JCR-UK

Belfast Jewish Community

& Hebrew Congregation

Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

 

 

JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
NOTE: We are not the official website of this city's Jewish Community and congregation,
which can be reached by clicking on the picture logo below.

City of Belfast

The city of Belfast (Béal Feirste in Irish and Bilfawst in Ulster Scots) is the capital of Northern Ireland and the largest city in the Irish province of Ulster (which comprises Northern Ireland and three counties of the Irish Republic). Belfast has a population of 275,000 within the city limits and 550,000 within the Greater Belfast area. The City of Belfast is one of the eleven local government districts into which Northern Ireland has been divided since 2015. Belfast was granted city status (and became a county borough) in 1888. Geographically, it straddles County Antrim and County Down, two of the six counties of Northern Ireland (which are now purely traditional counties, no longer with administrative authority).

Belfast Synagogue interior
The interior of Belfast Synagogue
© Michael Black, 2020

Belfast Jewish Community

Although there was reference to a kosher butcher in Belfast in about the year 1771(i), the present community dates from about 1864(ii). There has only ever been a single Jewish congregation in the city except for a short period at end of nineteenth century and beginning of twentieth century, when a rival congregation existed (see below).

The only other Jewish communities in Northern Ireland were small communities (no longer extant) in Londonderry and Lurgan.

Belfast Synagogue logo
Congregation Data

Name:

Belfast Jewish Community from 2004(v)

Former Names:

Belfast Hebrew Congregation and Belfast Synagogue(vi)

Address:

49 Somerton Road, Belfast BT15 3LH

- from 1964 (foundation stone laid 3 May 1964, consecrated 25 October 1964)(vii)

Former Addresses:

Annesley Street, Carlisle Circus, Belfast
- from 31 August 1904 (foundation stone laid 26 February 1904) until 1964
.(viii)

Great Victoria Street, Belfast
- from 1872 (foundation stone laid 7 July 1871, built at the expense of Mr. D. J. Jaffé) until 1904.(ix)

Inkermann Terrace, Belfast
- This was a small room fitted out as a synagogue, in use from at least 1869.(x)

Current Status:

Active

Date Founded:

Services were initially held in private homes from 1864. However, it was not until 1869 that the congregation was formally organised, credit for which goes to Daniel Joseph Jaffé (1809-1874), who also largely funded the construction of the first purpose-built synagogue in 1872.(xi)

Ritual:

Ashkenazi Orthodox

Affiliation:

None, but under the aegis of the (UK) Chief Rabbi  .

Website:

https://www.belfastjewishcommunity.org.uk

Communal Publications:

The Belfast Jewish Record, published since October 1954 (initially with ten issues per year, but later significantly reduced). It replaced the earlier Jewish Gazette (a monthly journal published in Belfast from January to December 1933 and February 1934) and the Kibbitzer.(xii) The Jewish Gazette and the Belfast Jewish Record are now available online, see below.

Ministers and Rabbis:(xiv)

(To view a short profile of a minister or reader whose name appears  in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rev. Dr. Joseph Chotzner (first term) - from 1869 to 1880(xv)

Rev. Edwin Collins - from about 1882 to about 1887(xvi)

Rev. B. H. Rosengard - from about 1888 to about 1891(xvii)

Rabbi Harris (Zvi Hirsch) Levin - around 1891 (possibly independent of the congregation)(xviii)

Rev. Dr. Joseph Chotzner (second term) from 1893 to 1897(xv)

Rev. Joseph Emanuel Myers - from 1898 to 1904(xix)

Rev (later Rabbi) Jacob Rosenzweig - from 1905 to 1914(xx)

Rabbi Gedalia Silverstone - from 1901 to 1906(xxi)

Rabbi Zusman Hodes - from about 1906 to 1916(xxii)

Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog - from 1916 to 1919(xxv)

Rabbi Jacob Shachter - from 1926 to 1954(xxvi)

Rabbi Dr. Alexander Carlebach - from 1954 to 1965(xxvii)

Rabbi Vivian Berman - from 1967 to 1970(xxviii)

