the former

United Hebrew Congregation

Greenville Hall

Dublin, Ireland





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© David Shulman 2014

© David Shulman 2014

Two views of the former Greenville Hall Synagogue taken in September 2014.

 Congregation Data


United Hebrew Congregation, Dublin

Alternative Name

Greenville Hall Synagogue
(initially referred to as Greenville House)(i)


Greenville Hall, 228 South Circular Road, Dolphin's Barn, Dublin D8.(ii)

Situated between Dolphin’s Barn and Leonard’s Corner on the South Circular Road, Greenville House was purchased in 1913 for £625.(iii) For some years the upstairs rooms of the existing building were used for religious services and until the 1916, with the opening of Greenville Hall, the downstairs was used for social events.(iv) A community appeal for £5,000 was launched in 1914 but the project was delayed due to World War I and it was not until 1925 that the new Greenville Hall Synagogue was opened.(v)  The synagogue was designed by the Dublin architect, Aubrey Vincent O'Rourke.(vi)

On 3 January 1941, the synagogue building was somewhat damaged by a German air raid.(ix)
(Although the Republic of Ireland remained neutral throughout World War II, it was nevertheless the subject of a number of German air raids. At the insistence of the Irish Government, the Nazi government agreed to pay reparations for the damage, although it appears that any such reparations were paid by the German post-war government. )


A number of hebrot (small congregations) had been established primarily in the 1880s and 1890s in Dublin's South Circular Road area (around Clanbrassil Street and Portobello) primarily by immigrants from Lithuania and Poland, who were generally more strictly observant than members of the then existing somewhat assimilated Jewish community. By the end of first decade of the twentieth century it became evident that the combined facilities of these hebrot were inadequate for the growing congregations. However, the members of these congregations had no desire to join the Adelaide Synagogue of the mainstream Dublin Hebrew Congregation.

Accordingly on 10 October 1909, representatives of four of the hebrot met to discuss the situation and left as founders of the Dublin United Hebrew Congregation.(x) A building fund was established for the building of a new synagogue. Greenville House was purchased in 1913, services were commenced in the existing Greenville House in 1915, but the new synagogue was not completed until 1925.

Although it had been the intention that the hebrot would be replaced by a new united congregation, most of the hebrot continued as independent congregations despite the opening of the Greenville House congregation,(xi) although many of their members joined the new congregation. In fact only one congregation, the Camden Street Synagogue, ceased its activities upon the opening of Greenville House and another, Oakfield Place Synagogue, closed in about 1927.(xii) (The Heytesbury Street Congregation had closed many years earlier.)


After some years of endeavoring to cope with falling membership due to Jewish migration from the vicinity of the South Circular Road, the synagogue finally closed its doors in 1984. Many of its displaced members joined the Machzikei Hadass Synagogue (the successor congregation to the St. Kevin's Parade Synagogue).(xiii)

From 1989, the building became premises of Mason Technology, scientific equipment suppliers, who by a strange coincidence, realised that had also operated from another former synagogue, Dublin's first synagogue in Crane  Lane.(xiv)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


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

Rather than appointing its own minister, almost from its founding the congregation relied upon the spiritual leadership of the various Chief Rabbis of Ireland and Dublin's communal rabbis. In 1919, the United Hebrew Congregation was one of the six congregations which combined to appoint Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog as communal rabbi of the Dublin Jewish community, prior to him being appointed Chief Rabbi of Ireland in 1922.(xviii) In addition, particularly from the 1950s, the Chief Rabbis occupied by rotation the pulpits of the various orthodox congregations in Dublin, generally none of which had their own minister.

The only listed minister exclusive to this congregation was:

Rab David Freilich - minister from about 1946 until about 1948(xix)


Rev. B. Yaffey - reader from about 1925 until about 1938(xx)

Rev. Wolf Garbarz - first reader from about 1931 until at least 1944(xxi)

Rev. J. Segal - reader from 1946 until 1956(xxii)

Rev. Abraham Gittleson - second reader (and later as first reader) from about 1948 until 1983 (though not necessarily continuously)(xxiii)

Rev. Benjamin Hass - first reader from about 1957 until 1961(xxiv)

Lay Officers from 1896:

Unless otherwise stated, the following data on lay officers has been extracted from Jewish Year Books, which were not published during the war years 1941 to 1945, and which subsequent to 1956 generally ceased to provide details of lay officers other than the secretary.(xxviii) In several instances the full name of an officer has been obtained from other sources.


