Search

What we Bengalis can learn about East End’s former Jewish community

09:55 03 April 2012

Dear Ed... I was interested to read about the joint research and cultural project by the prestigious Queen Mary and Warwick universities aimed at students from disadvantaged backgrounds in East London and the Midlands (Advertiser online, March 26).

I have learnt so much more about the vanishing Jewish East End while campaigning in the Spitalfields by-election.

The joint university research and cultural project should include an exhibition to educate East End youth about the lives and achievements of the last major immigrant influx, the Jewish community, which arrived in the East End from Russia and Eastern Europe fleeing persecution.

It is important for British-Bangladeshi children to learn about the history of the area as we ourselves are a living legacy of immigrants who lived similar lives to those who arrived before us.

This project should organise walks so that young East Enders can learn about the shops, soup kitchens, free schools, textile workshops and other trades and synagogues the Jewish community ran, similar to Bangladeshi Muslims since the 1970s when most of our parents arrived.

Muslim children will be delighted to learn they can eat kosher meat just like halal because the name of ‘One God’ is invoked when the animal is slaughtered and that Brick Lane Mosque was also once the Great Spitalfields Synagogue and was a Huguenot and Methodist church before that.

They would also be interested to discover that Bengalis arriving in the 1960s got jobs in clothing factories owned by Jews—most would have remained unemployed had the owners not provided employment in tailoring, as the number of Indian restaurants or catering jobs were limited.

Queen Mary’s joint programme with Warwickshire University should also help to share experiences, practices and lives of Bangladeshis with the East End’s Jewish and host Christian communities to increase or foster greater understanding between followers of these three great Abrahamic faiths at a time when there is much need for greater social cohesion, rather than the social exclusion we’re witnessing.

Wais Islam

Former Tower Hamlets councillor and Olympic Ambassador

Bow

(full address supplied)

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 16:54

Attempts by banned mayor Lutfur Rahman to get back into Tower Hamlets politics has hit the buffers with the Election Commission rejecting his bid to register a new political party.

Yesterday, 18:30

A charity volunteer with epilepsy has been recognised for the support he has continuously provided for others with the condition.

Yesterday, 12:33

A bus driver escaped just in time when his double-decker burst into flame in east London during the night—captured in this amazing image.

Yesterday, 10:28

Police closed off the busy A10 Shoreditch High Street during this-morning’s rush-hour for what was believed to be an unexploded wartime bomb.

Yesterday, 09:28

A tenant who illegally sublet his social-rent flat for seven years in London’s East End with its chronic housing shortage has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A woman and a child were rescued from a house fire in Whitechapel in the early hours of this morning.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A new campaign by the Department for Education is urging small companies to take on apprentices.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Commuters are facing delays and cancellations on the c2c line this evening due to Storm Doris.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now