As Manchester Grammar School’s yearly Jewish society dinner approaches, we find out what the highlights will be.
Every year Manchester Grammar School (MGS) runs a Jewish society dinner for current pupils, their families, teachers, and MGS alumni to come together and reflect on the importance of Judaism at the school.
The annual event includes a three-course kosher lunch with the opportunity for past and present society chairs to celebrate the history and achievements of the Jewish community at the school.
Year 12 pupil Zak helps to run the Jewish society at MGS and is proud of his Judaism: “Judaism is very important to me, so I am delighted that the Manchester Grammar School encourages all its pupils to practise religion openly. In fact, I would say that MGS is unique in its diversity and acceptance of the beliefs of pupils. Since I started at MGS, I have attended the weekly lunch and learn sessions and Jewish assemblies. Being able to attend such events makes me feel extremely proud, as does being joined by people of all faiths wanting to learn more about Judaism.”
MGS has had a long list of Jewish alumni, and while today there may not be as many Jewish pupils as in previous decades, the school remains as supportive as ever. MGS’s Founders’ Day is coming up, and the High Master will attend a Founders’ Day service with Jewish pupils at a nearby synagogue, as well as the main service at the Manchester cathedral. In the last few years there has been a sukkah built for the festival of Sukkot, displayed outside the school’s entrance and visited during an open day.
This year’s dinner will see guest speaker Richard Donner discuss how his MGS education has guided him through Oxford University, work in the private equity sector, and now to being a patron of the MGS Bursary Appeal. The MGS Jewish community has loved hearing the stories of Old Mancunians at previous lunches, and the school can’t wait to hear from Richard this year.
Assistant Head Teacher Dan Farr said of the event: “The school is very proud of its long and illustrious relationship with Manchester’s Jewish community, and we are delighted by the pride that so many of our Jewish alumni have in the school. The warmth and success of this relationship, like the relationship the school has with all of its faith communities, does not need an event to mark it: it is something that is part of the character and fabric of the place. Nonetheless, the annual J-Soc lunch is a fabulous opportunity for current and former pupils and their families to spend some quality time together, reflecting on what it means to be a Jewish pupil at the school, and on how the experience of this may have changed through the generations.”
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