Manchester’s Jewish Museum has been named as the 10th best small museum in the UK by The Times. The Museum has been named alongside the likes of the SS Great Britain, Horniman Museum and Norwich Castle in the top 25 small museums across the UK.
The announcement comes as Manchester Jewish Museum, one of Manchester’s hidden gems, plans a major new extension to provide new galleries, event spaces and educational opportunities as well as restoring the museum’s historic synagogue.
The museum, founded in 1873 by Jewish textile merchants, is housed insider a former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, making it the only UK museum inside a synagogue. It is now a Grade II listed building located on the edge of Manchester city centre in lower Cheetham Hill.
The development received an award of £426,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund last year to progress the redevelopment plans. It has since appointed architects to work on the development programme.
Museum CEO, Max Dunbar, commented, “Being named in ‘The Times’ Top 10 is a major achievement for us and is testimony to the hard work and dedication of all our staff, trustees and volunteers. We’ve come a long way in recent years and, with our development plans well underway, we hope to make into the Top 5 next time!”
The museum’s permanent gallery tells the story of Manchester’s Jewish community from 1740s to 1945. With Torah scrolls on permanent display, the building’s unique space is used to educate 15,000 visitors a year about Jewish faith, traditions and culture. The authenticity of the space is particularly important to teachers who bring 10,000 pupils a year to the museum. The building also plays an important social and communal role, bringing audiences of all faiths and backgrounds together through exhibitions, events and its award-winning learning programme