After returning on a high from the Gala Dinner, which I reviewed here, I got slightly carried away and wrote the following in honour of my alma mater the one and only Gateshead Yeshiva.
In your midst is the seat of one of the most prominent citadels of study in the Torah world. Most European yeshivoth that were in existence at your birth have perished and are no more and you alone stand proud and indomitable. Yeshivoth have in recent decades proliferated around the globe yet you remain still unique and distinct thriving in a corner of England that shall forever be associated with Torah and Orthodoxy. You are the cradle of Torah civilisation in this country as we know it today and you should trumpet it with pride and grace. Yours is a Yeshiva that encompasses many shades of Orthodoxy. From the Hasmo boy who wishes to soak up an authentic yeshiva atmosphere before going to university to the chasidic bochur who wants imbibe genuine litvisher lomdus, they all converge on Gateshead. Not for you the practise of contemporary Torah institutions that define themselves by whom they exclude. Like the Angel of the North your arms are outstretched to welcome all who come to the banks of the River Tyne to quench their thirst with the study of Torah. The white shirt is not frightened that he'll be led astray by the speckled tie and the rimless yarmulke is not fearful that the chosid may adulterate its purity of scholarship. For all who are at Gateshead have strived and toiled to get there, cherish its ideals and contribute to its unique character. How many yeshivoth can boast an alumni like yours? As the Rosh Yeshiva said v’chol Bonyaich Limudei Hahsem. Your sons, Gateshead, are teachers and themselves heads of yeshivoth. Dayanim, authors and pastors of far flung communities gathered to honour you when successful business men sat alongside professionals and accountants mingled with lawyers. All who have been through your doors, sheltered under your roof and warmed in your unique atmosphere remain imbued with a love, honour and duty towards Torah. They assembled to wave the flag you planted in each of their hearts which they carry with pride for the remainder of their lives. Long may you survive so that the Sage Gateshead is personified in your leaders and pupils.
Live on Gateshead!