Jewish Museum London

Top 30 things in Camden: Jewish Museum London

The Jewish Museum London, originally founded in 1932 by Professor Cecil Roth, Alfred Rubens and Wilfred Samuel, has been housed in three different locations throughout Camden.

Originally at Woburn House in Bloomsbury, it stayed there for nearly 60 years, moving to an elegant early Victorian building in Camden Town in 1994. The current site, a former piano factory, opened to the public on 17 March 2010 and is an amalgamation of both the original Jewish Museum and the London Museum of Jewish Life.

The Museum is designed to inspire, surprise, delight and engage visitors of all faiths in the story of Jewish life, culture and history in the UK from 1066 to the present day. Set against a spacious and modern architectural backdrop, visitors can explore four permanent galleries and a programme of temporary exhibitions that reflect the vibrancy of Jewish history and culture in Britain through films, objects, photography and hands-on exhibits.

Highlights include a recreation of a Jewish East End street that brings to life the sights and sounds of an immigrant quarter of London; an interactive map exploring the history of Jewish settlement around the UK; and poignant display telling the story of the refugees fleeing Nazism, including the 10,000 unaccompanied children who came to Britain on so-called “Kindertransport.” The Jewish community in Britain has often been associated with particular trades and the museum's collection includes material relating to medieval moneylenders, 18th century peddlers and boxers, 19th century financiers and politicians and 20th century tailors and bakers.

It has also developed an acclaimed programme of Holocaust and anti-racist education. A dedicated gallery tells the story of London born Auschwitz survivor, Leon Greenman. The gallery displays many of Leon’s family possessions, including his wife’s wedding dress and his son’s toy, accompanied by a poignant film of Leon talking about his experiences.

Interior Jewish Museum
Jewish Museum London Jukebox exhibition - (c) Jon Holloway