This year, Rabbi Sybil Sheridan led the celebrations at Newcastle Reform Synagogue, and a wonderful experience of singing and dancing was enjoyed by all. A large group had attended cheder for the little ones immediately beforehand and parents stayed on for the erev Simchat Torah services. Rabbi Sybil made sure to involve people of all ages, including participation by our B’nei Mitzvot students.
This year, Chatan Bereishit was Tony Benson, honoured for his remarkable service over many years to the full life of the synagogue, but especially as Chair of the Ritual Committee, leader of many school and scout visits, and as a Council Member. Two of his grandchildren were able to be present, together with his wife, Joanna, and daughter, Ann.
Kallah Torah was Hava Fleming, honoured for services to the synagogue since her arrival from Switzerland. Hava has edited the magazine, Focus, and performed other services to the community such as cataloguing the library, teaching adults and children, including school visits, leading and wardening services, and as secretary to the Guild and Ritual Committees. Hava’s recent interview on BBC Radio Newcastle may be heard on this link. It starts about halfway through the 3 hours, so move the slider along to 1.44.