Jewish Presence (5) - Clergy

Seven of the clergy who served in three of our churches – St Mark Whitechapel, Christ Church Watney Street and St John the Evangelist Grove Street – in the mid to late 19th and early 20th century were converts from Judaism. Not surprisingly most took a special interest in ministry among the Jews, both here in what had become the heartland of British Jewry, and overseas. Some also became involved in mission to those of other faiths.

The story of Christian-Jewish mission is complex and in some respects controversial, and has been extensively researched. This is merely a brief factual outline of some features of the 19th century scene, to set their ministries in context.

There were many agencies working among the Jews, each with different theological emphases, but the oldest, largest and best-resourced was the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews, also known as the London Jews Society (LJS). Founded in 1809, and supported by many of the well-known evangelical Anglicans, its original object was visiting and relieving the sick and distressed, and instructing the ignorant, especially such as are of the Jewish nation; this was later modified to relieving the temporal distress of the Jews, as well as to promoting their spiritual welfare.

Its first home was 59 Brick Lane, Spitalfields [left] - an emblematic building which has been by turns a Huguenot chapel, La Neuve Église (1743); then leased to LJS as the Jews' Chapel (1809); then to a community of Methodists (1819), becoming Spitalfields Chapel (Wesleyan) in 1843; then to the London Hebrew Talmud Torah who sub-let it to the strictly Orthodox Machzike Hadath (Ashkenazis mainly from Lithuania) when it became Spitalfields Great Synagogue (1897, in the time when 10,000 of the 14,000 inhabitants of the parish were Jewish). Closed in 1952, when a new synagogue was opened in Golders Green, it was sold to Bangladeshi Muslims and became a mosque, London Jamme Masjid (1976). Umbra sumus, reads the appropriate inscription above its sundial: we are shadows (Psalm 144.4).

In 1813 LJS activities transferred to Cambridge Heath in Bethnal Green, where the Episcopal Jews' Chapel (for Christian worship) and schools for Jewish children were established. A printing press to provide employment for converts had been set up in 1811, and later they were taught bookbinding  at the separately-run 'Operative Jewish Converts' Institution' (1831, later an industrial home). The site was named 'Palestine Place' in 1836.

After the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 the barrister Lewis Way began to advocate the causes of Jewish nationalism, giving a fourfold mission objective:
1) declaring the Messiahship of Jesus to the Jew first and also to the non-Jew
2) endeavouring to teach the Church its Jewish roots
3) encouraging the physical restoration of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel
4) encouraging the Hebrew Christian/Messianic Jewish movement.

In 1817, Way induced Czar Alexander I to issue two edicts assuring all baptized Jews of imperial protection and promising them land for farming. In Mémoires sur l'Etat des Israélites Dédiés et Présentés à Leurs Majestés Impériales et Royales, Réunies au Congrès d' Aix-la-Chapelle (Paris 1819) he emphasized the Messianic importance of the Jews, considered their relation to the Biblical promises and their ultimate fulfillment, and pleaded for their emancipation in Europe.

Critics therefore claim, ahistorically, that the Society was the first Christian Zionist association in Britain. In time the cause became bound up with 'restorationism' - beliefs about the imminent return of Christ – which is why it mattered so much to some kinds of evangelical. The Society asserted that its aim was not to baptize Jews, but to introduce them to the claims of Christianity, though about 5,000 Jews were in fact baptized during its first century of work. The fact that there were not more has been put down to the fact that, as O.J. Simon, who corresponded with Suffrin, explained to a missionary, emancipation had removed the most practical argument formerly used in favour of baptism: the most pious, the most learned, the most cultivated and the most enlightened [Jews] remain honourably by the covenant (cited in Geoffrey Alderman Modern British Jewry (1998), who wrote that that civil and political emancipation, because it was unconditional and preceded by social and economic emancipation, acted as a powerful breakwater).

In 1818 the Society sent its first foreign missionary, to Poland. Realising the need for training, a missionary unit was opened, and scriptures in Hebrew, Polish and Syriac were produced. In 1840 the Hebrew College was established for the instruction of converts as missionaries – a facility which other societies used. Many were sent over the years: in 1914 the Society employed 199 workers (82 of them Jewish converts) at 52 stations. But 'home mission', serving the material and spiritual needs of poor Jews in the East End, remained important.

