A relatively new charity connecting some of the UK’s smallest Jewish communities has won £100,000 in National Lottery funding for a 12-month project.
Jewish Small Communities Network (JSCN), established in Manchester in 2016, secured the grant this week from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, working in conjunction with historians at the University of Wales, Swansea.
The ‘Connecting Small Histories’ project will “record and capture the proud heritage of Jewish social and economic contributions” to towns such as Bradford, Sunderland, Eastbourne and St Annes, and in counties such as Cumbria and Somerset.
JSCN said it would connect the Jewish heritage of these areas to the wider history of Britain with pop-up workshops collecting research and interviews, “working with volunteers from community members, local schools and heritage groups”.
The charity said its website would host a special “heritage hub to hold and collate information and resources about our own work and an even wider range of Jewish heritage and history projects”.
The project is due to culminate with an online book festival encouraging communities to connect their histories, an online commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day in 2021, and a history festival in Manchester to present the findings.
“This is the biggest project we have launched to-date,” said JSCN director Ed Horwich. “Gaining Swansea University as partners is a significant endorsement. We are delighted to have received this funding support.”
He said the charity wanted to “highlight the legacy of the Jewish community’s involvement in UK life,” while Swansea University said it “extends our public history and heritage work into a new and exciting area”.