JCR-UK

Dublin Jewish Community

Dublin, Republic of Ireland

 

 

 

 JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
NOTE: We are not the official website for this community.

City of Dublin

Dublin (Irish: Baile Ńtha Cliath) is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland and the largest city of Ireland, located nearly half way down the islandís east coast, at the mouth of the river Liffey. Although geographically part of County Dublin, the City of Dublin has had a separate administration for several centuries.  Although the City of Dublin has a population of about half a million, there are well over one million people in the Greater Dublin area.

The Dublin Jewish Community

The Dublin Jewish Community would appear to have been established shortly following the readmission of the Jews to England in the 1660's, and is thus the second oldest community in the British Isles.  The first community was of Spanish and Portuguese (Sephardi) origin, but these elements died out and were later replaced primarily by Ashkenazi Jews.

Jewish Congregations

The following are the Jewish congregations that exist or existed in and around Dublin:

*  An active congregation, open to the public

(4) pages with photographs

(5) pages with articles or contributed material

(7) pages with lists of ministers and/or officers

The following are former, alternative or unofficial names of the above congregations:

 

Chief Rabbis of Ireland
with jurisdiction solely throughout the Republic of Ireland (formerly the Irish Free State)

(To view a short profile of a chief rabbi - hold the curser over his name.)

The office of Chief Rabbi of Ireland existed from 1922 to 2008 (with a notable break from 1936 to 1948) and 33 Bloomfield Avenue was the home to successive Chief Rabbis of Ireland

In the early 1950s, Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits wrote: "The organisation of Dublin's Jewish life is distinguished by a high measure of decentralisation. There are seven Orthodox synagogues of varying sizes, all administered as completely independent units. Their combined membership covers over 90% of all Jewish families...The sole organizational link uniting these seven Hebrew congregations are the chief rabbinate and the congregations' representation on the Representative Council and the Board of Shechita...Though most synagogues originally employed rabbis of their own, all pulpits have been vacant for some time. These are now occupied by rotation by the Chief Rabbi, assisted in his rabbinical work by Dayan Z Alony (see below)."(xi)

The Chief Rabbis of Ireland were as follows:

Communal Rabbis and Spiritual Leaders of the Dublin Community

  • In 1919, a number of Dublin congregations combined to appoint Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog rabbi of the Dublin Jewish community, as opposed to any one synagogue(xxii) - he became Chief Rabbi of Ireland in 1922.

  • Dayan S. Zalmon Yosef Alony, dayan of the Dublin Beth Din from 1941 until 1977, assisted the Chief Rabbi of Ireland in fulfilling the ministerial needs of Orthodox synagogues in Dublin, none of which had their own minister.(xxiii)

  • Rabbi David Radomsky, communal rabbi from 1985 until 1988.(xxiv)

  • Rabbi Zalman Lent, being the only resident rabbi in the Republic of Ireland after 2008, he has (until present  - November 2022) performed many of the duties of an acting Chief Rabbi of Ireland and a communal rabbi.

  • Cantor Alwyn Shulman - communal cantor from 1991 until 2020,

 

Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Dublin include:

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

    • Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Dublin during the 1810s (6 records); 1820s (10 records), 1830s (64 records), 1840s (118 records), 1850s (126 records), 1860s (85 records), 1870s (47 records), 1880s (8 records) and 1890s (2 records.

 

Bibliography, Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Dublin Jewish Community

on JCR-UK

on Third Party websites

  • Link to the The Irish Jewish Museum, Dublin.

  • Jewish Encyclopedia article on Dublin by Joseph Jacobs and Isidore Harris, c-1906.

  • Jews in Ireland - YouTube interview with Rabbi Zalman Lent, 2012

  • Blogs by Patrick Comerford on his Synagogues of Dublin series (full list) - see links from the respective congregations.


Notable Jewish Connections with Dublin

(Researched and prepared by Steven Jaffe)

  • Lennie Abrahamson, b. Dublin, Irish film director. Grandson of Professor Leonard Abrahamson

  • Professor Leonard Abrahamson (1896-1961) b. Odessa, educated in Newry, cardiologist, President of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (1949)

  • Philip Baker (1880-1932), b. Riga, Irish Chess champion in 1920s.

