Tag Archives: manchester

A report on the inaugural Jewish Arts Festival For All in Manchester

Hundreds  thronged to Manchester’s Jewish Museum on Sunday 2 July for the first Jewish Arts Festival For All (JAFFA).  Jews of all ages were joined by those of other faiths for a fun-filled day of food, music, art and entertainment.

The Lord Mayor of Manchester – who spent almost two hours at the festival with his wife – chose as his theme for a year that has seen the city’s emergence from the horrendous terrorist attack, “to promote community cohesion and mutual respect amongst and between the city’s diverse communities and individuals” and t was certainly in evidence on Sunday.

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Interview: Playwright Simon Bent and actor Elliot Levey talk life in Manchester and bringing Howard Jacobson’s comic novel The Mighty Walzer to the stage

01RET Rehearsal The Might Walzer Elliot Levey (Oliver Walzer) photo Jonathan Keenan

© Jonathan Keenan

“It became a very exotic place for me.” Simon Bent is talking about the Manchester of the 1950s, the setting of Howard Jacobson’s mighty tale of table tennis, teenage angst and Jewish family life. “What attracted me to the book is that it’s about a particular culture at a particular time which is gone. Part of the book is about the loss of that Manchester. It was Howard’s attempt to ‘get down’ that world before it got lost.”

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A heartening wonder of the modern world – JR readers enjoy another year at Limmud

limmud 2014 session

It was as an amazing experience as ever. I have been going to Limmud for 13 years and can never get over how a team of young volunteers, changing yearly, can put on such a huge event with its problems of feeding and housing 2,500, let alone running hundreds of stimulating sessions each day. It is a heartening wonder of the modern world. And this year even the food was great (congratulations Manchester-based Celia Clyne Banqueting).

There were of course many JR readers there and I asked a few about their best Limmud experience.

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“I know that picture” – JR hears from a reader who saw the lost Levy painting 60 years ago

Alexandra Grime, lost Levy painting, Manchester Jewish Museum Jan 2015

A  story of history uncovered

Chapter 1

Alexandra Grime (pictured), a curator at the Manchester Jewish Museum, discovers that the artist behind a portrait of Mark Bloom is none other than Northern Jewish painter Emmanuel Levy. The picture of Bloom – founder of Colwyn Bay Synagogue and a horse trader during WWI – was donated to the museum more than three decades ago by the synagogue, but it was only when Grime was looking through Levy’s scrapbooks, while researching the museum’s current Levy retrospective, that she put two and two together. The Bloom portrait has now been added to MJM’s exhibition.

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