Tyne and Wear HER(10850): Bensham, Bewick Road, No. 180, Gateshead Synagogue - Details
Bensham, Bewick Road, No. 180, Gateshead Synagogue
Religious Ritual and Funerary
Place of Worship
Red-brick building by R.G. Pearson of White & Pearson of Newcastle, 1938-9. It was built for the strictly Orthodox community which grew up around the Gateshead Yeshivah (traditional religious seminary for young men) established in 1927-9 by European refugees. The foundation stone is dated 25 Tammuz 5698 (24th July 1938). There is a red and green Star of David roundel by over the Ark (plain timber cabinet), which bears the year of opening in Hebrew letters 5699 (1939). The other windows are clear glazed double-height round-headed windows. Inside, the gallery along the back wall is hidden by a glazed mehitzah (partition between the mens' and womens' section) made of little square lights set in a concrete frame. In front of the Ark is a shtender (lectern facing the Ark occupied by the prayer leader during services) decorated with a painted Shiviti (decorative plaque featuring the opening word from a verse in Psalm 16). The central bimah (reading desk) and benches face forward. It originally had a mikveh (Jewish Ritual Bath) attached which was rebuilt in 1986.
Sharman Kadish, 2006, Jewish Heritage in England - Architectural Guide, page 189-190; www.jewishgen.org