Manchester Jewish Museum has finally reopened its doors to the public, following two years of forced closure and a huge £6m refurbishment to the original Grade II-listed Portuguese and Spanish synagogue building.
As part of its grand reopening, the newly-renovated museum has partnered with the Manchester International Festival (MIF) to commission a new film and art installation to tell the long-lost stories of Cheetham Hill’s Jewish community.
The Ark at Manchester Jewish Museum still holds a set of Torah scrolls on loan from the original community, which shifted to a new building in Salford in the early 1980s.
Teams also uncovered a hidden time capsule containing newspapers, old coins and synagogue minutes dating back to the 1870s during the renovation process.
Suffice to say, it certainly still has plenty of stories hidden within its walls – many of which are now being revealed as part of a new MIF film currently on display from Turner-prize winner Laura Provost.
Called The long waited, weighted, gathering, the installation aims to explore the long-lost voices of Manchester’s Jewish community: transforming The Ladies’ Gallery in the historic synagogue into an immersive installation space.
Shot inside the gallery and the surrounding Cheetham Hill area, the installation features as a major part of the reopening of the newly redeveloped Manchester Jewish Museum.
Award-winning artist Prouvost has explored the museum’s extensive collection to discover the stories behind past congregants of the synagogue: unearthing the stories of the Manchester women who once found comfort and community within its walls.
Her films are often accompanied by objects to evoke its themes and imagery, and The long waited, weighted, gathering is no exception.
She has also been working alongside the Museum’s resident Women’s Textiles Group, and their materials are being incorporated within the installation to give a voice to modern women in the local community as well as those from days past.
The museum houses over 31,000 items in its collection, many of which are now going on display for the first time; sharing stories of Jewish Manchester by exploring universal themes of migration, communities, and identities.
Located in Cheetham Hill, it’s the only Jewish museum of its kind in the UK outside of London.
Following the recent upgrades to the building, funded by a two-year £6 million Capital Development project and a £2.89m National Heritage Lottery grant, it now boasts an architecturally impressive extension and new veggie kosher-style café and kitchen – where schools and community groups can develop a greater understanding of the Jewish way of life.
Its 1874 Spanish and Portuguese synagogue has also been fully restored, whilst further new additions include a shop and learning studio for community events.
From personal letters and photographs to more eclectic items like a herring chopper and an English-Hebrew teapot, there is a huge range of objects on display.
Featured image –Manchester Jewish Museum / Ruth Allan
Ancoats restaurant publicly exposes ‘angry influencer’ after spat over free meal
A restaurant in Ancoats has publicly exposed an influencer (twice…) who tried to ask for a free meal in exchange for exposure.
Lucky Ramen, a tiny spot on Blossom Street that has had queues forming for its noodle soups and Asian brunches, has become embroiled in a spat with an unnamed social media star.
It all started yesterday when the restaurant went public with a message it had received, which was requesting a complimentary brunch in exchange for a post on Instagram.
Lucky Ramen shared the message and wrote that they were ‘thrilled you appreciate our food’ but that the team ‘appreciate paying customers even more’.
They described it as ‘another thrilling DM from a blue tick superstar asking for a free feast in exchange for an Insta post’.
Which was already dramatic enough, but the influencer in question has been quite cross that Lucky Ramen in Ancoats has taken a swipe at them publicly.
It appears they’ve followed up with a much less polite message, saying the independent business is ‘bang out of order’ for trying to expose them.
The influencer asked: “So you think people like us don’t deserve to eat for FREE???”
They argued that they were trying to promote the restaurant for free, offering ‘time, labour, effort and positive energy’ in exchange for the free meal as compensation.
The unnamed user then said: “Your arrogance makes me sick. Haha very funny, you got a couple of giggles but we’re the ones that are laughing.
“We go where we want, eat what we want and lastly – it’s all for free! WHOS LAUGHING NOW???”
Of course, Lucky Ramen hasn’t left that message in the DMs either, once again sharing screenshots on its Instagram page.
And they’ve chosen to smack the influencer with pure sarcasm in retaliation…
They wrote: “Dear angry influencer. Okay, aaalright… you got us! We’re truly sorry for attempting to uncover your behind-the-scenes tactics yesterday and, you know, us trying to make a living and sh*t.
“But hold on, the new message we just got deserves more than a standing ovation!
“This follow-up DM is a total game-changer, and guess what? We’re now rolling out the red carpet for all the free meals you desire. And that’s not all – our chefs are ready to part ways with their Crocs and Birkenstocks, throwing them in as an extra bonus for your tender love and labour! Even my dad’s medal of honour from the Japan war is up for grabs – he’s feeling generous the old geezer, and he’s even contemplating wheeling in his new eco-friendly hybrid wheelchair for you!
“Just hit us up with another DM, let us know when you’re swinging by to collect your well-deserved goodies, and don’t forget to leave a glowing 5-star review on both Google and TripAdvisor.
“We appreciate your understanding and, once again, sorry for the “inconvenience” we caused.
“Bon appétit + Arigato-the-f*ck-outta-here.”
Will the influencer reply again? Someone pass the popcorn.
‘Dangerous’ disqualified driver jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan
A “dangerous” disqualified driver has been handed jail time after crashing into a funfair in Wigan last year.
Jordan O’Reilly, from Platt Bridge in Wigan, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, perverting the course of justice, and failing to provide a specimen.
The 21-year-old was given three years behind bars following a trial at Bolton Crown Court yesterday (29 February).
O’Reilly’s sentencing comes after he crashed his vehicle into a funfair in Wigan while trying to evade a police pursuit back in October 2023.
#JAILED I A disqualified driver who led police on a chase and crashed into a crowded funfair in #Wigan has been jailed for 3 years
After failing to stop for a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) patrol, O’Reilly then drove in excess of the speed limit and overtook a number of vehicles, all before proceeding to abandon his own moving vehicle to escape.
The vehicle O’Reilly abandoned then carried on moving, and shockingly, ended up colliding with two members of the public at the funfair – with one woman sadly left with “serious injuries” as a result.
But thanks to the help of members of the public, O’Reilly was identified as the driver and later arrested by police.
A ‘dangerous’ disqualified driver has been jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan / Credit: GMP
After he was released on bail, it was established that he had attempted to engage others into assisting him in evading prosecution.
Speaking following O’Reilly’s sentencing this week, PC Wood, of GMP Transport Unit, commented: “O’Reilly’s disregard to his driving disqualification and actions behind the wheel that day were reckless and dangerous, and he put countless people at risk of harm. The injuries caused to the victim show the consequences dangerous driving has on other people.
“GMP would like to thank the members of the public who ensured that O’Reilly faced justice for his actions.”
PC Wood also took a moment to remind the Greater Manchester public that if they know someone who is driving whist dangerously, or while disqualified or unfit to be doing so, then they should report it to GMP.