Nights at the Jew-seum

The Jew-seum is celebrating its 25th anniversary

The Jew-seum is celebrating its 25th anniversary

Will Astbury

Manchester Jewish Museum is celebrating it’s 25th year by hosting a series of varied events.

This autumn the museum, which was converted from a Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in 1984, plans to explore Einstein’s legacy, Jewish views on whisky, the history of the Samaritans and unique music.

Situated on Cheetham Hill Road, the museum was built in 1874 and is the oldest surviving synagogue in Manchester.

Now in 2009 the Victorian grade two listed building, which the only jewish museum outside London, has established an even greater history through welcoming people of all faiths and ages through its doors for which it won a Marque of Excellence from the North West Multi-Faith Tourism Association.

Manchester Mouth spoke to Jeremy Michelson, education officer at the museum, to find out how the museum has managed to survive all these years, he said: “Museum is unique, being in a former synagogue. It offers an experience of a synagogue without the drawbacks of being an actual synagogue.

“Our education programme has always proved attractive to schools in particular and our temporary exhibitions have been really popular too.”

Manchester Jewish Museum’s “open-door” policy will be in operation for the silver anniversary events, so no matter what background you come from keep your diaries free.

On Wednesday 28 October the museum looks into ‘An Ancient Nation’. This talk will be given by one of the elders of the Samaritan community, Ben Tsedaka, about the history, beliefs and culture of his people – some of whom still live in Israel today. The talk costs £7.50 to attend (£6 for concessions) and begins at 7:30pm.

Next on the agenda is the whisky tasting evening. This sampling, which takes place on Wednesday 4 November, will also involve a talk by Rabbi Zvi Solomons about exploring whisky from a Jewish perspective. So if you fancy wrapping your lips around a couple of single malts come down and join the fun. Admission is just £10 and the night kicks off at 7:30pm.

If music is your flavour make your way down to Heaton Park synagogue on Sunday 8 November at 7pm to experience ‘A Feast of Cantorial Music’. Hosted by Yanky Lemer, whose vocal talents include chazanut, Yiddish, Israeli , Broadway and opera, the night will welcome other surprise guests. Tickets will cost £15 each or £25 for two.

Finally, on 25 November, Michelle Supper will be delivering a lecture on Eisteinn’s legacy, on behalf of the British Friends of the Hebrew University. This lecture will run alongside the ‘Einstein: Man of the Century’ exhibition which is on display in the museum from 7 October to 17 December. Admission for this event is completely free.

Tickets for all these events will be available from 12 October onwards, please contact the museum on 0161 834 9879 for information.


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