On Tuesday, the National Library of Israel announced that it had received a Jewish genealogical history of Ireland’s Jewish communities, a collection of documents spanning 22 volumes.
The documents were presented by Stuart Rosenblatt, the head of the Irish Jewish Genealogical Society and president of the Genealogical Society of Ireland, who compiled the history. The event, which was made possible by the Irish Embassy and the Israel-Ireland Friendship League and chaired by IIFL Chairman Malcolm Gafson, was attended by several dignitaries, including Irish Ambassador to Israel H.E. Kyle O’Sullivan, NLI Chairman Ambassador Sallai Meridor, and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Yossi Havilio.
Compiling the collection was no small feat, as Rosenblatt travelled to all 32 counties in Ireland and Northern Ireland, searching for documents and conducting oral history interviews. During his research, he stumbled upon the Alien Register of 1914-1922, which contained the names of people from outside the United Kingdom who lived in Dublin and had to register with the police.
The collection contains information about more than 70,000 people who lived in Ireland from 1700 to 2021, including birth, marriage, and burial records, naturalization certificates, alien registration forms, school records, and records from the 1901 and 1911 censuses. It is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the history of the Jewish community in Ireland. Rosenblatt commented:
These volumes are a living history of people who have now no voice. Their presence is here in the National Library of Israel. The passage of time in the four corners of Ireland, in every county and town where the wandering Israelites sojourned, is now recorded for posterity. Births, marriages, deaths, census, alien registration, synagogue memberships, home and business addresses, grave details and inscriptions are just a sample in the 22 volumes.
Stuart Rosenblatt, head of the Irish Jewish Genealogical Society
The first permanent settlement of Sephardic Jews in Ireland was established in the late 1400s, after they were expelled from Spain and Portugal. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was an influx of Jewish immigration to Ireland from Eastern Europe. According to the 2016 census, there were 2,557 Jews living in Ireland, with more than half (1,539) residing in Dublin. This represented a 28.9% increase from the previous census in 2011.
- Jewish colonies and settlements: Picryl