Glasgow Early Synagogues

until 1879

Glasgow, Scotland




Page created: 12 October 2005
Latest update or revision: 7 May 2017

Set out below are details of Glasgow's early synagagues - the synagogues used, in succession, by the Glasgow Hebrew Congregation and which were the predecessor congregations to Garnethill Synagogue, Glasgow's first purpose-built synagogue, opened in September 1879. Also included are details of several short-lived rival congregations.

Congregation Data


Glasgow Hebrew Congregation



From September 1823 to about 1837:
   43 High Road, Glasgow, (the High Street Synagogue) consisting of two rooms in in the first floor apartment, the home of Moses Henry Lisenheim, a few doors from the Glasgow Cross, a short distance from Trongate.


From about 1837 to 1842:
   Old Post Office Court, Candleriggs (the Candleriggs Synagogue), formerly the Glasgow Post Office and subsequently offices of the Glasgow Herald, corner of Tromgate and southwest corner of Candleriggs, Glasgow, reached through 114 Tromgate.


From 1842 to 1850:
   204 George Street, Glasgow (the first George Street Synagogue)(leased from the Andersonian University, later part of the University of Stathclyde) - During this period only, as a result of an acrimonious split in the community by a minority of members who stayed at the Caddleriggs premises (see below), the congregation, which was lead by a Mr. David Davis, was known as the Glasgow New Hebrew Congregation.


From 1850 to 1858 (or 1852)
   Howard Street, Glasgow (the Howard Street Synagogue), corner with Jamaica Street.


From 1858 to 1879:
   240 George Street, Glasgow (the second or new George Street Synagogue), corner with John Street.

(Thereafter the congregation moved to Garnethill Synagogue)

Rival Congregations

Early 1830s to early 1840s:
    A rival congregation headed by a Jonas Michael, held meetings elsewhere in Candleriggs.

About 1842 to about 1849:
    A split in the congregation, by a minority of members (about 21) who refused to move to the new premises in George Street. They objected to the fact that the new premises, part of the Andersonian University, were is a building that included a medical school where dissection was conducted (which is against Jewish halacha). The breakaway who continued to meet in the Candleriggs premises. This breakaway congregation styled itself the Glasgow Old Hebrew Congregation. In July 1849, the two congregations reunited and prepared to move to new premises.

1870 to 1871:
    Short-lived breakaway congregation, which styled itself as the Glasgow New Hebrew Congregation.


Rev. Moses Henry Lisenheim - the first minister of the Congregatiion, from at least 1823.


Ashkenazi Orthodox

Membership Data:

1845 - 13 ba'alai batim and 9 seatholders (Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire)
1845 (Rival Congregation) - 7 ba'alai batim and 14 seatholders (Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire)


On-line Articles and other Material relating to this Congregation


Greater Glasgow Jewish Community home page
(which includes additional information and other articles relating to this congregations)

Jewish Communities and Congregations in Scotland home page


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