Newcastle steps nearer shul sale

Newcastle’s United Hebrew Congregation has reached a deal to sell off part of its property to a retirement development builder.

Anthony Josephs, president of the congregation, confirmed that the shul had “exchanged contracts on a conditional sale”, dependent on “acceptable planning permission.

“The shul was built in the grounds of a large house,” he explained. “We still have the house and that is the hub of the community. It is used on a daily basis for the morning and evening minyans and for a variety of social activities.

“We’re intending to refurbish that house to include the shul, which will accommodate our regular needs.” Mr Josephs added that the current shul — inaugurated in 1986 with 300 seats — had become “cavernous, lacks atmosphere and is a financial drain on the community”. Around 50 people attend on a regular Shabbat and the average age of the congregation is “well into the 70s, if not higher”.

According to Rabbi Aaron Lipsey “Newcastle is doing a terrific job in sustaining interest and activity. For a very small community, I’m sure we’re the envy of many large communities. We have a daily minyan with a little help from our friends in the Gateshead community.”

Regarding the replacement shul, Mr Josephs said they were aiming for a capacity of around 100 seats.

Newcastle UHC

3 Comments

  1. Rabbi Chaim Ingram

    I am deeply saddened by this. I was associate minister of the Newcastle UHC while the shul was being built and literally saw it go up brick by brick. It comprised the former Gosforth and Jesmond congregations. It shocks me that this beautiful boutique shul is now described as “cavernous”. But I am glad the daily minyan in Lionel Jacobson House is still going strong
    If any of my former congregants woukd like to be in touch I would be delighted to hear from them. My email address is judaim@bigpond.net.au. Hatslacha Raba and may we yet see a revival. Rabbi Chaim Ingram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *