Do you belong to Glasgow?

April 12, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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A call has gone out to Jews world-wide either born in or with family connections to the Scottish city of Glasgow a city which once boasted a thriving Jewish community of over 14,000 and is now home to less than 4,000.

Riddrie cemetery

Riddrie cemetery

The Jewish community in Glasgow is trying to locate people worldwide who have Scottish ancestors and with a family connection to the community, especially those with family buried in one of the community’s main cemeteries.

David Links, co-chairman of The Glasgow Jewish Cemeteries Restoration Project said: “We are trying to contact the Glasgow Jewish Diaspora to encourage them to visit our website and see the tombstones of their ancestors, and hopefully support our appeal to restore our Jewish cemeteries.”

Glenduffhill

Glenduffhill

He added: “The GJCRP desperately needs to renovate its Jewish cemeteries and restore them to a condition that honours its departed loved ones now and in the future.  And it needs all the help it can get from everyone with a connection past or present to the community.”

As a result of aliyah, emigration and movement within the UK, the Jewish community in Glasgow has plummeted from about 15,000 some 50 years ago to less than 4,000 now and is falling every year.

Links said:  “Our audacious plan is to raise a million pounds (about $A1.85 million) which will be spent on transformational works to reset tombstones, restore and replace kerbs, lairs and paths.
“We are keen to contact and inform the Glasgow Jewish Diaspora scattered throughout the world. We invite descendants of Glaswegian Jews to visit our website: www.glasgowhebrewburialsociety.org, where there are details of the cemeteries and a brochure which summarises the appeal.

Co chairman Professor Alan Shenkin added:”If I had family buried abroad, I’d like to think that their graves were well-tended and to be able to help with that, if I could..

The website carries details of all 11,000 tombstones in our cemeteries, with an easy search facility allowing individuals anywhere in the world to search for members of their family and to see photograph of the stones.”

Shenkin told J-Wire: “Sadly we have no specific records of descendants. The only records that have been kept longterm are the details of the names of the individuals who organised the funerals, but we do not have contact details for any of them, apart from deaths that occurred in the past 10 years or so. So we have taken the unusual approach of sending emails to all the synagogues worldwide (excluding Israel) we could identify (more than 1500), and also to newspapers etc to try to contact the ex Glasgow Jewish diaspora.

In addition, we are of course, asking current members of the Glasgow community to contact relatives living abroad, or to give us the details for them. I agree that a targeted approach is most likely to bring results. But we hope that word will get around and people will visit our website www.glasgowhebrewburialsociety.org, to see the stones of their ancestors, see the details of our appeal, and hopefully make a donation.

Our major concerns are for graves and the areas surrounding them dating up till about 1990 in both Glenduffhill and Riddrie,when we started laying all stones horizontally. In many other areas, stones have subsided or fallen over, and surrounding areas and paths are badly broken up.”

In the 1920s many members of Glasgow’s Jewish community emigrated to amongst others, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

For further information contact the appeal committee  appeals@glasgowhebrewburialsociety.org

 

Comments

5 Responses to “Do you belong to Glasgow?”
  1. Ralph Katzenell says:

    There is a very strong ex-Glasgow community here in Israel. Enough to run 2 well-attended Burns Suppers. The recent Habonim Garin Zayin 50 Generation at Amiad had a strong showing from Glasgow.

    Very odd to miss out Israel.

  2. Richard Michael Corse says:

    The stones are the most important part and the least expensive item to repair. As for world Jewery participating……..don’t expect it. Can’t fifure out why Israel was not included in the call for help. Many Scottish Jews live here and all have strong roots to Glasgow

  3. Jack Kinsell says:

    Does mosspark cemetery included

  4. Maureen Fadlun says:

    I am absolutely shocked and extremely upset after having read this article. TG I still have family in Glasgow who I know are certainly taking care of our parents graves and also our grandparents and my Aunt and Uncle. I wish you good luck with this very important task you have taken upon yourselves.
    Sincerely
    Maureen Fadlun (nee Penn) now residing in Israel

  5. Connie Chitterer says:

    All the Chitterers are buried @ Glenduffhill – from Bobba Leah and Zeida Solomon.

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