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  • Bernard Cherrick (1914 - 1988)
    Bernard Cherrick (1914–1988) was a British-Israeli rabbi and academic administrator. He served as the vice-president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He brought many Hollywood celebrities to fund...
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    Estella Solomons (1882 - 1968)
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  • Maurice Freeman (1874 - 1951)
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    Gerald Goldberg= First Jewish Lord Mayor of Cork and lawyer and politician * Jewish mayors outside of Israel * Family Tree Gerald Yael Goldberg (born 1912, Cork, Ireland — died 31 December 2003, Cork, ...
  • Max Mordechai Nurock (1893 - 1978)
    Max Nurock, Israeli Consul-General to Australia, subsequently Israel's first Ambassador to Australia.==Books# About Zionism : do you know that ...? by Nurock, Max, 1893- # About Israel, do you know tha...

Irish Jewish Genealogical Database

Celts one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?

There is a theory that the Irish, or that Insular Celts as a whole, are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. Proponents of this theory state that there is evidence that the prophet Jeremiah came to Ireland with Princess Tea Tephi, a member of the Israelite royal family.

Proponents of this theory point to various parallels between Irish and ancient Hebrew culture. For example, they note that the harp, the symbol of Ireland, also plays a role in Jewish history, as the musical instrument of King David.

Some maintain that the Tribe of Dan conducted sea voyages to Ireland and colonized it as early as the period of the Judges under the name Tuatha Dé Danann. Aspects of this theory are also sometimes cited by adherents of British Israelism, as one possible explanation of how the Ten Lost Tribes might have reached the British Isles. Source

Ireland’s Jews: Past, Present, Future

Irish Jews have historically played a role in Jewish life out of all proportion to their numbers, despite the fact that they were on the margins of the Jewish world. Before 1948 the Irish Jewish community, which had come overwhelmingly from Lithuania in the period from 1880 to 1914, was one of the most pro-Zionist in Western Europe. Irish Jews have played a significant role in all sectors of Irish society including national political life.

In May 2008, the Dublin City Council organized a walking tour of “Little Jerusalem,” the section of central Dublin historically at the heart of Irish Jewish life. In line with similar events, the organizers expected forty to seventy people to attend but were astonished when over two hundred turned up in the rain to hear about the history of Dublin’s Jewish community.

The popularity of this event clearly highlights that as a subject of historical interest and cultural curiosity the Jews of Ireland are thriving.  This has been further evidenced recently by the success of two books on the history of Irish Jews:

1. Jewish Ireland in the Age of Joyce: A Socioeconomic History, by Professor Cormac Ó Gráda,
2. Jewish Dublin: Portraits of Life by the Liffey, a bestseller in Ireland on its publication in late 2007.

In his autobiography, Chaim Herzog, the Irish-born two-term president of Israel, recalled how during his childhood in Dublin and Belfast “the concept of a Jewish state emerged in our collective consciousness [and] added considerably to our sense of pride. As that consciousness expanded, it strengthened our entire community.”

adapted -’s-jews-past-present-future/

Irish Jewish History

The history of the Jews in Ireland extends back nearly a thousand years. Although the Jewish community has always been small in numbers, it is well established and has generally been well-accepted into Irish life. Jews in Ireland have historically enjoyed a relative tolerance that was largely absent elsewhere in Europe.

A permanent settlement of Jews was definitely established in the late fifteenth century. Following their expulsion from Portugal in 1496, some of these Marrano Jews settled on Ireland's south coast. One of them, William Annyas, was elected as mayor of Youghal, County Cork, in 1555, there was also Francis Annyas (Ãnes) a three time Mayor of Youghal in 1569, 1576 and 1581.

Ireland's first synagogue was founded in 1660 near Dublin Castle, and Ballybough Cemetery the first Jewish cemetery was founded in the early eighteenth century in the Fairview district of Dublin, where there was a small Jewish colony.

