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Language Usage in Anglo-Sephardi Jewry

An Historical Overview of Spanish, Portuguese and Juedo-Spanish in England from the Expulsion to the Present Day

Bruce Mitchell

Tracing the history of languages used among England's Sephardim, being the first study of its kind, presents a number of challenges. First and foremost, there is a severe lack of linguistic documentation prior to the seventeenth century, as Jewish communities were illegal on English soil between the mass expulsion of 1290 and the readmission under Cromwell in 1656. Although official records of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue do give some indications of language usage between the readmission of Jews to England and the late nineteenth century, actual linguistic monuments are few.

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London's Haredi Periodicals in Yiddish

Language, Literature and Ultra-Orthodox Ideology

Bruce J. Mitchell

An analysis of Yiddish language periodicals destined for a haredi reading public is fraught with difficulty. First and foremost, the very existence of such reading material is paradoxical. On the one hand haredim strongly discourage wasting time reading anything not directly related to Torah, yet on the other hand Yiddish newspapers have a much stronger readership among haredim than among secular Jews. Even the Forverts, the most widely sold secular paper in Yiddish, has a distribution of 5,000 copies per week, which is far below that of most haredi papers. As one hasid explains, it's a waste of time to read secular papers, but it's a mitsve to read the haredi news publications.