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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

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

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

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

John Cooper

Liverpool University Press

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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