the former

Greenock Hebrew Congregation

Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland




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congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.

Town of Greenock

The town of Greenock, with a population of about 45,000, is situated on the south bank of the river Clyde near the western coast of Scotland, about 30 miles west of Glasgow. It is now in Inverclyde, which was a district of the now defunct Strathclyde Region from 1975 to 1996 and which became a unitary authority in 1996. Prior to 1975, Greenock was in the traditional county of Renfrewshire.

Greenock Jewish Community

Greenock had a small Jewish community and congregation that existed from the 1890s. However, by the mid 1930s the community had dwindled to only a handful of Jews.

Congregation Data


Greenock Hebrew Congregation


27 Cathcart Street, Greenock, from at least 1905(i)

However, for the period from at least 1909 until about 1913, the congregation's address was given as 6 Trafalgar Street, Greenock,(ii) although appears to be one of the venues at which the congregation held services.(iii)

Date Founded:

Although there was a report of services being held for first held in 1894, for the high holyday festivals,(iv) it would appear more likely that the congregation was not formally established until about 1902.(v)


Closed 1936(vi)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


None, but the congregation would have been under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

Ministers and Readers: (To view a short profile of a minister or reader whose name appears in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rev. H. Dorfman - reader from about 1902 until no later than 1904(viii)

Rev. Louis Wolfe - dates uncertain(ix)

Rev. Israel Tiemianka - minister from at least 1905 until 1908(x)

Rev. I. Cohen - minister from about 1909 until about 1913(xi)

Rev. A. Apolin (probably Rev. A. Opolion) - minister from about 1913 until about 1914(xii)

Rev. M. Morris - minister from about 1914 until possibly early 1920s(xiii)

Lay Officers:

Unless otherwise stated, the following data on lay officers has been extracted from Jewish Year Books, the congregation being first listed in 1902/03,(xix) although in most instances the officers' first names has been extracted from other sources.(xx)


1902-1905 - Peter Jacobs

1905-1906 - S. Greenbaum(xxi)

1906-1907 - Emanuel Jackson

1907-1919 - Peter Jacobs

1919-1923 - Abraham Freedman

Vice Presidents

1902-1905 - Abraham Freedman

1905-1906 - Moses Morris(xxi)

1906-1907 - Peter Jacobs

1907-1909 - Abraham Freedman

1909-1911 - S. Bloomberg


1905-1909 - Harry Banks(xxi)

1909-1913 - S. Bloomberg

1913-1914 - Ruben Ferguson

1914-1917 - D. Temple

1917-1918 - T. Levy

1918-1923 - M. Kaminsky

Hon. Secretaries

1902-1905 - Emanuel Edwards

1905-1907 - Rev. Israel Tiemianka(xxi)

1907-1909 - M. Etzman

1909-1923 - Emanuel Edwards

1923 to closure - David Adams(xxii)

Membership Data:

Number of Seatholders(xxiii)














Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database specifically associated with Greenock include:

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016).


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


on Third Party websites

Notable Former Jewish Residents of Greenock

  • Rabbi Dr Gerson B Levi (1878-1939), a leading Reform rabbi in Chicago, was born in Greenock. He was the father of Edward H Levi (1911-2000), Attorney General in the administration of U.S. President Gerald Ford.

  • Henri Temianka (1906-1992), virtuoso violinist, conductor, author and music educator, was born Greenock, the son of the congregation's minister. He later emigrated to the United States where he founded the Paganini String Quartet and the California Chamber Symphony Orchestra.


Other Greenock Jewish Institutions

  • Bnei Zion (Zionist Society) (founded 1905)


Greenock Jewish Cemetery Information

There is a small Jewish cemetery in Greenock:

  • Greenock Cemetery, Jewish Section, Bow Road,Greenock PA16.

    Earliest burials date from 1911 with the latest about 1945.
    This small cemetery contains only about 16 graves which are searchable in JOWBR database (see above), although only about 7 headstones are visible.

    In 2023 the cemetery Jewish section was rededicated following renovation work.(xxx) See above in JCR-UK Articles section for link to photographs of the section and its renovation and rededication and Third Party Articles section  for link to the story of the renovation.

    The Scottish Jewish Cemeteries website, created and maintained by Derek Tobias, includes a searchable database in respect of over 15 burials at his cemetery.

    The main Greenock Cemetery (opened 1846) is a Scottish Category B Listed Building (number LB34118), designated on 13 May 1971. View description on Historic Environment Scotland website.

    (For additional information, see also IAJGS Cemetery Project - Greenock)


Greenock Jewish Population Data



(Scottish Jewish Archives Centre website)


5 families

(Jewish Chronicle Report 30 November 1930)


7 families

(Jewish Chronicle Report 22 November 1935)


Notes and Sources:
( returns to text above)

  • (i) This was the address listed for the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1906/07 through 1924, except for 1910 through 1913.

  • (ii) This was the address listed for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1910 through 1913, and was almost certainly a temporary address.

  • (iii) Nathan Abrams in Caledonian Jews, 2009, p.130 gives the address of 5 locations at which the congregation held services between 1905 and 1912.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle report of 2 November 1894.

  • (v) The first reference to the congregation was in the Jewish Year Book 1902/3, which would indicate that the congregation dates from earlier in 1902.

  • (vi) Scottish Jewish Archives Centre website.

  • (vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle report of 22 August 1902 refers to Rev. Dorfman's election. H. Dorfman is listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1902/03 through 1905/06, but had already departed from his subsequent post by February 1905.

  • (ix) History on Eastbourne Hebrew Congregation's website, accessed 19 September 2021.

  • (x) Jewish Chronicle report of 8 December 1905 refers to him as minister of the congregation. Jewish Chronicle report of 19 June 1908 refers to him as "late of Greenock". He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1906/7 through 1909.

  • (xi) Based upon Rev. I. Cohen's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1910 through 1913.

  • (xii) Based upon Rev. Apolin's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1914.

  • (xiii) Although Rev. Morris was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1915 through 1923, a Jewish Chronicle charity subscription report of 23 July 1920, places him in Dunfermline.

  • (xiv) to (xviii) Reserved.

  • (xix) Where a person is first listed in a yearbook as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant yearbook (which was generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing the title of the yearbook) and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, his actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here.

  • (xx) Generally Nathan Abrams' Caledonian Jews, 2009, chapter 6.

  • (xxi) Elected at a general meeting reported by the Jewish Chronicle on 8 December 1905.

  • (xxii) David Adams was a Greenock town councillor from 1930 until at least 1947 and in 1935 was elected Bailie (similar to alderman or magistrate) of the town. Another Jewish councillor was David Wolfe (from 1960), who was appointed treasurer to the council.

  • (xxiii) Membership numbers extracted from Jewish Year Books. In each case, the date given is the date when the congregation was first listed as having the number of seatholders indicated.

  • (xxiv) to (xxix) Reserved.

  • (xxx) Greenock Telegraph article "Greenock author Viki McDonnell inspires cemetery restoration", 12 June 2023.

Jewish Communities and Congregations in Scotland home page

Page created: 21 September 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 1 June 2021
Page most recently amended: 18 July 2023

Research by David Shulman, asssted by Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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