explore london's jewish heritage

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  • Jewish heritage walks


    Jewish heritage walks encompass everything from radical East End rabbis to Soho strip joints...
    • Photo for Jewish Hampstead Statue of Freud at the Tavistock

      Jewish Hampstead

      Various dates

      Blue Badge Guide Rachel Kolsky organises tours that tell the story of the Austro-German refugees who fled to Europe in the inter-war years and pitched up in Hampstead. ‘The Jews who settled in north-west London were cultured and assimilated,’ says Kolsky. ‘Hampstead, which already had a thriving artistic community was a natural choice and areas such as Belsize Park were affordable. Bookshops and delicatessens sprang up and German became the neighbourhood lingua franca. Sigmund Freud’s home in Maresfield Gardens became a magnet for artists and doctors, and Hampstead even had a Jewish Mayor.’ The tour also tells the story of the Hampstead Petition, a campaign set up by two locals that called for the area’s refugees to be sent home. The walk ends at 2 Willow Road, the home of architect Erno Goldfinger. Read more

  • Jewish East End

    Stephen Burstin leads a two-and-a-half-hour tour of Spitalfields and Aldgate, visiting the Bevis Marks Synagogue (a small entry charge applies), the first Yiddish theatre in England and other sites associated with Jewish heritage. Booking essential. Read more

  • Jewish Soho and Fitzrovia

    Various dates

    Clive Bettington specialises in East End walks, but he also leads tours of London’s lesser known Jewish haunts. ‘The Soho area was not a ghetto like the East End, but the Jewish presence here was considerable,’ says Bettington, whose tour takes in Berwick Street, where the first branch of Marks and Spencer’s was established, as well as the Jews Free School in Hanway Street and Soho Square, which was home to two synagogues. Other famous names connected with the area range from Leon Trotsky, to Ronnie Scott and Paul Raymond. Read more

  • The Radical East End

    Various dates

    David Rosenberg’s Radical Jewish East End tour explores the experiences of immigrants there from the 1870s up to World War I. ‘The tour looks at the struggles that cut across the different immigrant communities, from the Hugenots and Jews to the Irish and Bangladeshis, as they strove for better lives,’ says Rosenberg. His other tour, Anti-Fascist Footprints, is a walk through 1930s East End, finishing in Cable Street, the infamous location for the pitched battle between East Enders and Moseley’s fascist Blackshirts in 1936. Read more

  • Jewish West End

    Until Sun Dec 30

    Stephen Burstin leads a two-and-a-half-hour tour of Soho and Fitzrovia, visiting sites related to Jewish history in the West End. Meet at Warren Street tube. Booking essential. Read more

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