Jewish Edinburgh Now
Being Jewish in Edinburgh
Thinking of coming to live in Edinburgh? Whether you are considering visiting for a holiday, coming to work here or to study, you may be wondering how easy it is to lead a Jewish life in the city.
The Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation is the home of the city’s Orthodox synagogue. The beautiful synagogue was built in 1932 to accommodate over 1000 members and reconstructed in 1980 to seat 500. While the membership is much smaller now the community remains vibrant, organising services and events throughout the year. Regular services are held on Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning. Weekday services can be arranged for Yahrzeits. There is a Cheder on Sunday mornings. We have a mikveh on the synagogue site for the use of members and visitors.
Kosher bread from London is available in branches of Waitrose supermarkets. Sainsbury’s at Cameron Toll has a wide range of kosher chilled foods and dry goods. Costco at Straiton also has some kosher products including smoked salmon, Chicago hot dogs, felafel and gefilte fish balls.
Glasgow – an hour away by car or train – has a well-stocked kosher delicatessen – Mark’s Deli. The Deli has a fifty seat café/restaurant and is open six days a week. Grocery orders to Edinburgh are delivered every two weeks and Mark can also provide catering. There is also L’Chaim’s Kosher Restaurant in the grounds of Giffnock Synagogue. They also deliver and can provide outside catering
Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation also runs a Lunch Club for its senior citizens in the Community Centre once a week.
Social and Cultural life
The Jewish Literary Society, which was established over 125 years ago, continues to flourish, running a season of talks every year. During the Edinburgh Festival the synagogue also runs a Festival Open Day welcoming performers and visitors to the City, and a “pop – up” kosher diner. Shabbat and Festivals are celebrated with events such as kiddushim, Friday night dinners, Shabbat lunches, seudahs, and a communal Seder. The Community Centre Committee hold a variety of events – an annual quiz, a Burns Supper, film nights, pre-Yom Tov coffee mornings, picnic walks in the surrounding countryside and a Chanukah Dinner. And if you want to learn or improve your Yiddish there’s a friendly weekly class held for most of the year.
Many fine cultural events are also organised by the recently founded Edinburgh Jewish Cultural Centre.