Northern Ireland Friends of Israel

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Chag Pesach sameach!

Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 09/04/2014

Faith, tradition, pride. Israeli footballers celebrating Passover in Belfast last year prior to their World cup fixture against Northern Ireland. NIFI wishes its Jewish supporters and friends chag Peasach sameach – a happy Pesach which begins on Monday night.


Seder 2


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Northern Ireland Friends of Israel – welcome to our Website!

Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 03/04/2014

Shalom from Northern Ireland Friends of Israel!

Launched in March 2009, over 650 supporters have joined our mailing list and over 6,500 people have attended our events!

Our aim is to foster strong ties between Northern Ireland and Israel and promote understanding between the peoples of both countries.

Belfast___060509_073 First and Deputy First Ministers

We were honoured to host the ambassador of Israel, HE Ron Prosor, in Belfast (seen above, meeting First Minister, Peter Robinson, and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness).

We wish to promote positive engagement with all those who seek a just and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbours.

NIFI is on Facebook

Please click on the headings in blue to look at the following:

About: our Mission Statement launched in May 2009.

Israel news in Northern Ireland - “two wee countries separated by a continent!”, amazing stories of strengthening cultural, economic and political connections between Northern Ireland and Israel, provided by NIFI supporters.

NIFI events: our events 

Boycott protest

NIFI in the news: links to media reports about NIFI.

NIFI Football auction - NIFI raises over £1,000 in an auction of signed football shirts in aid of cross community football in Northern Ireland and Israel.

Boycott: Why the Boycott Israel movement in Northern Ireland is wrong in principle and wrong in practice.

For more stories and articles, please scroll below

and to be placed on our mailing list please contact us at

Todah Rabbah! Many thanks for your support,

Andrew Shaw and Steven Jaffe (London), co chairs, NI Friends of Israel.

Members contributions are their own and may not in all cases reflect the views of the organisition. Articles published are owned by the person who wrote them and are not the views of the site’s editors, contributors, or other commenters.

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Holocaust education in Northern Ireland

Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 31/03/2014

Ground-breaking Holocaust Education Tour in Northern Ireland


Dr Susanna Kokkonen, Director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem (CFYV) VISITED Northern Ireland in March to do a series of talks and workshops on the subject of Holocaust education and its relevance to community relations in Northern Ireland.


Susanna K


Dr Kokkonen was invited to visit Northern Ireland by Brian Silvester, Irish Branch Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), and by Paul and Pamela Coulter of ICEJ in the Republic of Ireland.


Dr Kokkonen first traveled to the Northwest where she was hosted by Isobel Kuzma, the regional representative for Christian Friends of Yad Vashem.


During the five days that Dr Kokkonen spent in the northwest of Northern Ireland, events where held in Omagh, Derry/Londonderry, Coleraine and Belfast. In Omagh and Derry/Londonderry, she gave a number of presentations and workshops in local peace & reconciliation community groups and at local churches.


susanna kokk 2014


Meeting with a number of civic authorities, Dr Kokkonen explored how the important work of CFYV could be implemented in Northern Ireland. Having completed this branch of her trip, Dr Kokkonen then fulfilled a series of important engagements organized by Mr Silvester and Mr & Mrs Coulter, the Irish Branch of ICEJ, in both Belfast and Dublin.


Founded in October 2006, CFYV was established in cooperation with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. In accordance with Yad Vashem’s general mission, CFYV strives to:


  • promote the wide-ranging activities of Yad Vashem;
  • act as a facilitator in bringing the universal lessons of the Shoah (Holocaust) to the Christian world;
  • build bridges between Jews and Christians to fight Antisemitism;
  • teach the history of Christian Antisemitism;
  • educate about the legacy of the “Righteous among the Nations”.


With her gentle, straight-forward and articulate manner, Dr Kokkonen presented difficult content in a way that touched many hearts. She inspired positive action, understanding and reconciliation between people and the lessons of the past. The audiences came to learn and they left inspired and equipped.


We are just getting started in the UK as well as Northern Ireland. If you would like more information on Christian Friends of Yad Vashem’s work in the UK, including Northern Ireland, please contact Bella Kuzma using the details below.


Isobel (Bella) Kuzma

Representative for Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland

Christian Friends of Yad Vashem




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Israeli innovation manufactured in Northern Ireland – helping disabled children to take a first step

Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 26/03/2014

Amazing story of Israeli innovation, international cooperation and hope! Helping wheel chaired children to their feet – Israeli invention, manufactured and piloted in Northern Ireland.

Israeli mother, Debbie Elnatan, visits Lisburn to see her amazing invention being made.


Designers, engineers, textile experts and therapists from Leckey’s Firefly team in Lisburn have been working on the project since 2012.

Read more:

This story received nearly half a million shares from the Daily Mail website!

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A Taste of Israel at Ulster Hall!

Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 13/03/2014

Ulster Hall 2  2014

Music, dance, colour, enthusiasm and praise. Over 500 came to celebrate a Taste of Tabernacles at the Ulster Hall in Belfast and offer support for Israel. Our photo below shows guest Gary Miller, speaker Allen Jackson, performer Grant Wetherall and speaker, Malcolm Hedding. The event was organised by the Irish branch of the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, directed by Brian Silvester. Superb performance by Shalom dancers, musicians and singers. NIFI’s co chair Steven Jaffe came from London to show the appreciation of the UK Jewish community for the event.

Ulster Hall 2014

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In a Hospital!

Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 07/03/2014

Zero tolerance for politicised bigotry in our hospitals!! Anti-Israel incitement on official trade union noticeboards at the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast.

The unions demand a harmonious working environment, shared space, respecting diversity – but if you are a supporter of Israel they will cause you offence and apprehension when you are in Hospital.

Last year it was the NIPSA branch, this year it seems to be UNISON.

We took the matter up with the Belfast Health trust and the Minister and thank everyone who complained.

Fact: more than one in six dispensed prescription packs in the UK includes medicines manufactured or developed by Israeli company, Teva!

NIFI 7/3/14

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NIFI – Irish News

Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 26/02/2014

NIFI weighs in – a letter in today’s Irish News by NIFI co-chair, Andrew Shaw, was submitted as follows:

Brian Feeney is correct that people in Northern Ireland are sharply divided on the Arab-Israel conflict. But he may be surprised to learn why many people here – Unionist as well as Nationalist – consider themselves to be pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian and pro-peace.

Why pro Israel?

Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East. Don’t take my word for it. The much-respected think tank, Freedom House, ranks it far and away the most democratic nation in the region.

This is the state Brian accuses of “masquerading as a normal modern society”. I wish every state in the Middle East came close to matching Israel’s democratic structures and values. Israel boasts a free press, independent courts and effective trade union movement.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Northern Ireland and Israel – a century of connection

Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 20/02/2014

Isaac Herzog, Belfast rabbi 1916-18, Chief Rabbi of the Holy Land from 1937


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Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 20/02/2014

Dreamers of Zion. Jewish refugees at Millisle farm, Co Down, in 1940s training to be farmers in eretz Yisrael – the land of Israel

Millisle - boys

Millisle potato picking

Millisle - women

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Posted by nifriendsofisrael on 19/02/2014

Belfast-born President Chaim Herzog, represented Israel at the United Nations. Here he speaks on behalf of the Jewish people during the infamous “Zionism is racism” debate. Herzog was born on Clifton Park Avenue in north Belfast, in September 1918

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