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HISTORY Of Greenock's Jewish Community Will Feature At Beacon Event

HISTORY Of Greenock's Jewish Community Will Feature At Beacon Event

GREENOCK is the venue for a talk being held by the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.

It takes place at the Beacon Arts Centre on Sunday 19 November, from 3pm.

Fiona Brodie and Howard Brodie, from the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, will share the story of the Jewish community in Scotland, followed by a question-and-answer session with Greenock-born Viki McDonnell, who has made a special study of the history of the Jewish community of her home town. 

There will be a chance to see a specially-commissioned bust of Henry Temianka, who was born on Rue End Street, Greenock, in 1906. He later emigrated to the USA where he founded the Paganini String Quartet and the California Chamber Symphony Orchestra.  The Greenock event marks the 111th anniversary of his birth and is part of the Bicentenary of Jewish Communities in Scotland programme.

The first Jewish service in Greenock was held in 1894, with the first minister, Rev. I Tiemanka -– father of Henry -– being appointed shortly afterward. In 1911, prior to the First World War, there were a total of 110 Jews in Greenock, however by the 1930s, the number of Jewish people diminished, and by 1936, the community was dissolved. There is still a small Jewish section in Greenock Cemetery, with 16 burials, dated from 1908 to 1945.

Fiona Frank, projects and outreach manager with the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, said: “The Jewish footprint in Scotland is so very vast. Though our communities have changed, fluctuating with the ebb and flow of immigration and emigration, Scottish Jews have made an impact around the world. 

"The achievements of Henry Temianka, a native Greenock boy, exemplify this, as his influence on the world of music can still be felt today. We hope that our talk will help people, whether Jewish or not, find their place in the story.”

Anyone with an interest in Jewish history or local history is welcome to the talk. The event is free, though organisers are asking for a suggested donation of £10 (£5 concessions) to help cover expenses. The talk includes tea and cakes.

There’s no need to book, but it would be helpful for catering purposes. Contact Joanne by calling 077245 49817, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit for details.

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