As building work starts on the major extension of Manchester Jewish Museum, the museum is moving temporarily into the basement of Manchester Central Library.

Work will start shortly on the major extension of Manchester Jewish Museum’s historic Cheetham Hill building.

The museum is currently housed in a former synagogue on the edge of Manchester city centre. It will close for two years to allow for the extensive building transformation. During this time, the museum will move its collections into the city centre – creating an interactive pop-up Jewish Museum in the centre of Manchester for the very first time.

The story of Jewish Manchester will be told at Central Library through Manchester Jewish Museum’s historic photographs, recordings and objects which will be on display.

The interactive pop-up Jewish Museum will include an ‘object selection machine’ designed by artist Kirsty Harris and a ‘synagogue in a box’.

The object selection machine will alow visitors to interact with and explore the museum’s collection including a World War One policeman’s truncheon, a 19th century muff maker and a 1940s kosher ration book.

Oi Manjm 1989

Oi Manjm 1989

The synagogue in a box has been designed for schools visiting the library.  Children will use art and craft materials to transform the library space in to their own bespoke synagogue, learning about the Jewish faith and worship.

Manchester Jewish Museum will also run a community outreach programme from Central Library.  Food, music and storytelling activities will be held in community centres, museums and libraries across Greater Manchester. The ‘synagogue in a box’ will also be taken out to schools, giving children the opportunity to transform their classrooms into their very own bespoke synagogues.

The pop-up Manchester Jewish Museum will be open to the public from Tuesday 16 July, located on the Lower Ground Floor of Central Library near the Children’s library and next to the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre.  The pop-up Museum will be open Monday-Thursday (9am-8pm) and Friday-Saturday (9am-5pm)

Commenting on the move to Central Library, Museum Chief Executive, Max Dunbar, said “We’re thrilled to be moving into such a busy and prestigious venue as Central Library. With over 1.5million Library users a year, we will be able to share the stories of Jewish Manchester with even more people, building up excitement ahead of our grand re-opening in 2021. We’re extremely grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and Manchester City Council for making this move possible”.