The history of the Jews in England is mixed at best. Jewish settlements date at least to the Norman Conquest, but by 1218 papal England required Jews to wear a stupid hat. A deteriorating situation reached its nadir when King Edward I issued the Edict of Expulsion in 1290.
On the other hand, a beleaguered but tolerant England sheltered Jews fleeing the Nazi grip on the continent. Today with over 300,000 Jews, England hosts the second largest Jewish population in Europe. The roots run deep and love is a two-way street: Jewish immigrants gave the English their iconic fish and chips.
The artifacts of this complicated relationship spanning a thousand years are at times poignant or hilarious, and always interesting. Even the street names are shadows of a storied past: Old Jewry, Jerusalem Passage, Jews Row, and today’s special guests, Jewry Street and Jews Walk.
I plan to visit the remainder and photograph them as well. In the meantime, if you know of another Jewey street, do share.