East London’s Jewish Culture: Bagels, Bar Mitzvah and Babkas

Food, films, workshop, walks and live music are just some of the events that takes a look at Jewish heritage in the East End

The East End is some times described as the cradle of Britain’s Jewish Community and over centuries, the cultural landscape has been a varied one and to this day is ever changing.

In 1880 there were approximately 46,000 Jews in London, but by 1900 this figure had almost trebled to 135,000, and most were living within the two square miles of the East End.

By 1900 many of these streets were entirely Jewish. To non-Jews, the new arrivals presented a curious spectacle – they spoke a foreign language, wore different clothes, ate strange-smelling foods and practised an unfamiliar religion. Many non-Jews were horrified by what they saw as an ‘alien invasion’.  In his book  “Living London”, GR Sims describes Whitechapel in 1904:  “It is its utterly alien aspect which strikes you first and foremost. For the Ghetto is a fragment of Poland torn off from Central Europe and dropped haphazard into the heart of Britain.”

Snapshots is a series of mini festivals showcasing the East Ends cultural melting pot. It continues this January with a focus on Jewish settlement in the East End and it’s continuing influence.

With an exhibition, archive films, a theatre premiere, a guided walk, live music, market stalls, family workshops, food, drink, and much more, the day promises something for people of all ages and interest.

Snapshots 25 January – 2 February

For dates, times of events please visit  Rich Mix



About Remi

Remi Hackney Hive founder, publisher and contributor. Hackneyite and all round Girl Friday who couldn't wait to leave Hackney and London behind her. After hitching her wagon in California, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana for 18 years, with a brief spell in Mexico, the prodigal daughter returned to London, happy to put an unconventional and risqué past behind her. It sometimes feels like she’s still at war with herself. This often leads her into a whole lot of trouble, although it’s fair to blame it on some of her best qualities: intelligence, original thinking, willingness to take risks, skepticism, rebelliousness, independence, and creativity. But you know what, much of the trouble she gets into is because she can’t help pointing out that the emperor is naked. Remi still lives by her own rules, nobody else’s. She is owned by her two dogs Deffer(a Jack Russell ) Darcy (a Jack Russell/Pomeranian mix now deceased but can’t remove their names) and two Black cats she adopted December 2021, Desmond and Tutu. She is proprietor of London’s finest and long established pet sitting service. The big smoke is home for the moment, but she desperately yearns wide open spaces, where she hopes to call home in the near future.


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