In 1909 W T Gidney wrote a history of the first 100 years of the society. Its name changed several times over the 20th century, reflecting shifting perceptions:  'Church Missions to Jews', 'The Church's Mission to the Jews', 'The Church's Ministry Among the Jews', and in 1995 'The Church's Ministry Among Jewish People'.

Among other missionary agencies, apart from others mentioned below, were

(1) Aaron Emmanuel Suffrin (Christ Church Watney Street 1883-85) could be described as a thoroughly assimilated Jew, though in later life his second wife sued him for divorce on the grounds that his Jewish divorce from his first wife was not legal. Born in Piatra, Moldavia in 'Roumania' [sic] he was naturalised in 1895 - right - at the age of 39, already ordained, while studying Semtic languages at Exter College Oxford. He was a freemason (a member from 1897 of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge), and active in the Society of Biblical Archæology, with whom he shared papyri he had collected. In 1896 he sold to the British Museum a fine 14th century Italian illuminated manuscript which he had acquired on his travels. the Decisions of Isaiah of Trani the Younger (Pisqei Rabbi Yeshayah Aharon), fully described here [sample illustration left, showing the sale of a ship]. He was also a member of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, as were so many other local clergy.

Christ Church, Watney Street was his first post; it was followed by a year at St Andrew Hoxton and rural curacies at East Knoyle, Wiltshire; Holybourne, in Hampshire; and Warborough in Oxfordshire. In 1895 he embarked on an abortive mission to Syria, described by William Taylor in Antioch & Canterbury – The Syrian Orthodox Church & the Church of England 1874-1928 (Gorgias Press 2006) pp72-74:

On 5 Nov 1895 Elizabeth Finn [of the Syrian Patriarchate Education Society] wrote to the Foreign Office The Reverend A.E. Suffrin and Mr J. Hubert Smith BA (both of Exeter College Oxford) have proceeded to Syria as agents of the Syrian Patriarchate Education Society to assist the Syrian Patriarch in his educational work for his peoples. Mr J.H. Smith is of English birth, the Revd A.E. Suffrin is naturalised....These gentlemen arrived at Aleppo on 17th October on their way to the Patriarch at Mardin in Mesopotamia.

They were never to reach their destination. Political events in 1895 in Eastern Anatolia were far too disturbed to allow foreign visitors access. Armenian Turkish fighting was dominating the whole region. On 1 November 1895, Suffrin and Smith telegraphed from Aleppo, Waiting, Progress impossible. Wire advice.

The Committee of the SPES now had the task of giving advice as to whether the expedition should continue or not. Writing to the Foreign Office for the relevant advice, Elizabeth Finn enquired on behalf of the Society, We are at a loss to know what advice to give, not being sufficiently informed as to the circumstances – but have seen published reports of disturbances at Diyarbakir which is within two days journey of Mardin (but it is not necessary to go to Mardin via Diyarbakir). There are no Armenians at Mardin, only Syrian Christians (and some Moslems) who are always loyal to the Ottom
an Government and are not in any way concerned in political or foreign intrigue – nor are they in sympathy with the Armenians, whose supremacy they dread. And it is to be hoped there will be no disturbance at Mardin. [she adds that the missionaries had a grievance because on landing at Alexandretta Smith's revolver had been confiscated by a Turkish official.]

Despite Finn's inaccurate or misleading statement that there were no Armenians in Mardin (Parry had given an account of Armenians in Mardin), her analysis of the relationship between Syrians and Armenians is of interest. It was important to the Syrian Orthodox, and to the Patriarch in particular, that in pursuing their contacts with foreigners, they should under no circumstance allow themselves to be compared with the Armenians who had been, and were, seeking foreign intervention.

The Foreign Office response, of course, was that the missionaries should only operate under the instructions of the British Consul at Aleppo, Henry Barnham. W.A. Cockerell, the Foreign Office official who answered Finn's request made reference in general terms to the 'violent condition of feeling among both Moslems and Christians in Asiatic Turkey.' Specific references as to the cause and course of the disturbances are not made. Henry Barnham, British Consul in Aleppo, gave more specific details of the disturbances. He referred to the Armenian massacre in November 1895, at Marash. And even though Marash is a considerable distance from Mardin, and involved Armenians, not Syrians, he clearly felt that they feeling of the whole region was such that the presence of foreigners there would be an unnecessary risk. He counselled against any British presence there.

