Author: Melody Amsel Ariel

Publisher: Pen and Sword Family History

ISBN: 1848844115


This book of historical research uses the life stories of ten individuals who immigrated to Britain between 1750 and 1950 to open a door onto the general history that goes back as far as the original diaspora, delves into the Inquisition and sheds light on the social and economic developments that all too often led to persecution and the resulting emmigration of Jews world wide. 

The author is clearly interested in how general history impacts families and how family history impacts individual lives from one generation to the next.  In her conclusion she quotes from the Talmud:

"Whoever saves a single Jewish soul, it is as if he has saved an entire world" and then does the math to show how this history does in fact exemplify that:

The emmigrants featured in this study left not only drought, famine, disease and persecution behind, but also their friends and loved ones. Most, they knew they would never see again. Despite this, all were determined to forge new lives in their adopted land.  Although Great Britain embraced, opposed, protected and accepted them, sometimes all at the same time, these Jewish "greenies" not only adapted but each, in his own way, prospered.  In time, their roots deepened and their families grew.  From their roots have come an estimated five thousand descendants, or more. Research continues.  And their families, some of whom have spread from Britain to North America, Australia and Israel, continue to grow.  Ten people, five thousand descendants . . . their miracle - the miracle of Jewish continuity - was the confluence of opportune timing, personal resilience and reliance on tradition." (p. 160) 

This is a book that will surely inspire readers to delve into their own ancestral history and to explore general history with a deepened interest.

About the Author From

Melody Amsel-Arieli is an Israeli-American amateur genealogist and professional journalist whose articles have appeared in many genealogical and historical magazines in the UK, the US and Canada. She is the author of a book memorializing her grandfather's town, Between Galicia and Hungary: The Jews of Stropkov.

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