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Audio slideshow: Rabbi Lionel Blue

Rabbi Lionel Blue, known for BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day, grew up in the 1930s in the Jewish East End of London. As Jews celebrate the 350th anniversary of life in Britain, Rabbi Blue returns to the streets of his childhood.

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Audio slideshow produced by Dominic Casciani, Hanna White and Christine Jeavans. Pictures by Emma Lynch. Archive pictures: Jewish Museum/Sternberg Centre, BBC archive and agencies. The BBC wishes to thank the staff of the Jewish Museum for their help in researching this story.


Add your comments on this story, using the form below.

Wish there was time for more.
Raymond Dunn, Bradford , England

I am not Jewish, indeed I have no religion but I rather enjoyed listening to Lionel Blue speaking about the history of the Jewish community. I'd like to hear and see more. I used to listen to Rabbi Blue on Radio 4 when I lived to England. He strikes me as a very compassionate, intelligent gentleman unlike some religious leaders these days.
Paul Waller, Japan (ex Yorkshire)

Rabbi Lionel Blue is a man of great humanity and humility. It is a great joy to hear him recount his childhood memories of the East End. Pity that there are not a few more like him!
Laulen Petmongkolchai, Bangkok Thailand

An informative, balanced account of the history a fascinating group of people, in a fascinating city where even the smallest of areas has so much to tell. Pity it was so short!
Carmel Dolan, Croydon, England

In the early 1900's the Daily Mail was fuming that we were being overrun by Russians refugees. Immigrants always stand out because they wear strange clothes eat strange food and talk funny. It takes one or two generations for them to fade into the background. And so it has been since the beginning of history.
Dave, Oxford, England

How the area has declined since this community has left. It is now a filthy place which is a great shame for London.
Peter Farrow, London

A thought provoking insight into the part played by immigration to London by people willing to assimilate and become valuable members of the community to which they were attracted. My only hope is that today's new tenants of east London will match the work of their worthy predecessors.
Nick, Beaconsfield, England

I was very moved. The song that the Rabbi sang was very touching and moved me to tears especially when I consider all they went through and he still feels blessed and is thankful. I am not Jewish but I have always felt so badly about how they were treated in the war. They had a really hard struggle after the war which this video shows and the fact that they triumphed throughout all this is a testament to their strength of character. Thank you for the video footage, it was wonderful to watch.
Jasamine Loftus, London, England

Thank you for an unexpected pleasure, it's good to hear your voice again. That brightened my afternoon.
John Harris, Bristol

What a lovely story. I feel very sad that the Jewish people have left the East End, I was born there in 1960. Oh how things have changed, My eldest daughter lives a stones throw from Brick lane now I don't think the changes are for the better, but what can we do. My dearest friend is Jewish and I am always welcomed by her family, they have taught me many things regarding their life and their religion.
Mrs Lee Hounsell, London

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