The 1895 expedition thus was halted at Aleppo and never reached its destination. Parry [of SPES], writing in 1892, had apparently not reckoned on the volatile political balance in Eastern Anatolia being so swiftly upset.

Suffrin went on to Palestine, returning the following year to three further curacies (Hounslow; Sparsholt with Kingstone Lisle, Berkshire; and Weybridge). In the 1901 census he was lodging at 10 Walton Street in Oxford. After a brief spell as chaplain in Lisbon in 1902 he became Vicar of Waterlooville in Hampshire from 1909-26 (where he baptized with Jordan water). From here he contributed articles to Hastings' Encyclopaedia on Religion and Ethics on 'Memre', 'Fortune (Jewish)', 'God (Jewi
sh)', 'Dualism (Jewish)', 'Fate (Jewish)', and to Hastings Bible Dictionary on 'Nod'. Over the years he corresponded extensively about parochial missions to the Jews. He married Amy Dora Sanger in 1906; he died in 1932, and Amy in 1960.

(2) Herman Caplan
(Christ Church Watney Street 1890-92) was born Hirsch Caplan in 1853 in Koenigsburg, Russia. His father Abraham was a Jewish schoolmaster, and trained his son in the Talmud. For some reason he was sent to England to live with and be educated by an Anglican minister. He converted, and prepared for ordination at King’s College, London. In 1880 he married Marion Eilween (Ellen) Wheeler, and they had six daughters. After curacies at St Olave Mile End Old Town and Holy Trinity, Grays Inn Road he came to Christ Church, Watney Street for two years before going on to further curacies in Norfolk, Essex and Yorkshire. He was actively involved with The London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews. He wrote poetry, and spoke several languages.

At this point he felt called to missionary work in Canada, and went to serve the parish of Batteaux with Duntroon and Singhampton from 1901-05, in primitive farmland; two of his daughters married local men. He moved to St John's Havelock, where he was president of the local Bible Society. He was there described as a gentleman of remarkably scholarly attainments whose sermons were always an intellectual treat. But congregations were small; and in 1908 he was appointed by the Diocese of Toronto to b
e a city missionary to the Jews. Here the family took in lodgers; one daughter became a nurse; another ran a grocery store. He also helped in various parishes, especially during the war when parishes were without priests. His health had begun to break some years earlier, and he died in 1919, and was buried at the Church of the Redeemer cemetery in Duntroon, Toronto.
[This and other family information, including letters he wrote to his grandchildren, has been provided from Canada by his great-great-grandson, to whom we express our thanks.]

(3) Hermann Hirsch (St Mark Whitechapel 1865-66 or 1868-70
- parish registers indicate the former, but Crockfords the latter, dates), born c1826, was a German Jewish convert who settled in South Africa (where there were a small number of other Jews and Jewish converts). He was ordained by the Bishop of Cape Town in 1857 and the following year found himself in sole charge of a school for native children set up in outhouses of the bishop's home - the bishop being absent on business in England. This was a bewildering experience, but as he reported to the Management Committee, he did what he could (report from the South African Church Magazine, October 1858):


