Jewish voices from a time of darkness

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.

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Going to the dogs

Do you have memories, or stories from your families, of going to the dogs or the races? Or what about popping down the pub in the days of the old East End? If so, JEECS member Isabelle Seddon would like to hear from you.

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Bernard Kops film provides a fascinating insight into the last great East End chronicler

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.

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A Jewish colony in Essex

HAROLD POLLINS investigates an old headline and discovers a forgotten project to give East Enders the opportunity of less crowded living in a new development.

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Are we relatives?

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?

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Nelson Street marks Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day was marked in the East End with a wide range of events, culminating in the annual Interfaith Commemoration at the East London Central Synagogue in Nelson Street.

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Journal of a cabinet maker

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/.

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Jewish East End to feature in BBC Living History project

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”.

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Open day at Fieldgate Street

Fieldgate Street synagogue, which had been one of the last remaining active synagogues in the East End until relatively recently, has been bought by the adjacent East London Mosque.

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Yiddish theatre classic has UK stage premiere

A classic of Yiddish theatre has at last had its UK premiere – 109 years after it was written.

Treasure by David Pinski was staged  in English  at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court, south-west London, for a four week season from Tuesday October 20 to Saturday November 14.

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The Cable draws US theatre group to Britain

A theatre company in Boston in the US and an arts centre in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, have been brought together – thanks to a Cable article about the East End artist and poet Isaac Rosenberg.

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Latest news

  • I remember, I remember

    Among my most powerful memories of living in Petticoat Lane are the smells. I make my own bread and when I smell baking I’m taken back to our cold water tenement in Wentworth Dwellings. Read More
  • A unique view of East End life in pictures

    European Day of Jewish Culture on Sunday October 6 sees a fascinating exhibition at Sandys Row Synagogue, Spitalfields, of unique photographs of the Jewish East End from the 1970s that have never been seen before. Read More
  • An East End family through three generations

    East End life will be explored in what should be a fascinating evening at Finchley Church End Library on Monday November 25, when author Ruth Badley will be in conversation with Kate Thompson talking about her  book Where are the Grown-ups?,  a tragic and uplifting story about a Jewish family in Stepney. There will be a 45mins discussion followed by Read More
  • An Evening with Esther Rinkoff

    Esther Rinkoff from the East End’s celebrated Rinkoff Bakery is at Finchley Church End Library on Monday November 18 in conversation with Pam Fox examining the business’s fascinating history. There will be free pastries for early arrivals, while stocks last. Read More
  • Hoping for a connection

    Back in 2013 our magazine The Cable published a fascinating article by Ivan Koop Kuper about his maternal family's East End origins in Whitechapel. Read More
  • In search of a better life

    IVAN KOOP KUPER takes a personal journey through his mother’s East End from his home in Houston, Texas.    The average American’s only exposure to London’s East End, if any, is typically through the BBC television series EastEnders, syndicated to the US to be shown by PBS. This long-running British soap opera depicts the offbeat characters who live in the fictional neighbourhood Read More
  • Minnie Lansbury: one of the most remarkable women to emerge from the East End

    A gleaming green and gold clock on the side of Electric House in Bow Road forms a fine tribute to Minnie Lansbury, one of the most remarkable women to emerge from the East End, whose life and achievements are the subject of a recent book from Five Leaves Publications. It was a life cut tragically short at the age of Read More
  • Stepney Synagogue book

    People have been asking us about the top picture on our Facebook page (JEECS Facebook). It is the East London Synagogue in Rectory Square, Stepney Green, long closed and now turned into flats, some of which retain features of the synagogue.. The picture (see above) dates from August 1948 The synagogue’s fascinating history has been told by Marc Michaels in Read More
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For the old Jeecs site, visit www.jeecs.org.uk/archive