Jewish History Tours
1552. Ian Fagelson
Ian Fagelson, from London, is a volunteer tour guide who has led virtual Jewish history tours of London for over 900 people since October, raising £15,000 for charities 'Norwood' and 'World Jewish Relief' in the process.
Ian’s digital tour, ‘London’s Jews: A Thousand Years of History in One Hour’, takes people on a trip through London’s Jewish heritage, starting with the arrival of a small Jewish community from Normandy in 1066 and ending at the Kindertransport statue on the forecourt of Liverpool Street station, marking the arrival of Jewish children rescued from Nazi-occupied Europe between 1938-1940.
Prior to providing virtual tours due to the pandemic, Ian also fundraised through his on-the-streets tours, raising over £20,000 between 2018 and 2020 for a variety of charities. Ian’s support for ‘Norwood’ charity, a Jewish charity which supports vulnerable children and their families, adults with learning disabilities and autism, and children with special educational needs, comes from his involvement in setting up ‘The HOPE Charity’ in the 1990s as a parent of a child with learning disabilities, and which later merged with ‘Norwood’ in 2008. As part of this, Ian has led mountaineering challenges around the world, raising money for the charity.
In a personal letter to Ian, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“As we mark the end of Chanukah, allow me to thank you for your free tours of London’s Jewish heritage, cherishing what is not just Jewish history but British history and the fantastic contribution of our Jewish community to our great capital city.
“You have inspired hundreds of families and raised thousands of pounds since going virtual this year, supporting two brilliant charities in “Norwood” and “World Jewish Relief”.
“I also want to express my admiration for all you have done – inspired by your son Jonathan – to establish “The HOPE charity” to support families with children with special needs.”
“I was thrilled to be included in the Prime Minister’s Points of Light programme, if only because it will raise my profile and help me to raise desperately needed funds for good causes.”