Belfast burial ground repairs are celebrated
THE RECONSECRATION of a Jewish cemetery which was defiled by thugs attracted more than 150 people in Belfast.
Rabbi David Singer led the service on Sunday. It followed the attack last August when a gang of youths smashed 13 headstones and attempted to dig up graves at the cemetery. The police described the incident as a “shocking hate crime”.
The Jewish section of the burial ground dates back to the 1870s and had not been used for more than 50 years.
Around 290 Jews are buried there, including the community’s founder, Daniel Joseph Jaffe.
More than half the graves at the
Brian Kingston, Rabbi Singer and Arlene Foster Victorian site are for children under the age of 13.
Arlene Foster, the DUP leader who was First Minister until the Assembly’s dissolution last month, attended, as did two of her party MPs, Nigel Dodds and Jim Shannon, and representatives of Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionist party.
Rabbi Singer told a Belfast television channel: “The service both honours those buried at the cemetery and is a thank you to those who have shown tremendous dedication to put the cemetery right again”.
Brian Kingston, Belfast’s Lord Mayor, referred to the contribution of the Jewish community to the city’s cultural, intellectual and commercial life. William Humphrey of the DUP said: “We cherish our Jewish community and will not allow it to stand alone in the face of harassment and intimidation.