Jewish East End Celebration Society
4A Cornwall Mews South, London, SW7 4RX
[email protected]

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.

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.

The glamorous world created by Boris, the iconic East End photographer whose life and work were featured in a recent issue of our magazine The Cable, is now the subject of a wonderful website, www.eastendvintageglamour.org.uk.

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.

Leah Lehrman was just 16 when she was killed while cycling from her East End home to central London and her job as a tailor. Now, 100 years after her death in one of the first Zeppelin raids of the First World War, her tomb has a memorial plaque after a 20-year search by her niece, Janet Foster, for the resting place of the aunt she never knew.

The life of Dora Diamant, a remarkable East Ender by adoption, was commemorated by JEECS on May 26 with a morning service at East Ham Jewish cemetery and an afternoon talk by Professor Kathi Diamant, her biographer, at Toynbee Hall.

"I feel completely overwhelmed by everything everybody has said today that has helped make this wonderful celebration of Bill's life. I know that Bill touched many lives in many ways and we all have our own memories of him. He was my best friend, my lover, my soul mate, he was just my Bill," said Doris Fishman at the end of a celebration honouring the life and work of her historian husband Professor Bill Fishman, honorary president of JEECS.

David Mazower's article (in issue 25 of The Cable) on the London Imperial Russian Singers was both interesting in its depiction of the choir and the psycho/social appeal it had to Jewish immigrants.

Victims of the last rocket attack on London were commemorated at a JEECS event on March 29 at Hughes Mansions in Vallance Road in Stepney, 70 years after the tragedy that left 134 people dead.

Latest news

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    Andrew Whitehead, whose new book on the Siege of Sydney Street, an iconic event in the Jewish East End, has just been published, is one of many fascinating speakers at the Hackney History Festival in May. Read More
  • East End playwright, novelist and poet Bernard Kops dies aged 97

    Bernard Kops, the great East End playwright, novelist and poet, and honorary president of JEECS, has died at the age of 97 The son of Dutch-Jewish immigrants, Bernard was born in 1926 and brought up in Stepney Green Buildings in a world whose frontier was Aldgate East tube station, a world in which clothing from the Jewish Board of Guardians Read More
  • Seeking the human being within, behind the cloak

    Bernard Kops, the great East End playwright, poet and novelist has died at the age of 97. Honorary life president of JEECS, he was an astute observer of both the old Jewish East End and the modern world. The interview below is from the JEECS magazine The Cable in 2006 and is being republished as a tribute to a great Read More
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    Morris Goldstein, a near forgotten member of the remarkable group of artists and writers that flourished in the East End in the early part of the last century, deserves wider recognition. RAYMOND FRANCIS, his son, gives us a taste of his story in this extract from his book about his father's life. This article was published in JEECS's magazine The Read More
  • East End Brady days

    An exhibtion devoted to the history of the Brady Girls' Club opens in London on October 6. So it seemed a timely moment to republish these reminiscences of an iconic East End organisation originally published in our magazine The Cable in 2010. Read More
  • Exhibition celebrates the Brady Girls' Club

    The history of a seminal East End organisation, the wonderful Brady Girls’ Club, is being celebrated in an exhibition at London Metropolitan University opening next month. Read More
  • Sikh peddlers in the Jewish East End

    The role of Jewish East Enders in working with early Sikh arrivals in the UK is set to form part of a new documentary film whose creators are seeking people who can talk to them from a Jewish perspective about the partnerships that developed. Read More
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For the old Jeecs site, visit www.jeecs.org.uk/archive