History of the Cork Hebrew Congregation and the Jews of Cork.
The first wave of Jewish emigration to Cork was in 1772 with the influx of a small community of Sephardic Jews from Portugal.
Relatively little is known about this first community. Although they didn’t have a synagogue, a burial ground was discovered at Kemp Street, to the back of the present synagogue on number 10, South Terrace.
The community didn’t exceed about 40 in number, and disappeared through intermarriage with local Protestant families.
Written records from 1891 point to the emergence of a second Jewish community in Cork, following the assimilation of the previous Sephardic community. This community, by contrast, were Ashkenazi, coming (mostly) from a town called Yakmyan in Kovno (former White Russia).
It is very unlikely that Cork, Ireland, was the intended destination of these Eastern European émigrés. They had fled persecution (pogroms) in a staunchly Catholic…
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