Scottish Jewish Archives Centre

Scottish Jewish Archives Centre Learn how Jewish immigrants came to Scotland, fleeing poverty and persecution, to seek out religious tolerance, political freedom, educational opportunity and a chance to earn a better living.
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Documenting Jewish Heritage in Scotland Founded in 1987 and based in Garnethill Synagogue in Glasgow (Scotland’s oldest), the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre aims to document and illustrate the religious, organisational, social, economic, political, cultural and family life of Jews in Scotland since the eighteenth century. It provides a research facility and an educational resource for the Jewish, and also the wider community, in order to heighten awareness of the Jewish heritage in Scotland and to stimulate study of the history of the Jews in this country. Our Collections The Centre collects a wide range of material, and its large collection includes old synagogue minute books and registers, membership lists, over 6,000 photographs, oral history recordings, annual reports of many communal organisations, a small library of books of Scottish Jewish interest, friendly society regalia, personal papers, war medals, ceremonial keys, newspapers, magazines, trophies, plaques, paintings and sculptures. Open to everyone - we are not open full time, but appointments can be made Monday to Friday by prior arrangement or we have regular monthly open days. These collections are documented, preserved and exhibited for the benefit of the general public, and visitors including researchers, school pupils, students, postgraduates, journalists, television producers, tourists, family historians and others. Interested in Volunteering? If you would like to get involved with helping us do please email us at: [email protected]. LIST OF VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES – TRAINING, GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT WILL BE PROVIDED FOR ALL ROLES • Cataloguing and filing • Scanning documents • Photocopying documents • Other administrative help • Assisting in putting on events • Research to produce display folders • Guiding in Archives and synagogue • Conducting Oral History interviews • Producing Oral History transcripts • Fundraising • IT support • Website and FaceBook maintenance • Publicity and marketing • Finance and budgeting • Committee work

Operating as usual

SCoJeC, in association with Jewish communities in Aberdeen, Tayside & Fife, Edinburgh and Glasgow, invite you to Scotlan...
08/06/2020

SCoJeC, in association with Jewish communities in Aberdeen, Tayside & Fife, Edinburgh and Glasgow, invite you to Scotland’s Jewish Coffee Morning

If you have an artefact, painting or any other object linked to a personal story, you're invited to share it - or just enjoy listening in with a cup of coffee

Please register at www.tinyurl.com/scotlandsjewishcoffee
For further information email [email protected]

VE Day - from the Archives...
08/05/2020

VE Day - from the Archives...

On VE Day, remembering Jewish members of the armed forces who served in the Second World War. This is the story of just ...
08/05/2020
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities - SCoJeC

On VE Day, remembering Jewish members of the armed forces who served in the Second World War. This is the story of just one wartime hero from the Scottish Jewish community:
Jack Leslie Zamansky was killed in action on 23rd March 1943, aged 26.

The Archives Centre holds material about many more who served in the conflict and has a considerable collection of the medals they were awarded.

https://www.scojec.org/news/2020/20v_ve_day/ve_day.html

SCoJeC commemorates V.E. day.

Friday 8th May is Victory in Europe Day, generally known as VE Day. On this day we celebrate the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces on 8 May 1945, seventy-five years ago.

SCoJeC invites everyone to remember Jewish members of the armed forces who served in the Second World War - and to post your memories and photos in the 'comments' box under this post.

Here, we are remembering just one wartime hero from the Scottish Jewish community: Jack Zamansky. Jack was killed in action on 23rd March 1943, aged 26. He was a barber by trade, and had been a scout and, later, a member of the Glasgow Jewish Institute. He is buried in the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Enfidaville, Tunisia. The (non-Jewish) chaplain of his regiment wrote to his wife, Lena: “When I was Entertainment Officer in the Battalion, your husband was always ready to help me and his stage talents were fully used and greatly enjoyed by all who heard him – including Their Majesties the King and Queen and the Princesses”. We love the idea of him performing for the then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, and think that the Glasgow Jewish Institute Players may have lost a potential great actor.
His detailed story (below) and attached photo come courtesy of his niece Barbara Kliner and the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre

Please post your own memories in the comments section below.