Rabbi Michael Goldman - from about 1973 to 1974(xxix)

Rev. Israel Geoffrey Hyman - assistant minister from 1974 to 1976(xxx)

Rabbi Michael Duschinsky - from 1977 to 1979(xxxiii)

Rabbi Natan Granevitz - from 1983 to 1988(xxxiv)

Rev. Moshe Perez - from 1988 to 1990(xxxv)

Mr Moshe Ben-Chorin - shaliach from WUJS from 1992 to 1993(xxxvi)

Rev. Lee Sunderland - from 1993 to 1995(xxxvii)

Rev. Eli Kohn (non-resident) - from 1995 to 1996(xxxviii)

Rev. Aaron Engelmeyer - from 1997 to 2002(xxxix)

Rabbi Avraham Citron - from 2002 to 2007(xl)

Rabbi Menachem Brackman - from 2008 to 2012(xli)

Rabbi David Singer - from 2013 to 2018(xlii)

Rev. David Kale - from 2018 to present (November 2020)(xliii)

Rival Congregation:

For a short period at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century, a rival congregation, known as the United Hebrew Congregation (or the Regent Street Congregation), existed in Belfast. The congregation was situated at 5 Regent Street. Harmony in the community was restored, when the two congregations were amalgamated in about 1902. (xlviii)

The congregation's minister was Rev. Abraham Weinberg

Readers (Chazanim):

Rev. Simcha Myerowitz - reader from 1880s to 1926(xlix)

Rev. S.D. Barnett - reader from about 1908 to about 1931(l)

J. Steinberg - 2nd reader from about 1927 to about 1930(li)

Rev. S. Polakoff - 1st reader from about 1931 to about 1948(lii)

Rev. S. Steinberg - 2nd reader from about 1931 to about 1946(liii)

Rev. A. Domb - 2nd reader from about 1946 to about 1948(lv)

Rev. E. Fisher - reader from about 1948 to about 1950(lvi)

Rev. Tzorf - reader early 1950s (lvii)

Rev. H. Freedman - reader from about 1955 to about 1957(lviii)

Rev. L. Sichel - reader from about 1957 to about 1958(lix)

Rev. S. Aharoni - reader from about 1959 to about 1975(lx)

Lay Officers (in 1874)(lxiii):

Vice President - Herman Boas

Hon. Secretary - Martin Jaffé

Lay Officers (1896 to present):

Except where otherwise stated, as regard officers until the mid-1950s, the data below has been extracted from Jewish Year Books, first published in 1896/97.(lxiv)  Generally, where a first name is given, this has been obtained from other sources.
As regards data since the mid-1950s, this has been provided by Steven Jaffe with the approval of the council of the Belfast Jewish Congregation, based primarily on personal recollections, reports in the Belfast Jewish Record and information received from members of the council. Data relating to the congregation's secretaries post 1950s has been extracted from Jewish Year Books and supplemented by Steven Jaffe.
Where a year is marked with an asterisk*, this indicates that the term of office had commenced at least by that year or had continued until at least that year.

Presidents

1896*-1924 - Sir Otto Moses Jaffé, JP(lxv)

1924-1928 - John Ross(lxvi)

1928-1929 - S. Freeman, JP

1930-1932 - H. Fox

1932-1936 - H.M. Miller

1936-1938 - John Ross(lxvi)

1938-1967 - Barney H. Hurwitz, OBE, JP(lxvii)

1967-c.1972 - Alfred Cohen

1973-1993 - Captain Harold E. Smith, CBE

1993-2008 - Ronnie Appleton, QC

2008-2018 - Ronnie Appleton, QC jointly with Dr. Dennis Coppel

2018-present (Nov. 2020)Dr. Dennis Coppel

 

