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.

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE HOSPICE -

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.

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