THE Macclesfield Hebrew Congregation was the focal point for the large numbers of Jews, and their businesses, that were evacuated from London after the September 1940 London blitz, and who settled in Macclesfield during the Second World War.
The Congregation was short-lived, with its Synagogue opening in March 1941 and apparently closing in September 1946.
It had its own Minister, the Rev Irving Chazen, as well as Hebrew Classes, a WIZO (Zionist) branch, and an active social programme.
The Synagogue was affiliated to the United Synagogue in London, and its Hebrew Classes came under the jurisdiction of the Manchester Board for Hebrew Education.
Its President was Joshua Cohen, a long-standing resident with a successful drapery business (Holland & Barwood) in Chestergate.
At the outbreak of War, there were barely a dozen Jews in Macclesfield, but the evacuation from London, and Jewish refugees from the Nazi occupation, boosted their numbers to well over 150 people. Jewish businesses that moved up from London to Macclesfield/ Bollington were : J Offenbach, Osband Knitwear, BJ Friend, V&E Friedland (later Friedland Doggart), Belmont Textiles (the Belmont and Lazarus families), H&I Franklin, and A Goldstein.
Oberland Silks was a Swiss-Jewish firm that came to Macclesfield in 1932, whilst Halle (Hallemodes) was thought to be of Jewish origin. Production was for the war effort, and included a wide variety of Military and Utility clothing. It is hoped to mount an exhibition in Macclesfield next Spring to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the opening of the Synagogue in Macclesfield. This was located at Charles Roe House, Chestergate, in Macclesfield. If any of your readers can help me to build up this fascinating history, could they contact me on 01625 426740 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Basil Jeuda Macclesfield
●● This picture was taken during a Dawn Chorus walk by David Wilson at Ladderstile Farm. Send your images (jpeg format please) to email@example.com or upload them to our Flickr page at www.flickr.com/groups/maccpics