GLASGOW JEWISH CEMETERY
OUR JEWISH CEMETERIES -
PRESERVING THEIR PAST, SAFEGUARDING THEIR FUTURE
As a community, we have a deep emotional connection with our Cemeteries. More than that, we know there is a need to care for them continuously, if the memories of our loved ones are to be perpetuated with the love and respect they deserve. The GJCRP was set up in December 2015 as a result of the recognition that many of the Glasgow Jewish cemeteries had fallen into disrepair. In the period since then, we have made major progress but there is still much to do.
Below, we report on progress to date and set out our plans for the future – and we ask for your help, without which these plans cannot succeed.
The project is in two parts:
Glenduffhill was opened in 1933, and is now the main active Cemetery for the Orthodox Glasgow Jewish Community with almost 8000 graves. Many paths and graves are now in a very poor condition. There simply have not been the funds available to maintain them properly. We plan to repair paths and kerbstones of lairs, and to reposition tilting, unstable or fallen headstones to a near horizontal position.
Over the past three years, the central section of the cemetery, which comprises 3037 lairs from the period of the 1960s to 1990s, has been fully restored, with unstable stones laid flat, broken kerbs removed, and golden gravel applied throughout to give the cemetery a much-needed brighter appearance. Despite Covid-19 which prevented work for more than two months, this restoration was completed in August 2020. GHBS are delighted to report that the completion of this extensive section of the cemetery has received many comments of appreciation from visitors.
It is now planned to move on to the oldest section comprising a further c. 3000 lairs, where it is anticipated that work will take a further 3 years.
The total cost of this project cannot yet be fully ascertained though it is well into six figures. Costs have been substantially reduced by employing staff ourselves and minimising use of commercial firms. Additional funding will nonetheless be required so we appeal to all who have yet to donate, and indeed to those who have already donated, to make a contribution to help us complete this project.
Some photographs of this area of the cemetery before and after restoration are shown below.
Glenduffhill Cemetery Before Restoration
Glenduffhill Cemetery After Restoration
Riddrie Cemetery was opened in 1905 under the auspices of South Portland Street Synagogue and was taken over by GHBS in the early 1970s, when the Synagogue closed and the Cemetery neared full capacity. As a result of disuse, this Cemetery had suffered badly from lack of maintenance and vandalism.
As a relatively small cemetery with 729 lairs, Riddrie was targeted for early action and was fully restored in the spring of 2017. Overgrowth was removed, unstable or fallen headstones were repositioned to a near horizontal position and kerbs were largely removed. Golden gravel was then applied throughout, and a new path established, giving an excellent final result. The grounds at Riddrie are under the control of Land and Environmental Services at Glasgow City Council, who are strong supporters of this project, and together with GHBS staff this has ensured that the cemetery has remained in excellent condition.
Despite generous responses from many members of GHBS, individuals throughout the UK and internationally, and charitable Trusts, our target of £100,000 for Riddrie has not yet been met. To enable this work to occur, we have been obliged to transfer £30,000 from our reserve funds to meet the shortfall. These funds must be restored to ensure future financial stability.
Photographs of Riddrie both before and after restoration are shown below.
Riddrie Cemetery Before Restoration
Riddrie Cemetery After Restoration
FUNDING OF THE PROJECTS
We have been raising funds from three main sources:
i) The Community
The vast majority of the Glasgow Jewish community have a link to at least one of these Cemeteries through the grave of someone in their families. We have therefore launched a Community wide appeal which has received support from the Chief Rabbi (see below). An important part of this has been the voluntary levy we have requested from the members of GHBS.
A specific part of this is also our annual Yizkor appeal, which we run shortly before Yom Kippur – this year’s pamphlet is attached below.
ii) The Glasgow Jewish Diaspora
Most émigrés from Glasgow retain a strong family connection, and we believe many of them will want to contribute. We have attempted to reach them through the press, our website, Synagogues throughout the world, and not least through the good offices of their families still in Glasgow.
We believe they might also wish to contribute to our Yizkor Appeal.
This can be accessed openly from anywhere in the world. An excellent search facility on the website also allows sight of tombstones of family members, and related information.
iii) Charitable Trusts
We have been fortunate to obtain generous support from some of the major Glasgow Jewish Charitable Trusts. Although this goes some way towards our costs, we still need substantial funding from individuals to meet our total costs.
Funds raised are being managed and independently audited in a separate account as part of the Charitable Account of the GHBS.
How Can You Help Us?
This project can only succeed if it is backed by our community, collectively and individually, both within Glasgow and further afield. You can help us principally by making as generous a contribution as you can, and enlisting the support of those of your extended family who, although they may no longer live in Glasgow, you believe would want to support us. We hope that you will recognise that given the scale of the work to be done, this is no ordinary appeal, and therefore we hope many of you will donate substantially more than you normally would to appeal letters.
YOU MAY HAVE YOUR OWN IDEAS OF ASPECTS YOU WISH TO SPONSOR, OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS - IF SO, PLEASE CONTACT EITHER OF THE CO-CHAIRMEN AT...
How to donate.
Donations can be made in the following ways:
1. By cheque or charitable voucher payable to Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society Charitable A/C at
Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society
PO Box 7317
Giiffnock, Glasgow,G46 9DB
Please enclose your name and address, and state whether you wish to Gift Aid your donation, to enable us to reclaim income tax you have paid on it.
2. By Bank Transfer
Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society Charitable A/C
Royal Bank of Scotland
Sort Code 83 20 22
Account Number 00713097
3. By Paypal, or credit/debit card using the ‘Donate’ button on the Home Page of our website
Rt Hon. Lord Provost of Glasgow, Rabbi M Rubin, Paul Morron,
Malcolm Livingstone, Adam Berkley, Stanley Coorsh
With support from the Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
David S Links, Alan Shenkin
Project Committee Members:
Max Bentley, Ephraim Borowski,
Barry Cooper, Monty Cowen,
Carolyn Dover, Stephen Gold,
Warren Karpf, Richard Kaye,
David Levitus, Alan Levy, Martin Links,
Mike Links, Sam Sankar, Larry Sellyn,
Michael Simpson, Richard Sperber,
Derek Tobias, Michael Tobias,