Gateshead's new president says his priority is 'keeping the community safe'

Yosef Schleider also wants to see completion of major project for a new mikveh and hall


Gateshead has elected a new president after a tight contest in which five candidates threw their hats into the ring.

Yosef Schleider pipped Rabbi Simcha Kohn by 217 votes to 186 in a second ballot for the top two candidates after neither secured a 50 per majority in the first round.

He succeeds Yankel Kaufman, who died aged 71 in April after contracting coronavirus, as the lay leader of the 3,000-strong community.

Mr Schleider said the current priority was “keeping the community safe. We have made lots of efforts in that direction.”

For example, yeshivah students from abroad who were required to quarantine after entering Britain would have to do so outside Gateshead before they could return to their institutions.

The community is also looking for a new Rav after Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman’s departure for London last year to become head of the Federation of Synagogues Beth Din.

Mr Schleider hoped an appointment would be made “within months rather than years”.

He also hoped one of the community’s biggest recent projects, a new mikveh and hall, would reach fruition “in a couple of months”. Costing more than £5 million, it required around £500,000 to complete.



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