During the Great Famine (1845–1852), in which approximately 1 million Irish people died, many Jews helped to organize and gave generously towards Famine relief. A Dublin newspaper, commenting in 1850, pointed out that Baron Lionel de Rothschild and his family had contributed during the Irish famine of 1847 " . . a sum far beyond the joint contributions of the Devonshires, and Herefords, Lansdownes, Fitzwilliams and Herberts, who annually drew so many times that amount from their Irish estates."

There was an increase in Jewish immigration to Ireland during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most of the immigration up to this time had come from England or Germany.

In the wake of the Russian pogroms there was increased immigration, mostly from Eastern Europe (in particular Lithuania). By 1901, there were an estimated 3,771 Jews in Ireland, over half of them (2,200) residing in Dublin; and by 1904, the total Jewish population had reached an estimated 4,800. Many of the following generation became prominent in business, academic, political and sporting circles.

Limerick Pogrom

The boycott in Limerick in the first decade of the twentieth century is known as the Limerick Pogrom, and caused many Jews to leave the city. It was instigated by an influential intolerant Catholic priest, Father John Creagh of the Redemptorist Order. A teenager, John Raleigh, was arrested by the British and briefly imprisoned for attacking the Jews' rebbe, but returned home to a welcoming throng.

Limerick's Jews fled. Many went to Cork, where trans-Atlantic passenger ships docked at Cobh. They intended to travel to America. The people of Cork welcomed them into their homes. Church halls were opened to feed and house the refugees. As a result many remained. Gerald Goldberg, a son of this migration, became Lord Mayor of Cork.

The boycott was condemned by many in Ireland, among them the influential Standish O'Grady in his paper All Ireland Review, depicting Jews and Irish as "brothers in a common struggle". The Land Leaguer Michael Davitt (author of The True Story of Anti-Semitic Persecutions in Russia), in the Freeman's Journal, attacked those who had participated in the riots and visited homes of Jewish victims in Limerick. His friend, Corkman William O'Brien MP, leader of the United Irish League and editor of the Irish People, had a Jewish wife, Sophie Raffalovic.

Joe Briscoe, son of Robert Briscoe, the Dublin Jewish politician, describes the Limerick episode as “an aberration in an otherwise almost perfect history of Ireland and its treatment of the Jews”.

Robert Briscoe's 1958 autobiography, "For the Life of Me," provides a window on Irish-Jewish life. Like many Irish Jews, his father Abraham, a refugee from Lithuania, started out as a peddler, selling trinkets door to door and, eventually, through a number of business ventures, achieved considerable prosperity.

War of Independence

Many Irish Jews supported the Irish Republican Army and the First Dail during the Irish War of Independence. Michael Noyk, was a Lithuanian born solicitor who became famous for defending captured Irish Republican prisoners such as Sean MacEoin.

Robert Briscoe was a prominent member of the IRA during the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. He was sent by Michael Collins to Germany in 1920 to be the chief agent for procuring arms for the IRA. Briscoe proved to be highly successful at this mission and arms arrived into Ireland in spite of the British blockade.

Irish Government
The original Irish Constitution of 1937 specifically gave constitutional protection to Jews. This was considered to be a necessary component to the constitution by Éamon de Valera because of the treatment of Jews elsewhere in Europe at the time.

The Blueshirts were suppressed by the government. In Rome, T.J. Kiernan, the Irish Minister to the Vatican, and his wife, Delia Murphy (a noted traditional ballad singer), worked with the Irish priest Hugh O'Flaherty to save many Jews and escaped prisoners of war. Jews conducted religious services in the church of San Clemente of the ‘Collegium Hiberniae Dominicanae’, which had Irish diplomatic protection.

The Holocaust Two Irish Jews, Esther Steinberg and her infant son, are known to have been killed during the Holocaust, which otherwise did not substantially directly affect the Jews actually living in Ireland. The Wannsee Conference listed the 4,000 Jews of Ireland to be among those marked for killing in the Holocaust.

