Joyous first for Darlington Hebrew Congregation Saturday July 14th, 24 Tammuz, saw the very first bar-mitzvah to be celebrated in Darlington since the community moved into the new synagogue some 5 years ago and the first for the community in 8 years.
Aaron McAllister, son of Colm and Peninnah McAllister of Yarm, led much of the service in the completely packed synagogue. He went on to give a most erudite dvar torah on his parasha Pinchas before ably reading torah and haftarah. It was in fact a double celebration for the family as Miriam Pappworth, Peninnah’s youngest daughter, also read from the scroll for the first time as an adult bat-mitzvah.
Rabbi Barbara Borts, Aaron’s teacher and the community’s part time rabbi, officiated and gave the sermon; warden was Benny Ross of Newcastle Reform Synagogue where Aaron attends cheder. President, Dr Raymond Goldberg, and Chairman, Mr Peter Freitag, addressed the bar-mitzvah and bat-mitzvah before making presentations of a Chumash and a siddur.
A lavish Kiddush followed, a gift to the bnei-mitzvot family from Darlington member Martin Craster.