Jewish Museum - London

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Top Things to See and Do

Planning your visit? Check out our list of unmissable things to see and do in the permanent displays at the Jewish Museum London. 

Visiting as a family? Then check out our fun Family Favourites

Photo of 13th century Mikveh

1. 13th century Mikveh

A mikveh is a bath used for ritual cleansing in Judaism. This one was excavated in the basement of a house in the City of London and is one of our oldest objects. It has been reconstructed to look similar to when it was first discovered by archaeologists.

 

Photo of Lindo Lamp

2. Lindo Lamp

This rare and exquisite silver Hanukah lamp has a decoration of Elijah and the ravens. It was made for Elias Lindo (hence Elijah) by John Ruslen in 1709. Known as the Lindo lamp it is the oldest example of a Hanukah lamp made in England. 

 

 

Photo of German Haggadah

3. German Haggadah

This 1756 Haggadah tells the story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and is read at Passover. This beautifully illustrated example was made by a scribe named Abraham of Ihringen. It is illustrated with water-colours which make use of a huge range of colours, especially the pastel shades. All illustrations are captioned with Yiddish rhymes.  

 

Photo of Great Synagogue Ofertory book

4. Great Synagogue Offertory book

This 18th century manuscript book was used to record Sabbath offerings made to the Great Synagogue. To avoid handling money or writing on the Sabbath, donations were recorded by threading a piece of string through the pages

 

Photo of Ark

5. 17th century Italian Ark

This stunningly beautiful, carved, coloured and gilded synagogue Ark is probably Piedmontese. It originally held the Torah scrolls in a synagogue. For many years it was used as a cupboard at Chillingham Castle until it was discovered at an auction and purchased for the museum.

Photo of close-up of vanitas painting

6. Vanitas paintings

These paintings by Benjamin Senior Godines are rare among the art produced by Jewish artists. Godines' paintings are strongly influenced by the Christian tradition of vanitas or memenro mori (in Latin 'remember that you will die') paintings, but they contain many elements from Jewish religious traditions and bear Hebrew inscriptions. 

Photo of children trying out tailoring workshop

7. Tailoring workshop

Many Jewish immigrants who came to Britain in the late 19th and early 20th century from Eastern Europe and Russia ended up working in the tailoring trade. In our interactive workshop you can feel the weight of the tailoring scissors and irons and learn about this popular profession. 

 

Photo of toothbrush made by Lily Fishl

8. Lily Fishl's handmade toothbrush

When Lily and her husband tried to flee Prague, they were deported her husband later died in Theresienstadt. Lily made this toothbrush from wood and string in Oederan camp. In 1946 she was able to join her children who had escaped earlier on a Kindertransport to England

Photo of Doris' nurses cape

9. Doris Benjamin’s nurses cape

Doris Benjamin joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment in 1944. Working in two military hospitals during the Second World War she collected over 160 regimental badges from the soldiers she treated and attached them to her colourful cape.