the former

Greenock Hebrew Congregation

Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland




JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
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. At the time, it was one of the busiest ports of arrival of steamships from Baltic ports, carrying thousands of Jews seeking refuge from the progroms in Eastern Europe. Most of these Jews moved on to other British cities or continued their trip across the Atlantic, although a number stayed on in Greenwich. 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(ii)

(However, for a short period, from about 1909 to about 1913, the congregation's address was 6 Trafalgar Street, Greenock.(iii))

Date Founded:

Services were first held in 1894, for the high holyday festivals.(iv)


Closed 1936(v)


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.(xx)


1902-1905 - P. Jacobs

1905-1906 - S. Greenbaum(xxi)

1906-1907 - E. Jackson

1907-1919 - P. Jacobs

1919-1923 - A. Freedman

Vice Presidents

1902-1905 - A. Freedman

1905-1906 - M. Morris(xxi)

1906-1907 - P. Jacobs

1907-1909 - A. Freedman

1909-1911 - S. Bloomberg


1905-1909 - H. Banks(xxi)

1909-1913 - S. Bloomberg

1913-1914 - R. Ferguson

1914-1917 - D. Temple

1917-1918 - T. Levy

1918-1923 - M. Kaminsky

Hon. Secretaries

1902-1905 - E. Edwards

1905-1907 - Rev. Israel Tiemianka(xxi)

1907-1909 - M. Etzman

1909-1923 - E. 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 Ayr 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.

  • Henry Temianka (1906-1992), virtuoso violinist, conductor, author and music educator, was born Greenock, the son of the congregation's first 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.
    Contains about 16 graves which are searchable in JOWBR database, see above), although only about 7 headstones are visible.
    The Scottish Jewish Cemeteries website, created and maintained by Derek Tobias, includes a searchable database in respect of over 15 burials at his cemetery.|

    (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) Reserved

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

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

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

  • (v) Scottish Jewish Archives Centre website.

  • (vi) and (vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle report of 22 August 1902 refers to Rev. Dorfman's election. H. Dorfman's 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) Altough Rev. Morris's 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 (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) 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.

  • (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.

Jewish Communities and Congregations in Scotland home page

Page created: 21 September 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 1 June 2021
Latest revision or update: 19 September 2021

Explanation of Terms   |   About JCR-UK  |   JCR-UK home page

Contact JCR-UK Webmaster:
(Note: This is to contact JCR-UK, not the above Community or Congregation)

JGSGB  JewishGen

Terms and Conditions, Licenses and Restrictions for the use of this website:

This website is owned by JewishGen and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. All material found herein is owned by or licensed to us. You may view, download, and print material from this site only for your own personal use. You may not post material from this site on another website without our consent. You may not transmit or distribute material from this website to others. You may not use this website or information found at this site for any commercial purpose.

Copyright © 2002 - 2022 JCR-UK. All Rights Reserved