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External contributors:

Camilla Loewe
Scans of photographs of young Raphael Loewe and Herbert Loewe, advice and support

Penelope Feinstein
Loan of photographs of James Loewe and Herbert Loewe, scans of further photographs and paintings, advice and support

Professor Ada Rapoport-Albert, UCL
Text of 'In Memoriam Professor Raphael Loewe, 1919-2011'

Dr Jeremy Schonfield
Archival material, advice and support

Sabine Arndt
Help in translation of Louis Loewe's letters

Team on the project:

C├ęsar Merchan-Hamann

Digital Curation and Exhibition Design
Milena Zeidler

Raphael Loewe Section Curator
Jane Barlow

Herbert Loewe Section Curator
Zsofia Buda

James Loewe and Chloe Loewe
Sections Curator

Jane Barlow

Louis Loewe Section Curator
Milena Zeidler

Soren Lund Sorensen
Jane Barlow
Milena Zeidler

Exhibition Panels' Installation
Derek Cox


We are very much interested in hearing your feedback.


  • Where did you find out about our exhibition?
  • What did you like most about the exhibition?
  • Can you expand our knowledge concerning any of the exhibited items?
  • Do you have memories of any of the events of personalities mentioned in the exhibition?

Please send your feedback to:




Raphael Loewe Archives:
Four Generations of Anglo-Jewish Scholarship

The current exhibition aims to highlight selected items from within the Raphael Loewe Archives (Personal Archive and Pamphlets Collection), in tribute to Professor Raphael Loewe life's work and achievements. It is accompanied by a physical exhibition, on view at the Leopold Muller Memorial Library through May 23, 2012, Mon.-Sat., 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., to September 30, 2012.

The Raphael Loewe Archives contain a selection of personal papers and academic productions of four generations of Anglo-Jewish scholars: Louis Loewe (1809-1888), who because of his competence both in European and Semitic languages, and also in Turkish, was chosen by Sir Moses Montefiore to act as his ‘Oriental Secretary’ and became his close confidant. His son James Loewe (1852-1944), Secretary of the Jewish Colonial Trust and educator. His grandson Herbert Loewe (1882-1940), Reader in Rabbinics at Cambridge. His great-grandson Raphael Loewe (1919-2011), Professor of Hebrew at University College London. They span almost two centuries and their work ranged from Biblical Hebrew through Hebrew poetry and translations, medieval Jewish thought and Anglo-Jewish history. They were in contact with some of the greatest scholars of their time and were involved in many of the momentous events in Jewish history through this period.

The Pamphlets Collection, comprising scholarly correspondence and offprints, as well as unpublished material was acquired by the former Fellow Librarian, Dr. Piet van Boxel, thanks to the generous support of Peter and Catherine Oppenheimer and Judith and Peter Wegner. The Personal Archive was generously donated to the Library by the family after Professor Raphael Loewe’s passing in 2011, thanks to the good offices of Dr. Jeremy Schonfield.


The Loewe Archives Exhibition Team is extremely grateful to all who contributed to our project in terms of adding archival material, or offered advice, to those who helped and supported us throughout the process.

We hope you enjoy the Digital Exhibition and write to us with your feedback!

Raphael Loewe

Poem 79

When priests their hands, laved and at peace, extend
In blessing, through their fingers' lattice peers
Divine effulgence, watching for a friend;

And when their concentration earthward steers
That mystic light, its spiritual grace
Draws to its richest joy each one who hears,

Fancying where the priests stand is the place
Of God's footstool, and He informs words they
Intone, fused with his obbligato bass.

Submissively, upon Atonement's Day,
Their hands I washed, then to my grandchildren bent
Who came, that I on him my hands might lay,

Thereby to link my benison's intent
With God's transcendent love for him, expressed
In blessing, symbol of a sacrament.

Methought unseen hands on my crown did rest:
Heaven be my witness, I was made aware
That mine own sire's were they, upon me pressed;

On his, my grandfather's - they were all there,
Herbert and James, and over them the great
Louis, whose name we have been proud to bear,

Mordecai, then as link, to integrate
Forgotten forebears in a single band,
Simon the goldsmith did his implicate,

And so were all the generations spanned,
Paternal and maternal lines: I heard
Moses, while spreading o'er them all his hand,

Pronounce the very blessing, word by word,
That he wrote at God's bidding: "May the Lord
Bless thee and keep thee". What he said was blurred

With Jacob's benediction, who abhorred
Levi our forefather's atrocious deed
And, dying, laid a curse upon his sword.

Though he was thus condemned, I have no need
To fear; to Abraham God promise made
That He, for their sire's sake, would bless his seed.

And God but to pronounce the blessing bade
The priests, that his Name, by their doing so,
Upon his people Israel would be laid.

Raphael Loewe, Hebrew Poems and translations, 2010, Poem 79, p. 351.