Talk:History of the Jews in Scotland

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Other[edit]

Liverpool is in England, not Scotland!

So, no history of antisemitism until the SPSC came about? Well, barring that imported by the Irish Catholics (there is much historical and current antisemitic anti-zionism in Ireland) the same thing happened in Liverpool and there is a great deal of linkage there. Illustrated during 'The Troubles' by the opposing sides in Ulster, instigated by the Republicans identifying as Palestinians hanging out PLO flags (even more linkage between the PIRA and Republicans and Arab-Fascism, such as the Ghaddafi regime re-arming the IRA and backing their 'anti-Imperialism' ha, ha) which was met by the Ulster Nationalists hanging up the Israeli flag.

In response to the above, antizionim is not antisemetism. Its antizionism, hence the name. Many Jews are targets of zionist groups for criticising israeli policy and/or zionism. Its a pity that it has to be mentionned on a talk page about an ethnic group. Seamusalba (talk) 22:12, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

I have no Jewish background whatsoever, and nearly all the Scots I have met of Jewish backgrounds were either non-practising, or had only partial family backgrounds. So I hope that some better informed people might expand this a little.

I am hoping a similar article on Islam in Scotland might be written as well. --MacRusgail 20:05, 13 March 2006 (UTC)


This article lists Alicia Silverstone as being of Scottish-Jewish extraction, yet the Alicia Silverstone page lists both of her parents as being English. Which one is right? -- Siobhan

People often claim Scottish folk to be English, especially if they are English themselves, or from overseas. I seem to recall that her Scottish and Jewish ancestors came from different places. --MacRusgail 18:50, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

2001 population[edit]

According to the article, the 2001 census listed 6400 Jews. It then immediately thereafter says that there are over 8,000. It cannot be both. Tomertalk 04:06, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

6400 praticising Jews and over 8,000 raised Jewish, I believe that's what it means. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.189.220.78 (talk) 21:37, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Although one can be ethnically Jewish, but not practice the faith, the 2001 census did not ask whether someone was born Jewish but if they identified as such.

I would find that plausible. After all not all "Christians" go to church, and it's just the same with Jews. Hatch, match and despatch (+ bar-mitzvah) - and that's probably most of their visits to the synagogue. --MacRusgail (talk) 23:28, 2 April 2008 (UTC)


Scotland once had a Jewish Population of 80,000?[edit]

"Meanwhile in Scotland, members of the Jewish community admit many are nervous about being too upfront about their origins and faith. The community is in decline, with about 6,000 Jews north of the Border compared with a peak of 80,000 in the middle of the last century" and "The population peaked at about 80,000 in the mid-20th century and began to decline after the war, as many left for England, the United States or Israel. There are about 6,000 Jews in Scotland today. "

[[1]]

I remember the BBC series Scotland on Film had various shots of Jewish life in Scotland and it claimed that Glasgow Jewish population was as high as 40,000, unreliable censuses and in between Wars was to blame can anyone verify this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.200.167.9 (talk) 20:28, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

See the comments above - depends whether you include non-practising Jews, or Cultural Jews as well. Bear in mind how Christianity has declined in Scotland, and a similar process probably occurs in Judaism. Add emigration - a common Scottish problem.--MacRusgail (talk) 22:43, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it was me that posted the comments (answer) above but I can't believe that Scotland had a Jewish population of 80,000 maybe 50,000 but it does come from an Israeli newspaper so there's no smoke with out fire. :) —Preceding elitejcx comment added by 172.200.167.9 (talk) 17:41, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Dundee had a substantial population, now invisble, and Edinburgh's has declined. God knows where Greenock's is now. Glasgow's was massive. I know a number of people with Jewish ancestry, but not a recent connection to the faith.--MacRusgail (talk) 00:00, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

When Scotland Was Jewish[edit]

This book claims that Jewish people may have been living in Scotland for 900 years and that many notable Scots have Jewish ancestory.

http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-2800-7 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elitejcx (talkcontribs) 20:33, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Hmm... I take issue with any book that assumes that Celtic automatically means Christian. There's enough controversy over the term as it is. What do they mean by "burgs"? Burghs? --MacRusgail (talk) 23:55, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

The amount of antisemitism in this world is strangely echoed by disparate groups of loons claiming to be the Lost Tribes or the Real Israelites after some fashion. Seeing this in a 'Davidic Kingship', the fictions about the Stone of Destiny and the use of the heraldic Lion Rampant (also Kingdom of Judea) is one other example.

I would tend to agree with you, but Scotland has generally been free of anti-Semitism, thankfully, with some ignomonious exceptions. It has had a much lower profile here, than many other Western European countries, including England.--MacRusgail (talk) 15:46, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
When Scotland was Jewish is a book full of lies and distortions. It should not be considered as a truthful reference. Jewish people did not attempt to escape to Scotland when the English King enforced the Order of Expulsion. The first issue with this claim is that the highest estimation of Jews in England at that time were 16,000. When the Order was enforced many Jewish men were executed on the spot and at least 300 more were taken to the tower and executed later. The small Jewish population was accounted for and forced to leave. The only attempt by Jews to stay within King Edward's lands was a poorly organized escape to Ireland. They were followed and forced to leave as well. The question is why didn't Jews attempt to escape to Wales or Scotland? It was due to the fact that King Edward was well established in Wales and had numerous lords who would have been more than willing to enact the edict in Scotland. It simply didn't happen and contrary to the author's claim they did not prove this myth through tireless research.
It is true that William the Conqueror allowed Jews into England shortly after his reign began but here again they were not favored Jewish princes. That is an absurd claim. They were in England to provide an economic advantage. They were not allowed titles and lived near the castle of the local noble in order for protection. They were disliked by the vast majority of the native English and there was no intermarriage between Jews and English people. This hatred of Jews was not created out of thin air. They were accused of and proven to have committed various financial scams. In fact it was the noble class of England that insisted to King Edward that the Jews were such a problem and they needed to go. The fact is there was no Jewish nobility in England and these mythical noble Jews did not runaway to Scotland.76.92.210.222 (talk) 07:35, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I am not familiar with the book in question, but am inclined to agree that its assertions, as reported here, sound dubious and make it an unreliable source. In that case, I'm not sure why the article still contains a bracketed mention that Jews may have come to Scotland following their expulsion from England, and referenced with that source. I am sure that any such migration would have been sufficiently important to have left behind a historical record. If no such record exists, the idea is mere speculation and should be removed from the article for being misleading. Kim Traynor (talk) 22:45, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