JACK ZAMANSKY

Jack Leslie Zamansky was killed in action on 23rd March 1943, aged 26.

Born on 11th April 1916, the first child of Michael and Mary Zamansky, Jack Leslie Zamansky grew up in Glasgow with his sisters Rose, Faye and Jean and with his younger brother, George.

He married Lena Katlov in 1936 and they had 2 daughters, Hilda and Joyce.

He was a barber by trade, a member of the Jewish Scouts and later of the Jewish Institute.

At the outbreak of the war he joined the 5th Battalion of The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.

In the early part of the war, the 5th Battalion was shipped overseas and fought in North Africa and Sicily. March 1943 found the Eighth Army, of which the 5th Battalion formed part, at Enfidaville, Tunisia. The North Africa campaign had begun on 8th November 1942, when Commonwealth and American troops made a series of landings in Algeria and Morocco. The Germans responded immediately by sending a force from Sicily to North Tunisia, which checked the Allied advance east, in early December. Meanwhile, in the South, the Axis forces defeated at El Alamein were withdrawing into Tunisia along the coast, pursued by the Allied Eighth Army. The combined Axis force was hemmed into a small corner of north-eastern Tunisia and the Allies were grouped for their final offensive. There were a number of battles and it was during one of those on Tuesday 23rd March 1943 that Jack Leslie Zamansky was killed in action.

The Eighth Army continued to attack the position at Enfidaville and captured the village on 19th April, but strong resistance meant no further progress was possible until 11th May when Tunis fell in the North and all resistance at Enfidaville ceased. He was buried in the Commonwealth war cemetery in Enfidaville, Tunisia, 100 miles south of Tunis.

Notices of Jack’s death appeared in the Jewish Echo on 23rd April 1943 and the edition of 30th April the following week reports that his widow Lena received a moving message from the non-Jewish Chaplain of the battalion.

On behalf of the Commanding Officer, the officers and men, and on his own behalf it is reported that he extended deepest sympathy to Mrs Zamansky and her children on their great loss.

He wrote: “ By moonlight that night I buried him near the place where he fell, in the sure and certain hope that in him the promise of Israel might be fulfilled. We were all so sorry to lose him, as we had the highest possible regard for his many fine qualities – his willingness to help, his cheerfulness, his courage and his devotion to duty. When I was Entertainment Officer in the Battalion, your husband was always ready to help me and his stage talents were fully used and greatly enjoyed by all who heard him – including Their Majesties the King and Queen and the Princesses. Through your great sorrow you can be justly proud of your husband, in that he sacrificed his life in the cause of good against evil. We hope and pray that his and many other sacrifices may be the means by which a sweeter and better world will emerge from this chaos.”
With thanks to Barbara Kliner and the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre for original research and photograph.

A Lockdown Project!During this time of lockdown, can you help the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre build up its knowledge...
14/04/2020

A Lockdown Project!

During this time of lockdown, can you help the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre build up its knowledge base and collections?

We are asking if you can write something for us on one of three themes. Ideally one or two pages would be fine. This can be emailed to [email protected] or posted to the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre at Garnethill Synagogue, 129 Hill Street, Glasgow G3 6UB. Photographs and documents are welcomed, or high resolution scans (which we can make for you when the Centre is open again and return your originals if you wish). Don’t forget to include your name and contact details!

The three themes are:

1 Your Jewish family’s immigration story:
Who were the first in your family to come to Scotland? Was it your grandparents, great grandparents? What were their names? When did they arrive here? Where did they come from? Where did they live in Scotland when they arrived? Did they find work here? Did they get married here? (when/where). What schools did the children in the family attend? Were they members of any synagogue? Any Jewish organisations?

2 Calderwood Lodge Jewish Primary School memories:
Did you attend or teach at Calderwood Lodge? What years? Who were your teachers? Do you remember any activities or events in the school when you were there which you enjoyed (or didn’t!)?

