Dozens enjoy town’s new Hebrew class
As part of the an exhibition which celebrates Macclesfield’s Jewish history, curator shares some of his favourite stories.
THE Macclesfield Hebrew Congregation opened its doors in March 1941 with Joshua (Jack) Cohen as its President.
He owned Holland & Barwood, the drapers, on Chestergate.
The premises that the Congregation occupied was the first floor of 62 Chestergate, what is now known as Charles Roe House.
One of the first organisations that the Congregation established was Hebrew Classes for the sons and daughters of its members and Rabbi Weis from Manchester opened these in the spring of 1941. He was the Congregation’s first Minister, to be followed by Rev Irving Chazen a year later.
He expanded the Hebrew Classes very successfully, as can be seen in this delightful photograph taken sometime in 1943.
Two of those in the photograph are coming to the Exhibition in March – Shirley Jacobs (nee Franklin) whose father had a factory in Henderson Street and then on Crompton Road, and she can be seen on the front row on the left.
Behind her is Stanley Cohen, who will also be coming to the Exhibition, and he is son of Jack Cohen. He was the last person to have his Barmitzvah at the Synagogue, in April 1946, before it closed in the following October. The photo is courtesy of Muriel Cohen - can anyone identify where it was taken?
The exhibition - ‘Celebrating Jewish Life, Art and Enterprise in Macclesfield During World War Two’ - commemorates the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Macclesfield Synagogue at 62 Chestergate, now Charles Roe House, where the exhibition will be held. It will run from Sunday March 23, to May 2, Wednesdays to Sundays, 11am to 4pm, with an invitation only preview on March 20. Basil’s book, which costs £3, is also available from Incubation Arts and at the next Treacle Market. ●● BASIL would like to speak to anyone who has memories which could be used in the exhibition. He is particularly keen to speak to Zelda Davis, who was married to Johnny Davis, who ran a factor in the 1940s. If you can help, call 01625 426740.