Historical tour of Jewish history in London
This tour is a full day exploration focusing on some famous, infamous and unsavoury characters. Thus, to illustrate the rise, fall and rise again of London’s Jews over a thousand years. See and hear about a different side of London to the usual tourist locations from the historic East End district, the City of London and the West End. You will have an expert guide by your side. Furthermore, You will be guided through the major Synagogues of different styles and periods. This includes the stunning Bevis Marks Synagogue, Jewish museums and other areas of interest.
Old Jewish Quarter
Explore Jewish London with an expert guide by your side. Your driver guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and take you to the Old Jewish Quarter in London’s famous East End. You will explore narrow alleyways and backstreets of Spitalfields and Aldgate; hear about 156 synagogues in just 2 square miles and learn about the first Yiddish theatre in England which was the scene of a real life tragedy
Soup Kitchen & Bevis Marks Synagogue
You will see the well-preserved 1902 ‘Soup Kitchen for Jewish Poor’ that served a staggering 5000 meals a day, now a luxury apartment block. From there, you will head to Bevis Marks Synagogue, the beautiful building which dates from 1701. Tucked away in a courtyard because Jews were not allowed to build on public thoroughfares at the time, it is virtually unchanged since it was built. The great brass hanging candelabra, austere dark oak benches, magnificent ark – everything is original.
Whitechapel and Stepney
You will stroll around Whitechapel and Stepney where you will learn about a secret 300 year old Jewish cemetery hidden within an astonishing modern setting; a tiny synagogue dwarfed on all sides by a Mosque; and the remnants of a major synagogue concealed in a luxury apartment block. You will stand on the very spot where a young Winston Churchill directed the notorious 1911 Siege of Sidney Street against Jewish anarchists.
After lunch you will head to West End and learn about Jews living just yards from the luxury homes of the ultra rich. Soho and Fitzrovia districts are steeped in a vast history of the Jewish community that lived there as recently as 75 years ago. You will discover how bitter rivalries split Synagogue congregations and led to new religious movements; Berwick Street, Dean Street and Frith Street each offering a host of wonderful stories such as the comical antics of market traders, a kosher restaurant whose most enthusiastic diners were Hollywood starts, the school that was Jewish in all but name and where the Great Tailors’ Strike began 100 years ago involving thousands of Jewish workers.