I beg to forward you the first quarterly report of the Kafir school at Protea. I commenced my work here on the 11th of March in the present year. When I arrived I found thirty-six boys and three girls. The boys were of various ages, most of them being from six to thirteen years old. Eleven of them were rather older, six of them having probably attained the age of sixteen or seventeen years. The girls were about fifteen or sixteen. I also found here an intelligent Christian Kafir, who had been appointed by his Excellency the Governor to render me the services of an interpreter. This man is married to a Christian Kafir woman, who, like her husband, joined this institution in order to assist in the work among the children of her native country. After commencing with them all from the very beginning, and this under most difficult circumstances, not more than three months ago, you will not, I trust, already look for any extraordinary results. I can assure you, however, that I believe the blessing of God has hitherto accompanied my efforts.The children, generally, have proved themselves to be very intelligent. Their progress in writing, indeed, seems to be extraordinary; from my experience as a teacher, I may say that I never in my life met with any children, who in so short a time have mastered the difficulties of forming letters as these have done who are at present under my care. Some prejudice has prevailed among persons acquainted to some extent with the intellectual powers of the natives of this country, as to their inability to comprehend numbers. I am of a different opinion to that entertained by these persons. My pupils have proved themselves to be as competent to grapple with figures, at least in the rudimentary stage, as any intelligent children of European blood. In English reading they have given decided proofs of what may be termed a fair average amount of intellect. The principal parts of our Church Catechism they can not only repeat in a very intelligible manner, but they likewise understand it quite as well as the generality of Sunday-school pupils in any school, whether in England or at the Cape. Parts of it also they admirably rehearse in their own tongue. With regard to their conduct, I am happy to say that I on bear them the best testimony. They are good-natured, willing to learn, and obedient. I believe, moreover, that they feel perfectly happy in their present position. Of late, they have sometimes attended Divine service on Sunday in St. John's Church, Wynberg. Their conduct in the house of God has been very good. In conclusion, I may say a few words with reference to the routine of our daily work. At half-past six o'clock the bell rings for rising. This is the arrangement at the present season; in summer we shall of course rise earlier. I then take the boys to the small river behind Bishop's Court, where they perform their ablutions. After they have bathed, and finished their toilet, the bell rings again at seven o'clock, for morning prayers and religious instruction, which lasts until eight o'clock. They breakfast immediately afterwards, and then they have an hour's run. At half-past nine the school assembles. The morning's work is over at twelve or half-past twelve. At one o'clock dinner takes place. An allowance for a little play follows, and the schoolroom business is resumed shortly after two. At four o'clock I again dismiss them. Between that time and six o'clock I give some extra instruction to one or two of my pupils. At six o'clock they sit down for tea, I being present at this as well as at their other meals. Shortly after seven o'clock I have a Bible class; I first explain a portion of the Word of God, and then I catechise them on what they have heard. The younger children I do not now admit to this class. Shortly after eight o'clock the bell rings for retiring to bed, and then the candles are extinguished. This appears a somewhat early hour for the elder boys, as they are very fond of learning their lessons in an evening; but as I do not like to leave them alone with the candles, it seemed that they should all retire to bed at the hour named.

He appealed for help in building a school chapel, when the school moved to Schoonberg. He also set about building a sandstone church in Oudtshoorn, a growing village which became a town in 1963: the foundation stone of St Jude's was laid in 1860, the year he came to England. After two Somerset curacies (Croscombe and Coxley), and three years in Sunderland, he came to St Mark's (or perhaps he came here before Sunderland). In 1870 he went to Plumstead and St Saviour's Woolwich, as a missionary curate. From 1881-94 he was Rector of the [long-demolished] church of St Michael Wood Street, in the City of London - a parish of 2.2 acres with no fully inhabited houses; the residential population is very small, consisting solely of caretakers. Like some other Jewish converts, he was a freemason. He died in 1905.

(4) Alexander William
(Wilhelm) Schapira (St Mark Whitechapel 1887-90 & Christ Church Watney Street 1895-97), born in Russia in 1847, worked with the mainstream missionary societies rather than specifically Jewish ones. He had studied at St David's College Lampeter, and was ordained deacon in Sierra Leone in 1876 where he was a missionary, professor of Hebrew and tutor in other subjects at Fourah Bay College, Freetown (founded by the Church Missionary Society in 1827 and now part of the University of Sierra Leone). Two years later, aged 32, having been ordained in London (living in Hampstead, by which time he had married Theresa Elivina and had two young children - Alexander Charles Morris 11 months and newborn Elizabeth Julia - where he was naturalised in 1878 - right) to work with CMS, he went with the Society to Gaza, one of the four main stations of their work in Palestine, with a mission house, four schools and a dispensary. He ran a school for 45 Muslim Arab girls. In 1879 a statue of Zeus was unearthed, and he intervened with the Turkish authorities to prevent the Arabs from attempting to break it up.

Between his two spells in the East End (when two more children were born; Arthur Dowell in 1885, baptized at St Mark Kennington, and Cunningham Felix, baptized at St Mark's in 1887), he returned to the middle East as Bishop's Missioner in Haifa from 1890-95. Some of his correspondence with F.E. Wigram at CMS headquarters is held at Lambeth Palace Library (MS 1907-2340). But then came a complete change of scene: he went to New South Wales and and held posts in Scottsdale, Cullenswood, George Town and St Paul Sydney, where from 1906 he ministered to Asian and Syrian dockers in the Haymarket (Chinatown) area, alongside the Revd George Soo Hoo Ten who had long worked among the Chinese there. The Church Army arrived at about the same time. A grandson Frank was born in Tasmania in 1914; Alexander died the following year.

