the former

Lennox Street Synagogue

Dublin, Ireland





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32 Lennox Street, Dublin, in September 2014.
(The synagogue was on the first floor of the building, through the entrance door on the left.
The present window above the door replaced a window that incorporated a Star of David design.)

© David Shulman 2014

 Congregation Data


Lennox Street Synagogue


32 Lennox Street, Portobello, Dublin 8(ii)

Date Formed:

Founded in 1887 or 1878.(iv)

The congregation was one of a number of hebrot (small congregations) in Dublin's South Circular Road area (around Clanbrassil Street and Portobello) established in the 1880's and 1890's, primarily by recent immigrants from Lithuania and Poland. These new arrivals were generally far more strictly observant than members of the existing somewhat assimilated Jewish community. The then existing synagogue, in Mary's Abbey, held only Saturday morning services and, being some two miles from where the newcomers lived, was a long walk on the Sabbath. Furthermore, it was also too small for the needs of the growing community and the largely Yiddish-speaking newcomers found its services too formal, stern, middle class and unwelcoming. As a result of this influx of "foreign" Jews, this area became home to the majority of Dublin's Jews and was known as "Little Jerusalem".


The synagogue closed in 1974. However the congregation merged with the small congregation that used rooms in Stratford College, Zion Road, Rathgar, where it continued to worship until 1981.(v)

However, the ownership of the building or at least the retention of a separate funds relating to its sale proceeds, may have continued until the early 1980s, since in 1982 it was announced that the congregation was soon "to disappear".(vi)


Ashkenazi Orthodox

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

Rev. Isaac Mayer Josselson - minister from at least 1896 until about 1901(viii)

Rev. Rachmiel Chait - minister in about 1930(ix)

Rev. M. Lev - minister from about 1956 until about 1961(x)

Lennox Street was one of the six congregations which, in 1919, combined to appoint Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog as communal rabbi of the Dublin Jewish community,(xi) prior to him being appointed Chief Rabbi of Ireland in 1922. In addition, the congregation was also served by the various Chief Rabbis of Ireland who, particularly from the 1950s, occupied by rotation the pulpits of the various orthodox congregations in Dublin.


Rev. Abraham Lipman Abramovitz - reader sometime between 1887 and 1907(xiii)

Rev. Matthias Buckhalter - reader from about 1905 until about 1906(xiv)

E. Wachman - lay reader from about 1906 until about 1908(xv)

S. Jackson - lay reader from about 1908 until about 1913(xvi)

Lewis Clein - lay reader from about 1913 until about 1925(xix)

Rev. David Garbacz - reader from 1932 until about 1934(xx)

Rev. Bernard Hollander - reader from about 1939 until about 1952(xxi)

Rev. Menachem BenZion Ordman - hon. reader following his retirement in 1947(xxii)

Lay Officers from 1896:

Unless otherwise stated, the following data on lay officers has been extracted from Jewish Year Books, first published in 1896/97(xxv)


at least 1896-1901 - E. Wachman

1901-1902 - I. Echinan

1902-1904 - S. Jackson

1904-1905 - Z. Hodes

1905-1925 - no data

1925-1929 - M. Cohen

1929-1934 - Elias Isaacson

1934-1938 - no data

1938-1940 - Elias Isaacson

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1973 - William Lewis Woolfson(xxvi)

1973-1981 - Louis John Woolfson(xxvi)

Vice Presidents

c. 1930 - J. Tolkin(xxvii)

1945-1950 - P. Green

1950-1951 - S. Lindy


1896-1901 - T. Levin

1901-1950 - no data

1950-1953 - J. Tolkin

1953-1956 - A. Lindy

Hon. Secretaries

1896-1901 - L. Marcus

1901-1950 - no data

1950-1952 - Dr. D. Taller

1952-1953 - C. Gould

1953-1957 - S. Steen

1958-1976 - S.S. Woolfson

Membership Data:

Number of Seatholders - Jewish Year Books(xxviii)

1896 - 176

1955 - 70

1962 - 50

Cemetery Data:

See Dublin Jewish Cemeteries Information on the Dublin home page.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) This was the address listed in Jewish Year Books from the first edition (1896/7) until its last listing in 1977.

  • (iii) Reserved.

