Chapter 1 - Introducing Solomon Lever and his life trajectory

by Jason Lever

Posted on Thu, 14 Nov 2013 12:14:19 GMT

‘Take one Jew and immediately you have an opposition party’ (ref: Kops).

This quotation is through the lens of one of the Jewish East End’s foremost, second generation writers, Bernard Kops. It is a pithy observation of its population’s political temperament, at the “ballot box” and on the streets, in the closing decades of the nineteenth and through to the first quarter of the twentieth centuries.

Describing the Jewish East End, a recent correspondent to The Cable magazine set out that although ‘in the main a land of impecunious people, it was rich in culture, rife with activity and pervasive of deep friendship and mutual aid’ (ref: Tarmon).

These aspects of ‘mutual aid’ and ‘rife with activity’ resonate well with the ‘Bread’, ‘Brotherhood’ and 'Ballot Box’ themes of the life of this author’s great-uncle, Solomon Lever.

As well, the importance of ‘culture’ to first and second generation Jewish immigrants harked back to the “Yiddishism” of their homelands. As the ties of religion became more relaxed, it supported, too, a more secular and intellectual advancement of mind – as individuals – and economic and social progression – as a political movement and community.

The latter qualities are what mostly concern us here as we consider the life trajectory of a Jewish immigrant to the East End of London in occupational (‘Bread’), mutual support (‘Brotherhood’) and political (‘Ballot Box’) terms – and his contribution to Jewish and non-Jewish East End life.

How typical was Solomon Lever, with his high achieving communal and political leadership roles?

Jewish-Immigrant Hackney TUC Trades-Unions Jewish-East-End

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Chapter 1 - Introducing Solomon Lever and his l...Chapter 2 - The Jewish East EndChapter 3 - A family history of Solomon LeverChapter 4 - A Jewish East End education for Sol...Chapter 5 - Joining East End cultural and commu...Chapter 6 - Solomon as a cabinet makerChapter 7 – From cabinet maker to trade union g...Chapter 8 – Rise of the London Jewish Bakers UnionChapter 9 – Dealing with the challenges of a de...Chapter 10 – Solomon’s journey to Jewish trade ...Chapter 11 – Interlude of anarchism’s appeal to...Chapter 12 – Solomon Lever finds his home in th...Chapter 13 – The Liberal and Conservative partiesChapter 14 – The Labour Party consolidates its ...Chapter 15 – The appeal of East End councils’ s...Chapter 16 – The rise and fall of communist sup...Chapter 17 – Surging Labourism after the warChapter 18 – The Labour Party’s support for Zio...Chapter 19 – Short-lived Labour-Zionist honeymoonChapter 20 – Solomon Lever’s 1947 broadcast spe...Chapter 21 – Solomon Lever’s 1948 speech from t...Chapter 22 – Solomon Lever’s 1954 speech from t...Chapter 23 – Solomon Lever’s final TUC speech i...Chapter 24 – His Worshipful The Mayor and Mayor...Chapter 25 – Family connections in the Mayor’s ...Chapter 26 – Important social issues raised wit...Chapter 27 – The adbuction of Solomon LeverChapter 28 – Discovery of Solomon’s bodyChapter 29 – InquestChapter 30 – The death of Solomon LeverChapter 31 – Solomon’s funeral and obituaryChapter 32 – The death knell of the London Jewi...Chapter 33 – An appraisalChapter 34 – Bibliography