Dublin's Earliest Synagogues

(Crane Lane and Marlborough Green)

Dublin, Ireland





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 Congregation Data

First Synagogue - Address and Formation:

Crane Lane Congregation

Rooms in Crane Lane (now within Wellington Quay).

This was the first Jewish congregation to be established outside London following the Resettlement of Jews in the British Isles under Cromwell, and the only provincial congregation to be established  in the seventeenth century. The Dublin Jewish community in the early 1660s consisted of three or four Spanish or Portuguese families and two or three Polish or German families. However, the precise date of the founding of the synagogue is uncertain and although there is an old tradition that it took place in 1660, this could not be the case and the actual date would be at least a few years later.(ii)

Second Synagogue - Address and Opening:

Marlborough Green Synagogue

Marlborough Street, Marlborough Green, Dublin.

The move from Crane Lane and the opening of this synagogue most likely occurred in 1762 (although some authorities give an earlier date of 1746).(iii)


Closed in early 1791 (disintegration of congregation).(iv)

There was to be no formal Jewish congregation again in Dublin until 1822.


Initially Sephardi, but the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim worshipped together. Subsequently, the congregation became increasing Ashkenazi, retaining certain Sephardi customs.(vi)

Rival Congregation:

In 1753, as a result of communal strife, a schism developed in the community leading to the formation of a rival congregation. However unity was restored, probably in about 1760, when the congregation moved to its new Marlborough Green synagogue.(vii)


Rabbi Aaron ben Moses, the Scribe served the congregation and the Dublin community as teacher, scribe and effective rabbi, either in the early 1690s (prior to 1695) or later 1690s and early 1700s (after 1695 and prior to 1703).(viii)


The Congregation's cemetery was at Ballybough, Fairview, which was leased to the Congregation from 1718 (See Dublin Jewish Cemeteries Information on the Dublin home page). As a result of the Congregation's Sephardi roots, when the Congregation was in financial difficulty in 1748, being in arrears with the payment of the rent on the cemetery lease, members of the Bevis Marks Synagogue (the Spanish & Portuguese Jewish Congregation in the City of London) assisted by actually purchasing the freehold of the cemetery.(ix)

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) The Jews of Ireland from Earliest Times to the Year 1910 (1962) by Louis Hyman ("Jews of Ireland"), p.12 and Cecil Roth's The Rise of Provincial Jewry - Dublin.

  • (iii) The Jews of Ireland, p.52.

  • (iv) The Jews of Ireland, p.89.

  • (v) Reserved.

  • (vi) The Jews of Ireland, pp.12, 26/7.

  • (vii) The Jews of Ireland, p.53.

  • (viii) Cecil Roth's History of the Great Synagogue (chapter 3) and Derek Taylor's British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006, p.101. To view a short profile of Rabbi Aaron ben Moses, hold the cursor over his name.

  • (ix) The Jews of Ireland, pp.36/7.


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Congregation


On Third Party websites

Dublin Jewish Community home page

JCR-UK Ireland home page

Page created: 12 June 2006
Data significantly expanded: 28 June 2017
Notes first added: 4 November 2022
Page most recently amended: 6 November 2022

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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