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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

Rabbi Dr Salis Daiches and the Quest for a Scottish Beth Din Seminar

26 May 2015
Lecture Theatre C Avenue Campus University of Southampton Highfield SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Parkes Institute at .

Event details

Part of the Parkes Jubilee Seminar Series 2014/15

In this paper Dr Holtschneider will explore the (unsuccessful) efforts, in the early twentieth century, to establish regional rabbinical authorities. Scotland serves as a case study, Rabbi Salis Daiches being a vocal proponent of the decentralisation of rabbinical authority away from the London Beth Din. Papers from the rabbinical conferences in the first two decades of the twentieth century, Daiches’ publications on the subject in the Jewish press, and his correspondence with Chief Rabbi Hertz form the basis of this paper. Dr Holtschneider will argue that Salis Daiches pursued the establishment of a Scottish Beth Din not only because he believed that orthodoxy would be better served through (semi-)autonomous local batei din which could engage with the concerns of individuals and congregations more immediately and directly, but saw this pursuit as a key part of his Scottish career and his ambitions for formally recognised religious leadership among Scottish Jews.

Speaker's Biography

Hannah Holtschneider is a cultural historian. She earned her doctorate in 2000 with a dissertation on collective memory, subsequently published as German Protestants Remember the Holocaust (Lit. Verlag 2001). Her second monograph The Holocaust and the Representation of Jews (Routledge 2011) explored the representation of Jews and the Holocaust in museums. Currently, she is working on a monograph about studying Contemporary Jews and Judaism (contracted to Routledge) and is beginning a major AHRC-funded research project on Jewish religious life in Scotland: Jewish lives, Scottish spaces: Jewish migration to Scotland 1880-1950 (with Dr Mia Spiro, University of Glasgow). She is co-editor of an online teaching resource on Jewish/non-Jewish relations (, and serves on the committee of the British Association for Jewish Studies (BAJS).

Speaker information

Dr Hannah Holtschneider , University of Edinburgh. Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies

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