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Via: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Fwd: Jewish museum in Dublin <quoted from newspaper article> Irish Echo Dublin museum celebrates Jewish presence in Ireland Almost half a century before James Joyce created the immortal Leopold Bloom, and put Jews on the literary map of Ireland, the People of the Book were a presence in the Emerald Isle. Following their expulsion from Spain and Portugal, Sephardic Jews settled in many of the port towns along the southern coast of Ireland, while Ashkenazi Jews, driven from Eastern Europe by the rise of anti-semitism, flocked to Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Derry and Waterford 400 years later. But it was the Irish-Jewish protagonist of "Ulysses" whose birthplace is recorded by a plaque at 52 Upper Clanbrassil St. who gave universal recognition to the Jews in Ireland. Leopold Bloom wandered through the area of Dublin affectionately known as "Little Jerusalem" with its Jewish-owned shops and synagogues that day of June 16, 1904, leaving, through Joyce's pervasive symbolism, an exhaustive critique of contemporary culture. Unlike the fictitious Bloom, whom will always be a part of this old neighborhood, the outer suburbs have claims Jewish citizenry. And while many stores and synagoges have closed, one that was saved from demolition is now the Irish Jewish Museum. The former Beth Hamedrash Hagodel Synagogue, which was founded in 1917 has been renovated and restored. It now houses memorabilia of the Jewish community in Ireland covering the last 150 years. The museum was dedicated in 1985 by President Chiam Herzog of Israel, who was born in Ireland and was the son of the first chief rabbi of Ireland, Issac Herzog. The charming little museum which is staffed by enthusiastic volunteers and seems to function on a shoestring has a permanent collection of photographs, drawings and documents of Irish Jews at home and abroad on its first floor, which was originally the reception area of the former synagogue. The displays trace the history of the Jews in Ireland, beginning with their arrival, their various commerical business and professional activities, the development of their institutions, and their integration to their present position and status. Included are photos of Robert Briscoe, a merchant's son (1894-1969), who was the first Jewish member of the Irish Parliament and the first Jewish lord mayor of Dublin, immigration cards of Jewish immigrants to Ireland, and memorabilia of weddings and bar mitzvahs that took place in Ireland. There are also paintings by Irish-Jewish artists and a cabinent of books written by Irish Jews. The second floor has the bima of the original synagogue, the ark and the pews where the congragation worshipped and various rituals and religous objects. Although there are still 2,000 Jews in Ireland today, "Little Jerusalem" is home to very few. Therefore, it comes as a surprise to find long queues outside the Bretzel Continental Kosher Bakery on Lennox Street Sunday mornigs. "Everything here is very fresh and good, and it's the only bakery open on Sunday," a woman on line said. The Irish Jewish Museum is located at 3-4 Walworth Road, off Victoria Street in Dublin. It is open Sunday and Tuesday in summer and on Sundays only in winter.