Cou­ple did a lot to help up­rooted fam­i­lies

As part of an ex­hi­bi­tion which cel­e­brates Mac­cles­field’s Jewish his­tory, cu­ra­tor Basil Jeuda shares some of his favourite sto­ries

Macclesfield Express - - LISTINGS -

JOSHUA and Min­nie Co­hen were the driv­ing forces be­hind the es­tab­lish­ment of the Mac­cles­field He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion and through­out its short life from 1941 to 1946.

They were both born in the Liverpool area and had a drap­ery busi­ness in Black­pool be­fore they pur­chased the longestab­lished drap­ery busi­ness of Hol­land and Bar­wood at 18/22 Ch­ester­gate.

They lived at 57 Knowsley Road.

With the rapid growth in the num­ber of Jewish evac­uees from Lon­don and of Jewish refugees from Nazi per­se­cu­tion in Europe, Joshua over­saw the open­ing of the Mac­cles­field He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion at 62 Ch­ester­gate.

Joshua and Min­nie were de­ter­mined to pro­vide a Jewish way of life for the dozens of Jewish fam­i­lies who had been up­rooted and found them­selves in the Mac­cles­field area.

In par­tic­u­lar, he or­gan­ised the pro­vi­sion of Kosher food and meat from Manch­ester, as well of spe­cial food for the Jewish fes­ti­val of Passover.

In the sum­mer of 1944, Min­nie was ap­pointed bil­let­ing of­fi­cer for the town and was there­fore re­spon­si­ble for find­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion for the Jewish fam­i­lies who ar­rived in Mac­cles­field.

Joshua was, for many years, a mem­ber of the Mac­cles­field Cham­ber of Trade and a mem­ber of its ex­ec­u­tive.

He held firm views on the fu­ture of the town af­ter the war.

He died in 1951 and the busi­ness then passed to his sons, Mark and Stan­ley.

Mark, in par­tic­u­lar, con­tin­ued the fam­ily tra­di­tion of pub­lic ser­vice in Mac­cles­field, es­pe­cially serv­ing as a mag­is­trate for 29 years.

●● Joshua and Min­nie Co­hen were the driv­ing forces be­hind the es­tab­lish­ment of the Mac­cles­field He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion

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