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How useful is the Jewish museum to the historian studying the living and working conditions of Jews in Manchester in the early 20th Century?

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History Coursework Lauren Wood How useful is the Jewish museum to the historian studying the living and working conditions of Jews in Manchester in the early 20th Century? The Jews in Manchester came from Eastern Europe, but the synagogue the museum is set in, was for Spanish and Portuguese Jews in Manchester. The Jews moved to Manchester as Industrialisation was taking place, and they thought that they would have a better life in England. Also at the beginning of the twentieth century, Jews were moving west out of Eastern Europe to avoid poverty and persecution from Nazis. At first, when some of the Jews first came to Manchester, there were just twenty families around the cathedral, and they had got to Manchester buy peddling stuff that they had made and buying and selling cheap second hand stuff. The number of Jews grew slowly and by 1840 there were only three hundred Jews living in Manchester, and they had separated into two communities: the poor Jews, and the rich Jews. After 1840, yet more Jews moved from Eastern Europe to Manchester to escape the increase in poverty and persecution. ...read more.


There were different wine glasses on the table and the cutlery did not match. There was a stone floor and this made the already tiny room look even more tiny, and colder in a way. There were two types of houses that the Jews would live in. The poorer Jews would live in a house, which were badly built, in a bad area, which had no bathroom/toilet, and no kitchen, and basically was just a one up-one down house. Sometimes, two or three families would start of their lives in England living in one of these houses. From the source sheet, from a census returned from the slum area of Red Bank, there are three families (11 people) all living in one of these houses, and two of these were young children under the age of three. However, in the area of Cheetham on the other side of Manchester where the richer Jews lived, houses were quite big, with a garden at the front and back of the house and near Broughton Park. In these houses it was not unusual to have a general servant living with the family, and the occupations are generally of higher status, and the numbers in the family are lower, with only three people living in the house at one time, and some of the houses not even being occupied. ...read more.


That way, the historian can be almost certain that this happened and it would tell a lot about that particular person, although, it would only tell you about that one person from that one family in that one area so it might not tell the historian a lot about the other people and people who lived in other areas. I think the Jewish Museum is very useful to the historian, especially the guide and the talk that he gave. Some of the displays and information is not relevant, but would still be interesting to a historian, looking at that period. Although, I do think that the museum could be of better use to the historians. For example, they could get some people in who lived in the different areas to give talks about what their life was like at that time, and how their parents and grand parents came to live in this country, and they could bring in articles that is useful to the historian. That way the historian can get any information he or she needs to know from that person about what life was like working and living in the twentieth century in Manchester for the Jews. ...read more.

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