Have you ever heard of The Green Park Hotel, England’s most famous Jewish resort?
Here’s some background: Following a wave of pogroms and discrimination against Jews, many Jewish families fled Russia and Lithuania, seeking refuge in several new countries, including England. This resulted in significant growth to the UK’s Jewish population during the early part of the 20th century. It was then followed by the next wave of Jewish immigrants, fleeing various countries in Eastern Europe as Hitler rose to power. Towards the end of the war, The Green Park Hotel in Bournemouth first opened its doors in 1943.
Founded by Ruby Marriott, born Mariovich, and his wife Sarah Richman, born Racjman, both changing their names for safety after their families fled Warsaw and settled in London. In 1944, during WWII, the family-run hotel hosted a Passover Seder that was open to all Jewish servicemen, including 180 US soldiers, as well as Canadian, Australian and English soldiers alike.
This was an environment that offered kosher food, family, tradition and celebrating Jewish holidays and customs.
The luxury establishment thrived for several decades during a time when travel was less common and driving out to a hotel was considered an ideal family holiday. However, in the 1970’s, the cultural shift, which saw more accessible air travel and a variety of available accommodation options, caused the once vibrant hotel to start declining. By the mid 1980s, Green Park had closed their doors for good.
In 2015, the hotels rich Jewish history was featured in ‘The Green Park’ documentary.
Photo: The pool at The Green Park hotel during the 1960s.