Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert St, Camden, London, NW1 7NB
The Jewish Museum London exists to allow people of all backgrounds and faiths to learn about British Jewish heritage, identity and culture. Across four separate galleries in a spacious Camden setting, visitors can learn about the role of the Jewish community in British history and discover how the religion has evolved in the UK. As well as offering exhibitions, the museum runs a number of education programmes, exhibitions and events over the course of the year to bring the Jewish story to life.
History of the Jewish Museum London
The original Jewish Museum was founded in 1932 in Woburn House, Bloomsbury, by Professor Cecil Roth, Alfred Rubens and Wilfred Samuel. It moved to an early-Victorian listed building in Camden Town in 1994. Meanwhile, the London Museum of Jewish Life was founded in 1983 as the Museum of the Jewish East End, in order to preserve the disappearing heritage of that part of the city. In 1995, the two museums amalgamated, yet continued to operate two separate sites until 2007. The purchase of an old piano factory behind the Camden Town site allowed the museum to consolidate in Camden at its current location, reopening to the public following a £10 million renovation in 2010.
Things to see and do at Jewish Museum London
The Jewish Museum London is home to a number of permanent exhibitions, plus temporary displays which change on a seasonal basis. The four permanent exhibitions at the Jewish Museum London are as follows:
The Mikveh – excavated in 2001 in Milk Street, London, this medieval ritual bath is one of the key archaeological finds relating to Anglo-Jewry. It is the starting point for both the historical and religious stories that are told throughout the museum displays.
Judaism: A Living Faith – this gallery showcases the museum’s collection of ceremonial art and explores Judaism as a living religious tradition. Through multimedia and hands-on displays, visitors can explore Jewish religious practice and traditions in the home and synagogue. Among the highlights are silver Hanukah lamps, Passover plates, a Venetian synagogue Ark and Torah decorations.
History: A British Story – this gallery investigates Britain’s Jewish history, starting from the earliest known settlement in 1066 at the time of the Norman invasion. Highlights include an interactive map exploring the history of Jewish communities in the UK, displays relating to refugees from Nazism and a fabulous recreation of the Jewish East End.
The Holocaust Gallery – focusing on the story of Auschwitz survivor Leon Greenman OBE, the Holocaust Gallery looks at the terrible plight experienced by so many jews during the Second World War. The gallery displays many of Leon’s family possessions, including his wife’s wedding dress and his son’s toy. It also includes a film of Leon talking about his experiences.
Also available at the Jewish Museum London
A wide range of gifts and mementoes are available in the museum shop, including Jewish greetings cards, children’s toys, stationery, and books. Jewellery and contemporary Judaica can also be purchased.
The museum has a kosher cafe, which offers meal options and drinks throughout the day. Customers can choose from sandwiches, wraps, and bagels, plus soup, specials and a vegetarian dish of the day. The cafe also offers coffee, cakes and other desserts. Free Wi-Fi is available.
Opening times at the Jewish Museum London
The Jewish Museum London is open between 10:00 and 17:00 from Monday to Thursday and on weekends. On Fridays – the Sabbath – the museum operates shorter opening times, between 10:00 and 14:00.
The museum opens on Bank Holidays but closes on December 25th, January 1st and for the Jewish festivals of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. When the museum is open, last entry is 30 minutes before closing time.
Other London attractions nearby
If you are visiting the museum and would like to combine your day out with a trip to another attraction, the following tourist hot-spots are nearby:
- Regent’s Park
- London Zoo
- Camden Market
- Primrose Hill
- Regent’s Canal
- The British Library
- Lord’s Cricket Ground
- Abbey Road Museum
- The Sherlock Holmes Museum
- Ben Uri Gallery and Museum
Parking near to the Jewish Museum London
If you are arriving at the Jewish Museum London by car or another road vehicle, the nearest car parks are as follows:
- Curnock Estate Car Park, 38/40 Pratt Street (10-minute walk)
- Arcade Car Parks, Euston Station Underground Car Park Melton Street, King’s Cross (15-minute walk)
- Regent Crest Hotel NCP, Carburton Street, Fitzrovia (19-minute walk)
- Park Road NCP, Rossmore Court, Marylebone, London (21-minute walk)
Tube stations nearby Jewish Museum London
The nearest Tube stations to the Jewish Museum London are as follows:
- Camden Town on the Northern Line (3-minute walk)
- Mornington Crescent on the Northern Line (6-minute walk)
The nearest mainline railway station is Euston, which is a 15-minute walk from the Jewish Museum London.