Page created: 10 October 2005
Latest revision or update: 4 August 2017

Glasgow Jewish Community

City of Glasgow

Glasgow, situated on the river Clyde, in Scotland's west central lowlands, is the largest city in Scotland. Although the City of Glasgow, a self-contained unitary local authority since 1996, has a population of about 630,000, there are approximately 2,100,000 people living in the Greater Glasgow area (which also includes East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, most of East Renfrewshire and part of South Lanarkshire).  From 1975 to 1996, the City of Glasgow and the other areas mentioned were districts of the now defunct Strathclyde Region. Prior to 1975, Glasgow was in the traditional county of Lanarkshire.

Jewish Community of Greater Glasgow

The first Jews came to Glasgow during the Napoleonic Wars at the beginning of the 19th century - predominantly Dutch and German merchants, furriers and businessmen. The first recorded Jew in the city was Isaac Cohen - a hatter - who became burgess in 1812. The first synagogue was opened in the High Street in 1823 and the Community proceeded to hold services in a number of successive synagogues until the opening of the city's first purpose built synagogue at Garnethill in 1879. The first cemetery was acquired in 1832. In 1880, the first synagogue opened in the Gorbals, which was joined by many other Gorbal congregations established at the end or the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries primarily by poor Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. As the community became affluent, Jews began to settle in greater numbers in areas north of the Clyde and to the south of the Gorbals, where new congregation swere established. The last synagogue in the Gorbals closed in 1974.

Jewish Congregations

The following are the Jewish congregations that exist or existed in Glasgow:

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


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Greater Glasgow include:

Burials (JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Register)

Craigton Cemetery (231 records);
Eastern Necropolis/Janefield Cemetery - Jewish Section (542 records);
Necropolis Cemetery (53 records);
Riddrie Cemetery (729 records).

Other Burial Records

WWII Civilian Casualties (16 records).


Jewish Children at the Gorbals Public School, dates of admittance 1885-1905 (1,989 records), see also Introduction & Background.

1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2012)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Glasgow during the 1820s (8 records), 1830s (16 records), 1840s (51 records), 1850s (111 records), 1860s (30 records), 1870s (29 records), 1880s (30 records), 1890s (14 records), 1900s (5 records) and 1910s (3 records).


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Glasgow Jewish Community


on third party's website


The Location of some Jewish-inhabited Neighbourhoods
of Greater Glasgow

  • Clarkston  - a relatively affluent suburb of Greater Glasgow in East Renfrewshire, to the south of Glasgow.

  • Crosshill - - a district  of Glasgow, on the south side of the river Clyde

  • Garnethill - a residential district  in the centre of Glasgow, on the north side of the river Clyde.

  • Giffnock  - a relatively affluent suburb of Greater Glasgow in East Renfrewshire, to the south of Glasgow, with a large Jewish community.  

  • The Gorbals - a predominantly poor working-class district of Glasgow on the south bank of the river Clyde . The district at one stage housed the vast majority of the city's Jewish population.

  • Langside - a district  of Glasgow, on the south side of the river Clyde.

  • Netherlee  - a small relatively affluent suburb of Greater Glasgow in East Renfrewshire, of about 4,500 inhabitants,  to the south of Glasgow.  

  • Newton Mearns - a suburban town in East Renfrewshire of about 22,000 inhabitants, about seven miles southwest of Glasgow.

  • Pollokshields - an area of the south side of Glasgow, formerly part of the Burgh of Govan.

  • Queens Park - a residential district on the south side of the city of Glasgow, approximately two miles from the city centre.

  • Rutherglen - a town of about 30,000 inhabitants bordering on the city of Glasgow. From 1975 to 1996, it was administratively part of Glasgow, but is now in South Lanarkshire.

  • Strathbungo - an neighborhood on the south side of the city of Glasgow, along the Pollokshaws Road, one of the main roads leading from the centre of Glasgow.  Now part of Queens Park.


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

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew School (founded by 1874).

  • Talmud Torah School (founded by 1900).

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • Philanthropic Society (founded by 1874, but did nor appear in Jewish Year Book of 1896 and later) for the relief of the poor by means of Grant of money and loans.

