Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

Welcome to the Forum

Posted by Admin on January 21, 2007

The purpose of this blog is to encourage people within the Glasgow Jewish Community to contribute to discussion and debate about topics that are concerned with the community’s future.

We would like to engage the community in worthwhile discussion so that proper dialogue and consultation can be embarked upon. Articles will be posted to initiate discussion and comment, and issues that are vital to the future of the community will be debated. We welcome contributions from everyone.

Our first meeting took place this evening, Sunday 21st January 2007.

Dr Jim Duffy addressed the Glasgow Jewish Community about the present and future of Calderwood Lodge primary school. He is the first non-Jewish Head Teacher of Calderwood and was appointed in February 2006. He has had a superb impact on the school since his appointment.

Did you agree with Dr Duffy’s analysis about the future of Calderwood Lodge?

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373 Responses to “Welcome to the Forum”

  1. A Beitz said

    Interesting evening. Time however for some of our clergy to help the community and their children by sending their kids to the school. If they’re concerned about malign influences there I’m sure the religious ethos at home is more than strong enough to overcome that. They would meantime increase the numbers whilst also giving their kids a decent education. In addition they would assist in providing slightly more religiosity for the school (whether you think that a good or bad thing) by there being some kids who were from more orthodox households.

  2. Concerned said

    Jim Duffy spoke very well and should that Calderwood has regained it’s position as a good school. This must be maintained but for the school to flourish it needs pupils. Children of the clergy will not make the difference or relevant, it is gaining the support of all Jewish families in sending their children to Calderwood and others financially contributing.

  3. Prospective Parent said

    Very informative evening. Can we post a copy of the Powerpoint presentation?
    Did not realise the clergy had so many children! Not sure that this would make such a difference. Anyway one member of the orthodox clergy does send their children (and previous clergy have when their children were still of school age), though I agree many do not.
    Turning the issue around – the survival of a community is also measured by the continuity of its institutions and not least its synagogues. Perhaps the clergy are put off by the lack of support demonstrated by the majority of Calderwood parents who only attending shul twice a year.

  4. S Brown said

    A very informative talk by Dr Duffy.
    As a parent of a child who has been educated at Calderwood my daughter has taken with her to & through her university education the Jewish values, ethos & experiences she has learnt during her 9 years in the nursery & school. In my view it would be so very sad if my future grandchildren were not able to share the same experiences as my daughter because there was no Calderwood Lodge.
    The onus is on every Jewish Parent in Glasgow whose child is eligable to start nursery or school to go to Calderwood Lodge to see what fantastic opportunities there are on offer for their children & then hopefully to support the school by sending their child there.
    I would love to see Calderwood Lodge continue for many years to come but sadly this does not seem possible without the support of the community

  5. A Beitz said

    It is very important for the future of the communinty that we have a vibrant Jewish school. The clergy can help this since they often have large numbers of children. Also if the school becomes a positive thing for them then it will help attract good candidates when posts are vacant rather than us losing people because of their perception that there is no suitable schooling for their children.
    I know efforts have been made before by the school authorities with this section of the community but without success.
    And for all those who choose to send their kids to feepaying schools why? Thousands of pounds a year are being spent and is there really any discernible educational benefit?

  6. muswellhilldad said

    Beitz is correct. Having sent three kids to fee paying school and fourth to Mearns Castle, education is as good and socially it is better. Not sure about Dossim sending kids to Calderwood. Would certainly increase the numbers but possibly lower the tone.

  7. npn said

    Chasing the clergy children is pie in the sky-it just won’t happen in most cases-a couple of notable exceptions have occurred ,but by and large whilst Calderwood is a jewish school it is not a religous school of the type acceptable to the Kollel and other Rabonim ; in any event there is a far greater potential in the ordinary community and to boost numbers , if it is felt that there is room for improvement in that sense ,you have to identify why people won’t consider Calderwood and deal with these reservations ; a starting point might be to analyse the reasons why parents remove children before they reach final year-after all before you consider “business development ” ,you need to ensure retention of the current pupils ;in the case of my eldest ,at the end of p3 4 kids were removed by their parents,and their two siblings……that sort of thing doesn’t help.

  8. Interested said

    The clergy (with one or two honourable exceptions) are not interested in ensuring a secular education for their chidren.
    Calderwood to survive must continue to have the possible educational standards. The HMI must never have cause to express concern about it standards

  9. Interested said

    The clergy (with one or two honourable exceptions) are not interested in ensuring a secular education for their chidren.
    Calderwood to survive must continue to have the highest possible educational standards. The HMI must never have cause to express concern about it standards

  10. Frank said

    Before sending our child to Calderwood we seriously considered private education. When we were shown around Calderwood we realised that the school was able to offer anything that private education could give our child, and more. It was important that our child would have Jewish friends and learn about Jewish culture etc. Religious education was not so important to us.
    It is a community school and it is not possible to substitute this elsewhere. Most importantly, Dr Duffy has now made it a very good school. We could not be happier.

  11. A Beitz said

    NPN is of course right but we should be trying to get all sections of the community to send their kids to the school. There are all sorts of reasons kids don’t stay on and as far as possible these need to be addressed. However one problem/advantage the school has is that it is a comprehensive school and cannot therefore cherrypick its pupils meaning that where there are problem pupils exclusion is not a realistic option which in turn can mean problems for others in the class.
    As well as the social and secular advantages the kids do learn far more about Judaism and Hebrew than they could learn at cheder. Whether religious or not the advantages of your children being educated in their religion/culture are obvious.

