Salford, United Kingdom, 13 March 2018
This exhibition, authored by the late Hebrew University Professor Robert Wistrich, was first launched at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in June 2014 and then displayed at the UN in New York, followed by the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C., the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, the Vatican in Rome, the Copenhagen Town Hall, the Gandhi Centre in New Delhi, at the British Parliament, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, with the support of 42 member states.
The 24 panels display the Jewish narrative from the Biblical Prophets to the Kingdoms of David and Solomon, from the Babylonian and Persian exiles to the return to rebuild Jerusalem, from the Roman occupation of Judea to the birth of Christianity, from the Crusades to the Muslim conquest, from the Diaspora to the pioneers bent on redeeming the land, from diplomacy to recognition of a modern Jewish nation in construction, from the near annihilation of European Jewry in the Shoah, until the establishment of the State of Israel and the return of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland.
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist, usually known as Salford Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral on Chapel Street, Salford, Greater Manchester, England. It is the seat of the Bishop of Salford and mother church of the Diocese of Salford.
Joy Wolfe, who organized the Exhibition’s display at the Edinburgh Festival and now in Salford on behalf of the Centre, introduced the speakers and thanked the Salford Cathedral personnel and the local authorities for their cooperation.
Salford Mayor Peter Connor presented Mayor Newman as the first Jewish Mayor of Manchester and highlighted the need for civil and religious authorities to work together on interfaith issues.
Mayor Eddy Newman commended this partnership between Jewish and Catholic communities, continuing, “In these times when some wish to rewrite history, it is important to provide such an informative tool to narrate an authentic view of Jewish history... The SWC has a long and distinguished history of fighting antisemitism.” He recalled meeting the late Simon Wiesenthal in 1985 at the European Parliament and discussing Nazi persecution of the Jews and other minorities... “We all have an ongoing responsibility to fight against antisemitism and other forms of racism,” he added.
Bishop John Arnold stressed that holding this exhibition in cosmopolitan Manchester is an important step in our great work to make understood those values that we have in common and to promote them for the good of the wider community.
SWC-UK Honorary Chair, Graham Morris, acknowledged the commonalities between the Jewish and Catholic communities in Britain, in that the removal of the disabilities for the Catholic Church coincided more or less with the emancipation of the Jews. “In Manchester, the Jewish community has greatly contributed to the civil, religious and economic life and welfare of the city. Simon Wiesenthal taught us that discrimination may begin with the Jews but never ends with them,” continuing, “This exhibition in Salford Cathedral can heighten awareness in the Catholic community of the ties to the holy places in the Holy Land for Jews, as also for Christians... The rights of all religions to worship freely must be respected – as presently in Israel – as also the heritage of each community.”
President of Manchester Jewish Community, Sharon Bannister, thanked the SWC for bringing the Exhibition, hoping that it may be seen throughout the region.
SWC-Europe Executive Assistant, Alex Uberti, concluded in thanking Joy Wolfe, Bishop Arnold and the Snider Foundation for making this important event a reality, also distributing the Centre’s Multifaith Calendar to those present.
From left to right: Alex Uberti, representing the Simon Wiesenthal Centre-Europe; Lord Mayor of Manchester Eddy Newman; Bishop of the Salford Diocese Rt. Rev. John Arnold; Joy Wolfe, SWC Manchester-based liaison; Graham Morris, Honorary Chairman of SWC-UK; Sharon Bannister, President of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region; David Oliver, Board Trustee of SWC-UK; Mayor of Salford Peter Connor.