Can you send the author your Brady Street recollections?
Many members of JEECS will know of the United Synagogue owned cemetery in Brady Street, a few hundred yards from the street’s junction with Whitechapel Road. . In 2011 the cemetery celebrated its 250th anniversary – having been founded in 1761 – with a ceremony attended by the then Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks.
The celebrated Yiddish writer Chava Rosenfarb visited London in 1949. And, thanks to the Yiddish cultural historian David Mazower and to Goldie Morgentaler, Chava’s daughter, we have photographs of a gathering of London-based Yiddish writers and journalists assembled in what is possibly a café, in March 1949 to hear her give a reading of her poetry.
The organisers of this event are seeking information from Jews who have World War One connections. The London Jewish Cultural Centre has been awarded a substantial lottery grant to establish a website dedicated to the role London Jews played in the First World War.
If Lewis Altman is remembered today other than by immediate family it is as a leading character in two City scandals of the 1970s. But he has quite another claim to fame; he was one of over 540 British, Dutch and Empire prisoners of the Japanese during the second world war. Many, including Altman, were East Enders.
Bernard Kops’s place in the canon of English writers is probably assured. And anyone with doubts will have had them dispelled by the May 17 event at JW3, the Jewish cultural centre in north London.
We have to declare an interest; Bernard is JEECS life president. He is also the last of that band of writers, including Emanuel Litvinoff and Sir Arnold Wesker, who, coming from the Jewish East End, have used consummate artistry to capture its ethos and atmosphere.
A US resident wonders whether a photograph on an East End blog might be of someone to whom she is related. The subject of the photograph, a Mr Ralph Burns, bears a striking resemblance to the writer’s grandfather, who went to the US as a child. She thinks they might be relatives. Can you help her contact Mr Burns?
Michael Philip Davis, born Posimensky, came to the East End as a small child in the 1880s. Some 70 years later, he wrote a fascinating account of his early life, his eventually fulfilled dreams of settling in what would become Israel, and his first visit there. His great grandsons have kept his memory alive and Eliav Schmulewitz, one of them, contacted JEECS for help in tracking down more about his time in London. A posting on our Facebook page yielded at least one new discovery. Here below (unedited except for some explanatory additions in brackets) is Michael Davis’s account of his East End days, followed by some of Eliav’s findings and his request for further information. You can read more of Michael Davis’s own account on http://www.cabinetmaker.blogspot.co.il/.
The Jewish East End is to feature in a new Living History series on BBC television – and you could be part of it. Wall to Wall Television, the production company responsible for such hits as WhoDo You Think You Are?, Turn Back Time: The High Street, and the recent BBC2 series Back In Time For Dinner, is seeking people willing to relive the East End of the late Victorian era, including what assistant producer Emily Thompson calls the “rich story of the Jewish community living in these areas at the time”.