Belfast Jewish Community

11th December 2018

The Belfast Jewish Community was relatively small before the outbreak of World War Two. Nonetheless, they provided invaluable help to refugees from Europe.

In the late 1930s, Belfast had a small but active Jewish community. They responded to the needs of the young Kindertransport children who found themselves in Northern Ireland.

To help, the Belfast Jewish Community established a Refugee Aid Committee. Funds came from Jewish groups in Belfast and Dublin, from a Central British Fund, and from the Northern Ireland Ministry of Agriculture. Christian churches throughout Northern Ireland also contributed including Presbyterians, Methodists, Church of Ireland, Quakers, and Catholics.

The community first established a hostel in Cliftonpark Avenue, Belfast, Co. Antrim. In 1939, leading members Barney Hurwitz, Leo Scop, and Maurice Solomon leased a 70-acre farm in Co. Down to house refugees on the Kindertransport. This site would become a thriving kibbutz-style community at Ballyrolly House, Millisle, Co. Down.

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