Herzog centenary celebrated in Belfast


Herzog logo


On Tuesday 16 October Northern Ireland Friends of Israel hosted Isaac Herzog to Belfast to celebrate the centenary of his father’s birth in Israel – Chaim Herzog, sixth President of Israel.

Isaac is the former head of the Israeli Labour Party and leader of the opposition in the Israeli parliament. He is the chair of the Jewish Agency, the main organisation in the Jewish world which acts as a bridge between the state of Israel and the diaspora. Isaac is named after his grandfather who was rabbi in Belfast, 1916 -19, and became chief rabbi of Israel.

Northern Ireland Friends of Israel were also proud to host in Belfast members of the Herzog family who were visiting Northern Ireland for the first time.

At a wonderful lunch at Belfast synagogue the Herzog family was presented with a portrait of the late President by the Northern Ireland based painter Rachel Quirey which will be displayed by the community.

Herzog portrait Rachel

The Lord Lieutenant of Belfast spoke movingly of the Belfast Jewish community’s contribution to the city.

The family visited the former Herzog family home in Clifton Park Avenue where President Chaim Herzog was born a century ago.

Herzog family at Clifton Park Avenue Belfast

They met with the speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and political leaders and representatives from different parties at Stormont for a roundtable discussion.

Amongst the overseas guests for the visit included the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, the chair and chief executive of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, the chief executive and UK Delegate of the World Zionist Organisation, the chief executive of Limmud, UK representative of the  Jewish Agency and the President of the Jewish Representative Council of the Republic of Ireland.

The ambassador of Israel, His Excellency Mark Regev, was amongst the speakers at an evening gala event at a packed Great Hall in Stormont. The host was Peter Weir MLA. The attendance included members of the Westminster Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly, Belfast city council and senior representatives of the major church denominations.

There were performances of Israeli and Irish music and various videos illustrated the illustrious life of President Herzog.

A presentation was made to Isaac Herzog on behalf of the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem Ireland branch to mark the partnership between the ICEJ and the Jewish Agency in supporting Aliyah.

Isaac Herzog at Stormont.png


Isaac Herzog speaking at Stormont gala event

After Belfast the party travelled to Dublin and London for further events and receptions to celebrate the Herzog centenary.

Northern Ireland Friends of Israel would like to thank the following organisations for their support: Belfast Jewish community, Northern Ireland Assembly, Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jewish Leadership Council, World Zionist Organisation, Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, Jewish Agency, Christian friends.




From Jerusalem to Belfast – Fleur Hassan visits Northern Ireland

Have you ever visited Jerusalem or wanted to visit it?

A Biblical city, prayed for and cherished by billions,  with modern challenges and needs.

Jerusalem city councillor and leader of the opposition, Fleur Hassan Nahoum visited Belfast as a guest of Northern Ireland Friends of Israel.

Fleur and deputy mayor Emmet

Fleur spoke to a large audience of NIFI supporters, paid a courtesy visit to the Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, and met with elected representatives at Stormont, including DUP Party leader, Arlene Foster MLA, William Humphrey MLA; Ulster Unionist Steve Aiken MLA; and Alliance MLA John Blair in his first week in post.

Fleur me Arlene William

Positive conversations included challenges of shared public space, integration, tourism and Jerusalem’s experience in hi tech with the Made in Jerusalem initiative.

Fleur Sgteve Aiken me

Fleur and John Blair MLA sTORMONT

Fleur also met with Israeli and Palestinian visitors from Women Wage Peace who happened to be staying at the same hotel!


Fleur was visiting the UK and Ireland on a visit sponsored by the Zionist Federation of the UK and Ireland.

Can you help? A Northern Ireland man missing in Israel

oliver mcafee

A Northern Irishman, Ollie McAfee, has gone missing in Israel on a cycling holiday. He was last seen towards the end of November, near Mitzpe Ramon, in the Negev desert.

Ollie’s family and friends are concerned and very keen to know he is safe and well.

Israeli police, UK embassy and Negev search teams  are asking people to circulate his photo and asking for info.

If you have seen Ollie or know where he might be please contact the Har Hanegev Rescue Team:

Nimrod 050 328 9961 or Meidad 052 368 9608

Please share this post or contact the Facebook page:
Missing: Ollie McAfee in Israel

Thank you

Balfour centenary celebrated at Stormont

Balfour Stormont Nov 17The Great Hall, Stormont, was packed to capacity to mark a hundred years since the Balfour Declaration – one of the significant centenary anniversaries associated with the Great War, and an important milestone towards the establishment of the state of Israel.

Named after the then Foreign secretary, Lord Balfour, the declaration gave the support of the British government to the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in its ancestral homeland.

It was welcomed as an act of justice and restoration to an exiled and persecuted people.

Over 200 attended the commemoration including members of the House of Lords, Commons and Northern Ireland Assembly.

Balfour centenary speakers and vips


Speakers included the deputy ambassador of Israel, Sharon Bar Li.

Israeli songs were performed by London-based singer songwriter, Tally Koren.

Balfour Stormont Tally Nov 17


The event was organised jointly between the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel and the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem.

Speakers included historian Roy Thurley, David Parsons, vice president of ICEJ and Rabbi David Singer of the Belfast Jewish community.

(Photos George Pennock   www.georgepennock.com  )

trevor Lunn Balfour 100 Stormont Nov 17





Never Again

Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day  in Israel. A young Israeli woman, Emily Cohen, who has an Ulster Mum, Laura, walks along the perimeter fence at Auschwitz.

Emily Cohen Auschwitz

and learns the stories of those murdered there.

Emily Cohen and friend Auschwitz