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14: On the Move: Jewish movement out of the East End

Podcast Fourteen: On the Move
00:00 / 04:20

Address: Brune Street, opposite the Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor, E1 7NZ.

Directions from the previous stop: Head south down Bell Lane just a few yards, taking your first left at Brune Street. Stop halfway down the street and look north at the Soup Kitchen.

Soup kitchen for poor jews at Spitalfiel

The Jewish Soup Kitchen, Spitalfields, as depicted in the Illustrated London News, 27 December 1879

The Illustrated London News was the world's first illustrated weekly news magazine, founded by Lancashireman Herbert Ingram. The magazine did not investigate or discuss the matters covered in great depth, but did commission and publish a vast wealth of unique illustrations and photography. First published in 1842, the magazine closed in 2003. © Look and Learn / Peter Jackson Collection

Extract from Reuben Sachs: A Sketch, by Amy Levy (1888) published online by Google from the 2nd edition published in London by Macmillan & Co. (1889) (

Clapham-born Amy Levy (1861-1889) was a shy young woman and talented author blessed with keen observation, who tragically took her own life while still young. Her last work was described by the Jewish Chronicle (13th September 1889) as: “a novel of Jewish life called ‘Reuben Sachs,’ in which she by no means flattered Jews.” More specifically, what Levy saw as the materialist and unthinking diversions of Victorian Jewish suburban life, were the subject of reserved but sharp descriptions.

“Reuben’s father had not borne out his son’s theory; he had died many years before my story opens, greatly to his own surprise and that of a family which could boast more than one nonagenarian in a generation… He had left his wife and children well provided for, and the house in Lancaster Gate was rich in material comfort.

In the drawing-room of this house Mrs. Sachs and her daughter were sitting on the day of Reuben’s return from his six months’ absence.

He had arrived early in the day, and was now sleeping off the effects of a night passed in travelling, and of the plentiful supply of fatted calf with which he had been welcomed...

The mother and daughter sat there in the growing dusk, amid the plush ottomans, stamped velvet tables, and other Philistine splendours of the large drawing-room, till the lamp-lighter came down the Bayswater Road and the gilt clock on the mantel-piece struck six.”

Article in the The Jewish Chronicle, 13 August 1954, entitled ‘Boreham Wood’

“A meeting of the Boreham Wood and District Jewish Community Association was held recently at 46 Howard Drive, Boreham Wood, at which Dr. P. Satin was elected President, Mr. S. York, Chairman, Mr. I. Newman, Treasurer, and Mr. and Mrs. H. Brodt, Hon. Secretaries.

“The purpose of the association is to provide social facilities for the 30 Jewish families in the area, stated Mr. Brodt. It is hoped to set up dramatic and physical culture classes and a ladies’ guild.

“Jewish residents in the district who are interested should get in touch with the Secretary at the above address.”

(An article in the The Jewish Chronicle, 13 August 1954, entitled ‘Boreham Wood’)

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