Newcastle Reform Synagogue
November/December 2010 – Cheshvan/Kislev/Tevet 5771
From the Rabbi
BACK TO NORMAL
Sometimes after the holiday period, I catch myself saying to people that now life can get back to
normal, and, with all of my colleagues and many of my fellow Jews, we sigh.
But is this really what I, we, want, from life post Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a
recommenced ‘normal’ life? I’ll spare you the excursus on the word ‘normal’ but, if it means that
after the tension, and promise, of our yamim nora’im, our Awesome Days, we continue as if
nothing has changed, then we may have missed the opportunity that these days afford us. Time
out of time to contemplate our lives, our ethics and our Jewish choices.
I hope that something in you has not returned to ‘normal.’ I hope that some relationship in your
life is repaired, some commitment strengthened, some healthy perspective restored. I hope the
holy days gave you space to change and to start again.
And Jewishly? Well, we have just begun our new adult education series – come and join us. We
have a book group – they welcome new members. We have regular Shabbat services and a new
venture once a month on a Friday – a chavurah supper with a difference. There’s no service that
night. We sit instead around the table and sing songs and learn a little and chat a lot, and share
our food and wine.
In January, we will launch another type of adult or family learning possibility, which will give you
the opportunity to pursue some concrete learning or practical goal of your own. Next
September, we hope to go as a group to Israel – are you interested in coming along? Would you
like to learn some modern Hebrew before you go? Let me know.
And if you have a need we are not catering for, come and see me or a member of Council, and
help us get it started.
Let’s not lose the momentum of our momentous days. Let’s not return to normal.
Rabbi Barbara Borts
Focus deadline Newcastle Reform Synagogue announce our
for the next issue: CHANUKKAH INDOOR MARKET
17 December 2010 Stalls include books, clothes, jewellery,
Please send articles, notices etc. to Anna Round If bricabrac, cakes, etc.
possible, please send items as MS Word documents. If Sunday Dec 5th at Newcastle Reform Synagogue
you want to submit an item but do not have access to Starts at 2.30pm.
email, please call Anna Entrance £3.50 (includes refreshments).
Tickets from Tony Wortman or
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 1 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
From the Chair
Are you enjoying our ‘Focus Feature’ - the pen portraits of council members? We talked about this at
our AGM and, already, Focus has printed several ‘people profiles’. I know I have found them very
interesting so thanks to Gaby for editing the items received. I hope that you will feel more confident
about ‘volunteering’ when you read about the people who already do!
We are in a period of transition, I guess. This is my last year as Chair and time is hurtling us forward to
next year’s AGM when I will hand over the reins to Monica. I always become a little introspective during
and after the High Holy days, very much on a personal level. This year, I took some time to review the
activities of the shul – the direction in which we are going and our hopes for the future.
It seems to me that we are in a very positive phase. Despite a certain amount of reluctance, we do have
new council members and more people than ever who are involved with the satellite activities of NRS.
By that, I mean those people whose hard work contributes so much to the efficiency of the shul but
who prefer to take a back seat when it comes to sitting on council. These are often the ‘unsung heroes’
of a community but are so vital to its wellbeing.
Many people commented after the High Holy Day services, that there was a lovely atmosphere in shul…
and this despite our annual Yom Kippur fast. We had quite a few visitors, all of whom said how
welcome they felt and how warm our congregation is. All this is good to hear, good for the shul and
good for me!
The recent events in Chile and the incredible rescue of the 33 trapped miners also made me take stock
a little. The faith of the trapped men is a lesson to us all, and their release brought a lump to my throat.
This was accentuated by the clear and simple expressions of confidence each man held; that God would
be instrumental in their rescue. As one miner explained, ‘We were in a battle between the Devil and
God and God won’. Irrespective of the fact that they belong to a different religion, I don’t think anyone
could fail to be moved by their faith.
The rescue activities in Chile had the whole world gripped by a desire for a positive outcome. Many
different countries were involved and all worked well together. Some engineers were very much in the
forefront – others worked diligently behind the scenes. All were equal in their contributions and all
achieved their aims. And the rescue has had a positive effect on the way in which people can work
together in the future. For me, it was a reminder that we need to integrate and share our talents.
Which takes us back to the shul and the way in which our members are involved – some in the
forefront and others behind the scenes but all very, very important.
