Spiro Ark together with Central Synagogue are delighted to host the book launch of this remarkable book which is a tribute to the late Judge Israel Finestein QC (1921-2009) by his nephew Colin Lang. He will be supported by a panel of distinguished speakers.
Israel Finestein was an outstanding communal leader, a former President of the Board of Deputies and a renowned Anglo-Jewish historian publishing numerous books and articles.
From these publications, the author looks at the impact of division within the community, from the Emancipation to the present day. He recounts the impossible search for pluralism in the face of unbridgeable religious divisions and considers the stresses imposed on communal institutions. He examines the divisive impacts od Zionism and the great immigration, which between them transformed the Jewish world. He looks at other areas of Jewish life such as the rise to prominence of women in the secular but not yet in the religious world, the importance of the provinces, and the role of the secular Jew.
The author invites the reader to consider whether the community has in fact benefited from the lack of unity, and whether despite a history of fragmentation, what the Jews have in common far outweighs what divides them.
After graduating from Oxford University, Colin Lang qualified and practiced as a solicitor. Amongst his many other vocational achievements he became a Deputy District Judge in the County Court for 15 years, as well as becoming the representative of Birmingham Hebrew Congregation at the Board of Deputies and a member of the Jewish Historical Society of England.