Newcastle and Gateshead

Newcastle Lord Mayor has Tyne of her life

May 31, 2012

Jackie Slesenger has completed a family double by becoming Lord Mayor of Newcastle, husband David having previously held the office.

Councillor Slesenger — who until last month was the city’s sheriff — has represented West Gosforth ward for the LibDems for eight years. She has served as a magistrate and been actively involved in Wizo and the Representative Council of North East Jewry.


Death camp's 'everlasting effect' on footballer

April 27, 2012

On the eve of Yom Hashoah, participants in Holocaust Educational Trust projects attended a special event at the Scottish Parliament.
Students travelled from across the region to talk to MSPs about their experiences on the Scottish Government-funded HET's Lessons from Auschwitz project which takes post-16 pupils on a visit to the Nazi death camp.


Borts quits Newcastle Reform

By Cathy Forman, March 29, 2012

Newcastle Reform's Rabbi Barbara Borts has resigned because she "wants to move on".

Rabbi Borts has given six months' notice to the 150-member congregation she has served on a part-time basis since 2008.

"I have had a good time here," she said. "They are a great bunch of people. If they need help I will continue to help them. I am not leaving them in the lurch."


Demo in Dublin, taking off in Newcastle

May 12, 2011

The Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign protested outside the Dublin hotel where the Israel Embassy hosted an Independence Day party for diplomats, Irish government officials and Jewish community members on Tuesday. The demonstration passed off peacefully and there were no arrests.


Newcastle recruits Manchester rabbi

By Faga Speker, May 6, 2011

Sale Hebrew Congregation's Rabbi Aaron Lipsey is the new minister of Newcastle's United Hebrew Congregation, succeeding Rabbi Dovid Lewis, who is moving in the opposite direction to South Manchester Synagogue in Bowdon.

Rabbi Lipsey, his wife Miriam and their four children will arrive at the end of July and the minister will start his duties on August 1.


A Torah haven in the Geordie heartlands

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, March 24, 2011

I have just spent a week in Gateshead, a yeshivah town in the north of England, where my wife and I lived when we were first married and I was a student at the Gateshead Yeshivah. I remain eternally indebted to Gateshead for the outstanding Torah education I received there, and particularly for the encouragement I received to develop into an independent rabbi and halachist.


No Purim whisky for Yeshivah boys

By Simon Rocker, March 17, 2011

The Gateshead Rav, Rabbi Shraga Faivel Zimmerman, has banned yeshivah boys from drinking spirits on Purim.

He said that they only should drink wine in moderation on the festival.

In a public notice, Rabbi Zimmerman said the dangers of alcoholic consumption had been highlighted by life-threatening incidents in recent years.


Cakes, cars, clothing and interfaith co-operation

November 25, 2010

Student support swelled the Mitzvah Day crowd at Brighton Reform's cupcake-wrapping session to 180. The cakes were delivered to patients at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, residents of Jewish Care's Hyman Fine House and needy community members. Cross-communal welfare group Helping Hands organised the event.

Progressive synagogue congregants participated in a gardening project in Brighton's Moulescombe area which encourages the involvement of troubled teenagers.


Member who married out is refused call-up

By Robyn Rosen, November 25, 2010

A member of Newcastle's Orthodox synagogue who married a non-Jew claims he was refused a call-up on his father's yahrzeit.

David Biermann, 65, requested the call-up from the United Hebrew Congregation to mark the 13th anniversary of his father's death.

He said he was told the shul's by-laws did not allow this for someone who had married out.

"I felt extremely upset. I am particularly distressed at what I consider the callous action of the shul.

"Yes, I can pray for my father, yes, the rabbi will say a prayer for him, yes,


Shadowed rabbi in the frame

By Faga Speker, November 11, 2010

Newcastle photographer Paul Brown has published a pictorial account of a local rabbi after shadowing him for a year.

Fifty people attended a presentation of The Rabbi – A Year in the Life Of at Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation. At the event Rabbi Dovid Lewis and Mr Brown, who is not Jewish, spoke about how the photographer spent time with the rabbi and his family following their personal and public life.

Rabbi Lewis said: "At first it felt very strange, but very quickly Nachi, my wife and children Chaya and Tzivia settled and relaxed with Paul.