'The hefty Hebrew': Boxing and British-Jewish Identity, 1890–1960
Between the late 1890s and early 1950s, British boxing was dominated by Jews of Russian and Eastern European migrant origin. In a wider sense, an analysis of boxing can add to our understanding of broader social changes occurring within British Jewry during this roughly 60-year period. However, involvement in boxing during these years (whether as amateurs or professionals, as boxers, managers, promoters, coaches or spectators) also had a noticeable direct impact on the identity of scores of young Jews. This article will show that social change occurring within British Jewry between 1890 and 1960 did not occur separately from the world of British boxing. Although this sport can act as a lens through which to view transformations in terms of Jewish identity, class, religious outlook and culture, it is also the case that boxing clearly influenced changes in these spheres for a significant section of the community.
Citation : Dee, D. (2012) 'The hefty Hebrew': Boxing and British-Jewish Identity, 1890-1960. Sport in History, 32 (3), pp. 361-381
ISSN : 17460271
Research Institute : Institute of History
- School of Humanities