Friday Night Dinners
For all of these events, please call Brenda to book a meal
Friday 29 October Erev Shabbat Dinner
Service at 18:45 followed by a catered dinner.
Friday, 26 November Erev Shabbat Dinner
Service at 18:45 followed by a catered dinner.
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 2 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
Jews in Albania
When I was invited to accompany a friend on a trip to Albania, I knew nothing about the place at all (in fact,
I was rather hazy about exactly where it was). Having accepted the invitation, I discovered that the remains
We held our AGM on what turned out to be a gloriously hot and sunny afternoon. Perhaps we were
of a 5th century synagogue had been identified (in 2003) in Saranda, where we were landing on the hydrofoil
inspired by the weather, or the promise of the Corfu, and Albania lying across a thank the Guild of
from Corfu (there being a flight from Newcastle to lovely strawberry tea, which we very short stretchfor
providing. It island). That told and engaging meeting, where What I’ve since discovered is
water from the was an interestingme little of the history, however. we considered strategic development
while looking at day-to-day operations. We adopted the 2009 accounts, considered the work and reports
of Council. We recognized the work and enormous contribution of our Rabbi. We thanked many
volunteers, in particular, our “treasured” Treasurer Carmel Lipman who is stepping down from Council
Legend has it that a Roman slave ship, en route from Palestine to Italy, was blown off course and
after many years and handing over the bank book. We also elected and welcomed a new Council and
shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria, the country that is now Albania (‘this is Illyria, lady…’ – yes, the very
Executive. Your new Council, who were officially installed on Erev Shabbat 28 May, is as follows:
place where Viola was shipwrecked in Twelfth Night). Whatever the truth of this story, there have
Chair – been Jews in Albania from early times, and not only that early synagogue in Saranda. By 1520 there
certainly Brenda Dinsdale
Vice 609 Jewish households
were Chair – Monica Stern recorded in Vlorë, where the only synagogue in Albania in modern times was
sited. There’s also some evidence of Jews arriving from Salonika in the 14th century, and perhaps also from
Treasurer – Gerald Stern
Hungary, while populations of Sephardi Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal in the late 15th century are
Secretary – Gabrielle Mandell
Building in Berat, Elbasan, Durrës and Vlorë in the early 16 century.
recorded Officer – Colin Scott
Education Officer – Pauline Statt
In 1673, Sabbatai Zevi (the messianic claimant who gathered an enthusiastic following before converting to
New Members Secretary – Sylvia Rowlands
Social Committee Chair – Tony sultan to
Islam) was exiled by the Turkish Wortman the then-Albanian port Ulqin (now in Montenegro) where he later
Welfare Officer – Gay Bernstone
died. There’s a tradition that he is buried in Berat, and apparently there’s an annual fair there on the
presumed site, though I haven’t found more detail.
Energizing our Shul
Excitingly, we also th century history of Jews in Albania that’s most surprising. In 1930, there were with
However, it’s the 20had a lively and interactive session with Judy Plaut, Living Judaism Field Worker204
the recorded for Reform And yet, at the end of WWII, there were several feel NRS stands today in
Jews Movementin the census.Judaism. Together, we considered where we each hundred…. The Albanians,
terms of to vibrancy, activity, openness and ability genuine way, took in Jewish refugees envisaged a
who seem its have been religiously tolerant in the most to attract new members. We each and kept them
“perfect” situation, where There’s a well-recorded story of true and shared our in by on what family
and the Albanian Jews safe. all our wishes for NRS could come a Jewish family taken ideas a Muslim different
characteristics this “miracle” and would have. We then each as family; one specific Albanian Orthodox
who gave them Muslim names NRS ‘hid’ them by including them identified Catholic and action that each of
us would undertake before the coming High Holy efforts, about 600 Jews from Albania the progress we
families also hid and protected Jews. Despite these Days in order to take a step towards were interned in
Pristina (Kosovo) and then sent to Bergen-Belsen, but nonetheless there was a larger Jewish population
after than before the war. I’ve been told – but haven’t verified this – that Israel does not require visas for
Following up on this exercise, members voted to embark on a one-year engagement campaign. Our
visitors, in recognition of their rôle in involved in helping the synagogue in at least one way in
Albanianto have at least 50% of our members protecting Jews.
the course of the year. Actions can be small or large, can range from bringing a cake to Kiddush, to
giving someone a lift to of Enver Hoxha come to a service, to leading a dreadful serving on a
The communist dictatorship enable them to was grim. The country was left in services orstate and when
committee. Stay tuned for more 1991, everyone please start thinking already population – almost the
the borders were finally opened in information, butwanted to get out. The Jewishof how you will become
involved and help NRS to thrive. to go are some ideas to Israel. There is believed
only people who had somewhere There – were airlifted to start with on page four… to be a tiny community
of some 10-20 Jews remaining in the capital, Tirana.
