Jewish Workhouse

(also known as Jewish Home)

37-39 Stepney Green, Stepney, E1 3JX


The workhouses of the Poor Law did not provide for Jewish dietary and religious needs, so in 1871 a movement led by Solomon Green (1830-1899) founded a workhosue to provide food and shelter for the Jewish poor of London's East End. Solomon Green, a fishmonger, was the son of Abraham Green (1793-1852), who was one of the founders of the Widow's Home Asylum.

The Jewish Workhouse opened in Wentworth Street on 4th April 1871 with 14 inmates.

In 1876 the Workhouse moved to Nos. 37-39 Stepney Green.

In 1894 the Home amalgamated with the Widows' Home Asylum to became the Home for Aged Jews. The two sites cared for 105 residents and employed 2 Medical Officers, a Master and 2 Matrons. They were managed by a General Committee, a House Committee, a Finance Committee, an Investigating Committee and a Ladies' Committee.

In 1907 the Home moved to Ferndale in Nightingale Lane, Wandsworth Common, a property which had been gifted to the charity in 1904 by Sydney James Stern, Lord Wandsworth. Ferndale exists today as Nightingale, a Jewish care home.


Current status

In 1907 Nos. 37-39 became the Craft School, which closed in 1915. In 1927 the LCC opened an open air school in the grounds of Nos. 35-37 - Geere House Open Air School. This closed at the outbreak of WW2 (1939-1945). It may be that No. 39 was destroyed during the Blitz - the area was severely affected by the bombing - or that it was sacrificed in the extension of the adjacent London Jewish Hospital, but only No. 37 survives. It became a private residence in 1998.

N.B. Photograph obtained in February 2012

Geere House

Geere House at No. 37 Stepney Green, built in the Queen Anne style in 1694, is the oldest house in Stepney Green. It is Grade II* listed.

References (Accessed 20th May 2020)

Saumarez Smith C 2017 My London, Stepney Green. Financial Times, 24th March.

Last updated 29th June 2020

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