Revamped Jewish Living Experience Exhibition launches in Blackburn

The Jewish Living Experience Exhibition (JLEE), designed to educate non-Jews about the Jewish way of life, opened last night at Blackburn Cathedral for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The interfaith event was hosted by the Dean of Blackburn, Peter Howell-Jones, who welcomed the dignitaries of different faiths to the crypt of the Cathedral to view the exhibition.

The completely revamped JLEE, which is being displayed at the Cathedral until 3 February, will be visited by school groups as well as local dignitaries and members of the local public. Volunteer Jewish guides from Greater Manchester will be meeting visitors to talk them through the exihibits.

The re-written and expanded display covers topics including the Jewish calendar and festivals, life cycle events, Shabbat and the diversity within the community both ideologically and geographically. It includes new panels on religious and cultural dress as well as Israel.

There will also soon be five copies around the UK – in Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, London and the North-East. The new copies have been gifted to the Jewish representative councils in those areas.

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “The new exhibition is a wonderful way to demonstrate and explain Jewish festivals, culture and traditions to children and adults alike. We have expanded and updated the exhibits and we are very excited that we are once again able to travel around the country educating teachers, pupils and anyone who is interested to learn about our unique way of life.”

Deputy Sheila Gewolb, who attended the launch, described the exhibition as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Board of Deputies outreach education work.

Running concurrently at Blackburn Cathedral is  “They’re Only Pictures”, an exhibition of photographs of Auschwitz to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Jewish Living Experience Exhibition is due to be held in Bournemouth, Sefton, Brighton, Hounslow and Finchley, with other destination to be announced soon.

Photo: Children from a local secondary school learn about Judaism at the JLEE

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