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VOICES FROM BRICK LANE'S JEWISH PAST

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Nadia Valman and Rachel Lichtenstein investigate the Jewish history of Brick Lane.

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From the late nineteenth century until the Second World War, Brick Lane and the surrounding streets were home to Britain’s largest Jewish population. Originating from towns and villages in Russian and Eastern Europe, Jews came to London in search of freedom and a better life. Crowded into dilapidated eighteenth-century houses, they built a rich and complex subculture over generations.

PROFESSOR NADIA VALMAN explores the locations around Brick Lane that once housed centres of Jewish social and religious life - where Jews prayed, shopped, debated, worked, learned and played – through the words of journalists, writers and residents.

RACHEL LICHTENSTEIN shares voices from the archive of recordings she has gathered over the past thirty years researching the Jewish East End. Some of these appear in her book On Brick Lane  and, more recently, the digital project Memory Map of the Jewish East End. You will hear recordings of some who are no longer with us, such as Professor Bill Fishman, the historian who put the story of the Jewish East End on the map and the Polish tailor Majer Bogdanski, who made Brick Lane his home.

Rachel Lichtenstein is an artist, writer and curator who is internationally known for her books, multi-media projects and artworks examining place, memory and Jewish identity. Her publications include Estuary (Penguin, 2016), Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden, (Penguin, 2012), On Brick Lane (Penguin, 2007), and Rodinsky’s Room  co-written with Iain Sinclair(Granta, 1999).

Nadia Valman is Professor of Urban Literature at Queen Mary, University of London. She is a cultural historian of the East End and author/editor of eight books. She has written about several East End authors including Alexander Baron, Margaret Harkness and Israel Zangwill, and is the creator of Zangwill’s Spitalfields, a multimedia tour of nineteenth century Spitalfields through the eyes of Jewish immigrants.

VISIT WWW.BATTLEFORBRICKLANE.COM

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