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. Mikveh, London, 13th century

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.

Find the Mikveh on the ground floor

 

Photo of Lindo Lamp

2. Lindo Lamp, London, 1709

This rare and exquisite silver Hanukah lamp was made to mark the marriage of Elias Lindo to Rachel Lopes Ferreira. The Lindos were prominent members of the early community of Spanish and Portugeuese Jews in London and founder members of Bevis Marks Synagogue. Known as the Lindo lamp it is the oldest example of a Hanukah lamp made in England. 

Find the Lindo lamp in the Judaism: A Living Faith gallery

 

Photo of spice tower

3. Spice tower, Germany, 18th century

This colourful and unusual mid-18th century spice tower is one of only eight spice towers made in Schwäbisch Gmünd, a German town famous for its metalwork. Miniatures on the enamel plaques depict landscapes, figures and biblical scenes.

Find this spice tower in the Judaism: A Living Faith gallery

 

Photo of Ark

4. Ark, Italy, 17th century

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.

Find the Ark in the Judaism: A Living Faith gallery

 

Photo of German Haggadah

5. Haggadah, Germany, 1756

This 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.  

Find this Haggadah in the Judaism: A Living Faith gallery

 

Photo of close-up of vanitas painting

6. Daniel Mendoza jug, England, around 1800

Daniel Mendoza was a Jewish boxer who became known for his 'scientific' style of boxing at a time when bare-knuckle boxing was extremely popular. This jug made by John Aynsley in Stoke-on-Trent depicts Richard Humphries and Mendoza fighting at Odiham in Hampshire on 9th January 1788. 

Find this jug in the History: A British Story gallery

 

Photo of the Zangwill plate

7. Decorative wooden plate, London, around 1915

This plate commemorates author Israel Zangwill’s robust response to a heckler who described him as ‘an alien Jew’ at a public meeting in Kingsway Hall. Morris Myer, editor of one of the main Anglo-Jewish Yiddish newspapers, commissioned artist Lazar Berson to make this plate. 

Find this plate in the History: A British Story gallery

 

Photo of children trying out tailoring workshop

8. 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. 

Find the tailoring workshop in the History: A British Story gallery

 

Photo of Doris' nurses cape

9. Doris Benjamin’s nurses cape, England, 1944-45

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.

Find Doris's cape in the History: A British Story gallery