By: Goodman Lipkind
Headmaster of the London Jews' Free School; born April 29, 1819, and died at London, in 1898. He received his early training at H. N. Solomon's boarding-school at Hammersmith and entered University College School at the age of fourteen; he completed his education at University College, London, with a brilliant academical record. After working some time as a bank-clerk, he turned his attention to teaching, and in 1840, on the retirement from the Jews' Free School of the headmaster (the Rev. H. A. Henry), Angel was appointed master of the Talmud Torah, the upper division of the school. There he aimed to secure a higher quality of education, and shortly afterward the management of the entire school was entrusted to him.
In this capacity his great administrative and pedagogic gifts soon wrought change in the entire morale of the institution, so that the Jews' Free School rapidly became one of the most comprehensive and best-managed elementary institutions in the United Kingdom. In 1853 it was placed under government inspection, and, at the yearly examinations which followed, the school never failed to elicit the warmest encomiums from the government inspector, while many tributes of appreciation were paid to Angel's great administrative and educational talents. Not content with promoting the welfare of the youthful scholars confided to his care, Angel, in 1853, undertook the training of the teachers in both departments of the school, organizing a system of university teaching for the school staff, whose reputation for skill and efficiency became so wide-spread that for more than a generation nearly every Jewish elementary teacher in the country owed his training, directly or indirectly, to Angel.
In 1883, when the school was enlarged and reconstructed, an assistant became necessary, and a vicemaster was appointed, L. B. Abrahams. Until 1897 Angel occupied the post of headmaster, but resigned in that year for the less onerous position of principal, being succeeded in the headmastership by Abrahams.
Angel's remarkable personality left its imprint upon the progress of both the secular and religious educational development of the Anglo-Jewish community. At the time when, for want of propermethods and organization, the Jewish public educational system in England was of the crudest, Angel came forward as the needed administrator, and with untiring energy remedied this want of system in such degree, that his advice was subsequently sought even by the National Educational Department itself.
He published: (1) A book entitled "The Law of Sinai and Its Appointed Times" (1858), being a commentary on the Pentateuch. (2) A series of articles entitled "The Pentateuch," written for the "Jewish Record." Angel was one of the first editors of the "Jewish Chronicle" in 1841, having been associated in that position with the Rev. David Meldola, haham of the Spanish and Portuguese congregation. Subsequently, he occasionally contributed articles and letters to the "Jewish Chronicle."
- Young Israel, London, June, 1898;
- Jew. Chron. and Jew. World, September, 1898.