  • (iv) In Louis Hyman's The Jews of Ireland from Earliest Times to the Year 1910 (1962) ("Jews of Ireland"), p.165, the date is given as 1887, which is also the date given in Jewish Year Books from 1896/7. Suddenly from 1954, the Jewish Year Book began giving 1878 as the year of founding, which seems unlikely. However, in a comment to the Patrict Comerford blog (see below) a former member of the congregation remembers a prayer book at the synagogue having an ink stamp inside the front cover which read "Lennox Street Hebrew Congregation founded 1878". Nevertheless the later date still seems more likely. The first reference to the congregation is found in The Jewish Chronicle of 15 July 1889, reporting that a meeting of the Dublin Hebrew Congregation received a deputation "from a chevra held in Lennox Street." The report states that the chevra was "mainly composed of foreign Jews who have made Dublin their home. It is greatly to be desired that they will place themselves under the protection and guidance of the Dublin Hebrew Congregation."

  • (v) Blog by Patrick Comerford of 4 October 2019. See foot of page. However, the congregation's last listing in the Jewish Year Book was in 1977.

  • (vi) "Dublin's last two kehillot — the century-old Lennox St and Walworth Road congregations — are to disappear," it was reported by Justice Hubert Wine, the outgoing chairman, at the biennial meeting of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland, held at Herzog House. He stated that the proceeds of the sale of the Lennox Street property would shortly be distributed, the main beneficiary being the Jewish Home. Funds accruing from the disposal of the Walworth Road building would be used for the construction of a mikva and archives in the grounds of the Terenure Synagogue. The Jewish Chronicle of 18 June 1982.

  • (vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) Based upon Rev. Josselson's listing as minister of the congregation in the first Jewish Year Book (1896/7) through 1900/01.

  • (ix) The Jewish Chronicle of 28 March 1930 reported that at the Synagogue Chambers of the Lennox Street Hebrew Congregation, a presentation' was made to Mr. Eli Isaacson, President of the Congregation. Mr. J. Tolkin, Vice-President, presided. The Minister, the Rev. R. Chait, made the presentation, which was in the form of a massive silver Kiddush Cup, made to a special design and suitably inscribed.

  • (x) Based upon Rev. Lev's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1957 through 1961.

  • (xi) Jewish Chroniclle report of 4 April 1919. The other congregations were:
    the Dublin Hebrew Congregation, the United Hebrew Congregation, the Chevra Tehilim Congregation (Lombard Street Synagogue), Oakfield Place Synagogue and St. Kevins Parade Synagogue.

  • (xi) and (xii) Reserved.

  • (xiii) Hyman's "Jews of Ireland" p.329. Rev. Abramovitch is not listed in the Jewish Year Book. To view a short profile of Rev. Abramovitch, hold the cursor over his name.

  • (xiv) Based upon Rev. M. Buckhalter's listing as reader of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1905/6.

  • (xv) Based upon E. Wachman's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1906/7 and 1907/8.

  • (xvi) Based upon S. Jackson's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1909 through 1913.

  • (xvii) and (xviii) Reserved.

  • (xix) Based upon Lewis Clein's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1914 through 1925.

  • (xx) Jewish Chronicle of 26 February 1932 reported on a special general meeting of the Lennox Street Hebrew Congregation at which Rev David Garbaz was appointed Cantor of the Congregation and on 31 August 1934 it reported that the Rev. D. Garbs, late of the Lennox Street Synagogue, Dublin, has been appointed minister and teacher to the Darlington Hebrew Congregation.

  • (xxi) Based upon Rev. B. Hollander's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1940 and from 1945/6 through 1952. An Irish Sanctuary. German-speaking refugees in Ireland, 1933-1945, Gisela Holfter and Horst Dickel.

  • (xxii) Jewish Chronicle obituary 9 June 1967.

  • (xxiii) and (xiv) Reserved.

  • (xxv) Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. Initially year books corresponded to the Hebrew year, and thus ran roughly from autumn of one year - the year of publication - until autumn of the next year. From 1909, year books were published according to the Gregorian year, being published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1919 through 1924, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1918 and continued in office until 1924. 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.

  • (xxvi) W.L. Woolfson was listed as president of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1945/6 (the first published following the war-time break) through 1956 (the last year for which presidents were listed). The additional information for W.L. Woolfson and his son, Louis John Woolfson, is provided in a comment to Patrick Comerford's blog of 4 October 2019 (See below).

  • (xxvii) Based upon Jewish Chronicle report of of 28 March 1930.

  • (xxviii) As listed in the Jewish Year Book for the relevant year.


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: 13 June 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 6 November 2022
Page most recently amended: 28 November 2022

Research by David Shulman and Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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