Hull celebrates first Pidyon HaBen in 23 years

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010
Avi Schwartz with his son Akiva Menachem at the ceremony

Avi Schwartz with his son Akiva Menachem at the ceremony

Hull Hebrew Congregation has celebrated a rare simchah - the city's first Pidyon HaBen for 23 years.

Kimberley and Avi Schwartz from Jerusalem decided to hold the biblical redemption ceremony in east Yorkshire after bringing their one-month-old son Akiva Menachem to visit family in Mrs Schwartz's home community.

Her parents, Anthony and Avril Rowland, grandmother Rosalind Marks and family and friends from Manchester and Leeds were among around 80 people who attended the celebration at the Pryme Street shul, where Mr Rowland is a warden. Aish's Rabbi Moshe Mayerfeld travelled from London to speak at the event.

"We were always planning to come back and visit everyone after having the brit in Jerusalem," Mrs Schwartz said.

"So we thought, why not have the Pidyon HaBen in Hull?

"In Israel you appreciate the simchahs a little bit less because there are so many of them.

"But here everyone was so touched and excited. It was great to share it with everyone."

Hull's last Pidyon HaBen was in 1987, following the birth of Benjamin Levine, son of the shul's current vice-president.

Last updated: 1:57pm, July 1 2010