  • Jewish Board of Guardians (founded by 1896) to relieve and assist the poor

  • Hebrew Benevolent Loan Association (founded by 1896) to relieve and assist the poor.

  • Glasgow Hebrew Benevolent Loan Association (founded 1888) to grant loans without interest to deserving poor.

  • Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society (founded 1879) to relieve the sick and poor with food and coals.

  • Literary and Social Society (founded 1893).

  • Clothing Guild (founded 1893) to give blankets and clothing to the poor.

  • Chovevie Zion Association branch (founded by 1896).

  • Anglo-Jewish Association branch (founded by 1896).

  • Naturalisation Society (founded by 1900)

  • Jewish Volunteer Association (founded by 1900)

* As listed in the Jewish Directory of 1874 and the Jewish Year Books 1896 & 1900.


Glasgow Jewish Cemetery Information

The Scottish Jewish Cemeteries website, created and maintained by Derek Tobias, includes a searchable database in respect of burials at all the Glasgow Jewish cemeteries.

The following are the Jewish cemeteries in Glasgow:

  • Glasgow Necropolis Jews Enclosure, Cathedral Square, Glasgow G4
    Earliest burial 1832 (over 50 burials identifiable).

  • Glasgow Eastern Necropolis, Jewish Section (also known as Janefield Street or Gallowgate Cemetery), Janefield Street, Parkhead, Glasgow G31
    Acquired 1853, first burial 1856, extended 1891, generally closed 1914, last burial 1935 (over 500 burials, but possibly only some 160 now identifiable).

  • Craigton Cemetery, Jewish Section, Berryknowles Road, Govan, Glasgow G52
    Opened 1880. earliest burial 1881, extended 1891, closed 1895 (about 230 burial, although few headstones remain)

  • Western Necropolis, Jewish Section, Tresta Road, Maryhill, Glasgow G23
    This also includes two small cemeteries immediately to the west. The original Chevra Kadisha Cemetery situated along Tresta Road and the Gorbals Cemetery situated immediately behind the Chevra Kadisha Cemetery.
    Acquired in 1882/3 by the Chevra Kadisha Synagogue, but later repossed by the Western Necropolis Co. In 1895 acquired by the Garnethill Synagogue. Later also shares with Poalei Zedek Synagogue and the New Central Synagogue (over 1,300 burials in the main cemetery and over 300 burials in the two smaller cemeteries to the west.)

  • Riddrie Jewish Cemetery, Provanmill Road, Glasgow G33
    Opened 1909 by the South Portland Street Synagogue. In 1974, the cemetery was taken over by the Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society. Although generally closed, there are reserved some reserved plots, the latest burial being in 2003 (over 740 burials).

  • Sandymount Jewish Cemetery, Hallhul Road, Barlanark, Glasgow G32
    Opened in 1908 by the Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society. Although generally closed, there are reserved plots, the most recent burial being in 1993 (over 2,300 burials).

  • Glenduffhill Jewish Cemetery, 278 Hallhill Road, Barlanark, Glasgow G33
    Acquired in 1933 by the Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society. The only orthodox Jewish cemetery in Glasgow still in use (over 7,700 burials).

  • Cathcart Cemetery, Jewish Section, Netherlee Road, Glasgow G44
    Opened 1927, now closed. Restored 1995. Opened by Queens Park Synagogue and shared with the Pollokshields Synagogue (over 1,300 burials).

  • Cardonald Cemetery, 547 Mosspark Blvd. Glasgow G52. Used by the Glasgow Reform Synagogue (over 190 burials).

(For additional information, see also IAJGS Cemeteries Project - Glasgow)


Glasgow Jewish Population Data


Community founded (first synagogue)


47 (28 male & 19 female)

(The Rise of Provincial Jewry, Roth, 1950)



(The Jewish Year Book 1896-97)



(The Jewish Year Book 1900-01)



(The Jewish Year Book 1910)



(Shemot, Volume1, #1, Winter 1992)



(The Jewish Year Book 1935)



(The Jewish Year Book 1951)



(The Jewish Year Book 1986)



(The Jewish Year Book 1992)



(The Jewish Year Book 1994)



(The Jewish Year Book 2005)

Jewish Communities of Scotland home page



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