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Preserving Jewish heritage in the North East

Newcastle Libraries and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums have launched a joint project to preserve the heritage of the Jewish community in Newcastle and the wider North East region. The project is being funded by a generous bequest to the City of Newcastle upon Tyne by the Ron Lahav Marital Trust. Ron and Kath Lahav, were members of Newcastle Reform Synagogue.

Angela Forster, Service Manager for Community Hubs, Libraries and Parks said: “This special project is a wonderful opportunity for us to collaborate with members of the community. The bequest enables us to preserve collections and safeguard records for future generations. I’m sure by working together we’ll create a collection and a legacy that the Lahavs would be proud of.”

The project’s vision is to preserve and celebrate the history of the Jewish community – how its members came to the North East and the important contributions that they have made to regional life. Items reflecting the Jewish community’s heritage will be collected and preserved for future generations and showcased through exhibitions bringing the stories they tell to life.

A Jewish Heritage Roadshow will be held at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne, from 6 – 8pm on 26 April 2017 and the project are asking members of the community to bring along interesting historical material in their possession. Members of staff from the City Library and the Discovery Museum will be on hand to look at the items, learn more about them and offer advice about their historical value.

Archivists are keen to discover any historical material that people might have such as personal and family papers, records of local businesses or items relating to local Jewish organisations. A member of library staff will be on hand to offer advice on printed books museum curators will be delighted to take a look at any interesting objects that tell about life in the Jewish Community whether they’re printed, handwritten, typed, photographs, films or three dimensional objects

In order to give every visitor to the Roadshow a chance to show their items, it is requested that people bring a small selection of items that are easy to carry. If you are unsure what to bring then please contact Alan Hayward, Archivist for the Lahav Jewish Heritage Project, who will be happy to advise (e-mail: or tel: 0191 2772263). Organisers would also be delighted to hear from any former members of the North East Jewish community who have moved away but still hold historical items from their time in the region. If you’re unable to visit the Roadshow but are interested in contributing to our project please do get in touch.

By preserving and showcasing the community’s heritage, its proud legacy of public service and contributions to British life will be remembered, both now and in the future.

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