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.
Members of Belfast Jewish Community
President of the Belfast Hebrew Congregation Barney Hurwitz was instrumental in saving many lives during World War Two by establishing a refugee settlement.
Leo Scop was a leading member of the Belfast Jewish Community in the 1940s. He was one of three men to lease a farm in Millisler to help Jewish children.