Jewish Manchester (City Centre Trail):
Next tour: Friday 21 August 2020.
Meet: TfGM Travelshop, Piccadilly Gardens, 11.30am.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.
Here are two kosher stories. On the south-east side of Piccadilly Gardens is the site of the Queen’s Hotel where Chaim Weizmann, a Manchester University research chemist, met the outgoing Tory prime minister, Arthur Balfour, in 1906. Weizmann was the leader of a new nationalist movement, Zionism, that sought a Jewish homeland in the Holy Land. Balfour was pushing the British establishment view of the time that Jews could have a homeland – in Uganda. Weizmann that particular battler and became the first president of Israel in 1948.
On the north-west side, now taken up by Toni and Guy, is the site where the most powerful non-military figure in Europe two hundred years ago had his textile business, a “true Lord of Europe” as Lord Byron described him in Don Juan (1819). Who could this possibly be? Aha!
Now, like in every good Jewish story we end with a joke.
Goldstein had been going to the same restaurant for ten years. Every day he starts with the same thing, barley soup. One day, as soon as he comes in, the waiter brings the soup over to his table.
“I want you to taste the soup,” Goldstein says as the waiter starts to walk away.
“What’s the matter?” the waiter asks, “Every day you take the same barley soup.”
“I want you to taste the soup,” Goldstein repeats.
“You don’t want the barley soup?” the waiter says, “I’ll bring you something else.”
“I want you to taste the soup,” Goldstein says once more.
“Is it too cold? Too salty? God forbid is there a fly in it? What’s wrong with it?” said the waiter.
“Just taste the soup,” insists Goldstein.
“Okay, okay, I’ll taste the soup,” says the waiter, wearily. “Where’s the spoon?”
And as for him below: NOT the first ever Jewish prime minister.