A strange coda to this story is that in 1935 a British Zionist journalist, Leo Elton, travelled to Albania to
investigate its potential as a refuge for Jews and a possible national home. The complete lack of anti-
semitism and the strong tradition of religious tolerance led him to write a report recommending Albania as
a national home for Jews, and this was given, in 1945, to Hebrew University's first president, Judah Leib
Magnes. Nothing became of it, as we know… but it’s a tantalising thought that we might now be visiting
family in Albania!!
Full Shul for Darlington‟s 2nd day Rosh Hashanah services
The Darlington Congregation was delighted to welcome not only Rabbi Borts, who led the services, but also
Newcastle members and friends and family of Darlington members from Israel, the US and quite a few
places in the UK too. The benches in our little synagogue were nearly full and there was certainly a very
warm atmosphere! The shofar was blown by one of the youngest Darlington members, 11 year old Aaron,
and the service was followed by a communal Kiddush.
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 3 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
Could get to shul more often if someone gave you a lift?
Are you able to offer lifts to people from time to time?
Then please contact Monica Stern
Monica will help connect people with cars with people who would appreciate a lift to shul.
Do you know of anyone who is unwell, in hospital, and would like to have visitors from the shul
from time to time?
Could you take some time to visit NRS members in hospital, who would enjoy
Then please contact Gay Bernstone. Gay is our Welfare Officer and will coordinate with
you to help set up visits that will be useful and enjoyable for everyone.
Do you enjoy the sharing Kiddush nibbles after services? Are you happy to bring
some food every now and then? Home cooked or store bought are both
welcome. We encourage organic, fair trade, locally sourced foods.
Then please contact Liz Wortman. Liz is Chair of the Guild and will coordinate with you to
make sure we have yummy nibbles to share at Kiddush and other shul events.
Acts of loving kindness – whether you have a few minutes or a few weeks to give, there are
many ways we can all contribute to our Synagogue.
At our AGM in May, as a congregation, we decided to embark on an exciting one-year project – to energize
the shul and give everyone a chance to become involved. It started right away. We all wrote down one
particular act that we would do by the High Holy Days.
What have we achieved so far?
During the High Holy Days, we gave everyone a list of the things NRS members committed to and asked
everyone to indicate which things have had already completed. We received forms back from 24 people, and
we are pleased to report that 24 members of NRS contributed 54 acts of loving kindness – and those are
only the ones on the list! Not bad at all. That’s 12% of our membership in only 3 months.
Plus, we know of at least 10 more people who have contributed at least 3 acts each, which brings us to 34
people and 84 acts. Better and better…
How do we move forward?
The form we gave out also asked people to indicate what they would be willing to do in the new year. Again,
with only 24 people, we received 51 more offers for additional acts. A big thanks to everyone who has
already helped out and to those who have offered to get involved this year! We encourage everyone to get in
touch and get involved.
If you still have your form and want to submit it, please do. If you have lost your form, the list of acts is:
Help someone to get to and from shul services and events
Help someone unable to get out and shop for themselves
Visit people who are home bound or in hospital
Bring a cake or other nibbles to share for a Kiddush
Encourage a member who only attends infrequently to come to shul with me so that we’ll both come
Organize or attend a shul social event
Follow the NRS website more frequently and contribute as required
Invite someone for a home meal, e.g. for Shabbat dinner
Participate in adult education sessions.
Please indicate your name, whether you had done any of these by the High Holy Days and which ones you
would be willing to do in this new year. You can send it to the shul, to the attention of the Secretary, Gaby
Mandell. Or, you can email the information to her.
Join in now; help your synagogue and your fellow members. And enjoy yourself!
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 4 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
Getting to know your Council
Have you ever wondered who your Synagogue Council members are? What their backgrounds might be?
