the former

Dunfermline Hebrew Congregation

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland




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City of Dunfermline

Dunfermline, with a population of nearly 60,000, was officially awarded city status as part of the 2022 Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours. The city, which had been the capital of Scotland during the early medieval period, is situated a few miles inland from the Firth of Forth on Scotland's east coast (to the north-west of Edinburgh). Dunfermline is in Fife, which was a county until 1975, then became a Region (of which Dunfermline was one of its administrative districts) and, in 1996, Fife became a unitary authority.

Dunfermline Jewish Community

Dunfermline had a small Jewish community, from the early to mid twentieth century. Only one Jewish congregation is known to have existed in the town.

Congregation Data


Dunfermline Hebrew Congregation


Athol Place, Dunfermline, Fife, from about 1946.(ii)

Previously, 5 Pittencrieff Street, Dunfermline, from at least 1938.(iii)

Date Founded:



Closed. The congregation became defunct by 1951.(v)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


None, but the congregation would have been under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

Ministers: (To view a short profile of a minister whose name appears in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rev. S. Michaelson - from 1908 (termination date uncertain) (vii)

Rev. Morris Balanow - 1920s(viii)

Rev. Morris Symon Segal - from 1924 to 1944(ix)

Lay Officers:(x)


1918-1924 - J. Rudduck(xi)

1924-1927 - P. Green

1927-1951* - I. Miller


1918-1927 - S. Brodski(xi)

Hon. Secretaries

1918-1924 - G.J. Fellman(xi)

1924-1927 - H.E. Ferris

1927-1951* - I. Sclar

*Although these officers remained listed in Jewish Year Books until 1951, it is by no means certain that they actually continued to hold office (or whether the congregation even continued to exist) until then.

Membership Data:

1938 - 15 men and 15 women seatholders.(xii)

Cemetery Information:

There is no known Jewish cemetery in Dunfermline.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved

  • (ii) Based upon this being the address listed for the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1947.

  • (iii) This was the address listed for the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1939 until 1945/6.

  • (iv) Note in Jewish Year Book 1923. (The congregation was not listed in Jewish Year Books until 1919 and then was listed again until 1923).

  • (v) Based upon last listing in Jewish Year Book 1951.

  • (vi) Reserved.

  • (vii) Jewish Chronicle of 13 November 1908 reported on Rev. Michaelson leaving Boston, Linc., for Dunfermline, Scotland the following week. A fortnight later Rev. Michaelson-Hirschell is reported to have given a presentation in Dunfermline.

  • (viii) My Mother's Daughter - A Theatrical Autobiography by Edith Rudduck, 1995, refers to Rev. Balanow as the congregation's "first" minister and his son was born in Dunfirmline in 1922.

  • (ix) Caledonian Jews by Nathan Abrams, 2009, pp. 101/2. Rev. Segal was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1928 through 1938.

  • (x) Based upon listings in Jewish Year Books. Where a person is first listed in a yearbook as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant yearbook (which was generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing the title of the yearbook) and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, his actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here. Jewish Year Books were not published during World War II subsequent to 1940.

  • (xi) These three officers were listed in the Jewish Year Book 1919 (in which the community was first listed) as holding these respective offices. However, the community did not appear in subsequent Jewish Year Books until 1923, when the same offcers were listed holding the sames offices. It has therefore been assumed that the also held such offices during the interim years.

  • (xii) Jewish Year Book 1939.


Bibliography, Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Dunfirmline Jewish Community


  • Bibilography

    • My Mother's Daughter - A Theatrical Autobiography by Edith Rudduck, 1995, which describes her childhood in Dunfirmline.

    • Caledonian Jews - A Study of Seven Small Communities in Scotland by Nathan Abrams (2009).

    • Other Scottish Bibliography

on Third Party websites


Other Dunfermline Jewish Institutions

  • Social, Literary and Debating Society (founded by 1922) 

  • Dunfirmline Ladies Zionist Group (1930s)


Dunfermline Jewish Population Data


over 40

(Scottish Jewish Archives Centre website)



(The Jewish Year Book 1951)

Jewish Communities and Congregations in Scotland home page

Page created: 6 October 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 30 May 2021
Page most recently amended: 7 June 2022

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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