Belfast Jewish Community

& Hebrew Congregation

Belfast, Northern Ireland




Page created: 21 August 2005
Consolidation of Belfast community and congregation pages: 27 July 2017
Latest update or revision: 27 July 2017

The City of Belfast

The city of Belfast (Béal Feirste in Irish) 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 former counties of Northern Ireland (which are now purely traditional counties, no longer with administrative authority).

The Jewish Community of Belfast

Although there was reference to a Jewish community in Belfast in 1771, the present community, the Belfast Hebrew Congregation (details below) dates from about 1864. In addition, there was a second congregation, the Regency Street Congregation, in existence for a short period at end of nineteenth century and beginning of twentieth century.

There were no other Jewish communities in Northern Ireland, apart from small communities (no longer extant) in Londonderry and Lurgan.

Congregation Data

Official Name:

Belfast Hebrew Congregation


49 Somerton Road, Belfast BT15 3LH (consecrated 1964)

Previous Addresses:

Annesley Street, Carlisle Crescent, Belfast from 31 August 1904
(foundation stone laid 26 February 1904).

Prior thereto - Great Victoria Street from 1872 (foundation stone laid 7 July 1871), built at the expense of Mr. D. J. Jaffé(i)

Current Status:


Date Formed:

Founded by Mr. D. J. Jaffé in 1872 (although previously services were held in private homes from 1864).

Incorporated Congregation:

Belfast Regency Street Congregation (early twentieth century)


Ashkenazi Orthodox

Marriage Certification:

Appears in 1998 General Registrar Official List
Registration District: Belfast




Rev. Dr. Joseph Chotzner - from at least 1874 until at least 1896(ii)

Presidents of the Congregation:

1872 - D. J. Jaffé (iii)

1896 - Otto Jaffe (iv)

Membership Data:

1876 -  14 seatholders (Board of Deputies return)

1880 -  24 seatholders (Board of Deputies return

1890 -  42 seatholders (Board of Deputies return)

1896 -  70 seatholders (Jewish Year Book 1896-97)

1900 -  64 seatholders (Board of Deputies return); 78 seatholders (Jewish Year Book 1900-01)

1945 - 350 seatholders (Jewish Year Book 1945-46)

1949 - 380 seatholders (Jewish Year Book 1950)

1999 -   99  (Board of Deputies)

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Jewish Directory of 1874, compiled by Asher I. Myers.

  • (ii) Listed in both Jewish Directory of 1874 and Jewish Year Book of 1896.

  • (iii) D. J. Jaffé founded the Congregation, as President, in 1872. However in the Jewish Directory of 1874 he is referred to as the late D. J. Jaffé, and no one is named as President.

  • (iv) Jewish Year Book of 1896.


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).


On-line Articles and Other Material relating to the
Belfast Hebrew Congregation & Jewish Community


On third party's website


Other Belfast Jewish Institutions & Organisations
(that had been formed by 1900*)

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' Benefit Society (founded 1896)

  • Hebrew Society for Visiting the Sick.

  • Literary and Social Society

* As listed in the Jewish Directory of 1874 and the Jewish Year Books 1896 & 1900.


Belfast Jewish Cemeteries Information

Belfast has the following Jewish cemeteries:

  • Belfast City Cemetery, Jewish Section, Falls Road, Belfast BT12. This was the first Jewish cemetery in cemetery, opened in 1869, the first burial being in 1873.

  • Carmoney Jewish Cemetery, Church Road, Carmoney Hill, Newton Abbey, BT36. The second Jewish cemetery for Belfast, situated in a rural setting.  It was opened in 1912 and remains in use:

(for additional information, see also IAJGS - International Jewish Cemetery Project - Northern Ireland)


Belfast Jewish Population Data



(1861 Census of Population of Ireland)



(1871 Census of Population of Ireland)



(1881 Census of Population of Ireland)



(1891 Census of Population of Ireland)


400 to 500

(The Jewish Year Book 1896/97)



(1901 Census of Population of Ireland)



(The Jewish Year Book 1935)



(The Jewish Year Book 1949)



(The Jewish Year Book 1950)



(The Jewish Year Book 1955)



(The Jewish Year Book 1966)



(The Jewish Year Book 1991



(The Jewish Year Book 2005)

* for all of Northern Ireland

Jewish Communities of Ireland home page



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