What motivated them to serve NRS? Now is your chance to find out. There are currently 12 members of
Council. Six of them were profiled in the last edition of Focus. Four more are presented here.
Brenda Dinsdale, Chair
Heading up the Council and representing NRS in the community
Born in Newcastle - before the inception of the NHS, she admits - Brenda moved away
then returned in 1982. She’s not quite sure of the year, but thinks she joined NRS about
1990. Appointed Chair two and a half years ago, this is actually Brenda’s second term in
this office. Before that, she served as Guild Chair in the 1990’s.
Educated at Dame Allan’s Girls’ School and Durham University, Brenda also holds
counselling qualifications and achieved level 5 NVQ in Business Management in 2007.
She has been honoured at home and abroad for her service and deep commitment to
the voluntary sector. She was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary, the
Whitbread Award and the Gramata (2nd highest civilian honour) from the Government of Belarus.
When she was not volunteering, Brenda took over The Bed Centre from Michael and Sylvia Rowlands but
‘retired’ three years ago. However, our ‘retired’ lady has remained Co-ordinator of Chernobyl Continuity,
works part-time as a counsellor and serves as Joint President of Representative Council of North East Jewry.
She is also our resident volunteer caterer and lovingly prepares the monthly Shabbat dinners that the
community so enjoys.
Brenda says her philosophy about serving on Council is quite straightforward: ‘I am a member of the
community and therefore feel I should contribute any skills I might have to that community! From the
moment I joined NRS I felt welcomed, and a part of the life of the synagogue. And, of course, I like people!’
Bill Fleming, Ritual Committee Chair
Helping us to observe our holy days and festivals as a community
Bill says that if you have talked to him, ‘you probably know I am one of those arrogant
engineers who thinks what is wrong with the world is it’s not run by engineers’. He
works at Northumbria University teaching Design and researching aircraft crashes. A
member of the Newcastle Astronomical Society, Bill is also a Sunderland supporter, an
expert on the Indiana Jones films and Hava says he should run his own rock and jazz
radio station when he retires.
Some time ago, Bill got himself a job in Liverpool designing aircraft undercarriages and bought a house right
in the middle of the Jewish community. The three closest food shops were all Kosher establishments and he
had a choice of four Synagogues within a short stroll of his front door. He recalls that he decided to try all
four but found that the Progressive Synagogue was ‘just what I was looking for with its mix of tradition and
modern thinking’. When he came back to Newcastle Bill started attending NRS and, ‘what impressed me the
most was the warmth and sincerity of the people I met here. I just knew that this was the place for me’.
Once he became a full member, people were very enthusiastic about his taking on a job in the shul , so Bill
became the Security Officer. He confesses that this was not the job for him, but soon Rabbi Woolf and
Nonek Jacobson decided he should be the Assistant Warden. Bill carried out this task both as assistant and
senior warden for many years: ‘this suited me because my interest is in the spiritual and ritual side of
Today, he is Chair of the Ritual Committee, which advises the Rabbi in the running of services and other
aspects of the religious life of our community. Bill explains, ‘I would class myself as a traditional Jew but I
believe very strongly that our community should be inclusive and welcoming to Jews of all shades of opinion.
Please talk to me about your views on how we do things here in Newcastle, tell me what makes you come
to Shul and what puts you off. The ritual Committee is here to listen.’
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 5 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
Liz Wortman, Chair of the Guild
Taking care of our tummies and making every Kiddush and festival a sumptuous and social occasion
Born and bred in Sunderland, after completing her education Liz joined a well known Department Store
known as Binns (House of Fraser Group). She worked in the Cosmetics department for Elizabeth Arden and
for Revlon for some years, before moving to Books Fashions, a family run business with a Department Store.
Liz worked on the Separates section and became the Department Manager. She was
promoted to the Model room, which was Haute Couture and known for its range
throughout the North East.
Liz stayed in fashion for a number of years, but then decided to spread her wings and
moved to Greece. She obtained a position with a Greek Travel Company called Olympic
Holidays. Though based in Athens, the job involved travel the width and breadth of the
After 18 years in Greece Liz returned to England, where she married Tony. They worked
together with their own Ladies Fashion shops until they both retired this January. Liz has been ‘an ardent
member of the synagogue and this year has accepted the position as Chairman of the Guild again.’