(5) Andrew Jacob Weinstein (St John the Evangelist-in-the-East 1890-93)
was born in Kiev in 1850 - in the strictest Hebrew sect, said one obituary, with Yiddish his first language - and baptized by a Roman Catholic priest, probably while studying at the French College in Beirut. He married a Swiss woman, Elizabeth; their first child was born in Port Said, where he was working as a colporteur (a distributor of books and tracts) through the London Jews' Society, and their second child in Baden, Switzerland. Coming to England (where he was naturalised), he trained for ordination at King's College London (AKC 1888) and was in turn curate at St Andrew Undershaft, St John's and Bow, also completing further study at Durham University. During his time at St John's he lived at 26 Arbour Square, and became a freemason - joining Burdett Coutts Lodge in 1891 - right.

He then spent two years in four different jobs in South Africa, at St James Dundee (Natal), Pretoria (as first Rector of Christ Church Polokwone), Vryburg and Harding. He returned to England, as a curate in Leicester for several months, before going to Australia from 1897-1906, first in Brisbane, then as Rector of Blackall, Queensland from 1897-1903, and then on to western Australia. At All Saints Collie (1903-05) it was reported that since his arrival he has visited diligently from house to house and has met with a hearty welcome. All the services, which are hearty and bright, are well-attended. The newly-formed choir is making satisfactory progress. For a further year he was priest in charge of Norseman.

Then came a spell in spell at Baden, Germany (not Switzerland - where one of his sons lived, the other being in Paris: their mother had died), after which he moved to the USA in 1907. After a few months in New York (where he declared his intention to seek American citizenship) he moved to Washington DC as chaplain at the Church of Our Saviour, Brookland, and in 1909 to Philadelphia, as port chaplain and assistant at St Peter's which had run a Jewish mission since 1890 (with a Good Friday offering for this work), to cater for the influx of Russian Jews into the area as a result of the pogroms, which intensified after the first Revolution of 1905. As in England, their arrival was resented by the established and wealthier (German) Jewish community - some of whom had become Episcopalians at St Peter's!  Another parallel was the stress on assimilation and becoming 'good citizens' made by some of those, both Christians and Jews, working with immigrants - Weinstein himself achieving citizenship in 1914. He ran English classes, with over 800 attendances in his first year and was at pains to show that Christians revered the Hebrew scriptures. At Christmas 1910 St Peter's choir sang hymns for his students, six of whom were presented with Yiddish bibles.

As port chaplain, in 1910-11 he met 74 ships bringing 5,379 immigrants; his Rector commented the fact that he speaks seven language besides twelve dialects is of untold assistance in this work; it is sometimes said that he is the only person able to understand the speech of the foreigners who come to the port, and therefore the only one able to help relieve their needs on arrival in a strange country. He continued his work at St. Peter’s House and at the port, as well as with the City Mission, for the next four years until the day of his death in 1915. His bishop said of him modest and devoted, much tried and troubled throughout his changeful life, those who knew him well will not easily forget him. He was a “hidden servant”, circumscribed in sphere of influence, but close to, and known by, God. See here for more about his life at St Peter's (naturalisation papers right).

(6) Albert Elias Abrahamson
(St Mark Whitechapel 1896-1900) was born in Kovno, Russia, probably in 1859  – there are some uncertainties and puzzles about his life! A convert of the London Jews' Society, in 1883 he married Catherine (Kate) Mary Hannam (or Hannan) who was born in Clonmel in 1851 and aged 16 had married Staff Sergeant-Major William Hannan of the barracks there. A child (later known as Mary Kathleen) was born in London around that time - but used her mother's maiden name when she married. In 1891 he enrolled as a non-collegiate student at Oxford (living with his family, and a servant, in Cowley - what was the source of his income?) and graduated in 1895, serving his title at St Mark's.

He does not appear to have been connected with any of the main Jewish missionary agencies, but in 1898 he set up his own agency, the Hebrew Christian Message to Israel, acting as its Secretary. This met for worship on Sundays, at the Mildmay Mission Building, but its main work was letter-writing: Abrahamson got Hebrew Christians to provide written testimonials, which he then posted out; some of these were sent to Jews in Russia. (It is not to be confused with the Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel, founded five years earlier by David Baron, with a specifically Messianic focus.) According to vol 1 of the magazine Salvation (1899) his target was to get out 50,000 letters before the Day of Atonement. For how long did this work continue? In 1911, the year of his death, it had an address in Stoke Newington.

