East End

Returning rabbi could fill Bevis Marks vacancy

By Simon Rocker, January 19, 2012

The vacant pulpit at Bevis Marks Synagogue could be filled by a rabbi from Israel who grew up in London's Sephardi community.

Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, who belonged to Lauderdale Road Synagogue, is meeting members of the London East End community during a visit this weekend to discuss the post.

Rabbi Cohen, who is in his early 50s, has worked both as a rabbi and IT consultant in Israel and is th


Sandys Row is fully restored to its former glory

By Jessica Elgot, January 12, 2012

An historic east London congregation is looking to the future after extensive synagogue restorations.

Grade II-listed Sandys Row in Spitalfields has spent £400,000 on repairs to its leaky roof, rotting windows and Huguenot plastering.

The Heritage Lottery Fund contributed £250,000 to the restoration project.

Now the synagogue intends to continue to fundraise in order to transform its la


Moving times for the Bevis Marks diners

By Simon Rocker, January 5, 2012

The restaurant at Bevis Marks is moving from the historic East End of London synagogue and reopening on Monday in new premises a few minutes away.

"It is going to be the most glamorous kosher restaurant in London," claimed Kenny Arfin, owner of Bevis Marks the Restaurant, as it will continue to be known.

"The reason we are going is that we wanted larger premises.


Developer defying council appeal to save 'Mother Levy's' buildings

By Jessica Elgot, December 1, 2011

Housing developer Peabody will defy a Tower Hamlets Council plea not to demolish the former Jewish Maternity Hospital in Tower Hamlets - and will tear down the premises this month.

On Tuesday, the council voted unanimously for Mayor Lutfur Rahman to start urgent negotiations with Peabody.


Crunch time for Mother Levy's

By Jessica Elgot, November 24, 2011

Hopes of preserving the site of the former Jewish Maternity Hospital are focused on a Tower Hamlets Council meeting next week.

Developers Peabody want to demolish the buildings as part of a project for a multi-storey housing association block.

Known as Mother Levy's, the hospital was the birthplace of many well known East End Jews, Arnold Wesker and Lionel Bart among them.

Local historian


Taking a walk through time to the old East End

By Monica Porter, November 11, 2011

London Walks, one of the capital's longest established walking tour companies, offers an "Old Jewish Quarter" tour of the East End. I have been on several of their enlightening guided walks - they have scores of them - but I wondered about this one. Hasn't that Jewish past been swept away by the curry houses and mosques of later Asian immigrants? What is there left to see? Quite a bit, actually.


Fight to save ‘Mother Levy’s’ suffers setback

By Jessica Elgot, October 27, 2011

East End campaigners have failed in their bid to stop Tower Hamlets planning officers approving the first stage towards the demolition of “Mother Levy’s” Jewish Maternity Hospital.

Chicken Soup with Barley playwright Sir Arnold Wesker, who was born in the hospital, is one of 250 signatories to a petition to save part of the former hospital from the bulldozers.


Shul Crawl: Sandys Row Synagogue, City of London

By Danny Kessler and Joshua Felberg, October 25, 2011

The oldest remaining Ashkenazi synagogue in the country is Sandys Row in the City of London.

We were told by a veteran member of the community with a gleeful smile that it was the second oldest, until the Germans destroyed Central Synagogue in Duke's Place during the war.


Recalling victory at Cable Street

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2011

More than 1,000 people joined a parade from Aldgate to the Cable Street mural, marking 75 years since the famous defeat of fascist marchers in the East End.

The Jewish Socialists' Group and the Jewish Labour Movement were among the organisations represented at the march and rally and participants included 106-year-old Hetty Bower, a veteran of the 1936 battle.


Cable Street march remembered 75 years on

By Jessica Elgot, October 4, 2011

More than 1,000 people joined a march from Aldgate to the Cable Street mural last week to mark 75 years since the famous march against the fascists in the East End.