Manchester Jewish Museum
Richard Cavendish discovers the riches and Diaspora and beyond in the Manchester Jewish museum.
Manchester has the largest Jewish community in the country, outside London, and the museum, which is ten years old this year, is the only one in Britain in a synagogue. It is probably also the only one which is the direct outcome of the writing of a book.
The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, resplendent in red- brick Victorian Moorish in Cheetham Hill Road, was opened in 1874. The architect, Edward Salomon, was the son of a Manchester cotton merchant. Services were held in Hebrew, led by the cantor and choir. The Cheetham Hill area was home to many prosperous Jewish families and the synagogue's leading founder, Isaac David Belisha, traced his descend back to Muslim Spain.