Text from a synagogue sermon from 1756.

Text from a synagogue sermon from 1756.

An exhibition showcasing more than 4,000 documents illustrating the history Jewish life in Britain has gone on display at University College London, writes James Graham.

The unprecedented collection, which will be open to the public for the next three months, is the result of a year’s painstaking work cataloguing pamphlets left to the Jewish Historical Society in 1906 by philanthropist Frederic David Mocatta.

It includes a sermon given at London’s Jews Synagogue on 6 February 1756 [pictured] and a prayer read by the Sephardi community at Bevis Marks Synagogue after Queen Victoria survived an assassination attempt in 1840.

A UCL spokesperson said Mocatta’s collection is “one of the finest and most comprehensive Jewish studies libraries in the United Kingdom. A number of these pamphlets are extremely rare.”