Jewish East End Celebration Society
P.O. Box 57317, London E1 3WG

David Mazower's article (in issue 25 of The Cable) on the London Imperial Russian Singers was both interesting in its depiction of the choir and the psycho/social appeal it had to Jewish immigrants.


I am sure that there is still some resonance today amongst their descendants. Nostalgia for 'der haim' was certainly present when I grew up in the post-war East End. Listening to Russian songs on the 78 rpm shellac records of my grandparents gave me a lifelong connection with the Russian 'soul', be it Tsarist or Soviet inspired. Cossack songs like Song of the Plains, work songs like Volga Boatmen and love songs – Orchichonya (Dark eyes). Most families I knew had a recording of the Red Army Choir.

Now is the time to reconnect. I am currently a member of the London Russian Choir. One third of its members are Jewish and all shared a feeling of nostalgia which influenced their joining. More importantly the choir was formed and is led by the renowned, talented Russian Jewish singer, musician and composer Polina Skovoroda-Shepherd – a latter day Samuel Alman!

If anyone is interested, the choir welcomes new members, so go on line at:

Cossack dress is not obligatory.

One can also evoke that total emotional tug by joining the London Yiddish Choir also led by Polina. Find the website on:

Freddy Shaw

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