Manchester Jewish Museum

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Below find answers to frequently asked questions from Manchester Jewish Museum visitors. Find out any visitor information – from what time we open to what our café serves.

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You can also find out what we’re doing to protect our visitors from COVID-19 by clicking here.

We have tried to think of everything but if you still need more information please email tickets@manchesterjewishmuseum.com

Who is the Museum for?

Manchester Jewish Museum is a place for everybody – we are a common ground. We make connections by showing and sharing universal experiences through the stories of one particular culture. Whether you’re interested in museums, history, comedy, art, food, Jewish culture or family activities, Manchester Jewish Museum has something for everyone.

When is the museum open?

We are open seven days a week throughout the year including bank holidays. We want to share our collection and our stories with as many people as possible. Although we are open on Saturdays, we will be closed on the Jewish High Holy Days of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah as well as Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

We are open from 10am – 5pm each day. Due to COVID-19 tickets must be booked in advance for timed entry from 10am to 4pm with limited capacities. Our café will be open from 10am to 4pm, serving hot food between 11.30am and 2.30pm.

When can I book tickets?

Tickets for general admission are on sale now for timed entries with limited capacities. General admission tickets are released 4 weeks in advance.

Due to COVID-19 we will be operating timed admissions to the museum with limited capacities for the time being.

Do I need to book to visit?

Yes, to make sure we can offer our visitors a safe and enjoyable experience we are asking all visitors to book a timed entry slot in advance where you can select a date and time to visit the museum. This helps us manage the number of visitors at the museum and supports social distancing. Pre-booking is highly recommended as we can’t guarantee for visitors who have not pre-booked.

We will need all visitors to register so that the museum can support NHS Test and Trace.

How much does it cost to enter?

General admission costs are:

  • £6.00 full price
  • £5.00 concessions (students, people with disabilities, 60+ in full time retirement, or registered unemployed)
  • £4.00 children (under 16, under 5s go free)
  • £4.50 per person for a families (4-8 people, max 2 adults)
  • £5 per person for groups of 10+
  • Art Fund Pass holders receive free admission (advance booking still recommended – email, phone or counter booking only)

We do not accept American Express cards.

Can I book tickets over the phone?

Yes, please call us on 0161 834 9879.

As a small team we can’t always get to the phone in time. If you have trouble getting in touch please email tickets@manchesterjewishmuseum.com

What is Gift Aid and how can I help?

If you’re a UK taxpayer then you can offer Gift Aid on your admission ticket. This means Manchester Jewish Museum receives an additional 25p for every £1 you spend on admissions and donations, at no extra cost to you. In return your admission ticket acts as a year’s annual pass so you can visit the museum again for free within a year.

Gift Aid makes a huge difference to charities like ours and means we can continue our work sharing stories of Jewish Manchester with the world and celebrating the things that make us different, and the things which bring us together.

Find out more about Gift Aid.

Is it accessible?

Both floors of the museum are fully wheelchair accessible and there is a lift to access the first floor and gallery, induction loop and accessible toilets. Personal assistants receive free tickets when booked with a concession ticket.

When planning your visit you can find the precise location at map.w3w.co/pills.legal.dent
This 3 word address corresponds to an exact location within a 3m accuracy

Visit our website access page for more information for your visit.

Can I bring a group?

We can accommodate groups of up to 24 per hour (subject to availability) for £5 per person, payment in advance. Please email tickets@manchesterjewishmuseum.com to arrange your booking. We can take bookings up to 6 weeks in advance of your visit.

We don’t currently offer catering and guided tours for group bookings, but we will be launching a new Groups package in 2022 which will include food and a guided tour to make the most of your visit.

Our museum café is open to all visitors, though as it is a small café, seating availability can be limited and we may struggle to seat and serve hot food to large groups.

How do I get there and can I park?

We are located on Cheetham Hill Road, one of Manchester’s most diverse areas and just 15 minutes’ walk from Manchester’s Victoria station and 30 minutes walk from Manchester City Centre.  Using public transport? Why not plan your journey using Transport for Greater Manchester’s helpful journey planner by clicking here.

Unfortunately there is no on site parking, however there is free parking on all streets around the museum.

Visit our ‘Getting Here’ webpage for more information on getting to the museum.

What COVID-19 precautions will be in place?

It is our utmost priority to keep our visitors, volunteers and staff safe when we reopen. For that reason we are continuing with COVID precautions to keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe.  Admission will be bookable in advance for timed entries with currently limited capacities. We also ask that all visitors wear a face mask when visiting.

Our latest COVID-19 precautions will be updated on our website and all visitors will receive a pre-visit email with all the information they need in advance.

Visit our Covid guidance webpage for more information on getting to the museum.

What security is in place?

We have an on-site security guard and follow recommended security guidance from GMP (Greater Manchester Police) & CST (Community Security Trust). We have a bag search policy and all large bags (rucksacks, suitcases etc.) will be searched. We are unable to store bags and we would advise not bringing large bags with you when you visit.

How long does it take to go round the museum?

We recommend taking up to 15 minutes in each of our spaces to take full advantage of our exhibition and synagogue. The full museum experience should take 1 hour 45 minutes including time to enjoy our café and shop at the end of your visit.

When is the café open?

In light of COVID-19 the café can only be visited at the end of your visit to enable us to ensure social distancing between visitors throughout the museum. Our café is open from 10am – 4pm daily, serving hot food from 11.30am – 2.30pm. The café will be open later when the museum hosts late events including its Thursday Lates programme later this year.

What does the new café serve?

