Jewish London Itineraries
Spitalfields and Aldgate walking tour with Jewish guide-historian.
Magnificent sights and incredible stories of people and places as we tread the narrow alleyways and backstreets of these two famous districts of London's Old Jewish Quarter in the East End.
Visit inside wonderful Bevis Marks Synagogue, England's oldest synagogue dating back over 300 years and boasting several famous sons.
Discover why there was a staggering 156 synagogues in just two square miles of the East End.
See the legendary Jewish Soup Kitchen, lifesaver to thousands every day; also the first Yiddish theatre in England which was the scene of a real life tragedy; learn how the London Blitz of World War Two devastated parts of the East End; and other enthralling tales.
Hear heartwarming and heartbreaking stories, from the hilarious spiel of Petticoat Lane market traders to impoverished immigrants escaping East European oppression only to face wretched living conditions here and a life of toil in the notorious sweatshops (we touch on other immigrant cultures too).
You will also learn about the infamous Jewish Catwalk where unsuspecting Jewish immigrant girls were lured into a tragic life of prostitution.
Meet colorful characters from the past including the real-life 19th century Fagin; England's Chief rabbi who urged Russia: "DON'T let my people go!"; and the secret Jew who became the Queen's physician.
You will be told the incredible Jewish connection with the notorious Jack the Ripper Jewish West End ...and its remarkable hidden history.
London's West End is renowned today as one of the city's most fashionable areas and the centre for entertainment and shopping. But two districts in the heart of the West End -Soho and Fitzrovia - are also steeped in an enthralling hidden history of a vast Jewish community that lived there as recently as 75 years ago:
Be shocked to learn of the abject poverty that existed in the West End among Jews living just a stone's throw from the luxury homes of the ultra rich Hear about larger than life personalities including the billionaire's daughter who devoted her life to creating happiness among working class girls; the tailor with 10 daughters who turned to running a pub; the London boy winning the highest civilian gallantry medal during the Second World War; and the Hebrew school pupils studying alongside (and making friends with) Soho's red light ladies of the streets ·
Discover how bitter rivalries split Synagogue congregations and led to new religious movements ·
Stroll along famous Berwick Street, Dean Street and Frith Street, each offering a host of wonderful stories such as the comical antics of market traders; a kosher restaurant whose most enthusiastic diners were Hollywood stars; the school that was Jewish in all but name; and where the Great Tailors' Strike began 100 years ago involving thousands of Jewish workers. Learn also why a tiny synagogue boasted an astonishing 1,000 congregants Stepney and Whitechapel ...with a host of East End treasures Here, in an equally engrossing part of London's famous East End, is a multitude of interesting sights and wondrous tales.
See the secret 300-year-old Jewish cemetery hidden within an astonishing modern setting; a tiny synagogue dwarfed on all sides by a Mosque; and the remnants of a major synagogue concealed in a luxury apartment block.
Meet characters from yesteryear such as the Jewish boxing champion whose finest match was outside the ring; the world renowned hairdresser and his East End apprenticeship; the non-Jewish German refugee who learned Yiddish to liberate the oppressed Jewish sweatshop workers; the young synagogue cantor who charmed the world; and the wedding photographer who brought Hollywood to the East End.
Come across erstwhile Yiddish theatres and their former stars; a pub where a pint and a potato latke were the usual fayre; the much loved Jewish Hospital; and treasure-filled Whitechapel Road, Mile End, Commercial Road and what was aptly named the Jewish Market of Hessel Street.
Stand on the very spot where a young Winston Churchill directed the notorious 1911 Siege of Sidney Street against Jewish anarchists and visit the area where Oswald Mosley's hated fascists were driven back by Jewish activists during the celebrated Battle of Cable Street in 1936 London's Famous Attractions …with a touch of Jewish flavour!
Here's a splendid tour (really two tours in one) that delights visitors and locals alike - London's Famous Attractions.
We visit many well known London landmarks and iconic sites, but as well as relating their fascinating stories I also reveal extremely interesting (and sometimes astonishing) Jewish connections. This tour can be taken either as a combination of short walks and riding in a comfortable minivan or purely as a walking tour. The attractions on this tour include: ·
At Buckingham Palace you will discover the amazing Jewish blood line into which the Queen's grandson and heir to the throne, Prince William, is said to have married in 2011 when he wed Kate Middleton.
