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‘A great kehilla’: The Chief Rabbi visits Newcastle

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The Newcastle Jewish community received the Chief Rabbi and Valerie for a memorable Shabbat this weekend, coming out in force for all services and communal meals, and attending the special kiddush and seudah shlishit held in his honour.

Before Shabbat the Chief Rabbi and Valerie visited residents and staff of Philip Cussins House, the community’s residential care home for the elderly, where they chatted with the facility’s users. They later enjoyed a well-attended Kabbalat Shabbat service at Newcastle Hebrew Congregation, followed by a special dinner with the shul’s council members. A similarly celebratory spirit informed the remaining Shabbat services and communal gatehrings.

In his four addresses to the community, whose residence in Newcastle can be traced back to 1830,  the Chief Rabbi complimented Rabbi and Rebbetzin Lipsey on their outstanding spiritual leadership and President Adrienne Ross and her colleagues on their wonderful lay leadership. He described the Newcastle Hebrew Congregation as one of the great kehillot of British Jewry, and hoped that it would continue to serve the local Jewish population for many years to come.