From 1901-07 he was the Vicar of Skilgate, Wiveliscombe in Somerset, having apparently bought - as was legal until 1923 - the advowson (right of presentation) from Richard Bere; he was then appointed Vicar of West Molesely in Surrey, whose patron was Lady Barrow. In 1911 he was living in Stoke Newington (given as the address of his agency), and he died that year, intestate, in Blackheath. He had agreed to sell the Skilgate advowson to Kezia Williams (mother of his successor there), and received money for it but failed to complete the conveyance; she wished it to be transferred to the diocesan bishop (Bath & Wells), which with his widow Kate's consent was done - details here.

In 1909 he took out a patent for a 'detachable trailing cycle for carriages' - right, and see here for details.

(7) Michael Rosenthal (Vicar of St Mark Whitechapel 1899-1907), a rabbi born in Lithuania, was converted to Christianity by a Jesuit while on a tour of Europe fundraising for Jewish charites. He trained at the college of the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews (a parish-based charity established in 1877, where Dr Ewald was based) and worked from St Paul Haggerston for 14 years (the East London Tract Depot was set up there in 1887) as the hymnwriter Samuel John Stone's curate, and later as curate of St Peter Eaton Square. Although St Paul Haggerston had few Jewish residents at the time, Stone had inherited a passion for this work from his father (whom he succeeded as incumbent in 1874). A memoir of Stone's life comments, on Rosenthal's work there,
It was a strange sight to see the boys' schoolroom filled with a frowsy crowd of unkempt Polish Jews, singing in Yiddish, Lord, I hear of showers of blessing: it was a still stranger sight to see an adult baptism, when the converts would be followed into church by a fierce-eyed, muttering crowd of their fellows, who would threaten acts of personal violence alike to priests and converts, threats which, happily, they seldom if ever managed to put into practice. Strangest and most moving of all it was to be present at a choral Hebrew Eucharist, when one seemed, as it were, to be hearing the Church of Jerusalem in the first days lifting up their voice with one accord in praise of the Crucified. This Jewish work.....made, as might be expected, a deep impression upon the parishioners.

Active for 30 years in Jewish-Christian mission, Rosenthal served at St Mark's under the aegis of the East London Mission [later Fund] to the Jews, which
he had founded, and was based at 87 Commercial Road (opposite the top of Christian Street, in the then-parish of St Augustine Settle Street) and at Navarino Road in Dalston (where he lived before he became Vicar of St Mark's). (It is not to be confused with the East End Mission to the Jews, founded in 1890 by David Oppenheim and based in Leman Street.) The work of the mission included, according to its advertisements, A Home for Jewish Orphans, Hebrew Mission Services, Bible Classes for Inquiring Jews, Bible Classes for Lay Workers, Public Addresses to Unbelieving Jews, Meetings of the Hebrew Guild of Intercession, Mothers' Meetings for Unbelieving Jewesses, Instruction Classes to Catechumens, Preparing Jews for Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion, Helping them on their onward heavenly march, and also assistance for destitute Jews.  He claimed that over a period 20 years he had baptized over 600 Jewish converts. It supported curates, male and female layworkers and nurses, many of them themselves converts, and published annual reports of its work. It also organised the Hebrew Guild of Intercession (which claimed 1700-1800 members in the late 1890s), ran an orphanage from 1887, and published an edition of the Prayer Book communion service in Hebrew and English (here is a report of the Guild's 25th anniversary service - after Rosenthal's death - at which the Bishop of Stepney pronounced the absolution and blessing in Hebrew). Rosenthal died in 1909 at the age of 63 - see this obituary. He featured in John Stockton Littell Some Great Christian Jews (Keene 1913). On a flyleaf in the register of baptisms administered at these premises between 1892-98 (now in the London Metropolitan Archives), Rosenthal's successor at St Mark's, L.S. Lewis, noted that after that date all baptisms had been administered at the church, and that he had removed the register and a font from the premises. See here for statistics for St Mark's registers.

