National Library receives genealogical history of Ireland's Jews

The event featured guests such as Irish Ambassador to Israel H.E. Kyle O'Sullivan, NLI Chairman Ambassador Sallai Meridor and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Yossi Havilio.

A 22-volume genealogical history of the Jewish communities of Ireland by Stuart Rosenblatt is presented to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem on December 19, 2022. (photo credit: YONI KELBERMAN)
A 22-volume genealogical history of the Jewish communities of Ireland by Stuart Rosenblatt is presented to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem on December 19, 2022.
(photo credit: YONI KELBERMAN)

The National Library of Israel has received a genealogical history of Ireland's Jewish communities, spanning 22 volumes, they announced on Tuesday.

The documents were presented by Stuart Rosenblatt, head of the Irish Jewish Genealogical Society and president of the Genealogical Society of Ireland, who wrote and compiled the history.

The event, made possible by the Irish Embassy and the Israel-Ireland Friendship League (IIFL) and chaired by IIFL Chairman Malcolm Gafson, featured guests such as Irish Ambassador to Israel H.E. Kyle O'Sullivan, NLI Chairman Ambassador Sallai Meridor and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Yossi Havilio.

While compiling the collection, Rosenblatt traveled to all 32 counties in Ireland and Northern Ireland, searching for documents and conducting oral history interviews.

During his studies, Rosenblatt discovered the Alien Register of 1914-1922, which contained the names of people from outside the United Kingdom who lived in Dublin and needed to register themselves with police.

A 22-volume genealogical history of the Jewish communities of Ireland by Stuart Rosenblatt is presented to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem on December 19, 2022. (credit: YONI KELBERMAN)A 22-volume genealogical history of the Jewish communities of Ireland by Stuart Rosenblatt is presented to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem on December 19, 2022. (credit: YONI KELBERMAN)

“I feel a strong sense of personal connection and pride as an Israeli Jew with a direct Irish connection and derive special pleasure from the arrival of these volumes to Israel.”

President Isaac Herzog

The collection includes information about more than 70,000 people who lived in Ireland from 1700-2021, such as birth, marriage and burial records, naturalization certificates, alien registration forms, school records and records from the 1901 and 1911 censuses.

"Needless to say, I feel a strong sense of personal connection and pride as an Israeli Jew with a direct Irish connection and derive special pleasure from the arrival of these volumes to Israel," President Isaac Herzog said in a letter.

"These volumes are a living history of people who have now no voice," said Rosenblatt. "Their presence is here in the National Library of Israel. The passage of time in the four corners of Ireland, in every county and town where the wandering Israelites sojourned, is now recorded for posterity. Births, marriages, deaths, census, alien registration, synagogue memberships, home and business addresses, grave details and inscriptions are just a sample in the 22 volumes."

History of Jewish community in Ireland

The first permanent settlement of Sephardic Jews in Ireland was established in the late 1400s when Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal. Then, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was an influx of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe. There were 2,557 Jews in Ireland, more than half of whom (1,539) live in Dublin, according to the 2016 census, a 28.9 percent increase from the previous census in 2011.