Jewish, English-speaking in Ireland

Jewish, English-speaking
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People Name: Jewish, English-speaking
Country: Ireland
10/40 Window: No
Population: 2,800
World Population: 5,430,800
Primary Language: English
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.40 %
Evangelicals: 0.10 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Jewish
Affinity Bloc: Jewish
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Jews have never been accepted into European Christian society until recent times. At times in the past, they were tolerated and at other times severely persecuted, e.g., the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, pogroms of Russia and the Holocaust of Nazi Germany. The Jews living in Ireland are nearly all descendants of Jews who fled some type of persecution.

Some speak Hebrew, Yiddish or another language at home depending upon their country of origin. The primary language of the Jews of Ireland is English. Most Jews in Ireland live in large cities such as Dublin, Belfast and Cork.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Jewish population in Ireland is small but growing, largely because of immigrants from other parts of the English speaking world. In Dublin they have two Orthodox synagogues and a Jewish deli, which opened in 2023. English speaking Jewish people are flocking to Ireland to work in the booming tech companies.

Jewish parents strongly encourage their children to pursue graduate educations. Jews often find their employment in medicine, law, higher education, science and finance. They are noted for their help with charity work. Because of the small size of the English speaking Jewish population, there is one unifying Jewish community organization, the Jewish Representative Council. There is also the Dublin Maccabi Association which organizes sporting events for Jewish youths.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Traditional Jews see Abraham as the father of their faith and Moses as the great lawgiver. The Law or Torah, the Prophets and the Writings make up the Jewish holy Scriptures. Judaism is a moral, fiercely monotheistic religion. One obtains favor with God by obeying the laws found in the Scriptures. The writings of the Rabbis, the Talmud, are seen as an essential guide to knowing and following the commands of God. The two main holy days of the Jews are the Passover which celebrates the Jews leaving Egypt under the leadership of Moses and the Day of Atonement in which Jews fast, pray and confess their sins. The Jewish Shabbat runs from Friday at sunset until sunset on Saturday. Religious Jews use the time to attend synagogue and to spend time with their families.

Jews are known their philanthropic work and helping the less fortunate. Jews living in Ireland can be classified into at least four major groups. The strictest branch of Judaism is the Orthodox. They believe the Law and Prophets, what Christians call the Old Testament, is the literal, inspired Word of God and still completely binding on their lives today. The liberal or progressive branch of Judaism is called Reformed. They do not believe in the miracles of the Torah and that Judaism must be fully integrated into modern scientific world.

The Conservative Jews try to find a moderate, middle path between Orthodoxy and Reformed Judaism. One final part of the Jewish population are non-religious or secular Jews who do not attend synagogue and may go to work on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. These secular Jews may be atheists, agnostics or deists. All these four groups of Jews are represented in Ireland.

What Are Their Needs?

Irish Jews need to see that their good works can never get them right with God. The only way that God forgives sins is through death and resurrection of His Son Jesus. The Jews who accept their Jesus as Messiah are frequently led into the kingdom of God by Christ followers who model the love of Christ to them.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send Irish believers to build friendships with Jews and demonstrate God's love to them. Pray that God raises up a Messianic disciple making movement among the Jews of Ireland. Pray that more and more Irish Jews would be willing to investigate the claims of Jesus Christ. Pray that God would open the spiritual eyes of the Jews as they read and study the Old Testament.

Text Source:   Joshua Project