Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Dublin's Little Jerusalem & Irish Heritage Snippets

The Irish Jewish Museum is located in the once highly Jewish populated area of Protobello; around the South Circular Road. The former Walworth Road Synagogue, which could accommodate approximately 150 men and women, consisted of two adjoining terraced houses. Due to the movement of the Jewish people from the area to the suburbs of Dublin and with the overall decline in their numbers, the Synagogue fell into disuse and ceased to function in the early 70′s. The premises remained locked for almost fifteen years, and was brought back to life again with the establishment of the Irish Jewish Museum Committee in late 1984. The Museum was opened by the Irish born former President of Israel Dr. Chaim Herzog on the 20th June 1985 during his State visit to Ireland. It is managed by a Committee of dedicated people, varying in numbers from 20 to 30, who voluntarily give of their time.The Museum preserves an important, though small, part of Ireland’s cultural and historic heritage.
The Museum contains a substantial collection of memorabilia relating to the Irish Jewish communities and their various associations and contributions to present day Ireland.
The material relates to the last 150 years and is associated with the communities of Belfast, Cork, Londonderry, Drogheda, Dublin, Limerick & Waterford. The Museum is divided into several distinct areas. In the entrance area and corridors there is a display of photographs, paintings, certificates and testimonials. The ground floor contains a general display relating to the commercial and social life of the Jewish community. A special feature adjoining the area is the kitchen depicting a typical Sabbath/Festival meal setting in a Jewish home in the late 19th/early 20th century in the neighborhood. Upstairs, the original Synagogue, with all its ritual fittings, is on view and also the Harold Smerling gallery containing Jewish religious objects.
While there is an abundance of written material  on James Joyce and his writings, and many people visit Dublin to follow in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom of Ulysses, nevertheless a visit to the Museum enables the Joycean follower to obtain an insight into the cultural, economic, religious & social life of the Jew in Ireland during the early 1900’s. So if you are visiting Joyce's Dublin? Then a visit to Dublin's Jewish Museum is a must. Situated one mile from the City Center the number 16 and 16A Dublin Bus will bring you to Protobello where you can disembark and follow the signs to the museum. For related reading on the Jewish community in Ireland  James Joyce, Ulysses, and the Construction of Jewish Identity: Culture, Biography, and 'the Jew' in Modernist Europe  

Dublin Loyal Tours is Failte Ireland approved; we offer an unique tour of Dublin's living heritage. Visit our website for booking information.