Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Irish Jews: Where Did They Come From?

Nadene Goldfoot                                        
Jews may have lived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries, but none were there after the expulsion of all Jews in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in 1290.  Jews weren't allowed to return to Great Britain's England until 1655.  That's 365 years of being kept away and forced to find other lands to live in.  " Oliver Cromwell permitted Jews to return to England in 1657, over 360 years after their banishment by Edward I, in exchange for finance." 
Dublin-River Liffey
Entering Ireland after 1655 were a few Anusim or Marranos, as they were distastefully called then.  These were former Jews who were forced to leave Spain or convert to Catholicism and so moved to Portugal who only needed a year or two to catch up to that dictum and did the same thing to them. They converted but kept their Judaism hidden from Christians.   They settled in Dublin after 1660-under the guise of Christianity, perhaps.  More arrived as military purveyors after the 1689 revolution.  The original settlers of Sephardis were joined by Ashkenazim.  By the 18th century, this group of Jews declined.  In 1816 only 3 Jewish families remained in Dublin with a few others in other parts of Ireland.

Something happened causing Jews to enter Ireland in 1822.  Then Ireland suffered in the Great Potato Famine from 1845 to 1852.  It was in all of Europe in the 1840s.   By 1880 there were 400 Jews living in Ireland, 90% in Dublin.  My grandfather was to follow around 1893 from Lithuania via England.  Many of these later Jews were from Lithuania and had lived in England first.
 Their number had grown with the emigration from Eastern Europe at the end of the 19th century, and they spread out with communities appearing in Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Belfast and of course, Dublin.
Yitzhak HaLevi "Isaac" Herzog, 1st Chief Rabbi of Ireland
(b: December 3, 1888; d: July 25, 1959) age 70. 

A chief rabbi was chosen in 1918 after the First World War who was Yitzhak Halevei Herzsog.  "Rabbi Herzog was born in ŁomżaPoland, the son of Liba Miriam (Cyrowicz) and Joel Leib Herzog. He moved to the United Kingdom with his family in 1898, where they settled in Leeds. His initial schooling was largely at the instruction of his father who was a rabbi in Leeds and then later in Paris. Later he attended the University of London, where he received his doctorate. His thesis, which made him famous in the Jewish world, concerned his claim of re-discovering Tekhelet, the type of blue dye once used for the making of Tzitzit.  A fluent speaker of the Irish language, he supported the First Dáil and the Irish republican cause during the Irish War of Independence, and became known as "the Sinn Féin Rabbi".[ He went on to serve as Chief Rabbi of Ireland between 1922 and 1936, when he immigrated to Palestine to succeed Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook as Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi upon his death."

 1936 would have been a very hard time to live in Jerusalem as they had had terrible riots resulting in many deaths in 1929 spurred on by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.  Again, he had to face a new language in that people in Palestine were speaking Hebrew, which is conversational Hebrew, differing from Biblical Hebrew where you read or sing the language.  Being brilliant and only 48 years old, he handled it well, I imagine.  

By  1990, the Jewish population had risen to 1,600 with most Jews living mainly in Dublin, which is the Republic of Ireland.    Northern Ireland had 400 who lived mainly in Belfast.  I found my Goldfoot family on the 1901 and 1911 census in Dublin.
b: August 5, 1872 Telsiai, Lithuania d: July 19, 1912 Portland, Oregon USA
My grandfather, Nathan Abraham Goldfus/foot, must have anglicized his name in England.  The reason for leaving Lithuania may have been to escape the Russian draft.  He was of age.  He and other Jews spoke Lithuanian and Yiddish, using Yiddish among themselves.  Then they had to try to pick up a little English in England, and by moving to Ireland, had to also learn another dialect.  For instance, Marriage Certificate is written as Deimhniu Posadh in Irish.  Ireland is written as Eire.  Name is Ainm.  Surname is Sloinne.  Occupation is Sli Bheatha.  Civil Status is Stadas Sibhialta.

Nathan, born in 1872,  married a Lena Goldberg in Dublin on Tuesday, February 21, 1893 at the age of 21.  By June 14, 1893 he was at the Londonderry Port on the ship, Parisian,  headed for Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada alone.  He must have been 20 years old at least when he embarked on his voyage.   It happened in the Registrar's Office in Dublin instead of by a rabbi, so I wonder if it wasn't an arranged marriage to help him stay in the country.  He lived at 13 Arbutus Place and was listed as a commercial traveller.  That's where I found another Goldfoot  next door who no doubt was a relative.  Maybe it was a rooming house.  His father was listed on the marriage certificate as Morris Goldfoot who was deceased but had been a distiller. I believe he died in November 1878 when Nathan was 6 years old and was possibly raised by another Goldfoot, Chaim Itzak.(Abraham Chaim Goldfus) his uncle.  Oddly, Nathan will die in 1912 in Oregon in a horse and wagon accident and leave my father, Moses-Morris,  fatherless at the age of 4.

 I found other Goldfoots living on Harcourt Street in Fitzwilliam; Victoria Street in Wood Quay, Hillview Street in Clifton, Antrim, Grand Parade and South Mall  in Cork, Townland Street in DED,   Clanbrassil Street in Dublin was the street of Kosher delicatessens and stores where the owners lived in the back part.  It was on the south side of the River Liffey and was the hub of Jewish Dublin.

Lena had lived at 38 Warren Street in Dublin and her father was Naftolee Goldberg, also deceased and he had been a cap maker.  Goldfoots aren't mentioned in Rivlin's book, so Jews didn't know everyone in their community, but Herzog did live on the same street as Nathan.

Most of the Jews of Dublin left Ireland and immigrated to South Africa, mainly in Johannesburg.  My grandfather left the families and immigrated to the USA through the ship, Parisian heading for Winnipeg.  In Winnipeg, there is also a Jewish population.  Languages spoken by them have been "English (among Ashkenazis) · French (among Sephardis) · Hebrew (as liturgical language, some as mother tongue) · Yiddish (by some as mother tongue and as part of a language revival· and other languages like Russian.  Jews have had to be multi-lingual.  The language I hear in South Africa by my South African cousin is very English with a strong accent.

No records are required for movements within the British Isles countries (England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man, and Channel Islands). Records were not required for free emigrants to the United States until 1773, to Canada until 1865, or to Australia, New Zealand, the British West Indies, or South Africa until the twentieth century. No countrywide, official record  was kept for people leaving Ireland.

Immigrants to Ireland came primarily from elsewhere within the British Isles or from continental Europe by way of England. Specific groups of immigrants included refugees from various wars (such as the French Revolution), Huguenots, Germans, and Jews. Ireland kept no official immigration records, so you must rely primarily on (1) English records of immigrants who passed through England on their way to Ireland and (2) emigration records of the country from which your ancestor moved.

Resource:  The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Ireland, a social history, by Ray Rivlin.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubles...Ireland, Protestant and Catholic war

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