The London Museum of Jewish Life was founded in 1983 as the Museum of the Jewish East End with the aim of rescuing and preserving the disappearing heritage of London’s East End – the heartland of Jewish settlement in Britain. While the East End has remained an important focus, the Museum expanded to reflect the diverse roots and social history of Jewish people across London, including the experiences of refugees from Nazism. It also developed an acclaimed programme of Holocaust and anti-racist education.
In 1995 the two Museums were amalgamated. Between 1995 and 2007 the combined Jewish Museum ran on two sites, but with a long term aim to find the means to combine the two collections, activities and displays within a single site.
Following years of planning and fundraising the Museum bought a former piano factory behind the Camden Town site and raised the required funds to combine and remodel the buildings.
The new Museum opened to the public on 17 March 2010 and its award-winning education and exhibition programmes have attracted popular and critical acclaim.
In June 2023 Jewish Museum London announced the sale of the building in Camden in order to develop plans for a new museum, fit for the future, more sustainable and in a more prominent location. In the meantime, the museum continues to share its collection with the broadest possible range of audiences, both in person and online.