July 17, 2024
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July 17, 2024
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Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (www.scojec.org) is the representative body of all the Jewish communities in Scotland and a helpful resource for learning about the community.


Kosher tours:

Kosher Scotland (www.kosherscotland.com)—Run by Scottish-Jewish native Adam Henderson, Kosher Scotland organizes various themed tours of the country, from whisky tastings to Jewish heritage to viewing the Northern Lights and beyond, with kosher meals provided throughout one’s stay.



Garnethill Synagogue (Orthodox)


[email protected]

129 Hill Street, G3 6UB

Garnethill Synagogue, in the city center, is the oldest synagogue in Scotland, and was founded in 1879. Shabbat and festival morning services begin at 9:30 a.m.; there are no weekday services. Tours can be arranged through the synagogue office.

The synagogue is home to the Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre (www.sjhc.org/uk) and Scottish Jewish Archives Centre (www.sjac.org.uk). Learn about Scotland’s Jewish heritage and history at both centers, including the story of the Garnethill Refugee Trail, which traces the steps of the hundreds of children who came to Scotland on the Kindertransport and other refugees.

The view from Glasgow University.

Giffnock Newton Mearns Synagogue (Orthodox)


[email protected]

222 Fenwick Road, Giffnock, G46 6UE

Formed in 2021 by the merger of Newton Mearns Hebrew Congregation with Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregations, it is the largest synagogue in Scotland, and is the only one to hold daily morning, afternoon and evening services; a mikvah is also on the premises.


L’Chaim’s Restaurant

222 Fenwick Rd., Giffnock G46 6UE


[email protected]

Run by Lubavitch of Scotland, the restaurant is open by prior arrangement, with double-wrapped takeaway food available.


Mark’s Deli & Café


[email protected]

6 Burnfield Road, Giffnock

Under the supervision of the West of Scotland Kashrut Commission, the deli and market is home to a kosher version of haggis, the traditional Scottish meat dish that is, some say, not for the faint of heart.

To learn about the history of Scottish Jewish cemeteries and obtain a current list of burials, go to www.scottishjewishcemeteries.org

A stained-glass window at Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation.


Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation (Orthodox)

4a Salisbury Rd., EH16 5AB


To schedule visits and Shabbat hospitality, both for Friday night dinner and Shabbat lunch, go to www.ehcong.com/visiting-edinburgh/visitors-form.

The synagogue is also home to community and resource centers, the city’s mikvah and the Cosgrove Library. There are regular Friday night services, and Shabbat and festival morning services begin (at Nishmat) at 10 a.m. There are occasional weekday services.


Chabad of Edinburgh

https://www.chabadofedinburgh.com/  —Co-directed by Rabbi Pinny and Gitty Weinman, the center offers Friday night and Shabbat morning services, along with Shabbat dinner and lunch; register on their website by Wednesday nights.

If you visit during the summer, do not miss the Edinburgh International Festival (August 2-25, www.eif.co.uk), founded in 1947, the inspiration of Rudolf Bing, a Jewish World War II refugee who joined with civic and artistic leaders to create a global celebration of performing arts in the capital; and the famed Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August 2-26, www.edfringe.com), begun by performers who staged their own shows on the “fringe” of the main festival.

For information on the many festivals year-round, go to www.edinburghfestivalcity.com

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