Jews in London from the 1650s to the 1950s: a closer look

Course Dates: 16/01/24 - 19/03/24
Time: 10:00 - 12:00
Location: Keeley Street
This course will provide an exploration of 300 years of Jewish life, culture and history in London from the small scale resettlement in the 1650s through to the 1950s when the borough of Hackney was home to London’s largest and most diverse Jewish community.
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Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00

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Jews in London from the 1650s to the 1950s: a closer look
This course is full
  • Course Code: HLW242
  • Dates: 16/01/24 - 19/03/24
  • Time: 10:00 - 12:00
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: David Rosenberg

Course Code: HLW242

Full Tue, day, 16 Jan - 19 Mar '24

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This course will offer an intriguing and eclectic social and cultural history of one of London’s most longstanding and vibrant minority communities – a community that has been internally diverse as it is rooted in several migrations from different places over the centuries. It has produced rabbis and rebels, artists and musicians, boxers and market traders, writers and poets, trade unionists and entrepreneurs, synagogues, theatres, schools and youth clubs. This course will be delivered in person, and will involve tutor presentation, class discussion and two guided walks. Student preparation and homework outside class times is encouraged. To fully participate in this class you will need: comfortable footwear to undertake 2 guided walks of up to 2 hours at a moderate pace with several stops.

What will we cover?

We will look at changing patterns of migration and work: where Jews came to London from – when and why. Where they settled, how they were received, and why they became particularly associated with certain trades. The different skills, languages, foods and cultures they brought with them will be explored, along with how these contributed to London’s identity as a city. We will examine conflict and controversies within the Jewish community as well as unifying factors, and explore how different elements of the community responded to changing patterns of antisemitism. We will consider the different ways Jewish people changed London and how London changed them over these 300 years.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Identify key moments in London Jewish history
Understand the challenges that Jewish people faced in London as a migrant community
Have a knowledge of the range of cultural and other contributions that Jewish Londoners have made to the development of the city
List some key Jewish personalities who made a lasting difference within and beyond London’s Jewish community.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

There are no particular skills needed, just an interest in learning about an aspect of London’s social history and an enthusiasm for discovering some places where this history happened.
For the 2 guided walks: ability to participate in a 2 hour moderately paced walk.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Through a weekly class that will focus on a particular topic or a particular time frame, with the aid of PowerPoint presentations, maps, images, film clips, extracts from writing. Students will be encouraged to collaborate with each other on tasks set within the class to deepen understanding of the topics.
Students will be directed towards additional reading that they may wish to undertake outside of the class..

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

On the two walking tours, students will need to wear comfortable walking shoes, appropriate clothing for the likely temperature outdoors, and a bottle of water for refreshment.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HLW32 From the 1880s to the 1930s: how the new East End was born (a series of guided walks). Or other courses in London and British history.

David Rosenberg Tutor Website

David Rosenberg is an educator, writer and tour guide specialising in London's social and political history, with a particular interest in the East End. He also has a strong interest in 20th century Polish Jewish history and has visited Warsaw and Krakow several times. David divides his working time between adult education teaching, working on educational and cultural projects, training teachers, writing, giving talks and guiding people on radical history walks. He is the author of Battle for the East End (Five Leaves Publications, 2011) and Rebel Footprints: A Guide to Uncovering London’s Radical History (Pluto Press, 2015, 2nd edition 2019). He graduated from Leeds University in 1979 with a degree in Politics and Sociology, and from Bristol University in 1982 with a Master's in Sociology of Race Relations. As a teacher and educationalist he has participated in projects in Uganda, South Africa and India. His writing on history and current affairs has featured on several Channel4 websites and in many print publications including the Guardian, New Statesman, TES, Red Pepper. His favourite live band is The Selecter.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.