Vice Presidents

1906-1909 - L. Berwitz

1909-1911 - Samuel Freeman, JP

1914-1915 - J. Hurwitz

1918-1924 - H. Fox

1924-1927 - M.E. Miller

1927-1928 - S. Freeman, Jnr

1928-1929 - M.E. Miller

1929-1930 - H. Fox

1930-1931 - H. Brown

1931-1933 - A. Coppel

1933-1935 - J. Hammel

1935-1938 - Barney H. Hurwitz

1938-1939 - S. Freeman

1940-1945 - War Years (no data)

1945-1948 - M. Librach

1948-1954 - H. Genn

1954-1956 - M. Coppel

 

Treasurers & Joint Treasurers(lxviii)

1896*-1899 - M. Levene

1899-1900 - H. Fox

1904-1905 - Sir Otto Moses Jaffé(lxv)

1905-1906 - S. Gorfunkle

1906-1909 - Samuel Weiner

1909-1912 - Maurice Goldring

1912-1915 - D. Levenson

1915-1922 - S. Freeman

1922-1924 - H. Morris

1924-1927 - S. Freeman

1927-1928 - J. Hammil

1928-1930 - S. Freeman, Jnr

1930-1932 - M. Berwitz

1932-1933 - J. Brown

1933-1934 - L. Epstein

1934-1935 - H. Sergie

1935-1938 - A. Coppel

1938-1940 - I. Samuels

1940-1945 - War Years (no data)

1945-1948 - J. Sunderland

1948-1953 - M. Coppel

1955*-1960* - Dr. Moses Isaac Rosenberg

1957*-1962* - Louis Berwitz

1962-date uncertain - Alfred Cohen

1970-1972 - I. Enlander

1970-1974 - John Kay

1972-1974 - Aubrey Selig

1974-1982 - Abraham S. Freeman

1976-1983 - Mark (Monty) Williams

1983-1991 - Adrian Levey

1984-1986 - Steven Granet

1986-1987, 1991-2008* - Michael D. Black

2008-present (Nov. 2020)Steven Granet

Chair of Council

1957*- date uncertain - Isaac Coppel

1964* - c.1970 - Marcus Coppel

1970-1972 - Capt. Harold E. Smith

1972-1974 - Leonard Steinberg(lxix)

1974-1982 - John Kay

1982-1992 - Abraham S. Freeman

1992-1999 - Dr. David Warm

1999-2007 - Ivan Selig

2007-2008 - Edwin Coppel

2008-present (Nov. 2020)Michael Black

 

Deputy Chair of Council

1970* - date uncertain - John Kay

1974*-c.1979 - Abraham S. Freeman

1982-1989* - Mark (Monty) Williams

1990 - Cyril Rosenberg

1993*-2005* - Adrian Levey

c.2005-2008 - Dr. Dennis Coppel

2008-Present (Nov. 2020)Gerald Steinberg

 

Secretaries / Hon. Secretaries /
Recording Secretaries(lxxii)

1896*-1898 - H. Fox

1898-1899 - Joseph J. Gorfunkle

1900-1902 - Y. Yochel

1902-1904 - H. Fox

1904-1905 - J. Friedlander

1905-1906 - Rev. Jacob Rosenzweig(lxvi)

1906-1909 - Samuel Freeman

1909-1914 - Rev. Jacob Rosenzweig(lxvi)

1914-1927 - W.I. Aronstam

(1931-1932 - R.J. Steinberg)

1927-1948 - Harold Goldblatt(lxxiii)

1948-1955 - M.W. Frank

1955-1956 - A. Levi

1955-1957 - Brian Marcus(lxxiv)

1956-1957 - J. Saperia(lxxv)

1957-1964 - Ronald L. Coppel

1957*-1967* - Ivan Selig

1964-1966 - B. Apfel

1966-1970 - S. Goldie

1966-1970, 1973-1988 - Norman Shrage

1970-1988 - Henry L. Solomon

1983-1986 - Neville Finch

1986-1995 - Cyril Rosenberg

1994-1999 - Mrs. Gail Taylor

1994-2007 - Mrs. Norma Simon

2007-2015 - Mrs. Greta Goldstone

2015-present (Nov. 2020)Mrs. Jane Danker

Membership Data:

Board of Deputies Returns (number of seat-holders)

