Manchester Jewish Museum

Kate Feld
Manchester Jewish Museum exterior (dusk), image Joel Chester Fildes 2021
Manchester Jewish Museum exterior (dusk), image Joel Chester Fildes, 2021

We discover a historic gem of a museum, made even more special by the recent redevelopment.

Manchester Jewish Museum is one of those places I’ve been meaning to get to for years. I must have passed it hundreds of times on my way into or out of the city. But its location on Cheetham Hill Road is… well, the kind of place you find yourself driving past a lot. This is a pity, for, as I discovered on my maiden visit, it’s well worth the schlep.

The museum building itself is a Grade II-listed former Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue completed in 1874 – the oldest surviving synagogue in Manchester, its ornate, decorative features beautifully preserved. Moving around exhibits housed in the former ladies’ gallery mezzanine, you learn about the community established by Jews came to this part of Manchester from all over the world to make a life for themselves and their families; to put down roots, safe from the persecution, pogroms and expulsions, ghettoisation and outright genocide. And put down roots they did. Over the last 200 years, Manchester’s Jewish community – some 40,000 people based mainly in an area encompassing Broughton, Whitefield, Prestwich, Crumpsall and Cheetham Hill – has become the UK’s largest outside London.

Manchester Jewish Museum Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, image Joel Chester Fildes 2021
Manchester Jewish Museum Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, image: Joel Chester Fildes, 2021

 

Following a £6m redevelopment and extension, the new museum includes a gallery, a vegetarian café, shop and learning studio & kitchen as well as complete restoration of our synagogue. The museum holds over 31,000 items in its extensive collection, documenting the story of Jewish migration and settlement in Manchester.

A lively events series featuring authors, artists and notable Jewish figures in British culture attracts new audiences to the venue; writers Jay Rayner and Howard Jacobsen have appeared over recent years and Manchester Literature Festival has used the venue to great effect. MJM even organises tours in which representatives from the community guide visitors around contemporary Jewish Manchester, visiting shops, restaurants and institutions.  It’s a great way to experience living history, and learn about one of the many crisscrossing stories that make our city the rich, diverse and colourful place it is. Like other small museums on our radar, it’s worth the schlep.

190 Cheetham Hill RoadManchesterM8 8LW View map
Telephone: 0161 834 9879 Visit Now

Admission Charges

£4.50/£3.50 Conc.

Services and Facilities

Museum, gallery, shop and garden area

Opening Hours

  • Monday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday10:00am - 5:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum: A photograph showing a theatre stage. On the right side we can see a woman in a pink hijab with a travel bag in her hand. She has a yellow star pinned to her black blouse. She looks concerned. In the background there is a group of 5 musicians playing medieval instruments.
CinemaManchester
Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum

Be transported back to 15th-century Andalucia for a screening of a concert play tackling stories around integration, love, heritage and racial identity. Part of Manchester Jewish Museum’s Synagogue Scratch Season.

from £10.00
Until
CinemaCheetham Hill
Jewish Culture Club

Meet new people, explore contemporary cultural works and learn about Jewish culture with Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum.

free entry

What's on near Manchester Jewish Museum

Until
CinemaCheetham Hill
Jewish Culture Club

Meet new people, explore contemporary cultural works and learn about Jewish culture with Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum.

free entry
Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum: A photograph showing a theatre stage. On the right side we can see a woman in a pink hijab with a travel bag in her hand. She has a yellow star pinned to her black blouse. She looks concerned. In the background there is a group of 5 musicians playing medieval instruments.
CinemaManchester
Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum

Be transported back to 15th-century Andalucia for a screening of a concert play tackling stories around integration, love, heritage and racial identity. Part of Manchester Jewish Museum’s Synagogue Scratch Season.

from £10.00

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