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Gateshead on Tyne


GATESHEAD ON TYNE , industrial town in N.E. England. The first known Jew to settle in Gateshead was Zachariah Bern stone in the 1890s, a Russian immigrant who rebelled and broke away from the lesser observant congregation of adjoining *Newcastle-upon-Tyne. With his protégé E. Adler and their families from Eastern Europe, he attempted to establish a community at the beginning of the 20th century. On the initiative of a group of scholars, including shoḥet David Dryan, David Baddiel, and Moshe David Freed (son-in-law of Z. Bern stone), a yeshivah, now world-famous with some 250 pupils, was opened in 1929 under the direction of Rabbi N. Landynski and his assistant, L. Kahan. It represented the realization of a dream of those scholars who had seen their own yeshivot in Europe destroyed in pogroms. The first students from the U.K. were joined in the 1930s by refugees fleeing Nazi Germany and later by students from all over the world. Rabbi N. Shakowitzky, formerly of Lithuania, became community leader in the 1930s, up to which time the community and its houses of learning were of a strictly Russian-Polish character.

When refugees from Nazi Germany came to England, only the strictly observant were attracted to Gateshead. A college for advanced talmudical students (kolel), the first of its kind in Britain, was founded by E.G. *Dessler. German Jews who came to Gateshead after the war established further institutions of learning – a teachers' training college for girls, founded by A. Kohn, and a boarding school founded by M.L. Bamberger, 1944. Other institutions include a Jewish primary school, a kindergarten, and a ḥeder. The first scientific *shaatnez bureau in Britain was established in Gateshead. In 1966 the Gateshead Foundation for Torah was established to further the publication of Jewish literature. The community numbered 350 in 1970. In the mid-1990s the Jewish population numbered approximately 430, and according to the 2001 British census, the Jewish population of Gateshead had risen to 1,564. It had a range of strictly Orthodox institutions unknown in Britain outside of London and Manchester and its yeshivah and kolel were internationally known.


M. Donbrow, in: Jewish Chronicle (London, 1959). add. bibliography: M. Dansky, Gateshead: Its Community, Its personalities, Its Institutions (1992).

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