Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Jews of Belfast

Posted by Ann Rabinowitz


The Daniel Joseph Jaffe Fountain, Victoria Square, Belfast, Northern Ireland

One of the great additions to resources about the Jews of Belfast is the documentary “Odd Men In” which was brought to my attention by Marcus Shapiro, one of my British contacts who had relatives who lived in Belfast.

The documentary was produced in 1983 by the late Irish actor Harry Towb (1925-2009). As to Harry Towb, he was born in Larne, Northern Ireland, and grew up in Belfast and knew it well. The documentary can be seen in four parts and includes an interview with Chaim Herzog, the late President of the State of Israel who was born in Belfast:

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


In addition to this documentary, there is a wonderful further documentary (see below) which features the Jewish burials in the Belfast City Cemetery which is divided into three sections. It is done by Stanley Coppel who pictures and reads out the inscriptions on the remaining tombstones.

He starts out with his own great grandfather, Abraham Fishel Sergei who died in 1904. He covers the approximately three hundred burials ranging from the first for Daniel Joseph Jaffe in 1874 to Abraham Herbert in 1964. This legacy of ninety years of continuous burials includes stillborn children who amount to half of the deaths, a sad commentary of the times.



2 comments:

  1. If my video of the old Jewish Section of the Belfast City Cemetery makes a "connection" with any existing subscribers, then I am pleased my efforts have been of some success. It is interesting to note that Harry Towb was also of Sergai (Sergie) derivation. His great grandfather, Harris Sergai and mine, Abraham Fishel Sergie were two brothers.
    Stanley Coppel

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  2. Thanks for posting that, Ann - and to Stanley for wielding the video camera. The JewishBelfast.com website has now arranged for the individual headstones in alphabetical order to be viewed here - http://www.mediafire.com/?tunqelfl8ibt4

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