  • Justice Henry Barron (1928-2010) b. Dublin, Irish Supreme Court Judge.

  • Rabbi Isaac Bernstein (1939-1994) b. Dublin, rabbi and educator in London.

  • Leopold Bloom, protagonist of James Joyce's novel, Ulysses (1922), set in Dublin on 16 June 1904. Bloom has a Jewish Hungarian father who converted to Protestantism.

  • Louis Bookman (Buchalter) (1890-1943), b. Zagare, Lithuania, Irish international soccer and cricket player, first Jewish footballer to play in the English First Division.

  • Ben Briscoe, b. Dublin, member of the Irish Parliament for Fianna Fail 1965-2002, Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1988-1989. Son of Robert Briscoe.

  • Robert Briscoe (1894-1969) b. Dublin, member of the Irish Parliament for Fianna Fail 1927-1965, twice Lord Mayor of Dublin. Sinn Fein and IRA activist in the Irish War of Independence and active in the Revisionist Zionist movement.

  • Countess of Desart, (1857-1933) born Ellen Bischoffsheim in London, wife of the Earl of Desart. One of four female senators in the first senate of the Irish Free State, philanthropist who supported both Irish and Jewish causes. Her Irish home was outside Kilkenny city.

  • Bob Geldof KBE, singer-songwriter, actor and activist had a paternal Jewish grandmother, Amelia Falk.

  • Judge Herman Good (1887-1969) District and Special Criminal Court Judge. President Dublin Hebrew Congregation.

  • Lewis Wormser Harris (1812-1876) member of Dublin Corporation, elected Lord Mayor in 1876 but died before assuming office. President of the Dublin Hebrew congregation.

  • Chaim Herzog (1918-1997) b. Belfast, educated in Dublin. Lawyer, politician, general, broadcaster and writer, Israel's sixth president 1983-1993. Son of Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Isaac Halevi Herzog and Sarah Herzog.

  • Chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog (1888-1959), the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland (1922-1936), who was subsequently appointed Chief Rabbi of Israel.

  • Sarah Herzog (1896-1979) b. Riga, Rebbetzin in Dublin 1919-1936, Founding President of the Emunah Women's Zionist movement and of the Sarah Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem. Wife of Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Isaac Halevi Herzog.

  • Yaakov Herzog (1921-1972) b. Dublin, Israeli diplomat, Ambassador to Canada, director general of the Prime Minister's office under Eshkol and Meir. He had rabbinic and doctoral qualifications. Son of Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Isaac Halevi Herzog and Sarah Herzog.

  • Chief Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits (1921-1999), Chief Rabbi of Ireland (1949-1958), who was subsequently appointed Chief Rabbi of Britain and the Commonwealth.

  • Harry Kernoff (1900-1974) b. London, moved to Dublin with family in 1914, artist of Irish landscapes, Dublin street scenes and landmarks.

  • Louis Lentin (1933-2014) b. Limerick, film, TV and theatre director.

  • Rabbi Theodore Lewis (1915-2010) b. Dublin, rabbi at Touro Synagogue, Rhode Island.

  • June Levine (1931-2008) b. Dublin, feminist, journalist and writer.

  • Chief Rabbi Ephraim Yitzchak Mirvis (b. 1956), Chief Rabbi of Ireland (1985-1992), who was subsequently appointed Chief Rabbi of Britain and the Commonwealth.

  • Michael Noyk (1884-1966) b. Lithuania, solicitor and Sinn Fein activist.

  • Max Nurok, OBE (1893-1978) b. Dublin, private secretary to Herbert Samuel, High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine, Israel's first ambassador to Australia.

  • Alan Shatter b. Dublin, lawyer, social activist, member of the Irish Parliament for Fine Gael 1981-2002, 2007-2016, Minister for Justice and Equality and Minister for Defence, 2011-2014.

  • Dr Bethal Solomons (1885-1965), b. Dublin, Master of the Rotunda Hospital, president of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland. International rugby player. Brother of Estella Solomons. Founding president of the Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation.

  • Estella Solomons (1882-1968) b. Dublin, Irish artist. Sister of Dr Bethal Solomons.

