We reopened on Friday 2 July 2021 with a new building, twice the size as before.
Designed by award-winning architects, Citizens Design Bureau, our contemporary two-storey extension includes a new gallery, learning studio & kitchen, collection store, shop and café. Our beloved Grade II* listed Synagogue has also been fully restored and refurbished to its original decorative scheme.
Our Corten clad façade lights up at night like a beacon on Cheetham Hill Road, with the light shining through the intricate patterns that mirror the designs by our Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue original architect Edward Salomons.
A new gallery, designed by All Things, showcases our collection based around the universal themes of journeys, communities and identities, sharing the stories of Jewish Manchester with the world.
Our new museum will be a place to experience and explore how we are different, together. We make connections to make things better.
Our new building has won the following awards following our £6 million capital redevelopment supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund:
- British Construction Industry Awards 2021: Cultural & Leisure Project of the Year
- British Construction Industry Awards 2021: Best Small Project (under £10 million)
- Facade Awards UK 2021: Best Use of Rainscreen Using Specialist Metal, to Include (Zinc, Copper, Brass)
- AJ Retrofit Finalist: Cultural and Religious Buildings
- Blueprint Awards: Best Public-Use Project with Public Funding
- Dezeen Awards 2021: Cultural Building
- Civic Trust Awards 2022: National/International Project & Regional Finalist
- Northern Design Awards 2021: Commercial Build
- Northern Design Awards 2021: Amazing Space
Our Grade II* listed Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue first opened in 1874, designed by Victorian architect Edward Salomons. Originally built to serve Manchester’s Sephardi Jewish communities, the Synagogue was designed and decorated to reflect the Spanish and Portuguese heritage of the communities that worshipped there. In 1984 the now former synagogue was converted into Manchester Jewish Museum, to preserve both the building and Manchester’s rich Jewish history.
The synagogue has been fully renovated and restored to serve as both a living artefact of a historic Sephardi place of worship and as a stunning cultural events space. We consider our synagogue to be the heart of our museum – a breathtakingly beautiful space in which you can take time to reflect and absorb the history that surrounds you. Oral histories throughout the synagogue share memories of the people who once attended the synagogue, filling the space with authentic Sephardi voices as they recall their experiences.
Find out more about this remarkable building’s history below.
Find out more about our Synagogue