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
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