Manchester Jewish Museum announces a bold new event season in their newly restored former synagogue. This beautiful space, steeped in Manchester’s rich Jewish history, will be host to Synagogue Nights: a programme of eclectic events this Autumn ranging from Klezmer gigs and animated graphic novels to theatre performances featuring large scale knitting and an adult twist on Yiddish pantomime.
The 1874 Grade II* listed Spanish and Portuguese synagogue provides a truly unique and atmospheric space for the newly reopened Manchester Jewish Museum’s inaugural event season.
Located just fifteen minutes walk from Victoria Station, the synagogue sits at the heart of the new museum, serving both as a living artefact of a Jewish place of worship and as a stunning cultural space in which the museum will programme live events throughout the year. It was fully restored to its original decorative scheme as part of a £6 million redevelopment supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, including the installation of new sound and AV systems to make it a versatile and unique events space.
Synagogue Nights presents a series of live events that celebrate diverse Jewish experiences and explore untold and unexpected stories. These artists will be creating work for new spaces such as our synagogue and making new connections with audiences and communities. The ambition is for Synagogue Nights to become a playground for artists to try out radical new ideas. There will be opportunities to connect with the artists after each event through workshops, informal discussions and post-show Q&As.
The museum’s brand-new vegetarian café will be open throughout the evening serving a range of drinks and snacks to create a welcoming atmosphere where audiences can relax and discuss the performance with friends and strangers alike.
The Museum will also be partnering with Tsitsit: The Jewish Fringe Festival for the first three events of the season in a city wide celebration of Jewish Culture.
The Synagogue Nights line-up includes:
- She Seeks Out Wool (Thursday 14 October) – Sophie Ablett and Klein Blue weave together spoken word and large-scale knitting to tell the personal journey of a family, the relatives left behind and how the past can be woven into the present. Part of Tsitsit: The Jewish Fringe Festival.
- Ana Silvera – Ladino Laments and Love Songs (Thursday 28 October) – The London-born singer-songwriter and composer will explore her Sephardi heritage through traditional ladino songs and original tunes as she follows her family’s journey from Portugal to Aleppo before finally arriving in Manchester to help found this very synagogue. Part of Tsitsit: The Jewish Fringe Festival.
- The Wolf of Baghdad: memoir of a lost homeland (Thursday 4 November) – Carol Isaacs (AKA The Surreal McCoy) presents her animated graphic memoir of a Jewish family’s memories of their lost homeland and the little-known story of Iraqi Jews, accompanied by a soundtrack by ground breaking band 3yin.
- A Jewish Love Story (Thursday 11 November) – Suzette Coon presents a work-in-progress of her emotive new play telling the story of a Jewish woman’s flight from the Polish pogroms and the impact felt by the generations that follow her.
- Noga Ritter Trio (Thursday 25 November) – Israel born singer-songwriter Noga Ritter and her trio bring their genre-blending music to Manchester for the first time, fusing Hebrew Jazz with global grooves for an electric and soulful musical experience.
- Yankl & Der Beanstalk (Thursday 2 December) – Eclectic artist collective Sam Ranger, Tamara Micner and Emily Rose, accompanied by a troupe of colourful performers, give an adult twist to the Yiddish Pantomime tradition with their riotous, raucous and irreverent take on a pantomime classic – expect to laugh. A lot.
There will also be a Sunday evening performance as part of Tsitsit Fringe Festival where the museum will welcome Klezmer-ish to perform for the first time since the pandemic hit as they showcase their new album The Lockdown Songbook on Sunday 24 October.
Speaking of the launch of the new programme, Manchester Jewish Museum Chief Executive Max Dunbar says “Our newly restored synagogue is the perfect setting to host such an exciting season of events which celebrate and explore Jewish experiences in all their rich diversity. It showcases our commitment to sharing Jewish stories with the world and bringing people together.
Our historic synagogue has had new sound and AV systems sensitively integrated into its features, making it fit for purpose to be used as a venue where people can enjoy and experience live events together. We’re very excited to welcome new and familiar audiences and artists into our museum this autumn.”
The Synagogue Nights season follows the collaboration with Manchester International Festival and Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost to create the film installation ‘The long waited, weighted gathering’ which opened the new museum in July and runs until Sunday 3 October in The Ladies Gallery of the historic synagogue.
Manchester Jewish Museum is open seven days a week from 10am-5pm and will be open from 6pm on event evenings. To see the full Synagogue Nights programme visit: