Service and Scandal tells the story of David Applebaum (1855-1907), chazan (synagogue cantor) and mohel (ritual circumciser). Born in Russian Poland, he and his family migrated to London’s East End, then Germany, then to Newcastle upon Tyne and finally again to the East End. The story of his short life illustrates the highly mobile and adaptable careers of Jewish clergymen of his type.


Synagogues and Immigrant Life

Those interested in Victorian/Edwardian British Jewish history will find information on the Newcastle upon Tyne synagogue and on East End synagogues in Fashion Street, Great Alie Street and St Mary Street. The book explains the economics of the activities of mohelim in Britain. The story of a London landsmanschaft, the Sons of Dobrin, is told.


The “Circumcision Scandal”

The book describes the alleged Jewish “Circumcision Scandal” of 1902-5, detailing eleven coroners’ inquests. It tells how the actions of the Chief Rabbi, Dr Hermann Adler, and the medical committee of the Initiation Society, supported by secular officials, improved the regulation, training and practices of mohelim - a communal success story.


Old Montague Press, London, 2013

Service and Scandal - The Life and Times of an Immigrant Clergyman