The earliest record of Jews in Manchester is Jacob Nathan's alien license from 1798. Since then Jewish several generations of European Jewish communities have made Manchester their home.
We hold an excellent collection for Manchester's Jewish community. These include the records of the Manchester Shecita Board and the Manchester Jewish Refugees Committee.
The definitive book on the development of the Jewish community in the Manchester area is Bill Williams, 'The Making of Manchester Jewry, 1740-1875' (296 Wi4) The same author has also produced:
- Jewish Manchester: an Illustrated History (Q942.733 WIL)
- Manchester Jewry: a Pictorial History, 1788-1988 (q942.733 WI)
- Sir Sidney Hamburger and Manchester Jewry (296.094273 Ha), a biography which looks at a leading figure in the 20th century Jewish community.
Monty Dobkin wrote two books which looked at Manchester Jewry. These were 'Tales of Manchester Jewry and Manchester in the Thirties' and 'Rothschild in Manchester and Other Tales from the History of Manchester Jewry'. He also compiled and edited '150 years of King David Schools, formerly Manchester Jews School 1838-1988'. A different approach is taken by the book 'They Came From The Haim'. This 1995 publication by Jewish Social Services is subtitled 'history of Manchester Jewry from 1867', and lists events of Jewish interest at local, national and international level on a year by year basis.
Julia Maine has published an article on 'The Jewish Community of the South Manchester Suburb of Didsbury 1891-1914'. it's worth noting that from the late 19th century Sephardi Jewish merchants from the Middle East and North Africa settled in the Palatine Road area of Didsbury and Chorlton.
We also hold a MA dissertation by Richard W. Jackson on 'Manchester's Little Jerusalem: the Changing Face of Red Bank' (University of Manchester, 2007) (BR 942.733004 JAC (485)).
Insights into the inter-war period are given in Sharon Gewirtz, 'Anti-Fascist Activity in Manchester's Jewish Community in the 1930s', (Manchester Region History Review, vol. 4, no.1, 1990 - pdf file). A different aspect of the inter-war years is covered by Rainer Liedtke 'Self-Help in Manchester Jewry: The Provincial Independent Tontine Society', (Manchester Region History Review, vol. 6, 1992).
Novels may also be a source of information. Louis Golding, 'Magnolia Street' looks at relationships between Jews and non-Jews, being set in the Hightown area of Manchester in the early twentieth century.
The present-day Manchester Jewish Museum at 190 Cheetham Hill Road is the subject of an article by Catharine Rew (Manchester Region History Review, vol. 6, 1992).
How to access
Library members can find and reserve the resources mentioned by following the links to our library catalogue.