NIFI Bulletin – September 2013

Welcome to Yedida and Paz – our visitors from Israel.



We are delighted to introduce you to our young visitors from Israel. After months of preparation and planning say Shalom to Yedida and Paz.

Yedida lives in the holy city of Jerusalem. Paz hails from a moshav – if you don’t know what a moshav is, Paz will be pleased to explain all. Both are high school students, natural debaters and enjoy everything from viewing art in a museum (Yedida) to monkeying around at the zoo (where Paz works as a volunteer in the monkey house). Yedida has volunteered for the charity One Family, which looks after Israeli families who have been victims of terrorist attacks.

Thanks to your support we already have an exciting programme put together including visits to youth groups, churches and schools across Belfast – with courtesy visits to City Hall and Stormont.

Most of all we are asking you to please meet our young visitors on the evening of Monday 11 November – invitations to follow.

As you know, there is a serious purpose behind the visit. In February, the Teachers Union of Ireland called on its members to ban Israeli students from educational visits. There is only one response to that kind of attempted exclusion. Please show your solidarity and support and give these youngsters a warm welcome. Please listen to what they have to say about their everyday lives in Israel and their dreams for the future. They also want to learn about Northern Ireland.

What your Mother told you – NIFI’s Steven Jaffe writes in the Parish Magazine of St George’s Belfast

St george's

The parish magazine of St George’s in Belfast recently published an article reminding the Israeli Jews that two wrongs didn’t make a right. They had suffered the Holocaust but were now visiting something similar on a blameless people, the Palestinian Arabs. The editor graciously gave NIFI’s Steven Jaffe a right of reply.

To read his article please click here:

It happened in Belfast – 95 years ago

chaim herzog

In September 1918, the Jewish Chronicle announced the brit milah (circumcision) of a child called Chaim Herzog which took place on Cliftonpark Avenue, Belfast. His father was Isaac Herzog, rabbi in Belfast. In Belfast at the same time was a toddler called Aubrey Solomon (later known as Abba Eban), who may well have attended the ceremony. So in Belfast at that time was a future president, Chief Rabbi and Foreign Minister of the State of Israel. There aren’t many cities in the world which can boast that!

Anyone know what happened to Liz Boyd?

In 1969 Army helicopters were landing near her garden in Northern Ireland, so Liz headed off for a second stint as a volunteer on an Israeli kibbutz! The following is a retrospective piece which appeared recently in the Ulster Star.

Liz packs up and leaves for Israel

A LISBURN teenager was preparing for a trip of a lifetime to Israel back in May, 1969.

Liz Boyd, aged 19, packed in her job and said goodbye to friends and family as she set off to work in a communal community called a Kibbutz with 400 Israelis and other nationalities.

Liz revealed to the Star: “I went to Kibbutz a year ago and it mattered to them I was there. They needed me. I have got a one way ticket and don’t know how long I will be there.

“It’s a big step for me to take, but it is one I must make,” added the secretary from McCready’s Rose Gardens in Derriaghy.

In the Kibbutz Liz was to share in the domestic and manual work along with other volunteers from America, Canada and other European countries.

After flying to London, Liz was set to travel to Marseilles to catch the SS Apalionia which would take her to Haifa.

“Later, perhaps, I will go to work directly with Arab refugees or do hospital work.

Living beside a reservoir has been hectic in recent weeks and with helicopters landing in the garden I’m looking forward to some relative peace in war locked Israel.”

Countdown for World Cup also rans?

Playing for pride is the only way to put spin on next month’s forlorn fixture between Israel and Northern Ireland. But forget Brazil and the world cup qualification, we know plenty of NIFI supporters are heading out to the Holy Land in full expectation of a trip of a life time with the added bonus of 90 minutes watching Kyle Lafferty (if he can stay on the pitch that long). We wish all in the Green and White army travelling to Tel Aviv an incredible visit and we want to know all about it when you get back.

Here are four tips on what you are likely to see when you are out in Israel:

Jerusalem – close up- as you’ve never seen it before

Tel Aviv nightlife

The Sea of Galilee

and Michael O’Neill looking like this.

Michael O'Neill