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 also Cheder on Sunday mornings. There is a mikvah on the synagogue site.
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; and a limited range of kosher dry foods is also available in other local supermarkets including some branches of Tesco and Morrisons. Deliveries of kosher meat are made regularly from a butcher in Manchester. Customers order and pay directly to the store and then pick up their order at the synagogue.
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 senior citizens held in the Community Centre every Thursday.
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. Jewish Festivals are celebrated with events such as special kiddushim, Seudahs, lunches, a communal Seder, and Friday night dinners. 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 an annual 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 organised by the Edinburgh Jewish Cultural Centre