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Sheffield

SHEFFIELD

SHEFFIELD , steel manufacturing city in N.E. England. Some Jews may have settled in Sheffield in the 18th century, but the first family of note was the Bright family, many of whose descendants, however, later married non-Jews. There was an incipient community in 1827 centered around the Jacobs family, who maintained a synagogue in their own home and employed a shoḥet. A permanent congregation was organized in 1838 and in 1851 was able to buy the premises used as a synagogue and advertise for a minister. During the mass immigration of 1881 to 1914, a number of Russo-Polish refugees settled in Sheffield; by the beginning of the 20th century the Jewish population was 800. However, it was more difficult for Jews to enter steel industries than clothing industries and consequently Sheffield attracted proportionately fewer Jews than many other manufacturing cities in northern England. In 1953 the two synagogues were amalgamated; there were a number of communal and Zionist organizations in the city, as well as a University Jewish Society and Hillel House. In 1969 Sheffield had a Jewish population of 1,600 (out of a total of 490,000). In the mid-1990s the Jewish population dropped to approximately 800. In 2001, the British census found 763 declared Jews in Sheffield. The city has an Orthodox and a Reform synagogue. Armin Krausz's Sheffield Jewry (1980) is a sociological study of the community.

bibliography:

C. Roth, The Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 99; Lipson, in: Transactions of the Hunter Archeological Society, 6 no. 3, 117–25; jyb; V.D. Lipman, Social History of the Jews in England, 18501950 (1954), 24, 102, 138, 171.

[Vivian David Lipman]

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