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

My personal journey through the Jewish East End of London


Tubby Isaacs jellied eel stall in Whitechapel High Street - not very Kosher...

A tour around Jewish Spitalfields - the long way round!


But first, a fishy tale about the Weintrop family of Hanbury Street..from my friend Corinne L....her story is as follows:

Reuben Weintrop - aka: Bud FlanaganToday a blue plaque is on the wall of 12 Hanbury Street where the Weintrop family lived.  Their famous son - 'Bud Flanagan'  - was an old boy of Jews Free School as well as 'The Crazy Gang'.  12 Hanbury Street is now the site of Rosa's cafe, but next door at no 8 is a fish and chip shop!   Corrine L writes: "My father was born at 10, Hanbury Street, where his parents owned a fried fish shop.   Right next door, at No 12, lived Bud Flanagan (real name: Reuben Weintrop) and his family.   His mother and my grandmother were friends - but not for long!   His mother (who I doubt was called Mrs Flanagan!) came to my granny one day with a sob story about having no money.   My granny took pity on her and lent her a goodly sum - with which she proceeded to set up a fish and chip shop in opposition to my grandparents!   (After which they moved round the corner to Commercial Street). This took place some time in the 1900's"

double click photos to enlarge

Plaque on wall of 12 Hanbury Street which reads:

"Bud Flanagan 1896-1968, commedian and leader of The Crazy Gang born here"

View of 12 Hanbury Street with the fish and chip shop next door at no 8

Rosa's cafe - 12 Hanbury Street with plaque to Bud Flanagan (Reuben Weintrop) on the wall

Memories of Old Castle Street Synagogue - David Lawrence has sent in this memory (June 2005):
Old Castle Street is a short street between Aldgate High Street and Wentworth Street. The shul was at the Lane end of the street on the East side of the road. When I did a nostalgia walk some years ago, the shul had disappeared and been replaced by Council housing for local residents. The Minister in the early 1930's was Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick who died at the early age of 35 at about 1935. He had 2 sons, Chaim and Sholem, who were students at a yeshiva in Lithuania. When war between Britain and Germany started in September 1939 they were unable to get back to UK. But they managed to travel east across Russia, which was not at war until 1941, and arrived in Shanghai. And from there on to Melbourne in Australia. There they established a Gutnick dynasty and Lubavitch presence, and Joseph Gutnick, one of Chaim's children, is the gold-mining tycoon.  Mordechai Gutnick came from Periyaslev, a small town/shtetl near Kiev.
Take a look below at some of my 'long way round' views of Spitalfields:

Inside Marks deli - Petticoat Lane - mid 1960's. Sadly Marks deli is long gone.

The smoke salmon was legendary and it was a joy to listen to the banter between the customers and Mossy Marks.

Looking West along Wentworth st into Petticoat Lane Market. Until recently most stall holders were Jewish.

At the North End of Middlesex Street is this plaque on Astral House marking the former offices of The Jewish Board of Guardians

My mother's family received financial aid from the Board of Guardians

Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor in Brune Street opened in 1902 - now converted into smart flats.

Sandy's Row - the Dutch Synagogue, founded in 1854 by Dutch immigrants mostly working in the tobacco industry.

They celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2004.

Sandy's Row Synagogue interior.The dominant interior colour is orange (Dutch National Colour) reflecting the Dutch origins of the synagogue's founders

The remains of the Central Foundation Girls School, Spital Square is hidden behind the redevelopment engulfing Spitalfields.

The school offered an excellent education and provided a way out of the ghetto for its many Jewish pupils.

The front of The Central Foundation Girls School, Spital Square. The school relocated to Bow in 1975

The Jewish artist Mark Gertler lived in 32 Elder Street just off Spital Square. It is now the premises of a bespoke tailor.

In the basement below pavement level is a hand made shoe business - take a look and you will see shoe lasts in the window.

Plaque in Princelet St marking the 1886 birthplace of Miriam Moses - 1st woman mayor of Hackney.

Miriam Moses had a role supervising funds for the Childrens Country Holiday Fund-a Jewish Charity that assisted children from poor homes to pay for a holiday. My mother applied for a grant and Miriam Moses interviewed her. My mother saw it as an oppportunity to say how well off she was (living with 9 children and 3 adults upstairs in a terraced house in Grafton St!!). When she told her Aunt(step mother) how she had embellished the family's circumstances she was given a good telling off!

Next door to Miriam Mose's birthplace is 19 Princelet St - former Federation synagogue abandoned in the late 1960's and now a museum.

The view is of the basement below pavement level

The Brick Lane Mosque, formerly the Machzike Hadass (Spitalfileds Great) Synagogue was a member of the Federation of Synagogues.

