Case Study 1: An Historic Synagogue in London’s East End and Its Interreligious Engagement

  • Julia Ipgrave


This chapter explores the varied and sometimes conflicted meanings that have attached to a synagogue in London’s East End, an area that was once home to a thriving Jewish community, but which now has very few Jewish residents because of the community’s migration to other parts of the city. There is tension in the significance afforded this building by different users and visitors between its traditional meaning for its now dwindling congregation and the meanings given to it by others as a symbol of Judaism in a religiously plural society, and a materialisation of abstract concepts of integration, of interreligious relations, of victimhood and of resistance to discourses of hate. This case study raises questions of power relations, of ownership of place and of memory in religiously plural urban contexts.


Synagogue Judaism Place Memory Contested meaning Ownership 


  1. Kealhofer, Lisa. 1999. Creating social identity in the landscape: Tidewater, Virginia 1600-1750. In Archaeologies of landscape: Contemporary perspectives, ed. A. Bernard Knapp Wendy Ashmore. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Ipgrave
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesUniversity of RoehamptonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations