Newcastle and Gateshead

Solicitor Barry Speker invested with his OBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace

October 30, 2008

Barry Speker, senior partner at Newcastle law firm Samuel Phillips, was invested with his OBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Mr Speker was accompanied to the ceremony by his wife Faga, daughter Sarah Greenfield, and son Robert. Mr Speker, 61, an honorary solicitor to Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation, said: "It was an honour to be awarded the OBE for services to business and Newcastle. The Prince of Wales asked me where I find the time to do voluntary work."


United Hebrew Congregation invited to a Sefer Torah dedication in memory of Naomi Pearlman

October 24, 2008

Members of the United Hebrew Congregation were invited to a Sefer Torah dedication in memory of Naomi Pearlman, by her husband Chaim, son Sam, and his wife Gillian.

The Sefer Torah, originally from the Beth Hamedresh Synagogue, Sunderland, had been restored by Chaim and Sam Pearlman. Chaim and Naomi Pearlman moved to Newcastle after the closure of the Sunderland shul several years ago.


Jewish participants rasie money in the Bupa Great North Run

October 17, 2008

Jewish participants in the Bupa Great North Run included Sue Levinson, 54, who ran for her 15th time, in two hours 20 minutes, raising £500 for Cancer Research; Sally Gold, 29, ran in her fifth Great North Run in one hour, 37 minutes, raising money for the Foundation of Human Nature; Paul Collins, 39, from Woodford Green who ran his first Great North Run in one hour 47 minutes raising £2,300 for the Parkinson's Disease Fund.


Legal fight over Jesus

September 4, 2008

A sculpture of Jesus owned by prominent Jewish art collector Anita Zabludowicz was at the centre of a legal battle this week.

Representatives of the Baltic Gallery in Gateshead were in court charged with outraging public decency after the allegedly blasphemous Terence Koh piece was shown in its exhibition Gone. The work features Jesus in a state of sexual arousal.

A Christian who was offended by the sculpture launched a private prosecution against the gallery for outraging public decency and causing harassment, alarm and distress.


Maccabi table tennis team finish season unbeaten

August 1, 2008

Newcastle Maccabi table tennis team has finished its season as unbeaten winners in the northern teams division. Their 18 wins, with only two draws, is due to the finesse of their veteran Maccabi team of four: Harold Young, Gerry Cunningham, Melville Summerfield and Trevor Leonard. Newcastle Maccabi has fielded teams in the Northumberland League for over 70 years.


Victor Gallant addresses NEJCS coffee morning

August 1, 2008
The North East Jewish Community Services held a coffee morning at the Osforth home of Felix and Helen Lustman. Victor Gallant, the first chair of the organisation, addressed the 100-strong audience about the work of the NEJCS. There was a special presentation for NEJCS treasurer Ann Cranton, who was celebrating her 86th birthday. The event raised £730 for the voluntary service.


Gateshead's diversity explored in documentary by schoolchildren

August 1, 2008

A documentary film made by 14-year-old pupils from Joseph Swan School featured the Gateshead community in its exploration of the cultural diversity in the Coatsworth Road area of the town. The street has six Jewish shops, some of which were featured in the Striding Edge production.

The film, A Trip Down Coatsworth Road, had the co-operation of the Gateshead Kehilla and was shown in a private viewing by the Tyneside Cinema, which partly funded the film.


200+ attend Rabbi Lewis' MA graduation ceremony

July 11, 2008

More than 200 people witnessed a graduation ceremony for Rabbi Dovid Lewis, 29, at Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation. Rabbi Lewis was awarded an MA in theological research and ethics from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Durham University. The university hosted the ceremony for Rabbi Lewis at UHC. The gathering included Rabbi Lewis's tutors, Professors Loren Stuckenbruck and Robert Hayward and the Dean of the faculty, Professor Seth Kunin.


Newcastle and North branch of Ajex attracts 100+ to tea dance

July 4, 2008

The Newcastle and North branch of Ajex attracted more than 100 people to a tea dance. The theme of the sell-out afternoon was “We’ll Meet again”. The event, described by Ajex branch president Geoffrey Rossman as a success, was held at Newcastle Reform Synagogue, and raised £1,000 for ex-services charities.


Newcastle Partnership's chair steps down

June 20, 2008

Barry Speker, the longest-serving chair of the Newcastle Partnership, has stepped down from his role. The Newcastle Partnership — which brings together a range of public, private, community and voluntary sector groups — announced the news at its annual meeting. Mr Speker, a senior partner at law firm Samuel Phillips, has also been honorary solicitor for Newcaste United Hebrew Congregation for the past 17 years.