1876

1880

1890

1900

14

24

42

64

Jewish Year Books (number of seat-holders)(lxxx)

1896

1899

1901

1905

1906

1910

1915

1917

1922

1945

1950

70

65

78

114

80

90

100

130

168

350

380

National Reports & Surveys(lxxxi)

1977 - 246 male (or household) members and 207 female members

1983 - 163 male (or household) members and 149 female members

1990 - 221 members (households)

1996 - 129 members (comprising 65 households, 35 individual male and 29 individual female member)

2001 - 128 members (comprising 90 households, 13 individual male and 25 individual female member)

2010 - listed as having 50 to 99 members (by household)

2016 - listed as having under 50 members (by household)

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a charity, registered with the Charities Commission for Northern Ireland (no. NIC100486), registered on 3 March 2015 under the name Belfast Jewish Community. The governing documents are the Constitution and Rules of the congregation, 1999.(lxxxii)

Notes & Sources - In light of the large number of notes, these now appear towards the foot of this page, instead of the foot of this box. However, the note can also still be viewed in a pop-up box when the cursor is held over the note number.

 


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Belfast include:

1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Belfast during the 1840s (5 records), 1850s (7 records), 1860s (4 records), 1870s (4 records), 1880s (3 records), 1890s (2 records) and 1900s (2 records).
 

 

JCR-UK is extremely grateful to Steven Jaffe of Belfast Jewish Heritage for the
assistance and information provided by him in preparing this page and the accompanying
ministerial profiles. He may be contacted at belfastjewishheritage@yahoo.com.
Belfast Jewish Heritage, which has a Facebook page, organises occasional Jewish
heritage tours, walks and events in Northern Ireland.

 

Bibliography, Online Articles and Other Material relating to
Belfast Hebrew Congregation & Jewish Community

on JCR-UK

on third parties' websites

  • Queens University Belfast, Digital Special Collections & Archives, holds digitised copies of the following journals, which may be accessed, searched and viewed online:

  • Best of Belfast podcast about the history and legacy of the Belfast community, including the story of Sir Otto Jaffe: "The Linen Entrepreneur Who Changed A City".

  • Jewish Encyclopaedia article on Belfast by Joseph Jacobs, c.1906.

  • Filings with the Charities Commission for Northern Ireland:

    • Trustees Annual Reports for the years ended 30 November 2017 and 2018;

    • Financial Statements for the years ended 30 November 2016, 2017 and 2018.

  • See further material on JCR-UK's Ireland home page, which may also relate to Belfast.

 

Other Belfast Jewish Institutions & Organisations
(that had been formed by 1907*)

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew and Religious Classes (founded 1893)

  • Regent Street Hebrew National School (founded 1898)

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • Belfast Jewish Board of Guardians (founded 1893) to assist resident Jewish poor and strangers.

  • Hebrew Foreign Ladies' Benevolent Visiting Society (founded 1896).

  • Hebrew Society for Visiting the Sick (founded 1898).

  • Literary and Social Society (founded by 1903).

  • Benai Benath (founded by 1904).

  • Hebrew New Burial Society (founded by 1905).

  • Hebrew Benevolent Society (founded by 1905).

* As listed in the Jewish Directory of 1874 and the Jewish Year Books 1896/97 through 1907/08

 

Community Records

  • Marriage records of the United Hebrew Congregation, Regent Street for 1902-1903 (2 entries) held by the Board of Deputies: Ref: bod 57/1a/1

  • Queen's University Belfast Special Collections & Archives holds an incomplete set of original minute books for the Belfast Hebrew Congregation.

 


Belfast Jewish Cemetery Information

Belfast has the following Jewish cemeteries:

  • Belfast City Cemetery, Jewish Section, Falls Road, Belfast BT12. This was the first Jewish cemetery in Belfast, opened in 1869, the first burial being in 1873. Since 1912, it has been used only rarely, the last burial being in 1964.

