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Jewish Chaplaincy in the British Armed Forces
Jewish Chaplaincy in the British Armed Forces

Jewish Chaplaincy in the British Armed Forces

Captains of the Souls of Men 1892-2021



472 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $79.95 (US $79.95) (CA $107.95)

Publication Date: July 2022

ISBN 9781803710181

Rights: US, CA, AU & ZA

Vallentine Mitchell (Jul 2022)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: July 2022


General Montgomery famously said that the most important people in the army are the nursing sisters, who tell the men that they matter to us, and the padres, that they matter to God. The first British Jewish chaplain was appointed in 1892 and ministered in Britain. It was the idea of Reverend Michael Adler, DSO, for Jewish chaplains to serve alongside soldiers in the field in wartime. At 46 Adler spent over three years on the Western Front. Twenty Jewish chaplains served with the Army in WWI, and fifty-six, including twelve locally recruited in mandate Palestine, in WWII. They often had to travel huge distances in search of widely dispersed Jewish soldiers. Jewish chaplaincy consolidated the integration of a minority faith into the British armed forces. This book is based on research in Victorian archives, military records, and family papers. Here Lewis reveals the colourful and untold story of the British Jewish ministry at war, as well as of its military service in peacetime. It is the story too of the many Jewish soldiers who, rarely if ever seeing a chaplain, brought each other such religious solace as they might.

Author Biography

Jonathan Lewis studied Law at Cambridge and practised as a Solicitor in the City of London and as a Judge. In retirement he researched British Jewish Chaplaincy on which he was awarded a doctorate by UCL. Married for more than fifty years, he and Rosemary have two sons and two granddaughters.