A committee organised the Kindertransport. About ten thousand unaccompanied children aged between three and seventeen from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, were permitted entry into the United Kingdom without visas. Some of these children were sent to Northern Ireland.

Chief Rabbis of Ireland

  1. Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog (1921–1937)
  1. Lord Immanuel Jakobovits (1949–1958)
  2. Isaac Cohen (1959–1979)
  3. David Rosen (1979–1984)
  4. Ephraim Mirvis (1985–1992)
  5. Simon Yehudah Harris (1993–1996)
  6. Gavin Broder (1996–2000)
  7. Yaakov Pearlman (2001–2008)

Notable Irish Jews

  1. Lenny Abrahamson Irish Film Director
  1. Leonard Abrahamson (1896-1961), Gaelic scholar, who switched to medicine and became a professor, was born in Russia, grew up in Newry where he attended the local Christian Brothers school and lodged with the Nurock family in Dublin while studying at Trinity College, Dublin.
  2. William Annyas (Ãnes), Mayor of Youghal (1555) a Marrano merchant.
  3. Francis Annyas (Ãnes), Mayor of Youghal in 1569, 1576 and 1581, Youghal garrison commander and a spy for Francis Drake.
  4. Justice Henry Barron, Irish Supreme Court judge 1997-2003.
  5. Leopold Bloom, fictional protagonist of Ulysses.
  6. Louis Bookman (1890–1943), Irish international soccer and cricket player.
  7. Michael Noyk Irish Republican and solicitor during the Irish War of Independence.
  8. Robert Briscoe, member of the Irish Republican Army during the Anglo-Irish War and twice Lord Mayor of Dublin (1956 and 1961).
  9. Ben Briscoe (son of Robert Briscoe), former Fianna Fáil T.D. and Lord Mayor of Dublin (1988).
  10. Joe Briscoe (son of Robert Briscoe), member of the Jewish Representative Council (predating Israeli Embassy) and Commandant in the Irish Army
  11. Michelle Citron, feminist film, video and multimedia producer, scholar and author.
  12. Max Eager (son of George Eager), first Chief Rabbi of Ireland.
  13. Daniel Day-Lewis, actor
  14. Maurice Freeman (1875–1951), Mayor of Johannesburg 1934/35.
  15. Gerald Goldberg, Lord Mayor of Cork in 1977.
  16. Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1919 to 1937, later of Palestine and Israel.
  17. Chaim Herzog, sixth President of Israel and British World War II veteran. During and after his service in the British Army, he was also known as "Vivian Herzog" ("Vivian" being the English equivalent of the Hebrew name "Chaim".)
  18. Sir Otto Jaffe, Lord Mayor of Belfast (1899 and 1904).
  19. Immanuel Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi of Ireland between 1949 and 1958, later British Chief Rabbi.
  20. Harry Kernoff, Painter (1900–1974)
  21. Louis Lentin, director (documentary films, television, theatre).
  22. Ronit Lentin Head of Sociology, the director of the MPhil in Race, Ethnicity, Conflict, Department of Sociology and founder member of the Trinity Immigration Initiative, Trinity College, Dublin.
  23. June Levine, feminist, journalist and writer.
  24. Maurice Levitas (1917–2001) (born Dublin) was an anti-fascist who took part in the Battle of Cable Street and fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. He is the father of Ruth Levitas.
  25. David Marcus (1924–2009), author, editor, broadcaster and lifelong supporter of Irish-language fiction.
  26. David Marcus, author and professor of Bible and ancient languages at The Jewish Theological Seminary.
  27. Max Nurock, Israeli Consul-General to Australia, subsequently Israel's first Ambassador to Australia.
  28. Yaakov Pearlman, Ireland's Chief Rabbi.
  29. Alan Shatter, Fine Gael TD for Dublin South and currently Minister for Justice and Equality and Minister for Defence.
  30. Bethal Solomons (1885–1965), medical Doctor, Master of the Rotunda, Irish Rugby International.
  31. Estella Solomons (1882–1968), landscape and portrait artist and member of Cumann na mBan.
  32. Stella Steyn (1907–1987), Dublin-born artist.
  33. Mervyn Taylor, former Labour Party T.D. and Minister for Equality and Law Reform.
  34. Abraham Weeks (or Abraham Wix) was the first person killed during 1916 Easter Rising A Jewish comrade who joined on Easter Monday and died in action He joined the Irish Citizen Army and assigned to the GPO.
  35. Gustav Wilhelm Wolff, founder of Harland and Wolff shipbuilders, MP for East Belfast for 18 years.
  36. District Judge Hubert Wine, family court judge and prominent member of Dublin's Jewish community