3 Lockdown experiences:
We are compiling a collection about the Jewish community’s response to the coronavirus and we will add communications from synagogues, organisations etc. But we also want personal experiences. How did the virus and the lockdown affect you and your family? How did you feel about staying at home? What events were cancelled? How did it affect your work, your business, your children’s education? What did you miss most during this period?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Photos: The Itzickovitz family from Lithuania; Calderwood Prizewinners 1979

As the Jewish community prepare to mark the Festival of Pesach this evening and for the next 8 days, the SJAC wishes the...
08/04/2020

As the Jewish community prepare to mark the Festival of Pesach this evening and for the next 8 days, the SJAC wishes the community Chag Pesach Sameach.

A strange time to be marking the Jewish Festival that celebrates freedom from slavery and an occasion on which Jewish people usually all get together with family and friends to celebrate at the Seder table... but we thought we'd share with you a photo, from our collections, of a Pesach Seder meal held in Dundee in the 1950s at the home of the Koppel family.

May we all be able to celebrate together again next Pesach!

It will not come as a surprise that the Archives Centre is not currently opening to any volunteers, researchers or visit...
23/03/2020

It will not come as a surprise that the Archives Centre is not currently opening to any volunteers, researchers or visitors of any kind and will not be opening again for the foreseeable future. We are still contactable by email at [email protected] for any enquiries about material in our collections, including family history enquiries.

The SJAC's team hope that all of you keep safe and well - and we look forward to welcoming you back, not just to our Archives Centre but to the new Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre and Scottish Holocaust-era Study Centre. Who knows when that might be but we'll keep going with our planning as best we can...

An appreciative crowd enjoyed a fascinating talk from Dr Phil Alexander about 2 Cantors who spent many years in Glasgow:...
09/03/2020

An appreciative crowd enjoyed a fascinating talk from Dr Phil Alexander about 2 Cantors who spent many years in Glasgow: Meyer Fomin and Isaac Hirshow. They were born in Vitebsk in the 1880s, trained in Warsaw and both moved with their families to Glasgow at the beginning of the 1920s, where they would remain for the rest of their lives. Many in the audience had memories of both men and enjoyed hearing about their lives and careers as well as hearing some of their music.

Phil is asking that people get in touch with him via the Archives Centre at [email protected] He says: 'Does anyone have memories of Rev Hirshow of Garnethill, Rev Fomin of South Portland St, or any other Glasgow cantors before about 1960? I am researching Jewish music in Scotland and would love to speak with you! Reminiscences, personal stories, musical memories...please get in touch!' Phil is also interested to hear from anyone with memories of music at the Jewish Institute.

Thanks to all the volunteers who organised and ran this latest in our Speaker and a Bagel Brunch series. Many thanks too to the sponsor of the event.

Last week, Chief Rabbi of the United Synagogues, Ephraim Mirvis, visited Garnethill Synagogue, which celebrated its 140t...
09/02/2020

Last week, Chief Rabbi of the United Synagogues, Ephraim Mirvis, visited Garnethill Synagogue, which celebrated its 140th anniversary last year, and the Archives Centre which has been at Garnethill for its 32 years of existence. He learnt about the plans for the future of the building with the imminent creation of a Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre and a Holocaust-era Study Centre.

This week the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council hosted a  Community and Interfaith Reception as a ‘Celebration of th...
07/02/2020

This week the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council hosted a Community and Interfaith Reception as a ‘Celebration of the Glasgow Jewish Community” in Glasgow City Chambers. Around 300 people were in attendance from faith groups and communities from around the West of Scotland. The guest speakers were: the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon; the Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, Jonathan Goldstein; Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Ephraim Mirvis; Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews; Micheline Brannan, Chair of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities; Philip Braat, Lord Provost of Glasgow; Moshe Rubin, Rabbi of Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue. Paul Edlin , President of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council presided over the event.

The Archives Centre had a display at the event providing information on the history of the Jewish community in Scotland, the largest number of which have lived in Glasgow over the last 2 centuries.

