Tag Archives: London

Immigration and Emigration:The world in a city–East End Jews

Soup kitchen for the Jewish poorEast End Jews

In the late-19th Century, the church at the corner of Brick Lane became a synagogue, as thousands of Jews moved into Spitalfields in the Huguenots’s wake. More than 2 million Jews left Eastern Europe between 1881 and 1914, prompted by economic hardship and increasingly ferocious persecution. Following the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, the persecution of Jews in Russia became even fiercer, and a wave of pogroms swept across Russia and neighbouring countries.

Many Jews landing in England actually intended to go to America, but about 120,000 stayed in this country. Again attracted by the area’s reputation as a place for cheap living, and by the fact that it had been home to a Jewish population in previous centuries, large numbers settled in Spitalfields, often finding work in the ‘rag trade’. By 1900 Jews formed around 95% of the population in the Wentworth Street district of Spitalfields.

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Exhibition in tel Aviv: Looking to the North and West – From the East End to Golders Green

“London is a modern Babylon.” (Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister, 1847)

Curators: Avichai Halperin | Asaf Galay

“I look at Whitechapel and think to myself: if London is so cheerful, how will it be in America?!”

(Sholem Aleichem, “Motle son of Peisi”)

In the late nineteenth century, the dream of a different and better life led millions of Jews to emigrate from Eastern Europe to the New World. London, which in many cases was the last stop before their longed-for destination…Read more http://www.bh.org.il/event/london/

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