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Pride Versus PrejudiceJewish Doctors and Lawyers in England, 1890-1990$
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John Cooper

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774877

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774877.001.0001

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The Entry of East European Jews into Medicine, 1914‒1939

The Entry of East European Jews into Medicine, 1914‒1939

Chapter:
(p.43) Two The Entry of East European Jews into Medicine, 1914‒1939
Source:
Pride Versus Prejudice
Author(s):

John Cooper

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774877.003.0003

This chapter examines why so many young Jews from east European immigrant backgrounds in England set out to become doctors, when this trend began, and how it gathered momentum. The concentration of the immigrant generation in England in the tailoring, cabinet-making, and shopkeeping businesses meant that Jewish families favoured self-employment—an inclination further encouraged by the difficulty of maintaining strict sabbath observance when working for non-Jewish or public authority employers. The professions of medicine and law were more prestigious and generated higher incomes than the manual occupations or shopkeeping, but nevertheless were based on the same model of self-employment, and this attracted upwardly mobile Jewish men and women into them. Moreover, employment prospects in the medical profession were believed to be reasonably good. The chapter then considers the rate of recruitment of Jewish medical students in London and the leading provincial centres with large immigrant populations—Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool. It also discusses whether or not there was antisemitism in the admissions policy of the medical schools, and how important antipathy towards Jews was among English medical students.

Keywords:   east European Jews, Jewish immigrants, England, self-employment, medical profession, Jewish medical students, antisemitism, medical schools

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