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Scotland's First Purpose Built Synagogue
The Synagogue was built in the period of 1879-81. It was designed by John McLeod of Dumbarton, in conjunction with London based architect Nathan Solomon Joseph of the United Synagogue. McLeod designed a number of churches and public buildings in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, including the Women’s Christian Association in Bath Street, Glasgow.
The first Jewish community in Glasgow can be traced back to c1821. By the 1870s, the community numbered around 1,000 and looked to build a permanent synagogue for the first time in Scotland as the converted synagogue in George Street (opened 1858) was full. This decision to build the synagogue was decided by the Special General Meeting in October 1875 and the site at the corner of Garnet Street and Hill Street was decided by a majority of votes as the location for the new Synagogue. It was believed that this location was popular because many of the Jewish community were moving to the West of the city, especially many of the leading figures of the community.