This film is part of Free

The Jewish Community in Ulster

Take a rare glimpse into the thoughts and lives of members of Belfast’s Jewish Community during the 1960s.

News 1966 22 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


Hear the thoughts of Mr Hill and Mr Endlander as they reflect on life in Belfast. Questions are interspersed with mostly silent scenes of young people at prayer and play. Many of these youths would grow up to leave Belfast in search of work. After a glimpse of the old synagogue in Shaftesbury Square follow Ulster Television’s reporter to Somerton Road as he gives a brief tour of the synagogue designed by architect Eugene Rosenberg. These rushes are courtesy of the UTV Archive.

Although currently fewer than 80 people make up the Jewish Community in Belfast, at its peak the city boasted around 1200 members. From the outset in 1869 this vibrant community have made a major contribution to shaping Belfast e.g. German linen merchant Daniel Jaffe and shipbuilder Gustav Wilhelm Wolff. Philanthropic Lord Mayor Otto Jaffe helped to finance the Royal Victoria Hospital as well as the first free library in Belfast. Otto funded the majority of the money needed to build the Annesley Street Synagogue. The yellow fountain now outside Victoria Square commemorates the Jaffe family, who unfortunately left Northern Ireland as anti-German sentiment rose during WWI.