Jewish East End Celebration Society
P.O. Box 57317, London E1 3WG
enquiries@jeecs.org.uk

Where would be the appropriate site for the planned memorial bust to Isaac Rosenberg, the great World War One poet and artist?

We've had a request for help from local historian Siri Christiansen, whose letter to JEECS chairman Clive Bettington is below.

 She would love to hear from people with ideas that she might follow up on. Send any messages to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will forward them.

  1. Isaac Rosenberg bust

JEECS now has sufficient money to commission the above bust as a memorial to the great East End war poet and artist, but finding a site has been surprisingly difficult.

 

The ceiling collapse at the East London Central Synagogue in Nelson Street on January 10 is a big blow to the East End's Jewish legacy.

I was wondering if anyone could help me. I am looking for information on what the East End of London, mainly Whitechapel or Osborn Street, was like from 1900 to about 1969 and what is it like today.

Can you help? From JEECS chairman Clive Bettington.

 

1: Beigels

A British company with American finance is making a film about the   international history of beigels. The company has been filming all over the world – Israel, Canada, the US etc – and has come to me for more information. It also wants me to organise a film premiere in the East End.

Among my most powerful memories of living in Petticoat Lane are the smells. I make my own bread and when I smell baking I’m taken back to our cold water tenement in Wentworth Dwellings.

Back in 2013 our magazine The Cable published a fascinating article by Ivan Koop Kuper about his maternal family's East End origins in Whitechapel.

IVAN KOOP KUPER takes a personal journey through his mother’s East End from his home in Houston, Texas. 

 

The average American’s only exposure to London’s East End, if any, is typically through the BBC television series EastEnders, syndicated to the US to be shown by PBS. This long-running British soap opera depicts the offbeat characters who live in the fictional neighbourhood of Albert Square in the fictional borough of Walford.

A gleaming green and gold clock on the side of Electric House in Bow Road forms a fine tribute to Minnie Lansbury, one of the most remarkable women to emerge from the East End, whose life and achievements are the subject of a recent book from Five Leaves Publications.

It was a life cut tragically short at the age of only 32. She had been a leading suffragette, a fighter for decent pensions for those widowed or orphaned in the first world war, an alderman on Poplar council, and a leader of the councillors’ rates strike in protest over the levy on one of London’s poorest boroughs that took money away from people who really needed it – a strike that became a cause célèbre, brought about her imprisonment, but resulted in reform of local government finance.

She worked as a schoolteacher and in 1914 married Edgar Lansbury, whose father, George, was to be Mayor of Poplar, editor of the Daily Herald, a Labour MP, and in due course Labour Party leader.


The clock was restored to its former glory in 2008 thanks to the efforts of the Heritage of London Trust in conjunction with JEECS. We featured her story in issue 9 of our magazine, The Cable, in 2009.

Now author Janine Booth examines her life and achievements in detail in Minnie Lansbury: Suffragette, Socialist, Rebel Councillor, a book that is also the story of Eastern European immigrant Jews in Cockney London, of the fight against poverty and for enfranchisement, of opposing war while defending its victims, of embracing revolutionary possibilities and of defying bad laws. She argues that Minnie Lansbury’s experiences and struggles are directly relevant to today’s labour movement, and to today’s campaigns against antisemitism and for women’s equality.

Janine Booth is a writer and activist who lives in Hackney, east London. She is a well-known figure in her trade union (RMT), in the wider labour movement, and in disability rights and feminist circles. She writes and performs poetry, which has been widely published. She has researched, written and spoken on the subject of Minnie Lansbury for several years, including writing a book about the Poplar rates rebellion.

Minnie Lansbury: Suffragette, Socialist, Rebel Councillor. ISBN: 9781910170557. £12.99. Also available as an e-book. Five Leaves Publications, 14A Long Row,Nottingham, NG1 2DH. 0115 8373097. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: Five Leaves Publications

People have been asking us about the top picture on our Facebook page (JEECS Facebook). It is the East London Synagogue in Rectory Square, Stepney Green, long closed and now turned into flats, some of which retain features of the synagogue..

The picture (see above) dates from August 1948

The synagogue’s fascinating history has been told by Marc Michaels in East London Synagogue: Outpost of Another World. Marc is the grandson of Jack Michaels, the synagogue’s life president.

He recounts the synagogue’s establishment in 1877 as a “deficit synagogue”, against the stated policies of the United Synagogue whose policy had been to support only those synagogues that would be self-financing, and explores the background to its establishment and subsequent history, illustrated with many rare photographs.

You can read an excerpt from the book, and enjoy some of its superb illustrations, by clicking here.

 

News that a change of use application to turn the historic Whitechapel Bell Foundry into a boutique hotel has been submitted to Tower Hamlets Council has prompted us to resurrect this interesting short article by the late Philip Walker z"l, revealing a mysterious Jewish link, from our magazine The Cable, originally published in 2013. To find out more about the plans for this historic site -- and how to register an objection -- go to http://spitalfieldslife.com/2019/02/03/a-bell-themed-boutique-hotel/  See also our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jewisheastendcelebrationsoc/

Latest news

  • Next steps for Isaac Rosenberg memorial project

    Where would be the appropriate site for the planned memorial bust to Isaac Rosenberg, the great World War One poet and artist? Read More
  • Local historian seeks your ideas

    We've had a request for help from local historian Siri Christiansen, whose letter to JEECS chairman Clive Bettington is below.  She would love to hear from people with ideas that she might follow up on. Send any messages to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will forward them. Read More
  • JEECS News Update March 2020

    Isaac Rosenberg bust JEECS now has sufficient money to commission the above bust as a memorial to the great East End war poet and artist, but finding a site has been surprisingly difficult. Read More
  • Nelson Street ceiling collapse is a major blow

      The ceiling collapse at the East London Central Synagogue in Nelson Street on January 10 is a big blow to the East End's Jewish legacy. Read More
  • Osborn Street memories sought

    I was wondering if anyone could help me. I am looking for information on what the East End of London, mainly Whitechapel or Osborn Street, was like from 1900 to about 1969 and what is it like today. Read More
  • What do you know about beigels?

    Can you help? From JEECS chairman Clive Bettington.   1: Beigels A British company with American finance is making a film about the   international history of beigels. The company has been filming all over the world – Israel, Canada, the US etc – and has come to me for more information. It also wants me to organise a film premiere in the East End. Read More
  • I remember, I remember

    Among my most powerful memories of living in Petticoat Lane are the smells. I make my own bread and when I smell baking I’m taken back to our cold water tenement in Wentworth Dwellings. Read More
  • Hoping for a connection

    Back in 2013 our magazine The Cable published a fascinating article by Ivan Koop Kuper about his maternal family's East End origins in Whitechapel. Read More
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For the old Jeecs site, visit www.jeecs.org.uk/archive