  • Carnmoney Jewish Cemetery, Church Road, Carnmoney Hill, Newtonabbey, BT36. The second Jewish cemetery for Belfast. Since its opening in 1912, it has been the main burial ground for Belfast's Jewish Community and remains in use:

(For additional information, see also IAJGS Cemetery Project - Belfast)

 

Belfast Jewish Population Data
In the scroll-down table below, the census figures are marked with an asterisk (*) to indicate that such figures
 relate to the whole of Ulster (until 1921), or to the whole of Northern Ireland (for later censuses), not just Belfast.
Year Number Source

 

1861 52* 1861 Census of Ireland
1871 55* 1871 Census of Ireland
1881 78* 1881 Census of Ireland
1891 273* 1891 Census of Ireland
1895 400 - 500 Jewish Year Book 1895/96
1901 763* 1901 Census of Ireland
1904 700 - 800 Jewish Year Book 1904/05
1906 800 - 1,000 Jewish Year Book 1906/07
1907 800 Jewish Year Book 1907/08
1909 1,200 Jewish Year Book 1910
1926 1,352* 1926 UK Census
1937 1,472* 1937 UK Census
1945 1,284 Jewish Year Book 1945/46
1948 1,800 Jewish Year Book 1949
1951 1,474* 1951 UK Census
1954 1,600 Jewish Year Book 1955
1959 1,350 Jewish Year Book 1960
1961 1,191* 1961 UK Census
1971 958* 1971 UK Census
1974 300 families Jewish Year Book 1975
1975 280 families Jewish Year Book 1976
1976 270 families Jewish Year Book 1977
1981 517* 1981 UK Census
1991 410* 1991 UK Census
2001 365* 2001 UK Census
2011 335* 2011 UK Census
*for all Ulster (until 1921) or all Nothern Ireland (from 1922).

Notes and Sources:
( returns to text above)

  • (i) The Jews of Ireland, A Social History by L. Hyman, pp. 78/9.

  • (ii) This is the date mentioned in Jewish Year Books since 1962, although in the editions from 1958 through 1961, the date was given as 1861.

  • (iii) and (iv) Reserved.

  • (v) The congregation changed its name from Belfast Hebrew Congregation to Belfast Jewish Community on 11 May 2004 (Trustees Annual Reports filed with Charities Commission for Northern Ireland).

  • (vi) Until 1957, the congregation was listed simply as the Synagogue in Belfast in Jewish Year Books, although Belfast Synagogue was never the official name of the congregation.

  • (vii) The dates of laying of foundation stone and consecration provided by Steven Jaffe. Somerton Road address first appeared in the Jewish Year Book 1965.

  • (viii) The congregation was listed with this address in Jewish Year Books from 1904/05 (which added that the synagogue had been constructed in 1904) through 1964.

  • (ix) The Jewish Directory for 1874 edited by Asher I. Myers.

  • (x) The Jewish Record press report of 8 October 1869.

  • (xi) The Jewish Record press report of 8 October 1869, opening paragraphs of article on Belfast from Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain and Jews of Ireland by L. Hyman, p.204.

  • (xii) Jewish Ireland, A Social History by R.Rivlin (2011), p.186 and expanded by Steven Jaffe.

  • (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) JCR-UK is grateful to Steven Jaffe for compiling the list ministers of this congregation and for researching and providing profiles of such ministers.

  • (xv) Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History (2011) by W. Rubinstein and M.A. Jolles, p.155 and The Jewish Record press report of 8 October 1869 and .

  • (xvi) Research by Steven Jaffe. (The Jews of Ireland, A Social History by L. Hyman, note 26 on p.302, incorrectly refers to Rev. Collin's term of office as commencing in 1884, but this is disproved by Jewish Chronicle reports.).

  • (xvii) Research by Steven Jaffe.

  • (xviii) It would appear that Rev. Levin served the immigrant Jews living in north Belfast. Research by Steven Jaffe. 

  • (xix) Research by Steven Jaffe and Rev. Myers's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1898/99 through 1904/05.

