New Jewish London tour launched for solo explorers

United Synagogue's self-guiding excursion takes in almost 1,000 years of history


Group tours of Jewish interest sites have been among the many casualties of lockdown.

But with things opening up, the United Synagogue has launched a self-guided walking tour, The Jews of London, as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.

Devised by Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum and US strategic projects lead Ben Vos, the tour begins at the Barbican and ends at Fournier Street, Spitalfields, taking in nearly 1,000 years of Jewish history along the way.

Over 15 stops, the tour examines what brought Jews to London, the expulsion of 1290 and the readmission more than three centuries later. It also charts the development of the capital’s Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities, the formation of the US, Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe, the development of kosher food and more.

There are map links and written directions, images and original documents and a short podcast to listen to at each location. Being digital, it can also be enjoyed at home by those unable to travel.

“Creating this tour was a joy,” Mr Vos said. “We visit sites in London and tell Jewish stories people might not know, creating a narrative rich with drama, intrigue and even individual heroism.

“With restrictions easing, we hope the tour will be the perfect excuse to get out and about in the City and old East End.”

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