The Jews Of South West England
The Rise and Decline of their Medieval and Modern Communities
The definitive study of the once-important Jewish communities of Devon and Cornwall, providing an in-depth study of the demography and economic activity as well as the political, cultural, religious and social life of South-Western Jewry.
Acknowledgements, viii; Glossary, xi; List of Abbreviations, xv; List of Maps, xvi; List of Tables, xvii; List of Illustrations, xx; Preface, xxi; 1 Early Settlement; PART 1: Ancient Traces, 1; PART 2: The Medieval Jewry, 4; 2 Immigration and Emigration: The Jewish Communities after 1656; PART 1: Composition and Growth, 26; PART 2: Towns of Minor Jewish Settlement, 47; PART 3: Area of Town Occupied by Jews, 52; PART 4: Movement of Jews Within and Without the South West, 54; 3 Demographic Structure; PART 1: The Immigrants, 68; PART 2: Births, Marriages and Deaths, 71; 4 Occupations, 92; 5 Cemeteries and Synagogues, 126; 6 Communal Organization; PART 1: Lay and Religious Leadership, 136; PART 2: Synagogal Finances, 159; PART 3: Internal Communal Discipline, 168; 7 Religious Life, 172; 8 Philanthropy, 192; 9 Inventors, Writers and Artists, 206; 10 Acculturation and Assimilation, 221; Notes and References, 265; Additional Notes, 335; Selected Bibliography, 337; Index, 341.
"This well-documented account of the communities of Plymouth, Exeter, Falmouth and Penzance during the medieval and modern eras offers an affectionate account of provincial Jewish life in an overwhelmingly gentile environment, which led inexorably to a process of assimilation and eventual decline… The author, who was for many years the minister of Plymouth Hebrew Congregation . . . augments what is an essentially scholarly work with a wealth of anecdotes." (Jewish Chronicle)
The late Rabbi Susser was a historian of Jews in the South West of England.