Manchester Jewish Museum

News

Go Back

Passover in our Collection

This Saturday is the beginning of Passover which runs this year from sundown on Saturday 27 March to Sunday 4 April.

Passover (also known as Pesach or Pesah) is one of the most celebrated holidays in Jewish culture and marks the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. It’s name refers to the last of the 10 Great Plagues released upon Egypt in which the first-born of the Egyptian families perished but Jewish families were spared and were “passed over” after marking their doorways with lamb’s blood.

The holiday is usually spent at the home with family, with a special meal called a Seder. Family members will gather together to eat foods that remind them of both the hardship of slavery and the sweetness of freedom.

Symbolic foods eaten include matzo, also known as unleavened bread. Unlike traditional bread, matzo is made with ingredients that do not allow it to rise, symbolising the haste in which the Jewish people had to flee Egypt. Other symbolic rituals can include the drinking of four cups of wine at specific intervals and the eating of bitter herbs.

Passover in our Collection

Another tradition is the reading of the Haggadah, a retelling of the story of the exodus from Egypt told over the Seder meal. The Haggadah is sometimes adapted to reflect the particular situation or beliefs of a group of people, for example in the Manchester Jewish Museum Collection we have  a feminist Haggadah, a version created by Manchester Jewish Socialists and one produced in 1938 by the Chief Rabbi’s Religious Emergency Council to rescue Jewish people from persecution in Europe. Some of these Haggadahs will be on display in our new gallery when we reopen.

Second World War Seder Meal, from Manchester Jewish Museum

Another piece of Passover history in our collection is this photo of Jewish Service men having a Seder meal during the First World War.  The hand drawn arrow is pointing to Saul David Ash (pictured below) who was called for service to the Manchester Regiment on 8.12.1916 and served throughout the war. You can find out more about Saul and his service through the fantastic website British Jews in the First World War.

Saul David Ash, from Manchester Jewish Museum

We hope you all enjoy Passover together safely. Chag Pesach Samech.

PREVIOUS NEWSSEE ALL NEWS

Holocaust Memorial Day 2022: why do we commemorate?

To launch our year long Holocaust Memorial Day project in partnership with Imperial War Museums, we asked a group of young people "why do we commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day?". In response they created a powerful poem and film, inspired by the personal stories in our collection.

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.