Speakers discussed how Manchester has long welcomed migrants and drew attention to the fact almost all of Manchester’s Muslims and Jews are immigrants themselves, or descendants of those who came to seek sanctuary as refugees or economic migrants.
Cllr Heather Fletcher, forum co-chair, spoke of how her great-grandfather Jacob Libstein came to the UK from Lithuania in 1868. Jacky Buchsbaum, treasurer of the Jewish Representative Council for Greater Manchester and Region (JRC) talked about his father from Leipzig who came to the UK and served in the Second World War. Jacqueline Lewis retold the story of how her mother and grandparents fled Vienna to escape the Nazis, while Jay Charara, JRC vice-chair spoke of his family’s journey from Morocco.
Anthony Scott Norman who is a former Mayor of Borehamwood and Elstree said: “There was a wide range of very moving stories in a beautiful building with its own rich history – something to cheer you up seeing how people and families settle and take root in a multi-ethnic society.”