Why did the leaders of former times show indifference to the levels of Jewish scholarship in England and make do with minimal educational standards for the young of the community? How did the mutual tensions between East End and West End affect communal policy and aspiration? In the light of such questions Finestein looks at the notable careers of Lionel Louis Cohen MP (principal founder of the United Synagogue), Albert Jessel QC (dominant Vice-President at the turn of the century) and Sir John Simon QC, MP (a Reform leader and champion of Roumanian Jewry in Parliament). He also examines the growing role of women in communal life, including Lily Montagu and Nettie Adler; the evolving relations between London and the regional communities; and the Jewish attitudes towards Jewish immigrants; the impact of Zionism; and the background to communal religious differences. The author probes the personalities, objectives and styles of a series of interesting and significant men and women, ranging from Victorian times to the well-remembered years of the late twentieth century.