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Giving audiences a “flavour” of what to expect in the new museum

This February Theatre Chef Leo Burtin will be taking our audiences on an online culinary journey through our collection on Thursday 25 February – and you can join in from home too. Audiences will prepare their own dishes at home, before joining Leo for an evening of tasting as he shares stories unearthed from the museum’s archives, each relating to the dish being served.

The event may have sold out (there is a waiting list – email to join) but you can still cook your own dish from home by downloading the recipe here!

Audiences will receive recipes and spice kits in advance and are encouraged to prepare their meals ready for the event, so that everyone can taste together as Leo shares the personal stories behind each dish. Each of the stories come from the museum’s extensive archive and oral history collection, which documents the history of Manchester’s diverse Jewish community and the individuals and communities that helped form it.

Theatre Chef Leo Burtin explains why food is such a powerful way of sharing and connecting: “Eating with others is an opportunity to share the stories that matter to us without using words, calling instead on our other senses. If we are what we eat, then eating together is an opportunity to have more in common while celebrating our differences.”

The event will take place on the first evening of Purim, the Jewish festival celebrating the saving of Jewish people from persecution in the ancient Persian Empire (also known as ‘The Feast of Lots’). At the heart of Purim is a feast in which family and friends gather for a festive meal. Whilst traditional Purim festivities have been constrained by the impact of the pandemic, the museum hopes this event will provide an alternative way to come together and eat with others during extraordinary circumstances.

Design images courtesy of Citizens Design Bureau: Learning kitchen (left) and cafe (right)


Food will be at the heart of the new museum, as the multi-million-pound development includes a brand new café and a learning studio and kitchen where visitors and schools will be able to bake, cook and eat traditional Jewish recipes.

Our Chief Executive Max Dunbar talks of the role food will play in the museum: “We see the museum becoming like a ‘living room’ for the communities of Cheetham Hill and beyond, and our new café and learning kitchen are at the heart of that. Food is integral to creating a space for connection, where people can really feel a sense of belonging and ownership. It will bring people together.”

The new café and learning kitchen will open along with the main museum later in 2021 and will provide a learning experience for visitors to explore Jewish culture and tradition, as well as serving delicious food and refreshments.

The wider Eat the Archives project will continue over the summer, as part of Leo’s artist residency with the museum. It will create a theatrical dining experience like no other, in which audiences will be able to physically dine together as they share stories, recipes and memories in a variety of settings.

Eat the Archives: Appetiser will take place online at 7pm on Thursday 25 February. For more information visit:


Music in our Synagogue: our second Synagogue Nights Season of music this March

Manchester Jewish Museum will be celebrating Jewish music with our new season of Synagogue Nights: intimate performances in our stunning 1874 Synagogue. From Klezmer ensembles to Baroque quartets, musical theatre and pop covers to Hebrew world jazz, we are showcasing Jewish music in all its diversity.

Manchester Jewish Museum launches Holocaust Memorial Day project with Imperial War Museums

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2022 we will launch a year-long project that will culminate on Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 with a public event and hosting a travelling exhibition sharing lesser known Holocaust and Second World War stories from across the UK. The project is part of Imperial War Museum’s Second World War & Holocaust Partnership Programme and will be working with local artist Becky Prestwich and young people from across Manchester.

Looking back on 2021

As 2021 draws to a close we just wanted to reflect on what an enormous year it’s been for the museum and some of the highlights. We’re excited for what next year will bring and just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who made it possible.

A more sustainable Manchester Jewish Museum – COP26 update

On Thursday 4 November we were proud to speak at The Carbon Literacy Project's Museum Sector Day as part of the COP26 Conference. We have been working with BuroHappold, Carbon Literacy Project and Museums Development NorthWest to build a more sustainable Manchester Jewish Museum for future generations to enjoy.

Chief Executive Max Dunbar to hand over the new Manchester Jewish Museum

After 10 years and a multi-million redevelopment and reopening, Manchester Jewish Museum Chief Executive Max Dunbar and Chair of the Trustees Andrew Singer QC will step down as they hand over the new museum to someone new, to lead the organisation during the next stage of its journey.

Yankl & Der Beanstalk revives Yiddish Pantomime once more

On Thursday 2 December Manchester Jewish Museum will be transported to the magical lands of Brick Lane and Hampstead with a bawdy and infectiously fun take on a classic Yiddish pantomime. We speak to director Samuel Ranger about how they are hoping to revive Yiddish pantomime for a new generation.