> The Hull Reform Synagogue - Ne've Shalom
The Hull Reform Synagogue - Ne've Shalom





On Sunday 5 March 2017, a luncheon was held to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Hull's Jewish Community. Our roving reporter, Jackie Lukes, was there and has sent us the following report


You can guess the grand sense of occasion when 324 guests took their seats at Willerby Manor Hotel and the speeches by Howard Levy and Max Gold began: thanks for coming to the Lord Lieutenant of the County, the High Sheriff, two MPs Alan Johnson and Diana Johnson no relation,  Fellow Masons the Worshipful Brethren of the Grand Provincial Lodge, Jonathan Arkush President of the British Board of Deputies, David Lewis, Ann Bennett and two archivists from Hull History Centre, gracious apologies for absence from Mark Regev Israeli Ambassador, a sick note from the Chief Rabbi may he soon get better, Maureen Lipman, and last but not least a BBC Humberside cameraman to film her for Look North.


Max Gold said Hull City of Culture 2017 was transforming the city. On the estates like Orchard Park they're learning Mandarin Chinese. If you go to a house there and knock on the door asking for a friend, someone will come and shout "shentin!"


Maureen Lipman said in her speech that Hull is full of culture already - she didn't need an 80 metre fibreglass wind turbine to get it. Hull is the city where pearls come from Poland. It was already changing before this year: when she came up recently they said to her let's go for lunch to a tagine on Beverley Road. A tagine on Beverley Road! There she saw a little boy and said to him "nice anorak. Is it new?" "Yeah" he replied, "me mam nicked it for me this morning!" She said she'd been a mimic (of Alma Cogan in her school days) "since the placenta hit the peddle-bin" and the written word doesn't do justice to her string of funny stories about Hull people. She said she'd told a friend "I looked in the mirror and all I could see was cracks and lines and rough patches, it was awful."  "Yes" said the friend, "I've got a mirror like that!"  At a big Hull function she went to like today's, she heard one lady say to another: "I've never seen her before. Ain't she put on weight!"


Last, Rabbi Lifschitz made a suitably solemn speech but also told a story about a new Rabbi arriving at an old-established synagogue. There the Rabbi found that at a certain point, half the congregation stood up and the other half sat down. He couldn't figure out which was the correct tradition. When he asked the standers up they said theirs was. When he asked the sitters down they said theirs was. Finally someone said "there's a very old member aged 92 in a care-home, he will know the answer, let's ask him." So the Rabbi took one from the standing side and one from the sitting side to go with him to the care-home. To the question: "is the correct tradition standing up?"  "No!" shouted the old man. "Then is the correct way sitting down?" "No!" shouted the old man again. "But then" said the Rabbi,  "I'll still  have all of them arguing with each other". The old man shouted: "that's the tradition!"


Isn't it reassuring to hear that tradition carries on. The best tradition was this special lunch ending with kosher ice cream all the way from Manchester. Who could ask for more. 





Ne've Shalom
Great Gutter Lane
HU10 6DP



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