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March 30, 1984 - Image 67

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-03-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Put the requiem on hold
synagogue now a museum

NEW CADILLAC?

SEE OR CALL

ANDY BLAU

BY MAURICE SAMUELSON

Manchester (JTA)—
Manchester's oldest
synagogue is being con-
verted from a discontinued
place of prayet into a living
museum illustrating the
history of Britain's second
largest Jewish community.
It is the Spanish and Por-
tuguese synagogue, built in
1873 on Cheetham Hill
Road, in the former heart-
land of Manchester Jewry.
Most of the other old
synagogues in the area have
been knocked down or
turned into factories, in-
cluding the nearby Great
Synagogue, once regarded
as the community's
"Cathedral School," but
now a gaunt skeleton.
The Spanish and Por-
tuguese Synagogue has
been preserved for posterity
thanks largely to the
endeavors of Bill Williams,
a non-Jewish historian who
has devoted himself to
chronicling the origins of
Manchester's Jews.
The opening of the
museum marked the com-
pletion of the restoration
and conversion of the build-
ing for its new use.
Plans are also well ad-
vanced for the core exhibi-
tion, tracing the commu-
nity's growth and including
a wide range of tapes,
photographs and artifacts
— the candlesticks or
prayer shawls brought from
Eastern Europe and the
tailoring and water proof-
ing tools used in the city's
garment trade.
Manchester's Jewish
community dates back to
the mid-18th Century when
the first temporary
synagogue was set up by
itinerant peddlers for Sab-
bath services.
By the end of the century,
a settled community had
been established and the
early 19th Century saw its
gradual growth with
settlers drawn from other
parts of England and from
Germany and, later,
Sephardic merchants at-
tracted to Manchester from
Egypt, Lebanon and Tur-
key, through their connec-
tion with the cotton trade.
It was for these Middle
East Jews that the Spanish
and Portuguese Synagogue
was built by Edward Salo-
mon, a distinguished Victo-
rian architect.
Eventually, a permanent

Conventioneers
attend Mass

Jerusalem (JNI) — A
group of 160 priests, minis-
ters and church newspaper
correspondents arrived in
Israel recently for the "Pil-
grimage 1984" convention
and celebrated an inter-
denominational Christian
Mass at the Mount of
Beautitudes.
Tourism Minister Av-
raham Sharir, who wel-
comed the delegates, noted
that 315,000 Christian pil-
grims visited Israel last
year, "or about one out of
every three tourists who ar-
rived in 1983."

exhibition
in
the
synagogue's ladies gallery
will document the commu-
nity's origins and the
museum will also be equip-
ped to mount visiting ex-
hibitions.
The organizers have de-
scribed the museum as the
first of its kind outside Lon-
don. In fact, it will be the
most important Jewish
museum in Britain, since
the Jewish Museum in Lon-
don consists of only a single
room of artifacts in Adler
House, the office of the chief
rabbi.
Other large provicial
communities, such as Bir-
mingham, Liverpool and
Glasgow, are believed to be
keen on copying the Man-
chester initiative.
Manchester. Jewry's
major contribution to the
wider Jewish community is
personified in its many dis-
tinguished sons, and in its
strong Zionist atmosphere.
It was in Manchester, be-
fore and during World War I
that Dr. Chaim Weizmann,
then a university lecturer,
established himself as the
foremost Zionist activist of
his day and formed many of
the connecttions which led
to the British government
issuing the Balfour Dec-
laration on Nov. 2, 1917.

in BIRMINGHAM at

CRISSMAN CADILLAC

RES 661-9146
CALL BUS 644-1930
1350 N. WOODWARD, BIRMINGHAM

} VIDEO

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Canada urged
to pursue Nazi
war criminals

Los Angeles (JTA) — The
Simon Wiesenthal Center
has urged the Canadian
government to immediately
reopen the case of former
Nazi war criminal Jacob
Luitjens and those of at
least 125 other former Nazi
criminals currently in
Canada.
The request was made in
a telegram last week to
Canadian Solicitor-General
Robert Kaplan following his
disclosure that Canadian
authorities are considering
new legal avenues in deal-
ing with former Nazi war
criminals residing there.
Luitjens left his science
post at the University of
British Columbia in Van-
couver when it became
known that he fled after
World War II to avoid serv-
ing a 15-year sentence for
collaborations with the
nazis. The 74-year-old Luit-
jens has successfully
avoided extradition to The
Netherlands due to a
loqphole in the existing
treaty between The Hague
and Ottawa.

Garin members
join IDF

Jerusalem (JNI) — The
first garin nahal (pioneer-
ing settlement group) of the
Conservative movement in
Israel was sworn into the Is-
rael Defense Forces March
14. The 12 male members of
Garin Noam, together with
Garin Nitzan, a civilian
group of immigrants, will
settle the first Mesorati
kibbutz, Hanaton, in
Galilee later this year.

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67

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