The Archives Centre was honoured to host an interfaith dialogue event at Garnethill Synagogue last week which was one of...
07/02/2020

The Archives Centre was honoured to host an interfaith dialogue event at Garnethill Synagogue last week which was one of a number of events across Scotland marking Holocaust Memorial Day. The focus was on how we can tackle hate together and the special guests included Janine Webber (Holocaust survivor) and Hasan Hasanovic (survivor of the Bosnian Genocide). People of all faiths participated in this moving session which was hosted in partnership with Interfaith Scotland in collaboration with Remembering Srebrenica Scotland.

Representing the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, Fiona Brodie was honoured to be invited to present at Abercorn Seconda...
28/01/2020
Abercorn Secondary on Twitter

Representing the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, Fiona Brodie was honoured to be invited to present at Abercorn Secondary's Holocaust Memorial Day assembly yesterday. She shared the story of the refugees and survivors who found safety in Scotland during the 1930s and 1940s in the face of the Nazi onslaught which spread from Germany across Europe. Fiona focused particularly on the life of Dorrith Sim who came to Scotland on the Kindertransport, aged 7. Dorrith never saw her parents again - they perished in Auschwitz in 1944...

The Archives Centre is privileged to hold a large collection of papers, photographs and artefacts donated by Dorrith's family which record her story.

“Thank you to Mr Anderson and Fiona from @TheSJAC for sharing Holocaust information and to Callum and Kyle for sharing their personal experiences from their visit to Auschwitz with the @HolocaustUK”

Another great event in our series of Speaker events took place today. An audience of 100 enjoyed a bagel brunch and an i...
26/01/2020

Another great event in our series of Speaker events took place today. An audience of 100 enjoyed a bagel brunch and an immensely interesting talk from Jennie Milne about her "Extraordinary Journey"

Jennie's mother, Elizabeth Lis was abandoned in a babies’ home in Devon, England in 1943. Jennie Milne described her extraordinary journey to fulfil a deathbed promise to her mother to uncover her mother’s mysterious background, which was reputedly Jewish.

Jennie began searching in earnest for her grandparents in March 2014, with the help of Michael Tobias. Although her search was challenging, she has been able to connect with cousins through records and DNA results, finding family in Israel, America and Argentina.

Last year Jennie shared her search for her family at the international Jewish Genealogy Conference in Warsaw and in 2020 she will present her grandfather’s story at the invitation of the Polish Military - he was a highly decorated Polish Officer and member of the Government in Exile at the Warsaw Garrison.

Jennie is an award-winning photographer and since finding her family, has focused her lens on the Jewish and Polish communities, travelling to Israel for her most recent project.

Thanks to all the volunteers who organised and ran the event, to all who attended and to the generosity of the event sponsor Delia Berkley.

Photo: Jane Tobias, Chair of Fundraising Committee;
Delia Berkley, Event Sponsor, with her mother, Shirley Berkley; Jennie Milne, Speaker; Michael Tobias, Genealogist; Harvey Kaplan, SJAC Director.

One of a number of events commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day happening across Scotland this week - the Scottish Jewish...
26/01/2020

One of a number of events commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day happening across Scotland this week - the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre is honoured to be collaborating with the Goethe Institute in this showing of the remarkable and immensely valuable film documentary "Shoah".

In observance with the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on the 27th of January, the Goethe-Institut Glasgow presents a rare public screening of Claude Lanzmann’s masterpiece ‘Shoah’ in collaboration with the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre. More information to be found at https://www.goethe.de/ins/gb/en/ver.cfm?fuseaction=events.detail&event_id=21753311
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Address

Garnethill Synagogue, 129 Hill Street
Glasgow
G3 6UB

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

0141 332 4911

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Jewish Burial Ground. Aberdeen,Scotland (part II) https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1999932790098943&type=1&l=2f356b6c14
Despite the weather the Speaker event is still going ahead on Sunday 4th March at Eastwood House. Alan Fell is a digital historian and will be speaking from 12.30 pm. Doors open at 12 noon, a bagel brunch is included and a few tickets are still available at the door. See you tomorrow!
Would love to visit the centre and find out more about Scotland's Jewish community past and future