Sorry for being late. Jewish immigrants in late 19th century London were common- from Russia, Poland and also West Germany. But looking at court records, the most common mention of Jews weren't when they were accused of crime at all. Instead, Jews were particularly known to be buyers and sellers of old clothing...especially stolen clothing. It was a common stereotype and played out in the court often, for defence.

It started before mass immigration of the late 19th century, in fact between 1801-1807, the majority of records are all related to defendants having bought the clothing they were accused of stealing, off a 'Jew'. Sometimes it was a Jewish man, sometimes a Jewish woman, and very rarely were there mentions of street names or other identifying derails. This defence worked less than 25% of the time, according to the Old Bailey records of 1801-1807. It was seen as a stereotypical defence- found with a piece of stolen clothing? I bought it off a Jew. Many Jews were old clothes sellers, living in the Rag Street area of London, so this stereotype was born out of that.

Mentions of Jews in the courts understandably increased with immigration. Jewish immigration stood out partly because of Anglo-Jewish response- societies were set up, there was support available from settled Jews and Anglo-Jewish society was set on 'assimilating' immigrant Jews into British society as quickly as possible. This wasn't necessarily by teaching them English, but rather ensuring they were aware of different laws, aware of what areas were no go areas for Jews, aware of how they were supposed to treat the police and general attitudes towards Jews.

Jewish immigrants were invariably poor and speakers of Yiddish, although often more than just Yiddish- sometimes Polish, Russian, etc too. They lived in small communities, such as around Whitechapel, and we have people commenting on these Jewish areas as looking as if they were 'from the East', with different and interesting food, processions on eg Rosh Hashanah, different clothing styles and of course, a different language, to what an average Londoner might be used to.

Jewish criminals and Jewish immigrant society had an interesting stereotype. Jews were seen as, in general, clean people who placed a lot of importance on family, but kept their homes and gardens dirty and messy, and there weren't typical decorations in the home such as flowers in vases. Jewish communities would often have rich and poor people living close together in similar housing. There were less reported incidences of spousal abuse. Some police appeared to believe this was because there was less domestic abuse going on in the first place. Personally, I'm undecided, there might have been less domestic abuse, but if there was, it was unlikely to have been brought to the police. If you were a Jewish immigrant wife, who could not speak English, isolated from non-Jewish society, you would probably seek help from within the Jewish community, appealing perhaps to the LBD. Few police spoke Yiddish, and for many immigrants in the late 19th century, they'd have come from places where they could expect discrimination and anti semitism from the police and within the courts, making many understandably distrustful.

It was well known, in and outside of Jewish communities, that there were many gambling halls. There was also a reputation, around Whitechapel in particular, of Jews hiring prostitutes. As mentioned above, there was the stereotype of Jewish buyers of stolen goods. These were not violent crimes. There wasn't anything like the stereotype of the 'fighting Irish', instead, we have very few records of violent criminal acts being reported to the police and going to the courts. A riot once broke out on Yom Kippur when some secular Jews drove a cart laden with food through a Jewish immigrant community, passing outside the shul. Instead of being seen as violent criminals, they were seen as almost passive criminals- not actively taking part in housebreaking, pickpocketing, etc, but rather benefiting from them. They were not directly looking for stolen goods or even having long term arrangements to traffic in stolen goods, rather they would take advantage of the opportunity to buy a product for a reduced price, and had no qualms or worries about it. Instead of being tough, active criminals, they were immoral, or rather, put practical things like business, earnings etc over morals. This perhaps ties in with the stereotype of Jewish people being 'money grabbing' and probably originated from that stereotype, then reinforcing it.

http://punch.photoshelter.com/image?&_bqG=1&_bqH=eJxLic_NNTd1KQn3zarId0vPd8uzCM9MMcoJTwm1MjayMjI1sDI0AAIrz3iXYGdbr9RyNTAr3tHPxbYEyA4Ndg2K93SxDQWpyvLKyjQNSsrL8UxXi3d0DrEtLS4KTk0sSs5QcwcpcgcpSq5yT_F19U8Mi4hUcwaJAgCQTChl&GI_ID= Isn't to do with crime but shows a Jewish man looking over poor skeletal people working in a sweat shop. The stereotype of Jews putting money over morals perfectly illustrated in non-Jewish media there.

And this which is to do with crime and shows the old clothes/stolen goods seller/buyer stereotype in non-Jewish media.

/r/CuteLittleCritters Thread