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Sunderland - The Mackem Jews
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TYNE AND WEAR
Municipal Coat of Arms
Sunderland, a grey industrial town of shipbuilding and coal, on the north-east coast of England, was home to a vibrant Jewish community for two and a half centuries.
The community, though originally founded by Bohemian Jews, was characterised by a pious congregation of Litvaks, most of whom came from Kretinga in the latter part of the nineteenth century.
The Kretingers, including a large group of Gillises, formed communal institutions that were well known in British Jewry for learning and social cohesion, but the search for new horizons led to the demise of Sunderland's Jewish community by the end of the millennium.
'Kretinga upon Wear'