Doctoral Studentship at Cardiff and Southampton on British Jewish Humanitarianism in the 20th century



Setting the Holocaust in context: British Jewish Humanitarianism in the 20th century

British Jews have a long history of overseas humanitarianism and supporting Jewish migrants and refugees to Britain, but this is only recently being recognised and analysed in the scholarly community. The student would undertake a history of 20thc British Jewish humanitarianism with the Holocaust as its core, exploring its antecedents and marginality in British memory thereafter. The project aims to connect the efforts of the Central British Fund for German Jewry (CBF) and the Chief Rabbi’s Religious Emergency Council (CRREC) to (1) elite, liberal traditions of British Jewish activism predating the 1905 Aliens Act, including those of Zionism, migration, and agricultural colonies (2) Jewish intra-communal tensions along the Orthodox/Progressive divide, class, immigration history, and gender roles (3) other Jewish and British traditions of humanitarian activism, intimately connected to war and empire (4) the status of British Jewish humanitarianism post 1945, including CBF’s evolution into World Jewish Relief.

The British Jewish humanitarian tradition is neither a focus of current research on humanitarianism nor a part of British Holocaust consciousness. Conversely, British Jews have yet to be integrated into the narrative of 20th century transnational Jewish activism. This project will contribute to research on British Holocaust consciousness, humanitarianism, British Jewish history, and Jewish international activism. Reframing discussions of Jewish agency in humanitarian assistance is timely given the 2023 Kindertransport anniversary and the 2025 UK Holocaust Memorial opening.


Dr Jaclyn Granick, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University,

Professor Tony Kushner, Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations and History Department, University of Southampton,

Dr Jenny Carson, Holocaust Educational Trust,

More information and to apply by 24 January.

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