The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

Rachelle Aru­lanan­tham makes an im­por­tant point about the sig­nif­i­cance of the re­gions ( JC, Novem­ber 9). Pro­vin­cial com­mu­ni­ties like Liver­pool and New­cas­tle have made some ef­forts to at­tract new blood in the past, with­out much suc­cess. But it has prob­a­bly not oc­curred to our so-called na­tional com­mu­nal in­sti­tu­tions that it might be in the in­ter­ests of the UK Jewish com­mu­nity as a whole that we re­main vi­able. Nei­ther Lon­don nor Manch­ester func­tion as gen­uine com­mu­ni­ties, and the loss of pro­vin­cial com­mu­ni­ties which do will have a real cost. Per­haps the best ex­am­ple of what has been lost is that of Sun­der­land, which was in many ways the epit­ome of what a mod­ern Ortho­dox com­mu­nity could be like. New­cas­tle has a thriv­ing, ac­tive Jewish com­mu­nity in a vi­brant city. House prices are well be­low North­West Lon­don lev­els. We would wel­come with open arms Rachelle or any of her con­tem­po­raries who would like to make their fu­ture in the North East. How­ever, our com­mu­nity will go the way of Sun­der­land within the next 20 years, as I sus­pect will sev­eral of the other re­main­ing pro­vin­cial com­mu­ni­ties, un­less we can some­how turn things around. It seems be­yond our ca­pac­ity alone to avoid this fate. Vic­tor Gal­lant, Pres­i­dent, United He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion of New­cas­tle upon Tyne Gra­ham Park Road, New­cas­tle upon Tyne, NE3

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