The museum’s large collection of documents, memorabilia and photographs provide a virtual treasure trove for anyone wishing to discover more about their Irish Jewish background. A visit to the museum gives an insight into the daily social and religious life of Jews in Ireland over the past one hundred and fifty years. Many visitors to the museum have been overjoyed to find precious remnants of their family’s history or details of lost relatives.
It is remarkable how many Jewish families around the world have a connection with Ireland, some going back hundreds of years. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, it was common for families to move between England and Ireland before eventually taking their passage to the USA or Canada. Others who settled here for a while can be found to have emigrated to places as far away as South Africa or Australia. Some others may have stayed and married outside the Jewish community and in doing so lost all connection to their Jewish roots.
The newly arrived Jews to Ireland carried few if any records and often their names were changed. Some families struggle greatly just to find the name and their hometown or Shtetl, but once they do, the journey unfolds. Behind each ancestor’s name is a unique story. Sourcing the documents and creating the links that go with the documents, build that story so a precious life, no matter how long forgotten or lost can be reclaimed and held in memory forever.
The museum volunteers are always happy to carry out an initial check to see if there may be any records of relevance for you but advance notice is required for this service. Please contact the museum ahead of your visit. To delve deeper or to receive a more comprehensive report, the museum can connect you with experienced researchers who can facilitate you. The museum has assisted in research and featured in the ancestry programme “Who Do You Think You Are” for the B.B.C. and N.B.C.
The museum has recently been gifted with the latest volume of “In The Footsteps of Irish Jewry 1700-2020” from Stuart Rosenblatt for which it is most grateful. Stuart has spent many years sorting through documents and compiling information on the Jews of Ireland. The extensive volumes provide much inspiration for family research activities achieved through the museum and are a massive legacy for the community.
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