Exhibition: Edinburgh Jews

Contextualised by topographical and global mapping, fitting for a people who have moved both around the world and within Edinburgh itself, the exhibition reveals the significant influence of this comparatively small community on the city. It also addresses the impact of world events, including both World Wars and the Zionist movement, as well as revealing areas of contention amongst Edinburgh’s Jews.

This online exhibition focuses, like the exhibition on display at The University of Edinburgh, on developments from the late nineteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century. The information on the dedicated exhibition pages (linked below) offers an introductory overview of the long history of Jews in Edinburgh. Each page features an interactive gallery – click any image to see it at full size and to read a detailed description. For maps, you can click on the “enlarge” icon on the right below the image to interact with it at full resolution.


Global Conflict

Pesach 1917

Mapping Jews in Edinburgh

Braid Place burial ground reduced
Park Place synagogue 2 crop

Christian Missions, Charities and Zionism

Mission Hall Caledonian Cresc (1)

Living History

If you would like to contribute to ongoing research, please add your memories, family history or comments to the Living History page.


The Research Network in Jewish Studies at the University of Edinburgh would like to thank the following for their contribution to the exhibition web pages: Harvey Kaplan of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, Mark Gilfillan, Patricia Scoular, Malcolm Cant, National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh City Archives (Plans Store). Special acknowledgement is given to the Seftor family for sharing their family archive, and to Anita Mendelssohn and Carole Cowen for their time and generosity in sharing their memories.

‘Edinburgh Jews’ has been funded by the University of Edinburgh’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences Challenge Investment Fund 2012.

Maps are reproduced by kind permission of the National Library of Scotland and Ordnance Survey. Map fragments by Google Maps.

Research, Exhibition Design and Production

Dr Hannah Holtschneider (Jewish Studies, The University of Edinburgh)

Piotr J. Leśniak (PhD Candidate in Architecture by Design, The University of Edinburgh)

Jane McArthur (PhD AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award Student, Cultural Studies, University of Edinburgh and Imperial War Museum, London.)

David Robertson (PhD Candidate in Religious Studies, University of Edinburgh)

Mirella Yandoli (MSt Candidate Jewish – Christian Relations, The University of Cambridge).

First page →