The Shalom Tartan[edit]

Although the Shalom tartan deserves a mention in this article, the bulk of discussion about it belongs in the article about registered Scottish tartans. Likewise, the United States Air Force tartan might be mentioned in the article about the United States Air Force, but the bulk of discussion about it should be in the article about registered Scottish tartans.69.181.57.166 (talk) 08:52, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Two points - I don't know what you reference is for calling the Shalom tartan, but on the STA website it's called the Jewish tartan. And individual tartan patterns are most covered on the institution associated with them, just as football shirt designs are covered on the team pages rather than some general list of football shirts that would run into the thousands. Anyway, the Jewish tartan article was a bit WP:ADVERTy in any case so in the absence of other objections, I've merged it in (and done a load of tweaks for MOS and referencing whilst I was about it). Le Deluge (talk) 18:21, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Jews in Roman Scotland?[edit]

The lead paragraph of this article strikes me as plain daft. If there is no evidence of Jews in Scotland during the Roman occupation (not a great place for urban trade I would have thought!), then why mention them in that context? The reference should be expunged for being irrelevant to the historical record. The article should stick to the earliest references to Jews in Scotland. This would, I think, be in or after the period of Cromwell's occupation, about the same time Quakers and Baptists arrive. The old Jewish burial ground at Sciennes in Edinburgh has 17th century headstones. The Bishop of Glasgow's remarks cannot be taken to imply that Jews were resident in Scotland. Before the Wars of Independence with England many Scottish nobles held lands both north and south of the border and were well-travelled, visiting their scattered estates. The Bishop's comment is more likely to refer to Jews whom we know were resident in the south of the island at the time. Kim Traynor (talk) 12:51, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

"then why mention them in that context" - Because the Jewish population in the Roman Empire was pretty numerous, and well dispersed. I believe there were quite a few of them in Gaul and the Rhineland, so we're not just talking southern Europe here.--MacRusgail (talk) 15:18, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
I can't say the contention as it stood in the article made much sense to me. I've changed the intro. paragraph to reflect the fact that it's always possible that Jews could have come to Scotland in that period, but we have no way of knowing. I hope you agree. Kim Traynor (talk) 18:23, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
I should correct an informational error I made above. The Jewish burial ground at Sciennes was established in 1816, which is quite late. At a rough guess, it suggests that the occupants arrived in Scotland towards the end of the 18th century. If I recall correctly, some of the names indicate the Low Countries as their place of origin. Kim Traynor (talk) 23:25, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

"e have no way of knowing. I hope you agree." - Not completely... some evidence may come to light. We have some evidence of Mithraism, and Roman paganism in or near Scotland, and some very early Christianity, so I don't think it's completely impossible, or even that unlikely that evidence of Judaism may come to light at some stage. It does seem to have disappeared for over a thousand years though, and was almost certainly never in the north.--MacRusgail (talk) 16:09, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Does Ralph Glasser count as a Scottish Jew?[edit]

He does for me, but since adding him to the list of Scottish Jews, I discover that he was born in Leeds. Does that automatically exclude him from the list? He was raised in the Gorbals and seems culturally very Scottish in his autobiography. Does anyone have an opinion on whether he should go or remain? Kim Traynor (talk) 18:20, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

I now notice that David Daiches was born in Sunderland and moved to Edinburgh as an infant. That suggests Glasser has an equal right to remain on the list. Kim Traynor (talk) 23:36, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

The list is a bit loose, as it includes people who have spent a lot of time in Scotland. Peter Kravitz, for example, was born in England, but has spent most of his working life here, and exerts a positive influence on Scottish literature. One of his anthologies is seminal.--MacRusgail (talk) 16:12, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Muriel Spark?[edit]

I was under the impression Muriel Spark was a practicing Catholic rather than a Jew? Is her inclusion here as a famous Scottish Jew accurate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.29.222.13 (talk) 19:42, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

It could be argued that she wasn't Jewish, having been born to a non-Jewish Scottish mother. Yet she was half-Jewish by birth and only converted in her mid-30s, so in her formative years one might guess, though it may not be provable, that there would be Jewish influences in her life, for example, from her father's relatives and the size of the Edinburgh Jewish community which was more prominent then than now. It really needs someone with more knowledge of her life than me to state whether that was indeed the case. They say mothers are usually more influential than fathers in educating children, and Muriel had a mainstream Scottish education, no doubt with a Protestant bias. That might put her Jewishness in question, but I am sure her awareness of her father's heritage and her surname would have given her some self-perception of Jewish identity. Kim Traynor (talk) 19:13, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

People of Scottish-Jewish extraction[edit]

This list seems instead to be largely comprised of people born and raised outside of Scotland who have both Jewish and Scots elements to their ancestry. Though a list of people actually of Scottish-Jewish extraction has pertinence to this article, being of Scottish and of Jewish extraction is not the same thing and seems off-topic. Mutt Lunker (talk) 00:59, 3 March 2013 (UTC)