Belfast’s Last Jews Shown on the Beeb

This piece first appeared in The Times of Israel.

Elliot, Sammy and Alan Matthews who feature in True North: The Last Minyan – A Belfast Jewish Story on BBC One Northern Ireland (courtesy of BBC Northern Ireland)

Elliot, Sammy and Alan Matthews who feature in True North: The Last Minyan – A Belfast Jewish Story on BBC One Northern Ireland (courtesy of BBC Northern Ireland)

Aaron Black, one of less than a handful of young Jews remaining in Belfast, Northern Ireland, holds out little hope for the survival of the city’s Jewish community. As a non-practicing Jew, he takes the drastic dwindling of numbers with considerable equanimity. As a filmmaker, however, he is passionate about documenting the community’s demise before it disappears completely

Black, 33, focused his lens on the tiny Belfast Jewish community to make “The Last Minyan — A Belfast Jewish Story,” which premiered this week on BBC One Northern Ireland. The hour-long film is part of True North, a series of new, revelatory and uniquely personal single documentaries.

“It’s essentially a film about family,” Black tells The Times of Israel by phone from Belfast. Indeed, he frames the film as his own quest to understand his heritage and many of his relatives appear on camera. Some have stayed in Belfast, but others have joined the Irish Jewish Diaspora in Israel, the UK and other English-speaking countries around the world.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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