SJAC: Garnethill

Garnethill Synagogue was opened in 1879 by the Glasgow Hebrew Congregation and was the first purpose-built synagogue in Scotland, indeed the only synagogue to be purpose-built in Scotland in the 19th century.  Today, it is still one of the finest 19th century synagogues in Europe, and the “mother synagogue” of Glasgow.

A number of communal organisations were founded in Garnethill Synagogue, including welfare organisations, cultural societies, and youth groups.


The congregation was served for many years by leaders such as Rev. E.P. Phillips and Rev. Dr I.K. Cosgrove. Garnethill clergy were also active in Jewish activities across the city, as well as in relations with the wider community.  Members of the congregation over the years have included many prominent professors and academics.  Sir Horace Phillips, from a Garnethill family,  became a British ambassador, while Myer Galpern was the only Jewish Lord Provost of Glasgow in the 1950s.


Garnethill has been home to the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre since 1986, but it is still a functioning congregation, with a small but active and loyal membership.  Tourists and visitors are always welcome.

Scottish Jewish Archives Centre : 129 Hill Street, Garnethill, Glasgow G3 6UB
Telephone / Fax 0141 332 4911