Grandfather-of-"many" Ezriel Salomon has been awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Gateshead.
He is believed to be the first Jewish man to receive the accolade. Mr Salomon, 69, was honoured for his services to education, community and international relations. The former head of Gateshead Primary School for 35 years, he has helped set up an organisation to provide educational support and extra-curricular activities for disabled children, developed and obtained funding for a healthy-living centre and established a community economic development centre in Bensham. He campaigns and fundraises for several causes, from road safety to business development.
Mr Salomon tells People: "I am deeply humbled by this honour. I was privileged to be part of the process of fostering good relations between the Gateshead Metropolitan Council and our community. My policy of 'live, let live and live with' was formulated by my tutor Rabbi A Kohn."
Mr Salomon, who was awarded an MBE last year for services to the community, founded the Jewish Community Council of Gateshead (JCCG). He was one of five citizens to be named a freeman, including Sir John Hall, the former Newcastle United chairman and entrepreneur behind the Gateshead Metrocentre development.