FINESTEIN, ISRAEL (1921– ), British judge, historian, and communal leader. Born in Hull, Finestein had a distinguished career at the bar, serving as a county court judge in 1972–78. He combined this with an extraordinary array of senior communal positions, serving as president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews from 1991 to 1994 and as vice president of the World Jewish Congress during the same years. Finestein is at least as well known as an historian of the Anglo-Jewish community, serving as president of the Jewish Historical Society of England in 1973–75 and 1993–94. His prolific output on the history of the Jews in Britain, especially in Victorian times, includes Anglo-Jewry in Changing Times: Studies in Diversity, 1840–1914 (1999) and Scenes and Personalities in Anglo-Jewish Life, 1800–2000 (2002).
[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]