A five-year search to fill the Gateshead Kehillah pulpit has ended with the arrival of Rabbi Shraga Zimmerman, whose induction ceremony was held on Monday.
Rabbi Zimmerman, 44 — who succeeds the late Rabbi Bezalel Rakow — came from Monsey, New York, where he founded a congregation.
His induction was held at the Bewick Centre, Gateshead, before an audience of 500.
Among the guest speakers were Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, returning to Gateshead from the States, and Rabbi Nachum Schneebalg from Manchester.
In his address, Rabbi Zimmerman said he was privileged to be given the opportunity to lead the most learned of communities.
“I always thought that the pavements of America were lined with gold, but it is here in Gateshead where true value is to be found,” he told the congregation.
He thanked everyone who had supported his move to Gateshead, and Rabbi Feivel Steinhouse, one of the kehillah’s oldest members, who had presented him with talit as a welcoming gift.