Films portray migrants’ memories in new light

Stories of Jewish immigrants who made Scotland their home have been brought to life in a series of short films.

The videos – called Points of Arrival – chart the lives of Jewish people who have come to Scotland since the late 19th century.

The five films focus on where they came from, when and how they arrived, and their subsequent new life in Scotland.

Fresh perspectives

The films have been produced as part of Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces – a joint research project between the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

People profiled include, a former cantor at Garnethill synagogue in Glasgow, Isaac Hirshow, and businesswoman and campaigner for the Jewish community in Scotland, Annie Lindey.

Life stories

Celebrated artist Hilda Goldwag, who wheeled her paints, brushes and easel around industrial Glasgow to celebrate her adopted city, is featured in a film narrated by artist and photographer Emma Newcome.

Also featured is 94 year-old Henry Wuga, who speaks regularly at schools and public events in the UK and in Germany, and author Dorrith Sim, who wrote a book about her childhood journey in 1939 from Germany to her new home in Edinburgh.

Classroom resources

All of their stories are told by contemporary narrators, whose own lives are connected to the theme of migration. 

Researchers say the project helps people gain a fuller understanding about one of Scotland’s most significant immigration stories.

They are working with secondary school teachers to develop a set of classroom resources based on the films.

The films offer fresh perspectives on the history of migration to these shores, its impact on individuals, the reception the people received and the contribution immigrants have made in communities.

Dr Hannah HoltschneiderSchool of Divinity

The project draws on the collections of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre (SJAC), the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Glasgow City Archives, the National Library of Scotland and National Records of Scotland.

Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Link to films

Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Scottish Jewish Archives Centre

Social media image - Carole Cowen, Annie Lindey’s granddaughter,  at the Ladies' Guild cheyder picnic.