Double vision safeguards north east chaplaincy role

Rabbi Aaron Lipsey and his wife Miriam

Rabbi Aaron Lipsey and his wife Miriam

A unique partnership will allow Jewish students in the north east of England to benefit from the services of a chaplain for the foreseeable future.

Rabbi Aaron Lipsey will combine his role at Newcastle's United Hebrew Congregation with work for the University Jewish Chaplaincy to cover campuses in Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland and Teesside.

Local community members, working with the Representative Council of North East Jewry and UJC, helped secure the deal that will see Rabbi Lipsey funded to cover both jobs.

The region had briefly been without chaplaincy cover following the departure of predecessor Rabbi Mati Kos and his family to Manchester.

Students have already benefitted from Rabbi Lipsey's assistance, as well as receiving a warm welcome from his wife, Miriam.

Newcastle JSoc's Tamma Carel said: "Rabbi and Rebbetzin Lipsey's openness and welcoming attitude has been greatly appreciated among students.

"The benefit of the pastoral and practical support provided by the chaplain to a small, developing JSoc like Newcastle has been hugely significant and the effect has helped create a strong sense of community within the JSoc which has helped the society grow and strengthen."

The society was shortlisted for the "Developing JSoc" award at last month's UJS awards.

Ms Carel said: "We would not have been nominated this year if we hadn't had the support of the Lipseys."

Rabbi Lipsey said he was delighted to take on the new role.

"We have really appreciated the extra dynamic and different challenges that chaplaincy brings to our communal life. The students are always welcome in our home and we love having them around."

He said students could come to him for advice and assistance regardless of their level of religious observance.

UJC plans to return to a dedicated full-time chaplain's role in the future.

Last updated: 2:36pm, April 27 2012