Little Jerusalem - Portobello Dublin

The area was also known as Little Jerusalem because in the first half of the Twentieth century it was at the heart of the Jewish community in Dublin. The first Jews fleeing conditions in Lithuania (then part of the Russian Empire) arrived in the early 1870s and eventually settled off Lower Clanbrassil Street.

Over the next few decades as they became more prosperous many moved to the South Circular Road, Longwood Avenue, Bloomfield Avenue (where a Jewish school was opened) and other parts of Portobello. The shopping area of Little Jerusalem stretched along Lower Clanbrassil Street where there were many Jewish shops and businesses, mixed with local Irish, for example Eastman butchers, who carried out the ritual slaughtering until a Jewish slaughterhouse was established in Vincent Street. 

Founder of the well-known family firm, Myer Wigoder was born in Lithuania but had to flee after a pogrom. He started a Hebrew class near Kelly's Corner and a synagogue in Camden Street. His son Harry lived at 32 Charlemont Street and was a well-known soccer-player. Another son, a doctor, married into the family of dentist Harry/Henry Bradlaw (son of Robert Brudno of Smorgon nauralised as Robert Bradlaw), of 4 Harrington St. Robert Bradlaw became a leader of the community and founded a synagogue in St. Kevin's Parade and the cemetery in Dolphin's Barn, where he is buried.

Also from Lithuania, Ada Shillman came to Dublin in 1892 and became a midwife. She started a dispensary for Jewish women in Bloomfield Avenue and helped found St. Ultan's Infant Hospital in Charlemont Street. Her son Bernard became a distinguished Senior Counsel.

The International Tailors, Machinists and Pressers’ Trade Union was founded in November 1908 (and registered in April 1909) by Jewish clothing workers hailing from the South Circular Road area. Its HQ was at 52 Camden Street (located next to the headquarters for Concern Worldwide). Aaron Klein of 14 Warren Street was its first treasurer. A later Secretary was Isaac Baker from Emorville Avenue.

The Jewish presence in the area declined following the end of World War II, with a number of Jews emigrating to Israel, and the majority leaving for New York. Though the main Jewish population that remained in Dublin have moved out to Terenure, just five kilometres (three miles) away, a small number still live in the area, but their own shops, schools, and small businesses no longer exist.

The Irish Jewish Museum is located on Walworth Road. One of the items in the museum includes a Guinness bottle sold in the area with a customized label printed in Hebrew.

  • Chaim Herzog (1918–1997), sixth President of Israel, grew up in 33 Bloomfield Avenue. His father, Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, a renowned Talmudic scholar, was the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland, and later of Palestine and Israel. Yaakov Herzog son of Yitzhak was also born and lived with the family in Dublin.
  • Immanuel Jakobovits (1921–1999), while serving as Chief Rabbi of Ireland (1948–1958), lived in Bloomfield Avenue.
  • The family of Max Nurock, secretary to the first British High Commissioner to Palestine Sir Herbert Samuel and Israel's first Ambassador to Australia, lived near Leonard's Corner
  • Leonard Abrahamson, Gaelic scholar, who switched to medicine and became a professor, lodged with the Nurock family near Leonard's Corner while studying at Trinity College, Dublin.
  • Leopold Bloom, the fictional Jewish character at the heart of the James Joyce novel Ulysses, lived at "52 Clanbrassil Street"; a plaque commemorating this can be found on the wall of 52 Upper Clanbrassil Street
  • Maurice Levitas (1917–2001), born in Portobello, was an anti-fascist who took part in the Battle of Cable Street and fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. He is the father of Ruth Levitas.