  • Stella Steyn (1907-1987) b. Dublin, Irish artist, illustrator of Finnegan's Wake.

  • Mervyn Taylor (1931-2021) b. Dublin, lawyer, chairman of Dublin County Council, member of the Irish Parliament for the Labour Party,1981-1997, Minister for Equality and Law Reform.

  • Professor Jacob Weingreen (1908-1995) professor of Hebrew at Trinity College Dublin. The Weingreen Museum at TCD is named after him. Author of standard textbook on Hebrew grammar.

  • Geoffrey Wigoder (1922-1999) b. Leeds, educated at Trinity College Dublin, editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Judaica and leading activist in Christian Jewish dialogue.

  • Judge Hubert Wine (1922-2011) b. Dublin, president of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland.

(To view a profile of a name that appears in blue, hold the cursor over the name.)

 

Other Dublin Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Jewish Day Schools

    • The first school opened on 10 November 1893 and was known under various names, including the Dublin Hebrew Congregation Schools, the Adelaide Road National Schools, the Dublin National and Hebrew School.(xl) It was situated at  Adelaide Road Synagogue (1893-c.1918) and later Bloomfield Avenue (c.1918 - 1920s) and closed in 1920s.(xli)

    • The Zion Schools were later established at Bloomfield Avenue in 1934,(xlii) and this continued until 1980, when they merged with Stratfield Preparatory School (the preparatory section of Stratford College, opened September 1952).(xliii)

    • The new merged establishment, the Stratford National School, opened in 1980 in a new building situated within the grounds of Stratford College. However, in September 1980, just three weeks after opening, the building was severly damaged by an arsonist. The school therefore made temporary use of the old Zion School s building until the requisite repairs were carried out.(xliv)

    • Headmasters included: Solomon p. van Raalte (1893-1894),(xlvii) Michael A. Harnett (1894-1915)(xlviii) and I. Kinnane (1916-c.1920).(xlix)

  • Hebrew and Religious Classes

    • Religious classes began in about 1855 and continued to about 1881. From 1882 to 1885 and from 1886, there was a Sabbath School, initially run by Rosa and Maurice Solomons, assisted by the Hebrew Congregation's minister. Rev. Francis L. Cohen organised formal religious classes from 1885 to 1886. There were also a number of Hebrew and religious classes in Dublin's hebroth which existed well into the twentieth century.(liii) In 1893, the Talmud Torah was founded, which later changed its name to the Hebrew Free School,(liv) but subsequently appears to have reverted to Talmud Torah.

    • Stamer Street (until 1920s),(lv) Bloomfield Avenue (from 1920s).(lvi)

    • Headteachers included Rev. Jacob D. Davis (c.1855-1861),(lix) Rev. Philip Bender (1863-1881),(lx) Rev. A.L. Abramovitz,(lxi) Rev. Alexander Rabinovitz (Robinson),(lxii) Mathias Shreider and his son, Hyman  Shreider,(lxiii) Moishe Vilensky.(lxiv)

Other Institutions & Organisations
(that had been formed by 1900)

  • Philanthropic Society (founded by 1874).

  • Ladies' Benevolent Society (founded in 1888, although there was a Ladies' Society in existance by 1874), for relief of poor lying-in women

  • Jewish Board of Guardians (founded by 1882), for relief of poor, by loans or otherwise.

  • Hakhnosas Orkhim (founded 1888), for relief of strangers and to give them shelter.

  • Medical Relief Society (founded 1888), for relief of poor during Shiva, and medical attendance.

  • Chevra Kadisha (founded by 1896), for relief of poor in case of death and for inexpensive burials.

  • Young Men's Reading Rooms (founded 1895), to foster taste for English and Hebrew literature.

 

 

Dublin Jewish Cemeteries Information

Dublin has the following Jewish cemeteries:

  • Dolphin Barn Jewish Cemetery, Aughavanagh Road, Dublin D8. This cemetery, opened in 1898, is the cemetery currently in use by the Dublin Orthodox Jewish community:

  • Ballybough (Old) Jewish Cemetery, 67 Fairview Strand, Fairfields, Dublin D3. This is the oldest Jewish site in Ireland and dates from 1718 (the date of the original lease). The cemetery is no longer is use, having been superceded by the Dolphin Barn Cemetery. It contains some 150 marked graves and many more unmarked.