  • (xx) Research by Steven Jaffe and Rev. Rosenzweig's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1905/06 through 1914. The post of minister is shown as vacant in the 1916 edition. Rev. Rosenzweig, who also acted as secretary of the congregation during part of his term of office, subsequently, under the name John Ross, served as president of the congregation.

  • (xxi) Research by Steven Jaffe. Rabbi Silverstone is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxii) Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History (2011) by W. Rubinstein and M.A. Jolles, p.432. Rabbi Hodes is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxiii) and (xxiv) Reserved.

  • (xxv) Rabbi Herzog was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1917 through 1919. He was later to become Chief Rabbi of Ireland (whose jurisdiction extended solely over the then Irish Free State, today's Irish Republic, with no jurisdiction over Northern Ireland) and subsequently Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of the Mandate of Palestine and (following independence) the State of Israel.

  • (xxvi) Rabbi Shachter was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1927 through 1954.

  • (xxvii) Rabbi Dr. Carlebach was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1955 through 1965. There were no ministers listed in the editions for 1966 and 1967.

  • (xxviii) Research by Steven Jaffe and Rabbi Berman's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1968 through 1970. There were no ministers listed in the editions from 1971 through 1973.

  • (xxix) Research by Steven Jaffe and Rabbi Goldman's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1974. There were no ministers listed in the editions for 1975 and 1977.

  • (xxx) Rabbi Hyman's profile on the website of Southend & Westcliff Hebrew Congregation, last accessed 6 October 2020.

  • (xxxi) and (xxxii) Reserved.

  • (xxxiii) Research by Steven Jaffe and Rabbi Duschinsky's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1978 and 1979. There were no ministers listed in the editions from 1980 through 2004.

  • (xxxiv) Research by Steven Jaffe. Rabbi Granevitz is not listed as minister of this congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxxv) Research by Steven Jaffe. Rev. (later Rabbi) Perez is not listed as minister of this congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxxvi) Research by Steven Jaffe. Mr. Ben Chorin performed ministerial duties as a shaliach on behalf of the World Union of Jewish Students programme and returned to Israel in 1993.

  • (xxxvii) Research by Steven Jaffe. Rev. (later Rabbi) Sunderland is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxxviii) Research by Steven Jaffe. Rev. Kohn is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxxix) Research by Steven Jaffe. Rev. Engelmeyer is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xl) Research by Steven Jaffe, although Rabbi Citron is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books only from 2005 through 2008.

  • (xli) Research by Steven Jaffe, although Rabbi Brackman is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 2009 through 2014.

  • (xlii) Research by Steven Jaffe. Rabbi Singer was listed as minister of the congregation in the last publication of the Jewish Year Book (2015)

  • (xliii) Research by Steven Jaffe.

  • (xliv) to (xlvii) Reserved.

  • (xlviii) The congregation was listed only in the Jewish Year Book 1902/03, which is currently the sole source of information about such congregation.

  • (xlix) Data provided by Steven Jaffe.

  • (l) Based upon Rev. Barnett's listing as reader for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1909 through 1931.

  • (li) Based upon J. Steinberg's listing as second reader for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1928 and 1930. There was no second reader listed in the 1931 edition.

  • (lii) Based upon Rev. Polakoff's listing as first reader for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1932 through 1940 and 1945/6 through 1948. It is assumed that he also served during the war years (1941-45) when there was no publication. Subsequent to Rev. Polakoff, there was no separate listing for first reader.

  • (liii) Based upon Rev. S. Steinberg's listing as second reader for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1932 through 1940 and 1945/6. It is assumed that he also served during the war years (1941-45) when there was no publication. It is assumed that he is not the same person as J. Steinberg listed earlier as second reader.

  • (liv) Reserved.

  • (lv) Based upon Rev. Domb's listing as second reader for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1947 and 1948. Thereafter there was no separate listings for second reader

  • (lvi) Based upon Rev. Fisher's listing as reader for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1949 and 1950. There were no readers listed for the congregation in the editions 1951 through 1955.

  • (lvii) Based upon the personal recollections of Macolm Lewis. Rev. Tzorf was from Finland.

