London's East End Synagogues, cemeteries and more......

My personal journey through the Jewish East End of London


Around Nelson Street Synagogue (The East London Central Synagogue

East London Central Synagogue (Nelson Street)Nelson Street Synagogue - formally known as East London Central Synagogue - was founded in 1923.  As the years went by and Jews moved away from the East End of London falling membership caused many East End synagogues to close. Some of them live on as names on plaques commemorating their amalgamation with surviving synagogues such as Nelson Street. The  following synagogues amalgamated with Nelson Street: Belz, Berditchover, Buross St, Cannon St. Rd, Chevra Sass, Commercial Rd. Great, Grove St., Jubilee St, Mile End, New Rd, Philpot St. Great, Philpot St. Sphardish, Rumanian Sidney St., Sons of Britchan

Nelson Street Synagogue has an unassuming exterior and a stunningly beautiful interior.   On 7 September 2003 the The Jewish East End Celebration Society organised a number of 'Jewish East End' activities.  One of these was a visit to Nelson Street to witness an interview with the remarkable Anna Tzelniker.  Anna is a renowned Yiddish actress who worked with her father Meier and others in both mainstream and Yiddish theatre.  She has played many roles including 5 years in the West End Stage production of Fiddler on the Roof. 

'Best wishes, Anna Tzelniker"She was born in Romania and came as a teenager with her family to the UK in the early 1930's.  She started her career in her father's travelling Yiddish theatre company in Romania.  She is a wonderful raconteur and a true star, and it was a privilege to be in Nelson Street Synagogue to listen to her.  I was so impressed that I asked Anna to autograph my copy of Tower Hamlets leaflet entitled 'Exploring the Vanishing East End' - see left!


The former Settle Street Synagogue, 34 Settle Street -a short walk from Nelson St and Fieldgate St Shuls & former synagogue of the late Sassover Rabbi

This building was formerly Cannon Street Road Synagogue - now amalgamated with Nelson Street Synagogue

Former Raines School in Cannon Street Road had many Jewish pupils

Grand Palais Yiddish Theatre entrance - converted to a bingo hall. Photographed mid 1960's

Flick Fashions now occupies the former premises of the Grand Palais Yiddish Theatre Anna Tzelniker and father Meier acted here

The Grand Palais closed as a theatre in 1960 to become a bingo hall. It closed altogether in 1970.

Nelson Street Shul - view from the Ladies Gallery looking East towards the Ark (where the Torah scrolls are kept)

Nelson Street shul looking from the Bimah (reading desk) East to the Ark

Nelson Street's wonderful ornate ceiling

Nelson Street - looking towards the Ark

A plaque detailing names of some of those who have made donations for the upkeep of Nelson Street Synagogue

Memorial Plaque to Holocaust victims now in Nelson St but originally in The Sons of Britchan Synagogue, Bromhead St, London E1,

Nelson Street Foundation stone, dated 1923

Foundation Plaque of Nelson Street Chevra Gemillas Chasodim - a communal charity dedicated to performing 'acts of kindness' for members in need

1952 Plaque commemorating amalgamation with Nelson Street of the following synagogues :Sons of Britchan, Berditchover,Beltz,Rumanian,Buross Street.

Anna Tzelniker - famous Yiddish actress signing autographs in Nelson Street Shul

Anna Tzelniker replies to a point during her interview at Nelson Street Synagogue

Anna Tzelniker makes another point....

Anna Tzelniker receiving rapturous applause at the end of her question and answer session in Nelson Street Synagogue


website copyright of Philip Walker