The Origins of Scottish Jewry

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THE Jewish communities in Scotland, as they are known today, had their origin in the second and third decades of the nineteenth century. In those years Europe was in a state of social and political unrest; and during and following upon the Napoleonic wars a wave of emigration from the continent started westwards, composed of those who were seeking a more stable background than could be found on the European mainland. These refugees from political and economic uncertainties landed, most of them, on the east coast of Great Britain, and it is not surprising to find that the first Jewish community in Scotland developed in Edinburgh in the early years of last century, to be followed closely thereafter by the formation of a sister community in Glasgow. While there is no evidence of any organised Jewish community in Scotiand prior to 1816, there are records of earlier Jewish settlement

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