The café serves a contemporary kosher style menu using local produce and authentic Jewish ingredients. Our menu is designed to be a discovery of traditional meets innovative, providing a flavour of Jewish heritage. Our café is an invitation to our visitors to take a moment to gather round a table, reflect on their visit and to connect with one another. We use kosher ingredients but the food is not prepared under Beth Din supervision.

Can I bring food and drink?

We ask that visitors only bring bottled water. Food and snacks are available at our café at the end of your visit.

Can I leave my bags at the welcome desk?

Unfortunately for security reasons we cannot take your bags at reception whilst you visit, so we recommend only bringing what you are happy to travel around with.

Donations

We collect and archive documents, photographs, oral histories, artwork and objects that relate specifically to Manchester’s Jewish history and heritage.

If you have something you would like to donate please email our curator Alex Cropper to discuss further: curator@manchesterjewishmuseum.com

Unfortunately we are not able to accept everything we are offered. If we already have good examples of an object within the collections we are unlikely to accept more and there are some types of objects that we almost never acquire now.

Currently we are particularly interested in items that represent the orthodox community of Manchester.

Please note, Alex works part time Tuesday to Thursday each week.

What age is the museum suitable for?

Our museum is open to people of all ages. We work with all school groups and organise regular family events over weekends and school holidays.

Why is Manchester Jewish Museum open on Saturdays?

Whilst Saturday is regarded as the Sabbath day of rest in Jewish culture, the museum will be open to the public on Saturdays. This is so we can share Manchester’s rich Jewish history with as wide an audience as possible. Our Gallery and programming will educate and inform visitors on Sabbath traditions along with other Jewish festivals and events. Visits can be pre-booked online so that no transactions need to be made on a Saturday.

No Jewish staff or volunteers will be asked or required to work on a Saturday.

Do you have to be Jewish to understand the content of the Museum?

No. We connect Jewish stories to the world and to our society to explore both our differences and similarities. We use the testimonies, objects and experiences of Jewish people to tell universal stories of journeys, identities and communities. There is information throughout our galleries to clearly explain our collection and our staff and volunteers are always ready to give information and guide visitors.

I’m a local resident, do I get free admission?

Yes! If you live in an M8 postcode you can become one of our Museum M8s and get free admission to the museum all year round for you and your family.

Our local community is incredibly important to us and we can’t wait to welcome you all into your new museum.

Find out more

What forms of Judaism does the museum explore?

We explore different Jewish identities and communities. We showcase objects and highlight stories which reflect the rich diversity of experiences and people of Jewish heritage. Our collection covers each wave of Jewish migration to Manchester, from 18th century pedlars and holocaust survivors to the lives of Jewish people in Manchester today.

What changes have been made to the new museum?

Our original synagogue has been repaired, restored and its original 19th century decorative scheme reinstated. A major new extension has been built alongside the synagogue, doubling the size of the museum, to house a brand-new gallery, café, shop and collection store. The new museum also houses a new learning studio and learning kitchen where school groups and community groups can bake, cook, eat and share traditional recipes.

Who designed the new museum?

The new museum has been designed by architects Citizens Design Bureau in consultation with our local communities.  They have worked with many other contractors and businesses who have played a huge role in the museum’s re-design and extension. Historic painters and stained-glass experts are amongst many of the specialist contractors who have spent much of the past two years restoring our synagogue to its former glory.

Our new gallery has been designed by All Things Studio to showcase our collection based around the universal themes of journeys, communities and identities.

Why has the Museum been extended?

In 2017 Manchester Jewish Museum received a £2.89 million grant from National Lottery Heritage Fund to transform the museum into a landmark cultural attraction in Manchester. Our newly extended museum offers a much broader visitor experience including a new gallery, shop, café and collection store and our historic 1874 synagogue has been restored to its former glory.

Our new museum welcomes and reflects the diversity of Manchester’s Jewish communities and our local communities, creating a space for sharing and connection.

What are the patterns on the new extension and in the synagogue?

Our new extension design is inspired by the design of the Synagogue’s original architect, Edward Salomons. His designs reflected the Spanish and Portuguese roots of Cheetham Hill’s Sephardi community who built the synagogue in 1873. These designs were inspired by Mediterranean Moorish architecture including the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.

We have restored and preserved Salomons’ original designs with the help of stained glass experts  and historic paint specialists who have analysed paint samples and researched earlier decorative schemes to help us connect to our synagogue’s past.

These designs are also used in the cladding of our new extension which lights up at night.

When was the synagogue built?

Founded in 1873 by Jewish textile merchants from the Mediterranean and the Middle East , the Synagogue opened on the 6th May 1874. It is now a Grade II*-listed building and has been described by English Heritage as “one of the highlights of Victorian Gothic architecture in the country and one of the architectural jewels in the local area”.

When did it stop being a working synagogue?

In 1982 the synagogue’s congregation moved to a new building on Moor Lane, Salford and building work began on the new museum.

After two years of conservation work the museum opened on Sunday 25 March 1984 with a temporary exhibition “The making of Manchester Jewish Museum”. A new permanent exhibition opened a year later.

Do you have to be Jewish to work or volunteer at the museum?

No, we are an inclusive and equal opportunities employer and a place where everyone is welcome.

As a Jewish museum we value the input of self-Jewish communities in our decision making and encourage applications from self-identifying Jewish candidates. However you don’t need to be Jewish to work or volunteer with us, you just need an enthusiasm for connecting people using Jewish stories and culture.

We are committed to working with Jewish communities to ensure their input and knowledge can be shared and help shape the museum’s programme, research and engagement work.