Newcastle community members joined students from Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham universities at a Friday night dinner to welcome the first dedicated north-east Jewish student chaplain, Rabbi Mati Kos, and his wife Vanessa.
University Jewish Chaplaincy chief executive Ian Kamiel says the appointment is a timely one, given the growing Jewish student population. The official recognition by Durham University of Rabbi Kos as a student chaplain is considered a major step forward.
The Polish-born rabbi has been active in Jewish life for 20 years after a career as a currency trader. He said he and his wife were "really looking forward to giving support and being part of students' lives."