For King and Country?
19 March – 10 August 2014
In the year of the centenary, this exhibition explores the Jewish experience of the First World War.
Over 50,000 Jewish soldiers fought for Britain during the First World War, an unprecedented number from a community of 300,000. This exhibition explores the stories of both those who did and did not fight, looking at how they decided whether or not to serve in the army.
War threw into question what it meant to be a British Jew. For serviceman, it was often a struggle to keep faith and practise as a Jew on the front line, while on the homefront debates around divided loyalties, integration and Zionism were rife and the war marked a period of great change for the whole community.
On display is a series of artefacts and ephemera that provide first hand accounts of life during the conflict. These include letters from Second Lieutenant Marcus Segal which he wrote to his parents from the front-line, poems by Isaac Rosenberg and the diary entries of Florence Oppenheimer as she fought to save men's lives on a military hospital ship.