the former

Argyll and Bute Jewish Community

(Jewish Network of Argyll and the Highlands)

Argyll and Bute, Scotland




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Argyll and Bute

Argyll and Bute (Scottish Gaelic: Earra-Ghàidheal agus Bòd) is the second largest of 32 unitary authority council areas into which Scotland was divided in 1996. It embraces part of the central Scottish mainland, in particular a number of ragged peninsulas stretching southwest into the Irish Sea (including Cowal and Kintyre) and many islands including Bute in the south and the southern islands of the Inner Hebrides (the largest being Islay, Jura and the Isle of Mull).  From 1975 to 1996 most of the area formed the Argyll and Bute district of the Strathclyde region, and prior to 1975, Argyll (with slightly different borders) and Bute were separate counties (the latter also including the island of Arron).

Dunoon (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Omhain), the main town on the Cowal peninsula in the south of Argyll and Bute, is located on the western shore of the upper Firth of Clyde, almost opposite Greenock to the east, and is some 30 miles to the west of Glasgow. Lochgilphead (Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Loch Gilb), a former burgh, is the administrative centre of Argyll and Bute. It lies at the end of Loch Gilp (a branch of Loch Fyne) on the banks of the Crinan Canal and immediately to the north of Knapdale and the Kintyre peninsula. It is approximately 20 miles due west of Dunoon (but the driving distance is some 63 miles).

Jewish Community

For several years from the mid 1990s, there was a small informal Jewish group active in Argyll and Bute.

Data on the Jewish Group


Argyll and Bute Jewish Community(ii)

In 2003 the group renamed itself as the Jewish Network of Argyll and the Highlands, to reflect a new geographic spread in membership, which included Jews from the Mull of Kintyre in the south up to Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands, plus others further east.(iii)


There was no specific address. However, for a number of years monthly social gatherings were held in Lochgilphead(iv) and the contact address in the Jewish Year Books (being the address of the convenor and co-ordinator) was in Dunoon.(v)

Date Founded:

Founded in 1995 with an initial £500 grant from Jewish Continuity.(vi)


No known activity since December 2003, when the group celebrated Chanucah with its largest ever gathering - 27 people - who met for a party in Lochgilphead.(vii)

Membership numbers:

In the 1990s, a series of newspaper adverts attracted responses from 12 to 15 people.(viii) As mentioned above, the Chanucah party in December 2003 attracted 27 people


None known.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved

  • (ii) This was the name listed in Jewish Year Books.

  • (iii) Jewish Chronicle report of 3 October 1903.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle reports.

  • (v) The congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books under Dunoon.

  • (vi) Jewish Chronicle report of 5 May 1995. The first listing was in Jewish Year Book 1997.

  • (vii) Jewish Chronicle report of 2 January 2004. The last groups last listing was in the Jewish Year Book 2003.

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle reports.


Notable Jewish Connections with Argyll and Bute

  • Linda McCartney (nee Eastman, formerly See) (1941-1998), Jewish American photographer, musician, animal rights activist, and entrepreneur, was the first wife of Paul McCartney of the Beatles, from March 1969 until her death. In 1966, Paul McCartney had purchased the High Park Farm in Kintyre, Argyll and Bute, as a holiday home and retreat, and he and Linda spent a great deal of time on the farm, inspiring the hit song, Mull of Kintyre. McCartney's third wife, Nancy (nee Shevell), whom he married in 2011, is also Jewish.


Jewish Communities and Congregations in Scotland home page

Page created: 14 September 2021
Page most recently amended: 20 September 2021

Research by David Shulman and Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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