Jewish Heritage Europe



 Although we know of occasional visits by Jews to Iceland from the 17th century onwards, there was nothing close to a resident community before the 1930s, when some refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe settled in the island-country. The United States and NATO military presence has brought a few further Jewish residents in its wake, mostly expatriates. Today, there are only a few score Jewish residents or citizens in Iceland. The best known Icelandic Jew is Dorrit Moussaieff, the Israeli-born wife of President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. Iceland’s 60 or more Jews gather for some holiday celebrations and events. Members of the Jewish community have discussed applying for official registration as a religious organization, but to date this has not been followed up.

There is no synagogue or Jewish center in Iceland, nor are there any other formal Jewish sites, though in 2011 Chabad began attempting outreach.


Chabad Jewish Center, Iceland

In Iceland, tiny Jewish community celebrates new beginnings (JTA article, Oct. 3, 2011)

Iceland Jews Are Left out in the Cold (Haaretz, December 2011)


Click to open a larger map