Jewish East End Celebration Society
P.O. Box 57317, London E1 3WG
enquiries@jeecs.org.uk

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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”.

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.

Latest news

  • Next steps for Isaac Rosenberg memorial project

    Where would be the appropriate site for the planned memorial bust to Isaac Rosenberg, the great World War One poet and artist? Read More
  • Local historian seeks your ideas

    We've had a request for help from local historian Siri Christiansen, whose letter to JEECS chairman Clive Bettington is below.  She would love to hear from people with ideas that she might follow up on. Send any messages to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will forward them. Read More
  • JEECS News Update March 2020

    Isaac Rosenberg bust JEECS now has sufficient money to commission the above bust as a memorial to the great East End war poet and artist, but finding a site has been surprisingly difficult. Read More
  • Nelson Street ceiling collapse is a major blow

      The ceiling collapse at the East London Central Synagogue in Nelson Street on January 10 is a big blow to the East End's Jewish legacy. Read More
  • Osborn Street memories sought

    I was wondering if anyone could help me. I am looking for information on what the East End of London, mainly Whitechapel or Osborn Street, was like from 1900 to about 1969 and what is it like today. Read More
  • What do you know about beigels?

    Can you help? From JEECS chairman Clive Bettington.   1: Beigels A British company with American finance is making a film about the   international history of beigels. The company has been filming all over the world – Israel, Canada, the US etc – and has come to me for more information. It also wants me to organise a film premiere in the East End. Read More
  • 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
  • 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
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For the old Jeecs site, visit www.jeecs.org.uk/archive