The first Jewish newspaper in England was not the Jewish Chronicle – it was the Voice of Jacob, founded by Jacob Franklin (1809–1877), a traditional Orthodox Jew from a prominent family with connections to the Anglo-Jewish elite.
He established the Voice of Jacob in order to address the low level of Jewish knowledge and observance among British Jews, and the recent foundation of a Reform synagogue in London.
Franklin financed the venture with the support of Sir Moses Montefiore and other communal leaders. The first issue carried the publication date September 16 1841; Rosh Hashanah (Tishri 1) 5602. It predated the rival Jewish Chronicle by two months.
I have a bound volume, the fifth, for the years 1845-46.
After five years Franklin, who probably undertook much of the editorial work, severed his connection with the newspaper. However, it continued under new management for a further two years, but then encountered insuperable financial difficulties.
Here is the really interesting list of subscribers – the heart of the Anglo-Jewish community of 1845. Not just London, but Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and many other places. Also long lists from Gibraltar, Jamaica and other countries…
The last page of each issue carried paid advertisements and announcements from carious Jewish charities and institutions of their fundraising efforts and the names of their donors. This page, from the issue of 27th February 1846, lists donors to the Jews Infant School, the Institution for the Relief of the Indigent Blind of the Jewish Persuasion and the Jews and General Literary and Scientific Institution.
This is an interesting article about the visit of the Chief Rabbi to the Borough Synagogue, London, from the issue of 5th December, 1845.
This page, from the issue of 22nd May, 1846, reports on the mission of Sir Moses Montefiore to the Jews of Russia.
28th August 1846 is an important issue, because it provides information on early Australian Jewish history, including the history of the Sydney Synagogue:
Finally, Jacob Franklin gave up his newspaper in 1846, after five years, leaving it to be run by others for a further two years:
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