MONICA STERN, Vice Chair
I am a child of NRS! My parents, Eve and George Loble were among the founding
members of NRS in 1963 (when I was 8 years old). I attended cheder and was the
first proper Bat Mitzvah in Newcastle, doing exactly what the boys did! I married my
husband, Gerald Stern (who is also a child of NRS) in 1978.
Over the years, I have been Chairman of the Guild, Cheder teacher and Cheder
Administrator, Youth Co-ordinator, Focus editor, Warden, Service taker, leader of the
Choir and I have conducted school visits. I have represented NRS on the Council of RSGB.
Gerald and I have hosted many NRS visitors in our home. We have made close friendships with visiting
Rabbis, Officers of the Movement and guests to NRS. Most of the senior Rabbis in the British Reform
movement have spent some time as students in Newcastle, and we enjoyed the opportunity to offer them
Now that our children – Joel (aged 28, married and living in London) and Jenna (aged 25 and living in
Manchester) – are leading independent lives, I feel that it is the right time for me to take a more responsible
rôle at NRS. I am honoured to have been elected as your Vice-Chairman and I am very much looking
forward to the challenge of the Chairmanship next year. If there is ever anything that I can do for you, or if
you want to come round for a coffee and talk over any concerns you have about NRS, I hope that you will
not hesitate to get in touch.
Biographies by Gabrielle Mandell
NRS ISRAEL TRIP
Inserted in the last edition of Focus was a flyer advertising a Newcastle Reform
Synagogue customised trip to Israel in September 2011 led by our own
Rabbi Barbara Borts. Ten people have indicated an interest so far.
We need at least another 5 to make the trip viable. If you no longer have the
flyer you can view it on my website
It would be really wonderful if we could organise this trip within our own community. If you are interested
and would like further details, please contact Gerald by 30th November latest.
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 6 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
probably taken at
Sukkot in 1895,
Bondi and his wife
Bertha with 13 of
their surviving 15
children in their
massive sukkah in
Samuel (Lel), then
aged 17, is on the
left in the
doorway, with his
twin sister Rosa in
front of him. She
perished in the
Shoah, as did
other teenager in
Jonas (the oldest,
then 33, and a
rabbi) sat next to
his father, Esther
(28 years old) sat
next to her
mother and Hilde
Fanny, the baby of
the family (then 8)
who suffered from
some form of
sat facing the
camera at the far
right corner of
Paula and Helene, the third and fourth children, are not present in the photograph; both were living in
Rotterdam, having married brothers there. Helene also perished. In the middle of the doorway is Lea
(always known as Lishi, then approaching her 15th birthday) who became a renowned art dealer and
escaped from Vienna to London after her art collection was extorted from her. A recently-resolved legal
case in New York has finally seen restitution to the family for one of her most beloved paintings, Egon
Schiele’s ‘Portrait of Wally’. Alice visited Lishi frequently as a child and has very happy memories of her
eccentric and fascinating great-aunt (liqueur chocolates play a part in this…). Others in the picture, in
descending order of age, include Aron, Julie, Sophie, Joseph, Hugo and Beni (Benjamin)
Alice received this photograph out of the blue just before Yom Kippur this year. She had never
previously seen any picture of most of the people shown – and just loves the paper chains!
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 7 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
Tony Benson and Gaby Mandell were honoured to serve as Chatan Torah and Kallat Bereishit.
They thanked the community and truly enjoyed preparing and reading their portions. What a joyous
celebration of our beliefs and laws and history.
CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ The Leo Baeck College Diary & Filofax Insert
for 2010 (5771) is available to order
Council of Christians and Jews The original features have been reinstated, including:
• Hard cover & ribbon bookmark
North East • Personal information page
Annual General Meeting • A-Z Address book;
• Jewish holiday dates
To be held at the Leazes Room, • Forward planner;
Civic Centre Newcastle • Lectionary readings (Reform & Liberal)
• Festival planner and Shabbat times; (Reform & Liberal)
Thursday 18 November 2010 at 7.30 pm • A listing of local, national and international
Synagogues (Reform & Liberal)
Chair – Rabbi Barbara Borts • Travel information and Tube map;
Theme: The Holocaust Experience The diary/filofax inserts run from September 2010 to
October 2011 in a week-to-view format.
With a panel of recent Jewish/Christian visitors Diary now reduced to £4.99!
to Auschwitz +£2.50 for postage & packaging.
