Britain is widely respected for taking photography seriously. It is highly unlikely photography in the country would have evolved as it did without the roles played by Jews, and especially Jewish emigres. While many were seeking better opportunities, there also were those who escaped to Britain in the wake of repression and especially the Nazi menace. In part British visual culture was the creation of refugees such as Stefan Lorant and Helmut Gernsheim, and most recently, (American) Annie Leibovitz, whose fascinating relationship with the queen reveals a rich history of the Jewish engagement with photography in Britain.
Michael Berkowitz, a native of Rochester, NY, is a Professor of modern Jewish history at University College London and editor of Jewish Historical Studies: Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England (UCL Press).