IN 2019 I VISITED THIS AREA OF BELFAST TO PHOTOGRAPH THIS CHURCH
The number and variety of churches in Belfast never fails to surprise me.
In 1998, the Ulster History Circle unveiled a commemorative blue plaque to Chaim Herzog [who later went on to become President of Israel between 1983 and 1993] at his birthplace on Cliftonpark Avenue. The plaque was removed by the Circle from the building in August 2014, at the request of the Cliftonville Community Regeneration Forum, who are based there. The plaque had become the subject of unwelcome attention, and in the interests of health and safety it was taken away for safe keeping, until such time as it can be reinstated, with the consent of the owners and occupiers of the premises.
The Ulster History Circle is a heritage organisation that administers Blue Plaques for the area that encompasses the province of Ulster on the island of Ireland. It is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation, placing commemorative plaques in public places in honour of people and locations that have contributed to all genres of history within the boundary of the Irish province of Ulster, or contemporary country of Northern Ireland. Founded in the early 1980s, the group receives no government funding, unlike many similar organisations in the United Kingdom.
Major-General Chaim Herzog (17 September 1918 – 17 April 1997)was an Irish-born Israeli politician, general, lawyer and author who served as the sixth President of Israel between 1983 and 1993. Born in Belfast and raised primarily in Dublin, the son of Ireland’s Chief Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, he immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1935 and served in the Haganah Jewish paramilitary group during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt. He returned to Palestine after the war and, following the end of the British Mandate and Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948, fought in the Battles of Latrun during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. He retired from the Israel Defence Forces in 1962 with the rank of major-general.
Note: The Belfast Jewish Community established a Jewish Hostel in Cliftonpark Avenue, Belfast, Co. Antrim in the late 1930s as refugees began to escape persecution in Europe.