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Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. No trace of Jews is to be found in medieval Scotland generally. Apart from individual Jews, a community existed in Edinburgh at the close of the 18th century, but the present congregation was established in 1817 with 20 families. The first minister was was probably Meir Rintel followed by Moses Joel of London, who served in the office for 46 years. With the influx of Russian and Polish Jews at the close of the 19th century, the community grew and many communal institutions were founded.

For many years Salis Daiches was the rabbi. In 1968, the community numbered approximately 1,100 out of a total population of 468,770. There was one synagogue and extensive communal and Zionist activity.

According to the 2001 British census, 763 Jews lived in Edinburgh. Today, there is an Orthodox synagogue and a Liberal congregation.


Daiches, in: Publications of the Scottish Church History Society (1929); C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 57–59; Levy, in: JHSET, 19 (1960), 129–62. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: K.E. Collins, Scotlands Jews: A Guide to the History and Community of the Jews in Scotland (1999); JYB, 2004; Abel Phillips: A History of the Origins of the First Jewish Community in Scotland: Edinburgh, 1816 (Edinburgh, 1979); Mark Gilfillan, Jewish Edinburgh: A History, 1880-1950, (Jefferson, North Carolina, 2019); Kenneth E Collins, Aubrey Newman, Bernard Wasserstein, Neville Lamdan, and Michael Tobias, (Genealogist), Two hundred years of Scottish Jewry (2018).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.
Scottish Jewish Archives Centre.