“They do not want to pass for Jews, although every child in Bradford knows them to be Jews”.

The above quote comes from the Jewish Chronicle of August 11th 1865, and in a way encapsulates the Bradford and perhaps modern British Jewish identity.

Welcome to Making Their Mark or ‘Bradford Jewish’. Our aim is present to you the many sides to Jewish endeavour in Bradford, from the first arrival in the 1820′s right through to the cosmopolitan and ever changing community we have with us in the present day.

Making Their Mark is the first and official website dedicated to the little known and often understated presence of Jewish people in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire. Danish and German Jewish textile merchants began to arrive in Bradford as the industrial revolution began to take a stable foothold in the climes of  Northern England by the middle of the nineteenth century.

Not long after waves of diasporaised Irish immigrants began to settle in the expanding industrial towns of the North, at the time of the great potato famine or ‘blight’ a handful of German Ashkenazi Jewish trailblazing pioneers had already set foot in the woollen and cotton producing towns scattered either side of the Pennines.

Arriving mainly from the mid 1830′s onwards,with their business acumen, studied determination and drive for a deal, these continental connoisseurs of cloth would be able to use their far flung contacts to establish trade with places as diverse as Asia and America. Wool was of course a vital resource, bearing in mind that the U.S was undergoing major political changes by the 1840′s with it’s Civil War.

With war came the need for blankets and uniforms; both made of wool. There is as the old saying sadly reflects, ‘no profit in peace’. And so we have it: the online home of Bradford’s Jewish past, present and future…

We hope you enjoy your time spent on this Bradford Jewish heritage site. Feel free to browse through the sections which cover many aspects of 170 years of Jewish life in the heart of the old West Riding.

This website and the Making Their Mark project was made possible through a generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund who we are most grateful to.

-Benjamin Dunn & Nigel Grizzard,  July 2012

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