Nor­wich seeks funds for his­tory ex­hibit

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY BEN WEICH

NOR­WICH HE­BREW Con­gre­ga­tion is seek­ing do­na­tions to com­plete fund­ing for a build­ing pro­ject in­cor­po­rat­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion chron­i­cling Jewish life in the city from me­dieval an­ti­semitism to the present day.

In just a year, the 75-fam­ily com­mu­nity has raised £275,000 of a tar­geted £385,000.

Con­gre­ga­tion pres­i­dent Mar­ian Prins­ley said the ini­tial aim had been solely to renovate the 66-year-old com­mu­nal hall.

But it has since been de­cided that once the ren­o­va­tion is com­plete, the shul will team up with Nor­wich Cas­tle Mu­seum to es­tab­lish the Nor­wich Jewish Com­mu­nity and Her­itage Cen­tre. The hope is to start build­ing work next spring.

Al­though the mu­seum will not con­trib­ute fi­nan­cially to the pro­ject, it will of­fer cu­ra­to­rial ex­per­tise.

“We have sug­gested some of our col­leagues who might be able to pro­vide sup­port and ad­vice,” ex­plained Tim Pestell, Nor­wich Cas­tle’s cu­ra­tor of ar­chae­ol­ogy.

The mu­seum is also look­ing to in­clude a sec­tion on Jews within its up­com­ing ex­hi­bi­tion on Nor­wich’s me­dieval past.

“Nor­wich has an an­cient his­tory of an­ti­semitism,” Dr Prins­ley said. It was the lo­ca­tion of the first ever blood li­bel. We want to put Jewish his­tory here on the map.”

Aca­demics be­lieve the first ac­cu­sa­tion of rit­ual mur­der against a Jewish com­mu­nity was made in 1144 in Nor­wich.

A re­cent visit from Ephraim Mirvis was Nor­wich’s first by a Chief Rabbi since 1969.

“He was very kind,” Dr Prins­ley said. “He made a point to talk in­di­vid­u­ally with each mem­ber of our con­gre­ga­tion. A mem­ber of Pin­ner United Sy­n­a­gogue came all the way here to bring kosher food.”

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