1915-1916 - J. Zletover(xxix)

1916-1920 - Dr. George Selig Wigoder(xxx)

1920-1929 - Joseph Zlotover(xxix)

1929-1934 - Dr. George Selig Wigoder(xxx)

1934-1938 - no data

1938-1946 - M. Ellis, PC(xxxi)

1946-1949 - M. Jacobson

1949-at least 1956 - A. Benson, PC



1916-1918 - J. Zletover(xxix)

1918-1920 - T. Coleman

1920-1923 - William Green

1923-1925 - D. Baigel

1925-1934 - no data

1934-1939 - J. Tomkin

1939-1940 - W. Baigel

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1946 - M. Jacobson*

1946-1949 - A. Benson, PC*

1949 to at least 1956 - B. Shaw*

*The Treasurer also served as
Vice President 1945-1951

Vice Presidents

1934-1938 - M. Ellis

1938-1939 - J. Slotover(xxix)

1939-1940 - M. Jacobson

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1951 - joined with Treasurer


Hon. Secretaries

1925-1927 - William Green

1927-1931 - A. Zolkie

1931-1936 - A. ZolkieWilliam Green

1936-1939 - William Green

1939-1940 - S. Seligman

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1946 - R. SegalB. Shaw

1946-1949 - B. Shaw

1949-1950 - T. Segal

1950-1957 - S. Baigel

1957-1959 - J. Segal

1960-1962 - M. Swillman

1962-1963 - H. Woolfson

1963-1976 - J. Segal

1976-1981 - D. Levy

1981-1984 - B. Katz

Membership Data:

Number of Member (seatholders)

Jewish Year Books(xxxii)

1939 - 198

1945 - 280

1953 - 198

1962 - 120

Other sources(xxxiii)

1951 - 300

1961 - 150

Cemetery Data:

See Dublin Jewish Cemeteries Information on the Dublin home page.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Jewish Year Books from 1916 through 1920 referred to Grenville(sic) House.

  • (ii) The full address appears in Sharman Kadish's Jewish Heritage in Britain and Ireland, p.264.

  • (iii) Ray Rivlin's Jewish Ireland - A Social History (2011) ("Jewish Ireland"), p.55.

  • (iv) Jewish Ireland, p.56.

  • (v) Jewish Ireland, pp.55/6.

  • (vi) Blog by Patrick Comerford of 10 October 2019. See foot of page. To view additional information about A.V. O'Rourke, hold your cursor over his name.

  • (vii) and (viii) Reserved.

  • (ix) Jewish Ireland, p.47.

  • (x) Jewish Ireland, p.55.

  • (xi) Jewish Ireland, p.59.

  • (xii) The other hebrot, which continued their independent activities, were the congregations in St Kevin's Parade, Lombard Street West and Lennox Street as well as the newcomer, Walworth Road, which had only been formed in about 1912.

  • (xiii) Jewish Ireland, p.67. Its last listing was in the Jewish Year Book 1986.

  • (xiv) Blog by Patrick Comerford of 10 October 2019. See foot of page.

  • (xv) to (xvii) Reserved.

  • (xviii) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 April 1919. For a list of the congregations click here.

  • (xix) Based upon Rab Freilach's listing as rabbi of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1947 and 1948.

  • (xx) Based upon Rev. Yaffey's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1926 through 1938 (from 1932 as second reader to Rev. W. Garbarz.

  • (xxi) B. Shillman's A Short History of Jews in Ireland (1945). Rev. Garbarz was listed as the first or only reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1932 through 1940. Year Book publication during World War II ceased after 1940 until 1945/6

  • (xxii) Jewish Ireland, p.67. Rev. Segal received a call to Glasgow in 1957. He was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1949 and 1956.

  • (xxiii) Based upon Rev. Gittleson's listing in Jewish Year Books, as second reader (1949 through 1951, 1958 through 1962) and as first reader (1957, 1962 through 1977, 1984).

  • (xxiv) Based upon Rev. Hass's listing as first reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1958 through 1961.

  • (xxv) to (xxvii) Reserved.

  • (xxviii) Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. Jewish Year Books were published according to the Gregorian year, being published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1920 through 1924, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1919 and continued in office until 1924. 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.

  • (xxix) J. Zletover, also served as the last president of the Camden Street Synagogue, which closed with the opening of this congregation. The spelling of offices' names are as appearing in the Jewish Year Books. It is believed that all references to J. Zletover, J. Zlotover and Joseph Zlotover (and possibly Slotover) are to the same person. However in Jewish Ireland, p.57, reference is made first to Joseph Zlotover (in 1924) and later on the page to Jacob Zlotover (in 1933).

  • (xxxii) and (xxxi) Dr. Wigover also served as president of the St. Kevin's Parade Synagogue (c.1904-c.1916).

  • (xxxi) As M. Ellis was listed as president of the congregation in Jewish Year Books both before (1939 and 1940) and after (from 1945/6) the cessation of publication during World War II, it is assumed that he also served as president of the congregation throughout the war.

  • (xxxii) As listed in the Jewish Year Book for the relevant year.

  • (xxxiii) Jewish Ireland, p.64.


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Congregation

On Third Party websites

Dublin Jewish Community home page

List of Synagogues destroyed or damaged by German air raids during World War II

JCR-UK Ireland home page

Page created: 12 June 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 13 November 2022
Page most recently amended: 12 May 2024

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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