Jewish Family History
Posted by Jack
Last Sunday we hosted an event to explore Jewish Family History. The local Jewish community had invited David Jacobs from the Jewish Museum in London who had a rich set of starting points from his own book collection and from the Jewish Chronicle. There is clearly a fantastic local history project waiting to happen.
One small example was a directory from 1893, listing 6 people engaged in the watchmaking industry. A quick chat with a curator suggests that only one of these is known to us. This feels like a lovely example of community history – adding a new layer of detail to the Coventry’s existing story. Given watchmaking is a key part of our history gallery display, it would be great to find a way of making this knowledge available to our visitors.
So often the history of a minority community focuses on the biggest or oldest examples, such as the Chinese community in Liverpool or the London East-End Jews. I think exploring the stories of these same groups in Coventry is often more representative of the wider UK experience – smaller communities without great buildings and long held links.
I like the small histories. They never seem to make it onto the History Channel, but they make the past ring true.