London Jewish Hospital

Date Established:
1919
Date Trading Ceased:
1979
London Jewish Hospital

The London Jewish Hospital Association was formed in 1907 with the aim of establishing a hospital to serve the needs of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.

At the time, there was a substantial Jewish population in the East End, most of whom were very poor and could not afford medical care. They generally spoke Yiddish, a language derived from Hebrew and German, so would have encountered a language barrier in other London hospitals. In addition, their religion imposed strict dietary requirements, so they would not have been able to eat normal hospital food.

Despite forceful opposition from the established Anglo-Jewish community, funds for the hospital were raised by penny and sixpenny donations from the Jewish poor. The association bought a plot of land and recruited doctors and other staff, and were ready to start building a hospital by 1916. However, the demand for doctors for the armed forces was then so great that the project was delayed until after the First World War.

The hospital finally opened in Stepney Green with facilities for outpatients in 1919. In 1921 the first inpatient wards opened. The building was designed to let in plenty of fresh air and sunlight. It was extended in 1926 and 27, and by 1928 it had 92 beds. Other facilities included kitchens for the preparation of kosher food, that is, food permitted under Jewish dietary rules.

In 1948, the London Jewish Hospital ceased to be a Voluntary Hospital and became part of the National Health Service as a general hospital of 130 beds. From 1948 to 1966 it was managed by the Stepney Group Hospital Management Committee, and from 1966 to 1974 by the East London Group. The London Jewish Hospital was closed in 1979.

Suggested links:Information about the archives of the London Jewish Hospital, now held at the Royal London

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