In 1881 Czar Alexander II of Russia was assassinated by revolutionaries. The Russian government’s response was to launch an anti-Semitic onslaught against its Jewish subjects. Murderous attacks, known as pogroms, were launched against centres of Jewish population. Restrictions on employment and residence were an additional part of this campaign. The result was that between 1881 and 1914 an estimated 3 million Jews fled to the West. The majority went to the US, but approximately 100,000 settled in the UK, many of them in the East End of London. Today most of their descendants have moved away and only a few elderly Jewish people remain. The late 19th and early 20th century photographs in the first of the galleries below come from a remarkable photo archive acquired by JEECs and record aspects of a largely vanished Jewish East End.
The following two galleries showcase part of the vast picture collection of the late Philip Walker, who died in 2014. You can see more of his pictures at www.jewisheastend.com, the amazing website he created and which remains as a memorial to him.