Report by Paul Crone
Manchester's historic Jewish Museum is preparing reopen with a brand new extension that has been almost a decade in planning.
The museum in Cheetham Hill aims to take visitors on a journey through the city's rich and diverse Jewish history, although a key principle of all involved is that the building is open to everyone of every faith.
It tells the stories of the Jewish people and communities of Manchester; their journeys, the communities they formed, and the diverse identities they represent.
The museum’s 1874 Grade II* Listed synagogue building, the city’s oldest surviving synagogue, has been fully renovated and restored.
The former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue will serve both as a living artefact of a Jewish place of worship and as a stunning cultural space in which the museum will programme live events throughout the year.
A new extension, which doubles the size of the museum, is designed by Citizens Design Bureau and, for the first time, provides a dedicated space to showcase an extensive part of its collection of over 31,000 items.
New design features of the gallery include a floor map of Cheetham Hill, moveable digital labels and a collection of oral histories placed throughout the gallery, telling the stories of Jewish Mancunians.
After almost a decade of planning, two years of closure, a global pandemic and a £6 million major capital development supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund - Manchester Jewish Museum is finally reopening its doors on Friday, 2 July.