In 1969 Leonard Cohen, a Manchester businessman then living in retirement in Cyprus, conceived the idea of a commemorative history of Manchester Jewry. His own family had played their part in that history and so had he, most notably as an influential worker for the relief and rescue of European Jewry after the Second World War.1 Almost simultaneously, Walter Wolfson, a prominent Manchester solicitor, wrote to the local Jewish Telegraph calling for support in exploring the local Jewish past. Wolfson’s own roots lay in local Zionism, of which his father had been an early proponent, and in the many-sided activities of the Jewish Literary Society movement. His call was answered by the local playwright and impressario Hymie Gouldman, whose most notable work, From Cheetham Hill to Cheadle, written only a year or two earlier, had lovingly charted the successes and ambiguities which had accompanied the embourgeoisement and suburbanization of the working-class Jewish immigrant population. As all three came together in the early summer of 1969, Cohen provided the funds, Wolfson the co-ordination and Gouldman the powerful nostalgia which activated and then sustained a Com­ mittee for the Publication of a History of Manchester Jewry.