In the shadow of the dreaded Tower of London you will hear the cruel fate of 18 prominent Jews on false charges.
Before 10 Downing Street, learn about the little-known Jewish ancestry of our present Prime Minister; beside Westminster Abbey hear how the Church has 13th century Jewish leaders to thank for the building of this most notable place of worship; in Trafalgar Square I relate the story of billionaire Jewish cousins supporting opposing sides in the Napoleonic Wars; and there's the incident that dented Winston Churchill's long and sympathetic attachment to the Jewish people and Zionism.
In the heart of cinemaland, as we admire the statue of a London-born Hollywood screen star, hear about his secret wish to have been Jewish; and there's the 19th century multimillionaire (and swindler!) who rescued of one of London's most famous landmarks. There are more tales to hear and sites to see including Piccadilly Circus, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the winding River Thames and the magnificent Tower Bridge Jewish Heroes and Villains ...tales of the good, the bad and the ugly!
It’s a stroll along East End streets to discover the marvellous achievements of some wonderful people and the diabolical (sometimes hilarious) antics of several unsavoury characters. They include: the first Jew to win Britain's highest military award - the Victoria Cross - for his lone actions against the enemy; the female spy who sacrificed her life fighting the Nazis; and England's very own Oskar Schlinder, the Kosher Nostra of London featuring the shocking behaviour of several notorious Jewish gangsters throughout the 20th century ...and two top Jewish barristers who defended mobster bosses; also the mischievous Jewish anarchists who laid siege upon their ultra religious brothers; the billionaire saviour coming to the rescue of London’s impoverished Jews...but he had a dark side too!; the doctor earning herself the title Angel of Cable Street;
the world-renowned hairdresser downing scissors to fight for Israel; and the Yiddish actress who insisted the show must go on ...despite the Blitz!
The miracle-performing Rabbi who was accused of sorcery in Germany and escaped execution by finding refuge in London’s East End …and there are lots more Jewish goodies and baddies to meet on this entertaining tour Willesden Cemetery …legends in Jewish history! We visit the last resting place of both the famous and the unknown whose varied lives produce for us stories that are enthralling, inspiring, tragic and even humorous
As we stroll through this 140-year-old Jewish cemetery we come across the scientist who was ignored despite her landmark contributions to a major discovery; four chief rabbis each with revealing stories; the father and son Rothschilds who could not have been more different; three brothers who sacrificed their lives for their country; the London teenager who emigrated to the other side of the world and became a Prime Minister; the royal illusionist who invented the incredible saw-the-lady-in-half trick; business giants, one in groceries and the other in furniture;
Lady Chutzpah who stunned the world with her flamboyance; the son of an East End second hand clothes dealer who literally went from rags to riches in Africa ...and there are other lives to celebrate and tragic young deaths to lament on this engrossing visit to Willesden Jewish Cemetery
Grand Tour Extravaganza ...a feast of the very best sites and stories!
Spoil yourself with this sumptuous four hour presentation featuring travel in a comfortable minivan and short strolls, combining the very best sites and stories of several of my tours into one exciting excursion. Among the highlights are: a trip around the historic East End with awesome sights to behold including a visit inside Bevis Marks, the oldest synagogue in Britain; the legendary Jewish Soup Kitchen that served a staggering 5000 meals a day; famous Petticoat Lane Market, the hub of early Jewish life; a secret 300-year-old Jewish cemetery hidden within an astonishing modern setting; and the remnants of a major synagogue concealed in a luxury apartment block be saddened by tales of desperate immigrants; laugh at the spiel of market traders; be introduced to a whole host of colourful characters from the past; and be enthralled by numerous other intriguing stories along the way see iconic sites of London and hear their fascinating legends as well as incredible Jewish connections that visitors are rarely told, such as at Buckingham Palace, the Tower ofLondon, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, 10 Downing Street and other famous landmarks.
All itineraries are customized for each client, with use either private car or public transportation and walk.