All welcome Refreshments
To place an order please call Idit GInsberg
Alternatively please download an order form from the
Donation to cover expenses - £2.00 College website
CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ CCJ _Order_form_final_2010.pdf
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 8 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
Are you „One Of Them‟?
.... One of those people who come to shul regularly, or just now and then, but cringe down in your seat
when you see the warden approaching with a purposeful gleam in his or her eye?
One of those people who feel panic-stricken when faced with a demand to come to the front and do some
ritual action, because you feel self-conscious and fear getting it wrong?
One of those people who feel a little bit left out when the ‘experts’ nonchalantly utter technical terms like
hagbaha, g’lilah and haftara?
Well, it doesn‟t have to be like that. The ‘experts’ were not always experts – and you can be one too.
You have as much right as any other Jew to take part in the public side of our services.
To become an instant expert, come to a training session at NRS on Tuesday 14 December at 19:00
It’s your chance to:
ask any question you like about the formal aspects of the service
practise handling a Sefer Torah (scroll) and its accessories
try out those prayer /ritual acts which you feel insecure about – it could be putting on a tallit, rolling and
dressing the scroll, reading a study passage, opening the curtain.... you choose and we will do our best to
ease you into it gently.
Don’t be One Of Them any more – be One Of Us.
Tuesday 14 December, 19:00 in the Synagogue – all welcome
NRS Ritual Committee
Newcastle Jewish Book Group THE REBBE‟S TISCH Chavurah Supper
Our next meeting will be Bring a dish to share and come join us the 2nd Friday
Monday, 6 December 2010 of each month, as we sit and eat together, sing, tell
stories, and enjoy making shabbos together.
Newcastle Reform Synagogue No service that night. You
may want to bring you own
We will be discussing: candles to light!
My Grandfather’s False Teeth,
by Roberta Aarons And, in December, the ‘tisch’
will be on the 1st Friday night,
which is also Chanukkah.
Please be sure let us know if you plan to attend by
Bring your Shabbat candles
as usual and your chanukkiyah,
and we will light those together
and sing chanukkah songs. Latkes will be provided.
From 18:45 until there is nothing more to eat!
Keep the date! Adult Education
We have had 2 enjoyable evenings looking
We are hoping to hold a at the mysteries of our most important
shabbaton on music and dance text, the Talmud, with the aid of the
book Swimming with the Talmud.
15 January 2011 Come and learn with us whenever
you are able, and see just how the
Talmud is relevant today to Jews.
Further information to follow 19:30, Tuesday evenings, NRS
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 9 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
THE NEWCASTLE JEWISH PLAYERS Newcastle Jewish Players
present We are a local theatre group, actively looking for
“ ARE YOU JEWISH ?” others to join us.
( 3 Award winning short plays)
by We perform twice a year to a wide audience and
New York Jewish Playwright meet regularly for rehearsals. Our performances
BRUCE J. BLOOM often have a Jewish theme, and the plays range from
the works of Arthur Miller and Alan Bennett to our
Saturday 27 November and Sunday 28 November pieces and musicals designed by ourselves.
in the Marion Abrahams Hall Do you have a few hours a week to spare? Would
at the Synagogue, Graham Park Road you like to perform with us.? Do you have acting,
at 7.30 pm singing or dancing skill, or would perhaps, like to
work behind the scenes?
We have enormous fun and work very hard at
Proceeds to times! Please contact me for more information.
Chernobyl Continuity We would love to meet you.
Don’t forget to look at the Supplement which accompanies this issue of Focus. It contains details and
booking forms for several exciting events in the Jewish Community locally and nationally, including:
Shiurim at Leo Baeck College 3rd Netzer Venture Shabbaton
Jewish Lads & Girls Brigade, Newcastle Other RSY-Netzer activiteis
8 Annual Communities Shabbaton
Do you know the way to San José Meanwhile, there were texts, snacks and DVDs
Where the miners sat Though no embrace, no smiles exchanged,
Trapped under Chilean coal, sand and rock? no being there.
Can you grasp how it was Patience, solidarity and faith are the true
That workers went down to dig muscles of men.
For wages and warmth Treacherous time, darkness and dread hung;
For food for their families? While up above, heartache was marbled
Crossing their fingers with hope.
