Soup Kitchen


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What can we see?

We can see ‘SOUP KITCHEN’ written above the window and ‘5662 . 1902’ written over the door. We can also see a man standing in the doorway.

Look closely, what can you see?

What do we know?

This is a photograph of the Soup Kitchen located on Brune Street. Can you see the date 1902 written above the door? This is when the Soup Kitchen moved to Brune Street. To the left of the date 1902, is the number 5662. This is the year 1902 written in the Jewish calendar.

Above the doorway was a sculpture showing a large pot of soup. The Soup Kitchen provided food such as soup and bread to poor members of the Jewish community.

Above the left-hand door, are the words “way out”. There was a one-way system in place at the Soup Kitchen – people would enter through one door, collect and eat their food, and leave via the “way out”.

Look closely at the pattern around the windows of the building. This is known as a Greek key pattern, or a meander, which were very common elements of decoration in Greek and Roman art.

What do we wonder?

We might wonder who the man stood in the doorway is? We also might wonder whether he worked at the Soup Kitchen or if he was a member of the local Jewish community?

What do you wonder?

Object Profile

Object Number: 1986.67.3

Name: Soup Kitchen

Materials: Photograph

Date: c.1979

Artist/Maker (if known): Unknown, name George Ohlson noted on back

Size (cm): Height 20.3cm, width 25.2cm

The Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor was founded in 1854, and moved to Brune Street in 1902. The Soup Kitchen was set up to provide food for the many impoverished Jewish immigrants who had fled to London as a result of both economic hardship and persecution in Eastern Europe.

The Soup Kitchen was reliant on donations and community support to fund the distribution of food. The Soup Kitchen made several leaflets and advertisements to appeal for donations. There was a special appeal in 1974 to mark the 120th anniversary of the Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor. On Monday 12st March 1955, a Yiddish play was performed at the Scala Theatre in aid of the Soup Kitchen.

The Soup Kitchen at Brune Street eventually closed in 1992, and its role was taken over by Jewish Care in Beaumont Grove.

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