The Jewish Chronicle

Museum has a recipe for success after major £5m refit

- BY RACHEL STEINBERG

FOOD WILL be high on the menu when Manchester Jewish Museum reopens in summer following a major £5 million makeover.

The revamp will see the museum — housed in a Grade II*-listed former synagogue — double in size, with new features set to include an atrium café where visitors can sample dishes inspired by exhibits.

A learning centre and kitchen will also allow groups to prepare and consume a variety of traditiona­l dishes. And the museum’s Foodies Group, which has met virtually throughout the pandemic, will continue its popular get-togethers.

“Food is just a really powerful way of getting people to come together and connect,” said MJM marketing manager Daniel Jarvis.

“I think that’s why it’s going to be such a vital part of the museum going forward.”

The latest digital offering was an Eat the Archives Purim event, for which those signed up were sent a spice kit and recipes concocted by theatre chef Leo Burtin, who revealed the stories behind the Manchester-inspired meals.

“If we are what we eat, then eating together is an opportunit­y to have more in common while celebratin­g our difference­s,” Mr Burtin said.

Tickets for the sold-out activity were purchased by both core MJM supporters and those living further afield, prompting museum leaders to contemplat­e how they might incorporat­e virtual events into future programmin­g.

Elements of the former shul on the museum site have also been restored to their former glory as part of the refit.

The reopening target date is summer but all hinges on the speed of restrictio­ns being relaxed.

“We want to make sure everything is absolutely safe for any visitors when we open [and] we want to open with a bit of a feeling of celebratio­n,” Mr Jarvis added. “If we can only have five people in the building that’s not quite the same.”

 ?? PHOTO: GRANT ARCHER ?? Chef Leo Burtin led the Purim event
PHOTO: GRANT ARCHER Chef Leo Burtin led the Purim event

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