  • Woodtown Progressive Jewish Cemetery, Oldcourt Road, Woodtown, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin. It was opened in 1952.

(See also IAJGS - International Jewish Cemetery Project - Dublin)

 

Dublin Jewish Population Data

1895

2,000

(The Jewish Year Book 1895/6)

1902

2,700

(The Jewish Year Book 1902/3)

1912

3,500

(The Jewish Year Book 1913)

1946

5,211

(The Jewish Year Book 1947)

1950

3,539

(The Jewish Year Book 1951)

1951

5,250

(The Jewish Year Book 1952)

1953

5,200

(The Jewish Year Book 1954)

1965

3,600

(The Jewish Year Book 1966)

1975

2,800

(The Jewish Year Book 1976)

1978

1,900

(The Jewish Year Book 1979)

1984

2,250

(The Jewish Year Book 1984)

1986

2,000

(The Jewish Year Book 1987)

1988

1,500

(The Jewish Year Book 1989)

1992

1,300

(The Jewish Year Book 1993)

2005

1,500

(The Jewish Year Book 2006)

 

Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) to (x) Reserved.

  • (xi) 1953 article reprinted in Journal of a Rabbi by Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits, pp.56-7.

  • (xii) to (xxi) Reserved.

  • (xxii) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 April 1919. The six congregations were
    the Dublin Hebrew Congregation (Adelaide Road),
    the United Hebrew Congregation (Greenville House),
    the Chevra Tehilim Congregation (Lombard Street),
    Lennox Street Synagogue,
    Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue (Oakfield Place) and
    St. Kevins Parade Synagogue.

  • (xxiii) Jewish Chronicle obituary dated 10 January 2003 refers to Dayan Alony's appointment and Jewish Chronicle of 30 December 1977 reported on a reception at Terenure Synagogue hall the previous week to bid farewell to Dayan and Mrs Z. Alony on their impending departure to London.

  • (xxiv) Various Jewish Chronicle reports.

  • (xxv) to (xxxix) Reserved.

  • (xl) Louis Hyman's The Jews of Ireland from Earliest Times to the Year 1910 (1962) ("Jews of Ireland"), p.199.

  • (xli) Ray Rivlin's Jewish Ireland - A Social History (2011) ("Jewish Ireland"), p.103. It was listed in Jewish Year Books at Adelaide Road until 1911, at Stamer Street from 1911 through 1918 and at Bloomfield Avenue from 1920 through 1925.

  • (xlii) Jewish Ireland, p.108.

  • (xliii) Jewish Ireland, p.115.

  • (xliii) Jewish Ireland, pp.115/6.

  • (xlv) and (xlvi) Reserved.

  • (xlvii) Jews of Ireland, p.199.

  • (xlvii) Jews of Ireland, p.199. Mr. Hartnett was also listed as headmaster in Jewish Year Books from the first edition (1896/7) through 1915 (the year in which he died).

  • (xlix) Mr. Kinnane was listed as headmaster in Jewish Year Books from 1916 through 1925 (the last year the school was listed).

  • (l) to (lii) Reserved.

  • (liii) Jews of Ireland, p.198.

  • (liv) Jews of Ireland, p.198. Although it is later referred to as the Talmud Torah, including its listing as the Boys' Talmud Torah in Jewish Year Books 1918 through 1926.

  • (lv) Jewish Ireland, p.103.

  • (lvi) Jewish Ireland, pp.103, 108/9.

  • (lvii) and (lviii) Reserved.

  • (lix) Jews of Ireland, p.198.

  • (lix) Jews of Ireland, p.198.

  • (lxi) Jews of Ireland, p.199.

  • (lxii) Jews of Ireland, p.199.

  • (lxiii) Jews of Ireland, p.199.

  • (lxiv) Jewish Ireland, p.103.


JCR-UK Ireland home page


Page created: 25 January 2006
Data significantly expanded: 11 December 2019
Latest revision or update: 15 December 2022

Research and formatting by David Shulman


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