Members of East London’s Jewish community have called for their long standing cultural involvement in the area to be recognised as part of plans for a local heritage trail.
The cultural trail has already caused controversy with the proposals to install ‘hijab gates’ on Brick Lane – which have now been temporarily withdrawn.
Now there are plans for a Jewish heritage centre to be housed in the last synagogue in Spitalfields, located on Sandys Row, just off Petticoat Lane. It would celebrate Jewish history and culture with archives and memorabilia.
Jack Gilbert, a board member for the synagogue, said: “We discovered that the Jewish community had been excluded from the heritage trail, which did not deal with the history of the area appropriately.
Jewish communities have lived in the Brick lane area since the 1650’s. Clive Bennington, chair of the Jewish East End Celebration Society, which has over 2oo members, said: “ Jews have been there for 400 years and were at the centre of the community. We want that honoured.”
A joint feasibility study has been authorised by Tower Hamlets council with the Sandys Row synagogue, to see if it would be viable to include the centre in the £1.85 million culture trail.