EAST END OF LONDON PHOTO GALLERY & COMMENTARY
London's East End Synagogues, cemeteries and more......
My personal journey through the Jewish East End of London
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Christian Street Talmud
Torah....and the Yiddish National Theatre, Adler Street (both long
I recently received an
Migdale (formerly Mazin...any relation?). It is reproduced
Just been e-mailed your website of Jewish East
London, which I found so interesting.
Surprised not to see any mention of the Christian
Street Talmud Torah. This was a really special synagogue, just off
Cable Street, with a very large congregation, including various
Charity groups, one of which was the " Boot and Meal Fund"
committee, which presented my parents with a lovely pair of silver (shabbat)
candlesticks (which I now have) for their wedding present in 1932.
I believe my "booba" was "Chair" of the committee. The head of the
synagogue was Samuel Fisher, who became a Mayor and was knighted.
Anna Tzelniker was also a friend of mine: she died,
sadly, last year. I also knew her father, Meier. I met them when,
as a child, I went to the Yiddish Theatre (Adler Street), where my
aunt, Anne Stephanie, was the pianist and Musical Director there.
Anna's husband, Phil Bernstein, was the violinist, but Anna always
retained her father's surname as her stage name.
My first encounter with Shakespeare was at that
theatre, where the performance was "The Merchant of Venice", with
Meier playing Shylock, and Anna playing Portia. I was about 10
years old and still remember that famous quotation,
"Vat, Yid!!" in the Court scene......Ruth's
letter continues after the photos
Mieir Tzelniker as
Shylock in the 1940s Yiddish version of Merchant of
Venice performed in the Yiddish National Theatre, Adler
Street and referred to in Ruth's letter
|Anna Tzelniker in Nelson
Street synagogue in 2005
fronted building above was once Christian Street Talmud
Torah. Cable Street is beyond the bridge
sister and I, went to Fairclough Street School, which was a good 20
minutes walk from our home, and we had to pass Christian Street School
(opposite the Synagogue) which was only a few minutes away from where we
lived. I guess the "powers that be" decided to organise it so that all
the Jewish children went to Fairclough St. In fact, most of the
teachers there, including one Headmistress, Mrs Barnett, were Jewish and
we had our own "prayers" every morning, in Hebrew. Another thing that
stands out in my mind, about Fairclough St. School, was that Roy James
(one of the GREAT TRAIN ROBBERS) was in my class!
were lucky to have had a wonderful education in that East End School. I
still remember so well, aged 5, sitting cross-legged in the Hall,
listening and learning to hum to "The Unfinished Symphony". Every
morning we recited our "Times Tables" .
When I was 9, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of taking an
exam. which I passed, to go the Raine's Foundation School Preparatory
Dept. Arbour Square. My sister had already passed the Scholarship and
was there too. We both are still friendly and in touch with friends we
|The plaque above is on the
premises in Arbour Square - the plaque was removed from the
building in Cannon Street Road
Raines School in Arbour Square
Above is Raines
in Cannon Street Road - now derelict
Regarding relations of our family Mazin, one of my cousins recently came
across the grand-daughter of THE Joseph Mazin, of the Book Shop in
Whitechapel. She told my cousin that, we were in fact, related but
there were reasons why her grandfather did not make contact.
unfortunately, never knew either of my grandfathers, but my mother's
parents had a sweet-shop in The Highway name of Nymitz-
Anglicised to "Nyman" and the Mazins all lived in Ship Alley
immediately off The Highway. My parents, my sister and I, lived in
Wellclose Square, which had 4 Alleys and Ship Alley led down to The
Highway. The side of Wellclose Square, just before the part which led
to Ship Alley, was the Store-room and I guess sales-room of Miller's
Antiques, which is now quite famous for the Annually published books.
Another Alley, off Wellclose Sq, of course leads to the now replenished,
Wiltons Music Hall. I wish we had been "worldly" enough to appreciate
all of that.
Leading from where Ship Alley joined The Highway, one could turn Right
and a ten-minute walk away was the Tower of London. I can remember
playing in the sand and paddling in the river on a summer day.
During the War, the School in the middle of Wellclose Square became a
Fire Station and Headquarters which monitored the enemy planes/bombers
etc. aiming for the Docks. My father was attached to them as an
Air-Raid Warden and got a medal for his Bravery (which I have still) .
He was not allowed to join the British Forces, because he was regarded
as an "Alien" - he was 2 years old when his mother brought the family,
escaping from Russia, in 1904.
house in which we lived had a short pathway and there was a communal
underground Shelter built, with only the sloping black-tarmac roof and
double doors showing. It was "furnished" with two-tier bunks and the
atmosphere was kept "light" by everyone (well almost everyone) singing
all the popular songs of the time - trying to down out the noise of the
Hope all this has not bored you too much.
Look forward to hearing from you again,