I’m in London, well, in Richmond, just off Richmond Park… en route to Oxford tomorrow, where I’ll be taking part in a conference at the Yarnton Manor Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies on The Place of European Jewry in the Global Jewish Community.
It is often felt that contemporary Jewish life in North America and Israel eclipses that of European Jewry, which seems mostly concerned with the security agenda and the perception that Europe is becoming more hostile to Jews. Equally, though, European Jewish society is experiencing a renaissance through immigration, new identity patterns and innovation.
The conference will investigate the political, economic and social contexts of European Jewry, the demographic and sociological data, and the extent to which Jewish life in Europe is indeed threatened and/or experiencing a renaissance. The data will focus on the four communities in Europe that comprise 80% of European Jews – the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Hungary.
I haven’t been in the UK for about 7 years, so it’s been fun walking around this beautiful part of town…. tomorrow, before heading to Oxford, plans are to take a walk in Richmond Park, where (as a longtime fan of W.H. Hudson) I’m hoping perhaps to see a Hind…. Hudson’s book (A Hind in Richmond Park) is available for download on archive.org — I recommend it!