Manchester Jewish Museum

History

Manchester Jewish Museum is located in a former Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue on Cheetham Hill Road. It is the only Jewish Museum outside London and is housed in the oldest surviving synagogue building in Manchester, completed in 1874. The Museum is a registered charity (Registered Charity No. 508278). Since the building became redundant through the movement of the Jewish population away from the area, it has been completely restored, returned to its former glory and listed Grade II*. More information about the building's history.With a compelling history to tell, the building needed a new purpose and in 1984 it re-opened as a Museum. The Museum now chronicles the lives of Jewish people in Manchester and their contribution to making the city what it is today.

Archival and Other Holdings

The Museum's collection is made up of objects, documents, photographs and oral histories charting the many stories and experiences of Manchester Jewish life. By doing so we hope to promote understanding in the wider community and preserve the heritage of the Jewish community here. We are also dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust through our exhibitions and collecting policy. Our main oral history collection consists of interviews given by Jewish people living in Manchester from the late 1970’s to the mid 1980’s. The topics covered in the interviews include immigration, home and school life, work, politics, anti-Semitism, war and religion. Since the museum opened we have recorded interviews with prominent members of the Jewish community in the 1980’s and1990’s and we have also collected recording Jewish musical performances, lectures and events held in the community. We also hold many interviews with Holocaust survivors and refugees from Nazism in the 1930s. Most of the testimonies are held on cassette tape but we are currently in the process of digitizing the collection. Copies of the interviews can be obtained on request.