Item 073_sa_jewish_chronicle_clippings_011 - The South African Jewish Chronicle clippings, "Page 1072"

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The South African Jewish Chronicle clippings, "Page 1072"

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  • 29/12/1911 (Creation)
    South African Jewish Chronicle

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Newspaper clipping depicting page 1072 in Volume IV - Issue 65 of the New Series in The SAJC newspaper circulated on 29 December, 1911. This is the eleventh page in the Collection of 20 consecutive pages preserved from an early Issue of the SAJC.
The main article on this page, a longer article than most in this Issue if the subsections on other pages are to be counted as individual articles, is about Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881). The question is posed whether he was a representative Jew, making reference to the fact that he has been considered the first Jewish Prime Minister of Britain and was also the Earl of Beaconsfield, but this is contentious for many reasons. One of the most clear reasons why it is contested that he was “a representative Jew” is because, although born to Jewish parents, he was baptised into Christianity at age 13, thus making him non-Jewish in religious terms. This fact is however disputed, stating some of the more modern arguments that are currently being questioned, such as whether one is Jewish by birth or by religion or by culture, or by any other characteristic? This argument is paraded throughout the article showing the various ways in which Disraeli demonstrated Jewishness, using examples of character traits that Disraeli possessed that were claimed as characteristically Jewish, citing religious training from his grandfather when he was younger, using instances that could be interpreted as religious declarations of Judaism, using scientific arguments of Sir Francis Galton and Professor Karl Pearson regarding genetics and heredity Jewishness and IQ, and using instances where Disraeli seemingly advocated for Jewish rights (e.g. at the Berlin Conference of 1878). The conclusion for this piece is that the set question cannot be answered with simply yes or no (“cannot be answered by a straight affirmation or negation”). The largest proportion of the article describes, with various examples, how “in personal qualities, both those from heredity and those derived from training, Benjamin Disraeli was characteristically Jewish” and “might be regarded as a representative Jew”. There is however also note of how Disraeli (in most cases) “kept outside the highest interests of Jews”. [Source:;].

Besides the main feature about Disraeli, there are two other pieces on this page: An opinion piece that declares digust and shock at the atrocities in China at the time, and a reminder about a calendar desk pad that is on sale and needs to be ordered in time for the New Year (1912).

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Donated by Effie Schauder


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Unless otherwise stated the copyright of all material on the Jewish Digital Archive Project resides with the South African Jewish Museum.

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