Was Michael Marks Jewish?

To settle an argument at work can anyone confirm if Michael Marks, co founder of Marks & Spencers, was Jewish?

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5 Responses to “Was Michael Marks Jewish?”

  1. cymry3jones says:

    Yes. In 1962, In Marks & Spencer’s in Leeds, which after Golder’s Greens was considered to be the Jerusalem of England, I spotted sweaters labelled ‘Made in Israel’, when the same sweaters elsewhere in England were simply labelled ‘foreign made.’
    In the 70s, when many carpenters, builders and plumbers got jobs in the wealthy Emirate states, they were advised not to take USA medication with them, and that if any of their garments had been bought in M&S, they should cut the labels out.
    In 1979, I was in M&S in Oxford Street and somewhat surprised to encounter women wearing the chador, who were happily buying.

  2. Michael says:

    I believe he was… but i have no evidence to back it up just yet.

    Here is something…

    "Michael Marks was born in Slonim, Russia in 1859. As a young man Marks emigrated to England. Without a trade and unable to speak the English language, Marks moved to Leeds where there was a company called Barran that was known to employ Jewish refuges."

    It doesn’t directly claim him to be, but since nothing else is mentioned about jews in it, it would seem irrelevant to say it if he wasn’t one of the jews known to be hired.

    So from that i say yes. but only 75% sure.

  3. I Am Tomato! says:

    No, but Michael Jackson was!

  4. zena e. The best is yet to be says:


    Boycott Israel CampaignMarks & Spencer (M&S) was founded in 1884 by a Russian Jewish refugee Michael Marks. Since then, the UK-based firm has been linked inextricably to Zionism. …

    van’s descriptions of the early years of M&S are among the most interesting parts in the volume. She describes the "genius" Michael Marks, a Russian Jew emigre, beginning to sell goods from a tray…


  5. Sophia says:

    Lol. I remember when I was little, and I was back in Russia, we had this English textbook, and it had a lot of British culture in it. And there was an article about the founders of Marks and Spencer’s, and then mention of Marks being a Jewish immigrant from the USSR lol.

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