Two Jewish convert clergy who officiated at St Paul Dock Street in 1867-68 were James Cohen, who graduated from Pembroke College Cambridge in 1842 and in 1860 became Rector of St Mary Whitechapel, and John Elanan Sinyanki, whose career proved more controversial. Sinyanki had been a LJS and CMS missionary in Palestine, Syria and Egypt, going to Jaffa in 1847 and sending this journal from Hebron in 1848; he was later based in Jerusalem (and was a collector of imperial Byzantine coins). He published
Notes on Some Passages of Scripture, Original, and Selected from Rabbinical Sources (James Darling, 2nd ed 1853). He then trained for ordination at King's College London and was ordained by the Bishop of Winchester, serving as curate and clerk of St George Southwark (then still in Winchester diocese) from 1860-63. The Bishop withdrew his licence, initially on a charge of felony (for embezzling surplice, baptism and churching fees) but reduced this to a charge of irregularity in his accounts. He lost his appeal, in a case (which described him as a 'foreign Israelite') which determined that the Bishop had power to revoke on the lesser charge, and also that when the archbishop upholds the revocation of a licence it must be on the same grounds as that of the diocesan bishop: Re Sinyanki (1864) 12 WR 825.

He continued to minister without official appointment. Among the many he baptized at St Paul's in 1868 were two Polish Jews, Alexander Witkin and Adolphe Oscar. In the following weeks they continued to come to his house asking for money, and he took them to court (at Wandsworth Palace, which was also a prison).
It was alleged that he promised each of them £20 to be baptized, but he denied this and said that they had met, and been addressed by, the Vicar Dan Greatorex before their baptism, so there was no irregularity. The Jewish press commented that this was a case which will strengthen the suspicion with which the public regards societies for conversion of Jews. In the 1870s he was living in Clapham. 

Other clergy involved in ministry to Jews
Most of the clergy in our various churches, who were not converts, also sought to engage in mission to the Jews. Two had a particular involvement:

In the 1840s, William Ayerst was for a time attached to Trinity Episcopal Chapel, Cannon Street Road, having worked as a missionary to Jews in Germany, and continuing his involvement through the London Jews Society and Episcopal Jews' Chapel - more detail about him here.

Arthur Mirrilees Cazalet was curate of Christ Church Watney Street from 1898-1902, having begun his ministry in Truro two years earlier (made deacon by the Bishop of Grahamstown); in 1900 he became Organising Secretary of the East London Fund for Jews, working with Michael Rosenthal, and continued in this role when he became the Bishop of Stepney's Missionary Chaplain until 1906. He was then Vicar of St Alban Fulham for two years, of Teddington for ten and of St Olave & St John Southwark from 1918-1942.

He came from a large and affluent Anglo-French family, with Huguenot ancestors on the French side, which had settled in St Petersburg. The Cazalet and Mirrielees families intermarried, and both were involved in running Muir & Mirrielees, the 'Harrods of Russia', until the Revolution, when they left for England (in some cases following arrest) – see Harvey Pitcher Muir & Mirrielees: The Scottish Partnership that became a Household Name in Russia (Cromer 1994). The Cazalets had also owned breweries, and had a large house and extensive grounds on the Neva waterfront in the suburb of Chekooshi. One of his female ancestors had a 'companionate marriage' with the Anglican chaplain of Moscow - see Marie Louise Karttunen Making a Communal World: Imperial Merchants in Imperial St Petersburg (University of Helsinki thesis).

He was therefore particularly aware of the plight of Russian Jews and the issues of Zionism. He later served as 'chaplain-interpreter' to Bishop Winnington-Ingram in conversations with the Russian churches, and was a member of the Anglo-Russian Literary Society. He died in 1959 at the age of 96.

Antisemitism in local churches
In general, the record shows that our local churches sought to engage constructively with the Jewish influx into the area, despite the impact on congregational numbers (which eventually led to the closure of St Mark Whitechapel), and with conversions as the goal. However, there were instances of downright antisemitism. For example, the
East London Observer of 19 April 1902 reported that, at a meeting of the Whitechapel Primrose League 'the Reverend Parry' [the Vicar of St Paul Dock Street] said he did not like to be represented in Parliament by a Jew [applause] although he knew Mr Samuel well. He was sure of this, that Whitechapel would gain very much by another representative [a voice: an Englishman!] And later incumbents of St John's despaired of the predominantly Jewish population of the parish and its impact on the Sabbath.

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