This impressive uilding was formerly a Hugenot Chapel. It became a synagogue in 1898 & closed in the mid 1970's. It was once so busy that additional classrooms for Religious Education were built on the original roof. Look up and you can still see them.

This plaque outside a classroom in the former Machzike Hadass Synagogue reads:

"This class has been dedicated to the memory of the late Deborah Kay who passed away on 17 Tammuz 3683, July 1 1933"

Brick Lane Beigel Shop - stroll to the North end of Brick Lane for a smoked salmon beigel at the 24 hour Beigel Bake - you won't regret it!

Being served in the Brick Lane Beigel Bake

The salt beef counter in the Brick Lane Beigel Bake

The lovely girls of the Brick Lane Beigel Bake!

Turn left at the North End of Brick Lane and walk along Bethnal Green Rd for 500 yds to find Bethanl Green Great Synagogue next to Club Row

Formerly a member of the Federation of Synagogues, until recently it was a clothing factory and it is now an artist's studio. Look for the large Star of David on the side of the building.

View of the stained glass windows of Bethnal Green Great Synagogue -sadly no longer visible from the road following a recent change of ownership.

In the Eastern End of Wentworth St is an arch that is the only remnant of the 4% Industrial Dwelling Company that cleared many of the slums.

The property on this site was built in 1886. A profit was provided for the developers (Rothchild's and Mocatta's) and decent homes were provided for the Jewish poor of the area.

Blooms - the end of an era. This is the Headline of The Jewish Chronicle, 23 February 1996

Burger King by Aldgate East Station was once the famous Blooms Kosher restaurant. The waiters were the rudest in Europe!

Bloom's Whitechapel branch closed in 1996.

The Magen David (Star of David) above men's outfitters Alberts in Aldgate East marks the site of a Jewish newspaper that opened in the 1920's.

It closed after about 8 months but left this marvellous momento behind on the wall.

Isaac Rosenbereg - artist, poet and World War One casualty - studied at the Whitechapel Library.

The library has been bought by the Whitechapel Art Gallery next door. Let us hope the facade of the building will be saved from the wreckers.

20-22 Whitechapel High St the site of Phil Kay's London Sack & Bag Co - Legendary Jewish dealers in s/h jute sacks (now Kay Textiles - any relation?)

A few steps West of the London Sack & Bag Co's former premises is 'Barons' - legendary 'Simchah' Photographer Boris Bennett's former premises

A few steps West of Boris Bennett's former premises is Adler St-named after Hermann AdlerChief Rabbi of the United Synagogue from 1891 to 1911

Hermann Adler now resides in Willesden cemetery

Arnold Circus Band Stand is off Club Row just North of Brick Lane. My friend Jack from Fieldgate St knew it well as a young man.

Before the War Live music was performed here and Jewish boys and girls would gather to listen. Jack is in the next photo on the right standing outside wonderful Fieldgate Street Shul

Fieldgate Street Synagogue faces - Michael & Jack standing outside the shul Summer 2005

Fieldgate St faces Jan 2005 including Dayan Lichtenstein on the left-senior Rabbi of the Federation of Synagogues

Dayan Lichtenstein inside Fieldgate Street Synagogue Jan 2005, delivering a eulogy to the late Cecil Davison - senior warden of Fieldgate Street

Vine Court Synagogue - a plaque remembering Vine Court Synagogue remains in Fieldgate Street Great Synagogue. The inscription reads:

Vine Court and Greenfield Street Synagogue. Donated by Chevra Tehillim Ladies Guild £200.0.0. Donated by Fieldgate St Grt Synagogue £105.0.0

Former Vine Court Synagogue is half a mile east of Aldgate East Station - but is worth the walk. Vine Court is a tiny turning off Whitechapel Rd.

Walk into a cobbled alleyway under an arch and there on your left hand side is 'Malhi House' - formerly Vine Court Synagogue. The dome in the distance is the crumbling roof of the old flop house next to the East London Mosque. Step back 100 years when you step into Vine Court! Vine Court Synagogue combined with Fieldgate St synagogue in 1965

Vine Court Synagogue-looking into Whitechapel Rd. Vine Court is a little way away from Spitalfields area.

Vine Court Synagogue amalgamated with nearby Fieldgate Street Great Synagogue in 1965.

Vine Court Synagogue memories in Fieldgate Street Great Synagogue - 1965 amalgamation plaque. The inscription reads:

This Memorial Stone was laid by The Hon Chas N Rothschild, Monday July 17th 1899 - Ab 10th 5659. Hon President Sir Samuel Montagu Bart M.P; Acting President: S Michaels; Vicer President J Cohen; Treasurer: J Payne; Wardens: H Crown & A Gluckstein; Hon Sec: Joseph E Blank; Sec: Frank W Woolf

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