Menu JTA Search

Death of Dr. Marion Phillips First Jewish Woman M.p

Dr. Marion Phillips, the chief woman officer of the Labour Party, and the first Jewish woman member of Parliament, died to-day after a long illness at the age of 50. Dr. Phillips, who was born in Australia, came to England to study economics, on which subject she became an acknowledged authority.

In June 1929, shortly after her election to Parliament, Dr. Marion Phillips spoke at a dinner arranged by the B’nai B’rith in London, and declared that it was the first time in 25 years that she had been asked to a Jewish gathering. It was the first time in 25 years’ residence in England, she said, that she had received an invitation to be present at a gathering of members of the Jewish race. If there was anyone to blame, it was she herself, for she had taken no part in the Jewish Community. In Australia, where she was born, there was scarcely any difference to be noticed between members of the Jewish race and members of other races. There was no doubt of her Jewish race. A hundred years ago, members of her family on both sides emigrated from England to Australia, and they had a record that an ancestor of hers was connected with the synagogue. She confessed that her memories and studies came from English and not Jewish sources. Her own loyalties were diverse. She thought that a few would agree with her at this gathering, when she said that it was her opinion that the future of the Jewish people should be in assimilation rather than in separation. It was her view, too, that all peoples should be united and assimilated, and that there should be a loving-kindness of people of the world.

NEXT STORY