jewish community within the religious, social and political landscapes of the Medway towns of Rochester and Chatham throughout the centuries, until the 1930s, just before the start of the Second World War.
This book, which also includes personal stories, will be of interest for both, historians and general readers.
“This book provides a vital piece of the jigsaw chronicling British Jewry as a whole, as well as providing a fascinating insight into the life of the hitherto unknown Medway Jews.”
Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE, writer, broadcaster and minister of Maidenhead Synagogue.
‘This is a thoroughly researched and highly enjoyable study that introduces us to the varied history of Jews in Chatham. A lively account of fascinating characters and moving human experiences, it brings an under-researched chapter of Kent history to life.’
Dr Maria Diemling, Reader in Jewish-Christian Relations, Canterbury Christ Church University.