  • (lviii) Based upon Rev. Freedman's listing as reader for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1956 and 1957.

  • (lix) Based upon Rev. Sichel's listing as reader for the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1958. There was no reader listed for the congregation in the 1959 edition.

  • (lx) Based upon Rev. Aharoni's listing as reader for the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1960 through 1975. There were no further listings of readers for the congregation.

  • (lxi) and (lxii) Reserved.

  • (lxiii) The Jewish Directory for 1874 edited by Asher I. Myers. The surname "Boas" was incorrectly spelt "Boaz" in the Directory..

  • (lxiv) Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. Initially year books corresponded to the Hebrew year, and thus ran roughly from autumn of one year - the year of publication - until autumn of the next year. From 1909, year books were published according to the Gregorian year, being published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1935 through 1938, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1934 and continued in office until 1938. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, his actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here. Jewish Year Books were not published during WWII subsequent to 1940. There were no Jewish Year Book listings of lay officers (other than secretary) subsequent to 1956.

  • (lxv) Sir Otto Jaffé (1846-1929), who was named Life President of the congregation, was the son of Daniel Joseph Jaffé, who effectively founded and organised the congregation. Otto was knighted in March 1900, was High Sheriff of Belfast (1901-1902), was twice Lord Mayor of Belfast (1899-1900 and 1904-1905) and was made a JP from about 1905.

  • (lxvi) Rev. Rosenzweig and John Ross are the same person, having adopted the latter name prior to serving as president of the congregation.

  • (lxvii) Mr. Hurwitz (1891-1971) was listed as President of the congregation in Jewish Year Books both prior to World War II (from 1939) and after the was (until 1956, when publication of such information ceased), and although no data is available for the war years it is assumed that he also served in such capacity throughout the war. The letters JP appeared after his name only from the 1952 edition, Mr. Hurwitz was subsequently appointed Hon. Life President of the congregation.

  • (lxviii) From about the late 1950s, Joint Treasurers or Joint Hon. Treasurers were from time to time appointed and this explained the overlapping of dates in the list of treasurers.

  • (lxix) Leonard Steinberg became Lord Steinberg of Belfast in 2004.

  • (lxx) and (lxxi) Reserved.

  • (lxxii) Generally the office is described as Hon. Secretary except from 1905 to 1931, when it is simply Secretary (but see note below re Mr Goldblatt). From the mid-1950s, an additional office was created referred to as the Recording Secretary, which was sometimes filled by the Hon. Secretary and sometimes by a different individual. Also, from about the same period until the 1990s, Joint Hon. Secretaries were from time to time appointed. This explains the overlapping of dates in the list of secretaries.

  • (lxxiii) Manchester-born Harry Goldblatt (1899-1982), an accomplished professional actor, was described as "Secretary" and "Secretary for Marriages" in the Jewish Year Books 1928 through 1930 and as "Hon. Secretary" from the 1931 edition (in the 1931 edition only, he is the Hon. Secretary and R.J. Steinberg is listed as the Secretary). As he is listed in Jewish Year Books both prior to and after World War II, it is assumed that he also served in such capacity throughout the war, although no data is available for such years.

  • (lxxiv) Mr. Marcus was listed solely as Recording Secretary with effect from 1955 andas Hon. Secretary from 1956.

  • (lxxv) Listed solely as Recording Secretary.

  • (lxxvi) to (lxxix) Reserved.

  • (lxxx) Membership numbers extracted from Jewish Year Books. In each case, the date given is the date when the congregation was first listed as having the number of seatholders indicated. For certain years a different figure was given for members, as opposed to seatholders and this was "100" for the years 1906 through 1910.

  • (lxxxi) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by or on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and which can be viewed on the website of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research. Click HERE for links to the various reports.

  • (lxxii) Website of the Charities Commission for Northern Ireland, accessed 7 October 2020.

Jewish Communities and Congregations in Ireland home page


Page created: 21 August 2005
Consolidation of Belfast community and congregation pages: 27 July 2017
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 2 October 2020
Latest revision or update: 2 December 2020


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