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160 years ago, on 26th July 1858, the first Jewish MP, Baron Lionel de Rothschild, entered the House of Commons.
The Relief of the Jews Act had enabled the Houses of Parliament to determine their own form of oath, making it possible for Jews for the first time to become members of Parliament.
However, Jewish emancipation in Britain happened in a piecemeal fashion and some institutions continued to uphold barriers even afterwards.
Taking out original objects and prints from the store not usually on display, the curator will explore the process of Jewish emancipation in Britain and discuss the main political and social debates of the time.
The talk will shed light on the ideas about the state and British society held by various groups that resonate with some of today’s debates on immigration and citizenship.