As they traversed striped layers, Mobile phone chat stitched the families’
The diary-pages of earth’s history? fraying patches
Do we now know how to stop another calamity like this? And slim tins of goodies descended from the roof
To tick-box another hour and lighten their gloom.
The rock pinned down the thirty-three to wait
While engineers came drilling to liberate. And then, hey presto, they were cut off no more!
Coal: the black magic stuff, The world watched Chile’s blameless
The trees, shrubs and ferns of yesteryear captives surface
Where exotic creatures courted Into the frenzied flash of photographers,
And trilling birds took to the air; The embrace of women, daylight and debate.
Song, plumage, nurture and liveliness, We sighed. We smiled. We cheered.
The trees of the Amazon, They left the spotlight to colour in seventy
The cedars of Lebanon, blank days.
Pressed into seams of power: Tomorrow we weave today’s fluttering bunting
Power to make money Into the fabric of the safer workplace.
Power to make smoke;
The power to create orphans. Denise Robson
there were texts, snacks and DVDs
Meanwhile, Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 10 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
Though no embrace, no smiles exchanged, no being there.
To Pat and Ian Caller on the birth of their first Friends of NRS
grandchild, Esme Pearl Land, and to proud parents May we remind our members that non-Jewish partners can
Sophie (nee Caller) and Tom Land. support the Synagogue by becoming paid-up ‘Friends of NRS’.
To Denise Robson on her election to Gateshead For further details, please contact our Treasurer, Gerald
To Alex Dinsdale Gurinovich on being granted British FOCUS
Citizenship, and to all his family.
Thank you to all our contributors. The deadline for the next
issue is Friday 15 October and items received after this date
Refuah Sheleimah will not be included. Please send articles to Anna Round. If
to all Members and Friends of NRS who are unwell. If possible, articles should be sent as an MS Word attachment.
you know of a Member who would welcome a visit,
please contact: Donations and Bequests
Gay Bernstone Remember your synagogue on anniversaries, Simchas or by a
or Rabbi Borts bequest in your will. Contact George Loble for further
Kitah Aleph and Mini Cheder Contact Points
7 November – Kita Aleph & Kita Bet
21 November – Kita Aleph, Kita Bet and Kita Yachad Rabbi Barbara Borts
For December dates, please see Website or contact Jo
Chairman Brenda Dinsdale
Basic Judaism Vice Chairman Monica Stern
Every Sunday in November and December except for
Hon Secretary/PR Gaby Mandell
Sunday 26 December.
Treasurer Gerald Stern
Ritual Bill Fleming
13 November, 11 December
Security Ian Cohen
‘Swimming in the Sea of Talmud’, every Tuesday night Buildings Colin Scott
up to and including 7 December except for 9 November
Welfare Gay Bernstone
Guild Liz Wortman
Focus Anna Slowe
Rep Council Brenda Dinsdale
Adult Education Pauline Statt
Children & Family Jo Edwards
Life Presidents Nonek Jacobson
Synagogue Shop Sylvia Rowlands
Darlington Hebrew Peter Freitag
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 11 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk
SERVING THE NORTH-EAST OF ENGLAND
Head-Office and Works
Mooredge Road, Shiremoor, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE27 0HU
Tel: (0191) 253 3222
SPECIALISTS IN HEBREW MONUMENTS
A BRAMM ACCREDITED COMPANY – Established 1946
Entrance Free Sun/Mon 11am to 5pm, Tues/Sat 10am to 8pm
With best wishes from
David, Liz, Daniel CHINA SOLUTIONS
Chinese product sourcing specialists
& Chloë Luper
All enquiries to
Miss L. M. Beckmann
B.A., G.D.N.S.M., L.G.S.M., P.G.C.E. With best wishes from
Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone & Piano Teacher
the Cussins family
Tel: 07867 803980
FRANK FAGLEMAN Dolphin Stair Lifts Ltd.
Showroom – Unit 16F, Airport Industrial Estate
Dealer in Gold, Diamonds and Antique Jewellery Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 2EF
99 CLAYTON STREET, NEWCASTLE We supply straight, curved, new or nearly new stair lifts.
Telephone: 2323 0917 For helpful advice telephone 0191 271 2600
With best wishes from
Pat and Ian Caller
Newcastle Reform Synagogue Focus 12 Website: www.nertamid.org.uk