This article explores the experience of Scotland's largest Jewish community in Glasgow, as part of a larger comparison of the relationships between the Jews, the Catholic Irish and the host community in Scotland. More specifically, this study seeks to explain why the Jews of the Gorbals area of Glasgow by the mid-twentieth century ‘broke free’ of their ‘Glasgow ghetto’ before the Irish who had settled in the district a full generation earlier than the Jews. This remarkably speedy integration suggests that the Jewish experience of settlement in Glasgow and their relationship with the host community were more positive and certainly less problematic than those of the immigrant Irish. Above all, this article argues that there was a strong link between successful Jewish integration and social mobility and the limited anti-Semitism evident across Scotland, in marked contrast with the Christian sectarianism that largely defined the relationship between the Protestant host community and the Catholic Irish in twentieth century Scotland.
- social mobility
- christian sectarianism