Daniel ends 15-year wait for a barmitzvah boy


It was a landmark Shabbat for the tiny Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Hebrew Congregation as Daniel Knight-Woodhall became its first barmitzvah boy in 15 years.

Forty guests from around the country attended the service and kiddush in the congregation's Newcastle-under-Lyme building, which it moved to in 2006. It had previously worshipped in Hanley, three miles away, from 1923.

The barmitzvah boy was presented with an antique kiddush cup by synagogue president Martin Morris, who said: "This now entitles him to become a full member of our shul, to participate in our services, to be counted as a minyan maker - and to pay his subs."

Stoke-on-Trent's 20 active members hail from a wide area. It holds regular Friday night and occasional Shabbat morning services conducted by Professor Rachel Berkson. Until recently, Mr Morris was one of the youngest members - and he turns 59 next week.

"Every now and then we get a doctor from the hospital opposite the shul joining us for three or four years, or a lecturer at Keele University," he said.

Stoke's 20 active members hail from a wide area

Israelis living locally often took part in festival celebrations and its Facebook page attracted many "likes".

The community will have a shorter wait for the next barmitzvah, which Mr Morris expects will be in around 18 months.

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