the former

Gibraltar Jewish Evacuee Community


Co. Down, Northern Ireland




JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.

Village of Saintfield

Saintfield (Tamhnaigh Naomh in Irish, meaning 'Field of Saints'), a village in Northern Ireland with a population of just over 3,000, is situated some 15 miles south of Belfast. Since 2015, it has been part of the District of Newry, Mourne and Down and, from 1973 to 2015, it was within the former District of Down. Prior to 1973, it was in County Down, one of the six counties of Northern Ireland (which are now purely traditional counties, no longer with administrative authority).

The Jewish Community in Saintfield

Following the evacuation, primarily to London, of most of Gibraltar's civilian population during the World War II, in July 1944 thousands of these evacuees were moved from London to a number of emergency camps situated throughout Northern Ireland. One of these camps, Camp 4, at Saintfield, County Down, was known as the Jewish camp, as included some 300 Gibraltarian Jews, who established those institutions needed to maintain the community, including a synagogue.

For further details of the Jewish community at the Saintfield Camp, search 'Gibraltar' or 'Saintfield' on the Northern Ireland Jewish Heritage Map, affiliated to JCR-UK. (i)

Congregation Data


The synagogue in Camp 4, Saintfield, County Down, was founded by the evacuated Gibraltarian Jews in July 1944 following their move to Northern Ireland from London. Sabbath services were held in the Reflectory, a large Nissen hut used for general recreational purposes.


The camp closed in about 1947


Orthodox Sephardi

Spiritual Leaders:
(To view a short profile of a leader whose name appears in blue, hold the cursor over his name.)

Rev. Benzimra was the resident Gilbraltarian minister responsible for day to day religious services.

Rabbi Jacob Shachter of Belfast was authorised by the Government to look after the religious and general welfare of the evacuees.


The only Jewish cemeteries in Northern Ireland are in Belfast, where a small number of Gibraltar evacuees, who died in the camp, were interred.
See Belfast Jewish Cemeteries Information on the Belfast home page.

See also Gibraltar Jewish Cemeteries Information on the Gibraltar home page.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) The Northern Ireland Jewish Heritage Map website and the video link from that site are the sources for all data on this page.


Videos, Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Saintfield Camp Jewish Community

on third parties' websites


 Jewish Communities & Congregations in Northern Ireland

World War II Evacuee Communities

Page created: 12 September 2023
Page most recently amended: 14 September 2023

Based upon research by Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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