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Effort to Bar Jews from Teaching Hebrew at Oxford University Fails

December 3, 1959
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A last-ditch effort to bar Jews from teaching the Hebrew language and the literature of the Old Testament at Oxford University was defeated yesterday by the university’s governing board.

Two weeks ago, the Congregation of the university, its governing board, approved a by-law that the Regius Professorship of Hebrew should no longer be confined to the Canon of Christ Church, thus opening appointments to Jewish scholars. At a meeting of the Congregation yesterday, a canon of the Church of England proposed an amendment which would without naming Jews, automatically have barred them from the chair. It was defeated by a vote of 145 to 41.

Prof. G.R. Driver, Oxford Professor of Semitic Philology, speaking against the amendment, said it was “obviously aimed at the exclusion of Jews.” He also said “I would be the last to exclude” a Jewish scholar from the professorship.

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