Dublin Jewish Community Records


The Dublin Jewish community is in a category by itself geographically, chronologically and ethnographically, for--alone in the British Isles, outside London--it dates back to the 17th century and the major share in its early history was taken by Sephardim.

There is little that I can add to the earlier researches on the subject.(i) It is enough to say that one or two families of Spanish and Portuguese origin settled there not long after the Readmission: that according to tradition a community was formed about 1660(ii): that it was reinforced at the time of the Glorious Revolution and knew a brief period of prosperity: and that in 1718 a cemetery was acquired.

Later on, the original Sephardi element died out, being succeeded by Ashkenazim: and in 1746/7, the community was represented by Jacob Phillips, who corresponded on its behalf with the authorities of the Bevis Marks synagogue about the Cemetery. Of the Dublin Jews of this period we know also of Mordecai ben Moses Nathan, called Mordecai Irelander, Shochet and cemetery-keeper in London, who died about the year 1745; and Samuel I. Davis, commonly known as Sam Irishman, member of the Portsmouth and subsequently of the London community.

In 1784, the Jewish element in the city must still have been fairly strong, for we find several Jewish names registered in this year with the Dublin Goldsmiths' company: to the number may be added Levy Wolf as early as 1744, Isaac Davis in 1787, and perhaps Abraham Davis, Freeman of the Goldsmith's Company, 1752-1764.(iii)

At the close of the eighteenth century, the congregation decayed and the Synagogue was closed. According to tradition, the effects were sold and lost, except for two Scrolls of the Law which were saved by two brothers Cohen from a woman who was taking them to England. The congregation was revived, however, in 1822. From then onwards, the history is uninterrupted if uneventful.

The link between the old community and the new was apparently a certain L. Phillips, last surviving member of his family, who was born in Dublin in 1774 and died there at the age of 91 in 1865.

There was a synagogue at Cork also in the first half of the eighteenth century, with its own Shochet and its burial-ground in Kemp Street; it was founded apparently between 1731 and 1747, but was defunct by 1796.

Abraham Solomon, naturalised in 1769, father of the notorious quack doctor, Samuel Solomon of Liverpool, was among the local residents(iv): probably Isaac Solomon, the silversmith, who maintained the Jewish associations of the city from 1801 to his death in 1845, was another son.

It was only in 1883 that the community was re-established. There may also have been an organised Jewish group in Belfast, where Mr. N. L. Hyman has discovered a reference of 1771 to a 'Jew Butcher,' and about the same date to a vendor of gold and silver, Israel Wolf, described as 'one of the Jews.'

(i) Cf. now in particular B. Shillman, The Jews in Ireland, Dublin 1945.

(ii) This is in fact improbable, since the original Regulations of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London, drawn up in 1663 (cf. Barnett, El Libro de los Acuerdos, p. 5) postulate that all Jews in England, lreland and Scotland were to be attached to it. It seems obvious from this that there was no other community in the British Isles.

(iii) One may call attention also to another member of the primitive community, Solomon M. Hyams, senior, 'a native of Dublin, Ireland, and for fifty years a citizen of South Carolina, who departed this life on the 28th July 1837' and is buried in Charleston, S.C. (B. Elzas, The Old Jewish Cemeteries at Charleston, S.C. (1903) p. 37).

(iv) In 1753, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London informed those of its Yehidim who were accustomed to obtain kosher meat in Cork and other parts of Ireland that Abraham Solomons was the only person there qualified to perform shechita.