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The Old Jewish Quarter (of North Manchester)

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Victoria Station wallmap

Victoria Station

City Centre

Manchester

M3 1WY

United Kingdom

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Manchester is home to Britain’s second biggest Jewish community. Yet it was not until 1788, just over a hundred years after Oliver Cromwell allowed the Jews to return to the country, that the first recorded Jewish presence appeared in Manchester: Hamilton Levi, a flower dealer of Long Millgate, listed in that year’s trade directory.

Ironically, Manchester’s first Jewish community settled around the parish church (what is now Manchester Cathedral), for that was where the old town was located.

Like the Germans and Irish who were settling locally at the same time, the Jews saw in Manchester, cradle of the industrial revolution, opportunities for trade. They opened their first synagogue in 1794 in a warehouse on Garden Street, a barely noticeable alley at the side of what is now the Printworks, the synagogue long gone, near their burial ground. It was paid for by Samuel Solomon, a well-known quack doctor, responsible for the supposed cure-all “Balm of Gilead” which was mostly intended to discourage masturbation.

Where do we go?
On this tour, of the Cheetham Hill area, we move north, like the pattern of Jewish migration itself, up the hill towards Strangeways (the area, not the prison, schmerel) to hear stories about the seeping poverty of Red Bank; about Chaim Weizmann, first president of the State of Israel, who came to Manchester as a research chemist in the early years of the 20th century; about the early days of Marks & Spencer; of the Jews’ school attended by Jack Rosenthal and Louis Golding, where children’s Yiddish-sounding names were forcibly anglicised; and a stop at Torah Street, grudgingly named by the city council on the side of a bacon-curing factory!

We usually end at the Jewish Museum for a good fress of salt beef, latkes and heimishe cucumbers (as if).

We don’t do the walk on a Friday because: It’s erev Shabbas (see “The Big Lebowski” for an explanation).

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Date and Time

Location

Victoria Station wallmap

Victoria Station

City Centre

Manchester

M3 1WY

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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