Dr Mark Gilfillan, Research Associate in Irish Jewish history in the School of History and English at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland; Monday 27 May 2013, 5:15pm, (Teviot Lecture Theatre) – More details and booking info here.
This lecture will provide an overview of the history of Jews in Edinburgh from the origins of the community in 1790, to the immediate post-war period. Although the history of Edinburgh Jewry has been almost entirely omitted from scholarly and popular discussions of Jews in Scotland and Britain, it is rich in both human drama and historical significance. The community was transformed most radically, both numerically and culturally, by the arrival of immigrants from Eastern Europe during the period 1881-1910.
The lecture will focus mainly on the experiences of this group, and provide an insight into Jewish immigrant life in the heart of Edinburgh, against the backdrop of a dynamic and changing Scotland. As well as being a chronicle of the changes and challenges experienced by a minority community in Scotland’s capital, the lecture touches on broader questions: about the relationship between Scots and immigrants; between Christians and Jews. Specifically the lecture will consider some of the defining features in that relationship and ask: what was ‘Scottish’ about the experience of Jews in Scotland?