Fun Facts Friday: Israel Zangwill

February 14, 2014

Israel Zangwill (21 Januar, 1864 – 1 August, 1926) was a British writer and humorist who dedicated his life to causes of the oppressed, from women’s suffrage to Jewish emancipation.

Fun Facts Friday Israel Zangwill

Books by Israel Zangwill

  1. Zangwill enrolled in the Jews’ Free School in Spitalfields, east London. The school was for Jewish immigrant children offering a strict studying course (both secular and religious) as well as clothing, food and health care. One of the four houses of the school these days is named for Zangwill.
  2. Zangwil earned his degree from the University of London in 1884 earning triple honors.
  3. His nickname was “Dickens of the Ghetto”
  4. Zangwill’s play The Melting Pot was a hit in the US during 1909-1910.
  5. When The Melting Pot opened in Washington DC, October 5, 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt shouted from his box “That’s a great play, Mr. Zangwill, that’s a great play”. In 1912 Roosevelt wrote a letter to Zangwill that he will always count The Melting Pot “among the very strong and real influences upon my thought and my life.”
  6. Zangwill married Edith Ayrton, a gentile feminist and author
  7. Zangwill also wrote Broadway plays.
  8. Zangwill wrote a novel of Jewish life, Children of the Ghetto (1892), which brought him an instant international fame on a commission by the Jewish Publication Society of America.
  9. After meeting Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionist movement, Zangwill supported Zionism until 1905, when he created his own movement, the Jewish Territorial Organization (JTO).
  10. Zangwill was also a successful lecturer, traveling in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Holland, and to Jerusalem.

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