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Hello & Shanah Tovah!

I have discovered - and read - with great excitement your on-line magazine, The Scribe. Is it available in "hard copy"? (I have a retired Iraqi Jewish friend on the South Coast of the UK who I would like to have it sent to, if it is available in paper form...)

For my part, I am Jewish but not Iraqi, although I have been very influenced by “input" from certain Iraqi & Iranian sources and would like to deepen my understanding of Iraqi tradition, especially with a view to following it myself, so far as I am able. Is there anywhere I might obtain tapes (especially of davening, etc) or any other useful material?

At present, I am living - with my wife & children - in North Manchester, which - as you probably know - is heavily Charedi/Ashkenazi. However, I'm told that somewhere in Manchester there is - or was - an Iraqi community, although nobody I have spoken to here in the "North" seems to know much about it....

I would be extremely grateful for any help or suggestions you might be able to offer, and, once again, congratulations on such an excellent publication!

Michael Paysden


Thank you for your comments on The Scribe. You could contact -

Manchester Congregation of Spanish & Portuguese Jews.,
18 Moor Lane
Tel No: 0161 792 7406

Further enquiry:

Thank you for your reply.

I am already familiar with "Sha'arei Tefilla", the shul in Moor Lane that you refer to, and I sometimes daven there.

However, although the shul officially follows the "Florentine rite" of Italy, its nusach is heavily shaped by a mixture of influences from Morocco & Gilbraltar, together with a generic "Anglo-Ashkenazi/Sephardi" mood. This is not meant as a criticism, but you will be well aware of the differences in pronunciation and general nusach that will exist between this shul and an Iranian or Iraqi shul that has not become too "anglicised".

So far as any knowledge of other communities is concerned, I'm afraid that the general mood of Manchester is to have little interest in anything that does not directly affect it within a tiny geographic limit. Each "group" keeps to itself. There is no point in my asking members of Moor Lane about Iraqi material.

I have already attempted this path. Believe me, there's no point.

I am not contacting you out of total ignorance. I genuinely wish to obtain more material regarding Iraqi nusach and I would be grateful if you could help. I am not looking for generic "Sephardi" material. I have no need to.

Michael Paysden


You could try:

Babylonian Jewry Heritage Centre
83 M Ben-Porat Avenue
Or Yehuda 60261
Tel No: 00 9723 533 9278

They have tapes, cassettes and videos which may be of interest to you.



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