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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Belfast

Proofs for Jews in Belfast since 17th century - Russian Jewish refugees since 1881 - cultural life

from: Belfast; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 4

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Belfast, vol. 4, col.
                415, Interior of the Belfast synagogue consecrated in
                1967. Architect: Yorke Rosenberg Mardall.
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Belfast, vol. 4, col. 415, Interior of the Belfast synagogue
consecrated in 1967. Architect: Yorke Rosenberg Mardall.

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<BELFAST, capital of Northern Ireland.

The earliest reference to Jews in Belfast dates from 1652. Mention of a "Jew Butcher" in 1771 suggests the existence of the nucleus of a community.

Jews are again recorded in the 1840s. D.J. Jaffe, who settled in Belfast in 1851, established a congregation in 1869 and built its first synagogue in 1871 / 72.

Joseph *Chotzner was the first minister (1869-80; and again 1893-97).

After 1881 the community increased with the arrival of Jewish refugees from Russia. These at first formed their own congregation but in 1903 joined the main congregation. A municipal Jewish elementary school was established in 1898.

Sir Otto *Jaffe, twice lord mayor and once high sheriff, served for many years as the congregation's president and built its second synagogue in 1904. Isaac *Herzog served as rabbi of Belfast from 1915 to 1919, followed in 1926 by Jacob Shachter,

[[World War I, the stock exchange collapse, unemployment, right radical movements and World War II are not mentioned.Probably Belfast was a spot for Jewish refugees during WW II]].

and in 1954 by Alexander Carlebach (until 1965). In 1967 the Jewish population numbered about 1,350. In that year, a new synagogue building was consecrated.

Bibliography
-- B. Shillman: Short History of the Jews in Ireland (1945), 134-6
-- Carlebach, in: JHSET, 21 (1968), 261 ff.
-- idem, in: JC, Suppl. (July 30, 1965).

[C.R.]> (col. 415)
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Sources
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Belfast,
                          vol. 4, col. 415
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Belfast, vol. 4, col. 415

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