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Donation of Genealogical History of the Irish Jewish Community to the National Library of Israel

On 19 December, 2022, the Embassy of Ireland, Israel-Ireland Friendship League (IIFL) and National Library of Israel (NLI) were delighted to collaborate on the donation of a unique 22-volume genealogical history of the Jewish communities of Ireland. These volumes will be available to anyone visiting the Library in Jerusalem, and wishing to learn about their ancestry.


The collection was presented by author and compiler, Stuart Rosenblatt, President of the Irish Jewish Genealogical Society at a ceremony at the Library, held in the presence of Ambassador of Ireland, H.E Kyle O'Sullivan, NLI Chairman Ambassador Sallai Meridor, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Yossi Havilio, other distinguished guests of honor, members and descendants of the Irish-Jewish community, Library staff, and chaired by IIFL Chairman Malcolm Gafson.


Isaac Herzog, President of The State of Israel was not able to attend the ceremony due to prior commitments, but sent a letter that stated, in part, "Needless to say, I feel a strong sense of personal connection and pride as an Israeli Jew with a direct Irish connection and derive special pleasure from the arrival of these volumes to Israel," adding that he looked forward to perusing these records at a different juncture.


Ambassador of Ireland, H.E Kyle O'Sullivan acknowledged the importance of this expansive collection, which contributes to a permanent record of Ireland-Jewish shared history, and the significance of its being housed in the main global repository of Jewish ancestry. He highlighted the Embassy’s strong desire to strengthen and deepen links between Ireland and the small, yet very active, Irish-origin community in Israel, and to honor the contribution they have made, and continue to make, to Ireland. He thanked the Israel-Ireland Friendship League (IIFL) for its continued collaboration in promoting positive people-to-people links between Ireland and Israel.


NLI Chairman Sallai Meridor said, "It is with deep gratitude that we receive the genealogical records of the Irish Jewish Community at the National Library of Israel. We salute Mr. Stuart Rosenblatt for his tireless work of research and compilation of the genealogical history of the community. Now, with the depositing of the collection at the National Library of Israel, these records will forever be guarded and serve as a resource for scholars, as a treasure of the Jewish people and the Irish Jewish community, and as a source of knowledge and identity for its descendants in Israel and worldwide. We thank the Embassy of Ireland in Israel and the Israel-Ireland Friendship League for joining in this important effort."


The Irish Jewish Family History Database contains information about over 70,000 individuals who lived in Ireland between 1700 and 2021. As part of his research, Roseblatt visited all 32 counties in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, in search of documentation, and also conducted oral history interviews. Only five copies of the volumes exist in the world; four are in Ireland at the National Archives in Dublin, the National Library in Dublin, the Irish Jewish Museum (of which the Irish Jewish Genealogical Society is a division), and the Genealogical Society of Ireland. The fifth set of Rosenblatt’s personal hardbound copies will now be housed at the NLI.

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