London's East End Synagogues, cemeteries and more......

My personal journey through the Jewish East End of London

Fame at last?  From the Jewish Chronicle 4th December 2009

Nightingale Home, The Reverend Leslie Hardman, Mile End and Bow synagogue

double click photos to enlarge

Jewish Chronicle article, 4th December 2009

Nelson Street's Leon Silver telling Nightingale residents the history of his lovely synagogue

Nightingale residents enjoying a cup of tea in Nelson Street

Harry Sack holding a copy of my favourite magazine The Cable published by the Jewish East End Celebration Society

Here is the story:

On Wednesday 25th November 2009 Philip Walker, chairman of South London Liberal Synagogue and member of the Jewish East End Celebration Society, led a group of Nightingale home residents on a tour of the Jewish East End. 

Our first stop was at East London Central Synagogue in Nelson street where warden Leon Silver told us the history of his community and offered us all a very welcome cup of tea.  82-year-old Nightingale resident Harry Sack (Photo below) recalled how Nelson street reminded him of his youth when his father would take him to different shuls on Shabbat. 

Harry Sack with a copy of the Jewish East End Celebration Society's magazine 'The Cable'He Former Mile End and Bow synagogue, Harley Grove - now a Sikh Gurdwaraparticularly remembered the tiny old Castle street shul where the members conversed in Yiddish and didn’t need a siddur because they knew the service by heart.  Harry had lived in Tredegar Square in Bethnal Green and had been a member of Mile End and Bow synagogue in Harley Grove (photo right) where the renowned Reverend Leslie Hardman was the minister.  He described Reverend Hardman as a man of the people who would make time for anyone in trouble day or night.  Reverend Hardman, who died recently, was the British Army chaplain who went in with the troops who liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. 

After visiting Nelson Street synagogue we drove along Stepney Green taking a look at Stepney dwellings built in the 1890s by Lord Rothschild’s 4% per cent industrial dwelling company, and on to the Leonard Montefiore memorial drinking fountain, the former East London Synagogue in Rectory Square, Stepney Jewish School and the former London Jewish hospital at the top of Stepney Green.

We ended our tour with lunch at the Stepney Jewish Day Care centre in Beaumont Grove.  All in all it was a very satisfying day and the sort of event that South London Liberal Synagogue looks forward to being involved in many more times in the future.

website copyright of Philip Walker