Gateshead Talmudical College
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Gateshead Talmudical College (Hebrew: ישיבת בית יוסף גייטסהעד), popularly known as Gateshead Yeshiva, is located in the town of Gateshead in England. It is the largest yeshiva in Europe and considered to be one of the most prestigious advanced yeshivas in the Orthodox world. The student body currently (as of 2012) numbers approx. 300. Although students are mainly British, there are European, American, Canadians as well as some from South America and Australia.
The yeshiva was founded in Gateshead in 1929 by Reb Dovid Dryan, with the Chofetz Chaim serving as an active patron and appointing the original heads of the yeshiva. The first rosh yeshiva and menahel (principal) were respectively Rabbi Nachman Landinski and Rabbi Eliezer Kahan, both alumni of the famed Novardok yeshiva network and both of whom had escaped Communist Russia religious persecution by escaping across the border from Russia to Poland. At its conception, Gateshead Yeshiva was seen as a branch of Novardok, officially sharing its doctrines, ideals and methodology and named "Yeshivas Beis Yosef" in common with other branches of Novardok.
- 1929-1951: Rabbi Nachman Dovid Landinski, an alumnus of Radin, Eishishok (), Kelm, Mir, Łomża, Suvalk and Novardok yeshivas
- 1947-1979: Rabbi Leib Lopian, son of Rabbi Elyah Lopian, an alumnus of Telz yeshiva
- 1947-1984: Rabbi Leib Gurwicz, an alumnus of Mir, Baranovitch and Brisk yeshivas
- Present: Rosh Yeshiva: Rabbi Avrohom Gurwicz, an alumnus of Brisk yeshiva, and a past student
- Rabbi Chizkiyahu Eliezer Kahan, an alumnus of Novardok Yeshivah
- Rabbi Zev Cohen, an alumnus of Chevron Yeshivah (served the Yeshivah with all his might for 55 years, 1953–2007)
- Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler
- Rabbi Moshe Schwab
- Rabbi Matisyohu Salomon, now mashgiach at Lakewood Yeshiva
Over its 82-year history, Gateshead Yeshiva has produced thousands of alumni, among them prominent rabbis.
- Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, (head dayan of London Beth Din)
- Rabbi Chaim Yitzchok Cohen
- Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Hillel, (Rosh Yeshiva of Ahavat Shalom)
- Rav Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss (Gaavad, Edah HaChareidis, Jerusalem)
- Professor Paul W. Franks (professor of Jewish Philosophy, Yale University)
- Dayan Casriel Dovid Kaplin (dayan of London Beth Din)
- Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo (founder and Dean of the David Cardozo Academy)
- Rabbi Daniel Lapin
- Professor Ze'ev Lev (founder of the Jerusalem College of Technology)
- Rabbi Yitzchok "Itche" Meir Morgenstern, (kabbalist and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Toras Chohom in Jerusalem)
- Rabbi Jonathan Rietti (lecturer at Gateways)
Buildings and structure
When Rabbi Landinski arrived in Gateshead he began to teach in the 'Blechenner Shul', a tin shed synagogue, which in 1939 was replaced with the current Gateshead community synagogue.
The original building procured by the yeshiva was at 179 Bewick Road. As the yeshiva expanded it acquired neighbouring properties in Rectory Road and 177 Bewick Road. In 1961 a new building was erected at 88 Windermere Street to house a new beth hamedresh (the hall used for study and prayer), with the dining room on the floor below and the kitchens in the basement. The old beth hamedrash building at 179 Bewick Road and neighbouring houses in Rectory Road were demolished to make way for a new two-storey dormitory block, Clore House, which was opened in 1963, forming the beginnings of the yeshiva campus. A later three-storey building further up Bewick Road joined the first dormitory block, and attached the yeshiva dormitories with the back of the study hall via a bridge. Later on,in 1992, a new building, Sebba House was built, which consisted of a state-of-the-art dormitory building for about 70 students. Later, in 1997 a new building, Tiferes Yonasan, was erected, which attached the study hall further down Windermere Street to the dormitories and extended the main building, including the study hall and the dining room. The last extension on the right hand side added more lecture halls. In addition these extensions created a courtyard leading on from the back alley, from Rydal Street.
The yeshiva was originally established as a branch of the Novardok network of yeshivas then existing in Eastern Europe. The primary focal point of Novahrdock hashkafa is extreme reliance on Divine providence and commitment to achieving spiritual goals without feeling encumbered by physical and material constraints.
"Gateshead: Its community, Its personalities, Its Institutions" by Miriam Dansky, ISBN 0-944070-88-4 is a unique history of the Gateshead Jewish community and in particular its famous yeshiva.