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Blue, Lionel (1930–2016), rabbi, broadcaster, and author, was born on 6 February 1930 at the Mothers’ Hospital in Hackney, London, as Lionel Bluestein, the only child of Harris (Harry) Bluestein, later Harry Blue (1890–1965), tailor, and his wife Hetty, or Hettie, ...

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Coren, Alan (1938–2007), humorous writer, was born on 27 June 1938 at 2 Queensdown Road, Hackney, London, the son of Samuel Coren, builder and plumber, and his wife, Martha, née Coren, hairdresser. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Diski [née Simmonds], Jennifer Jane (Jenny) (1947–2016), novelist and author, was born on 8 July 1947 at the Welbeck Hospital, 27 Welbeck Street, Marylebone, London, the daughter of James Simmonds, formerly Israel Zimmerman (1908–1966), a small-scale entrepreneur, black marketeer, and con-man, and his wife, ...

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D'Israeli, Isaac (1766–1848), writer, was born on 11 May 1766 at 5 Great St Helen's, London, the only child of Benjamin D'Israeli (1730–1816), merchant, and his second wife, Sarah Syprut de Gabay Villa Real (1742/3–1825). D'Israeli's father was born at Cento, Ferrara, emigrated to ...

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Haldane [née Franken], Charlotte (1894–1969), writer, was born on 27 April 1894 in Sydenham, south London, the elder daughter of German Jewish immigrants Joseph Franken (d. c.1935) and his wife, Mathilde (c.1873–c.1955), whose father, Julius Saarbach...

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Isaacs, Jacob (1896–1973), literary scholar, was born in London on 6 December 1896, the son of the Revd Moses David Isaacs and his wife, Jessie, daughter of the Revd Moses Bregman. Isaacs's parents were Orthodox Jews, and he was brought up in the largely Jewish ...

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Kossoff, David (1919–2005), actor and broadcaster, was born on 24 November 1919, at the Mothers' Hospital, Clapton, London, the son of Lewis (Louis) Kossoff, tailor, and his wife, Annie, née Shaklovich. At the time of his birth registration his parents, Russian Jewish immigrants, lived at ...

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Laski, Marghanita [formerly Esther Pearl] (1915–1988), writer and broadcaster, was born in Maida Vale, London on 24 October 1915, the eldest child (she had one sister, two brothers, and an adopted brother and sister) of Neville Jonas Laski, barrister (later a crown court...

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Levitt, Dorothy Elizabeth (1882–1922), motorist and author, was born Elizabeth Levi at 11 Colvestone Crescent, Hackney, London, on 5 January 1882, the second of three daughters of Jacob Levi (1852–1934) and Julia Raphael (1856–1942). The Levi family was a prosperous and well-established Jewish family. ...

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Magnus [née Emanuel], Katie, Lady Magnus (1844–1924), writer and schoolteacher, was born on 2 May 1844 at 101 High Street, Portsmouth, one of six children of Alderman Emanuel Emanuel (c.1801–1888), a goldsmith and the first Jewish mayor of Portsmouth, and his wife, ...

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Pinter, Harold (1930–2008), actor, playwright, and director, was born on 10 October 1930 at Tudor House, Newington Green, London, the only child of Hyman (Jack) Pinter (1902–1997), ladies' tailor, and his wife, Frances, née Moskowitz (1904–1992). At the time of his birth his parents lived at ...

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Pitt, Ingrid (1937–2010), actress and writer, was born on 21 November 1937 in Poland, the daughter of a German father and a Polish Jewish mother. Many biographical accounts give her birth name as Ingoushka Petrov, although the origin of this is unclear. She herself gave her father's name as ...

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Rayner [née Berkovitch], Claire Berenice (1931–2010), writer, broadcaster, and social campaigner, was born at 24 Underwood Street, Stepney, London, on 22 January 1931, the eldest daughter of Percy (later Peter) Berkovitch (1909–1982), journeyman tailor, and his wife, Betty, née Dion (1910–1982). The family moved around a lot, mostly dodging the bailiffs, before the start of the Second World War. In 1940 ...

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Rubens, Bernice [real name Bernice Ruth Reuben] (1923–2004), author, was born on 26 July 1923 at 9 Glossop Terrace in the poor Splott district of Cardiff, the third of the four children of Eli Reuben, a travelling tallyman (a seller of clothes on credit), and his wife, ...

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Symons, Alphonse James Albert (1900–1941), book collector and writer, was born on 16 August 1900 in Battersea, London, the eldest in the family of four sons and one daughter of Maurice (or Morris) Albert Symons (d. 1929), auctioneer, a Jewish immigrant from ...

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Woolf, Leonard Sidney (1880–1969), author and publisher, was born on 25 November 1880 in Kensington, London, the third of ten children of Sidney Woolf QC (1844–1892) and his wife, Marie de Jongh (1848–1939). He was brought up in Reform Judaism, became an atheist in his teens, and remained sceptical about the religious temperament. Some of his earlier writing depicts antisemitism, but ...

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Zangwill, Israel (1864–1926), writer and advocate of Jewish causes, was born on 21 January 1864 in Ebenezer Square, Houndsditch, Whitechapel, London, the second of the five children of Moses Zangwill (1836?–1908), an itinerant pedlar, glazier, and rabbinical student, and his wife, Ellen Hannah Marks...