Herne Hill

Herne Hill is a neighbourhood in south London. The hostel was purchased by the Central British Fund in 1947 and was also partially funded by the Jewish Aid to Charities Society. It was run by the Jewish Refugees Committee. The hostel was for girls only and it functioned until 1951.


The hostel was originally at King’s Langley, and the girls staying there moved to Herne Hill in 1947.

While living at the hostel, the girls were all taught a trade, from hairdressing to dressmaking, which would enable them to earn a living outside and eventually become financially independent.

A newspaper article described the girls’ routine, in which they would get up at six in the morning to study. One visiting journalist was full of praise, commenting that “Any English home would be proud to take them in. Without exception, they are a credit to their Jewish ancestry”.

In 1950, Herne Hill hostel closed and the girls, having trained in various professions, were able to live independently in private accommodation.

The Girls

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The Staff

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Mrs Friedmann was the matron.