  12. History Man said

    Good blog! Healthy to be discussing communal issues. Not sure of the relevance of posting no 12- what harm is there in discussing communal issues in this way?

  13. C. Red said

    Which meeting was M Green at? I think he has problems. Maybe he will tell us what it was about the meeting that made him react in such an absurd way.On the other hand maybe he should stick to his hobby of getting the whole world’s back up. At least he was brief for a change.

  14. Kneidel Boy said

    M Green (Number 12) is totally wrong in his assumption that Peace Now has become GJEF. The entire meeting last Sunday was about Calderwood Lodge in Newlands not the West Bank. It was about the continuity of our school, the future of our community and how we can icrease its longevity on an ever smaller Jewish population. Dr Duffy showed that our children can be educated to as good a standard as the private sector and with smaller classes meaning more time spent on each pupil and at a saving of up to £10k per annum. M Green should take back his hideous remarks because I am not a Peace Now activist in fact I stand up for Israel when it is appropriate to do so. Oh and one last thing (apologies to Jimmy Sanderson)were you even at the meeting caller?

  15. npn said

    I don’t want to go off piste and engage with Mr. Green on irrelevant issues ;in any event he is ,simply put ,wrong in what he says.If he was at the meeting ,or if he has a valid point , he is entitled to make it ;Mr Green-were you there ? Do you have a problem with the subject under discussion -please join in with considered and relevant conributions-otherwise don’t spoil a good thing for this community-afterall with 200 attendees and a healthy blog debate it seems that the people who spent time to create this new initiative have done a good job.

  16. Kneidel Girl said

    The presentation by Dr Duffy has only been positive in reassuring parents, prospective parents and the wider Jewish community that Calderwood Lodge is back where it belongs at the forefront of excellent education in East Renfrewshire. M Green could not be further from the truth and his suggestion adds nothing to this healthy communication amongst INTERESTED parties. If he wishes to make relevant comment (positive or negative) fair enough but this is not.

  17. Anon Partie said

    M Green has a point – just look at the left wing bias of the other meetings. Especially the next one when our good ole Jim who is a minister in Tony’s discredited government will presumably defend the undefendable. Where the balance. Where are the Tories, SNP oe even the Lib Dems in these “educational” meetings.

  18. Kneidel Boy said

    Would Messrs Anon Partie and M Green keep to writing letters in The Herald and leave the debate about Calderwood Lodge’s future to those that REALLY CARE. The future meetings can be debated after they take place not before and maybe they will actually come to them and question the speakers. The whole idea of these lectures is to generate debate not personal vendettas. And incidentally how does Anon Partie know who has been asked to speak by GJEF or indeed who has said yes or who has said no. Suffice to say a broad spectrum of speakers has been sought but they can’t all be on the same day. There are many more meetings in the pipeline so get off your high horse and debate not insuate.

  19. npn said

    Personally I welcome the opportunity to get stuck right into a government minister ,so I am grateful to have the opportunity to do so.I don’t see the bias in that ; I do not see any reason to criticise those who have set this up-it gives us all the chance to debate our points of view-the core theme is our community-how it evolves ,how it interacts with others and the threats and challenges to us all.
    C’mon Mr/mrs Anon Partie-give it a fair chance-come and join in-say what you want and challenge those you disagree with but please don’t spend your time trying to “prove” bias or hidden agendas because that is wide of the mark.
    Did you manage along the other night ?What did you think of it ?Etc.

  20. A Beitz said

    First time I’ve heard “left wing” and Jim Murphy juxtaposed. Of course the fact that Jim is only former chair of LFI as well as a government minister and local MP to most of the community. Still personal vendettas are much more fun than debating.

  21. Anon Partie said

    Accordingly to the GJEF publicity material handed out at the meeting and is also on this blog, the next meeting will be with Jim Murphy on 18th Feb. He presumably he will defend Tony Blair because that is what he is paid to do. Given proper balance there should be someone on that same platform with an opposite point of view, say Ming Campbell. The problem is that these organisers have their own agenda. Jim Duffy was a good draw with a topic that is relevant to our community whether or not you have children at the school. The rest of the programme, again it is on the blog, is all political, all left wing and all to serve a particular point of view. An educational forum should be just that to educate – so where are the interesting sociologists, or ethicists, scientists and journalists etc. Yes I see in April that Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian newspaper is speaking but again his topic is Israel and again I do not think he would deny his left wing creditionals. Again I ask where is the balance. What this community really needs is less talk and more action. So far only Jim Duffy is providing the action.

  22. AParent said

    Yes it was a good meeting and very informative, but I do not think I will be going to any other meeting unless it is something that affects me and my children. Israel and all of that stuff is very boring.

  23. Kneidel Boy said

    Whilst Anon Partie has a point regarding an even balance of speakers, it is the manner of the request that is disrepectful. The committee of GJEF purpose is to encourage debate on issues close to the heart of our community. If you wish to be taken seriously then please show courtesy rather than personal attacks. I have never been a member of either GZO or Peace Now or any “Left Wing” organisation and I take umbrage with your stance. We have already tried to redress the balance by inviting speakers across the political spectrum but to date have only had dates committed by those meetings already in place 3 of which (Jim Duffy Dr Mona Siddiqui and Rabbi Rothenberg)I would not consider left wing. However, if these speakers do not interest you then let those of us who are interested carry on and debate in a positive manner.

  24. Another Parent said

    If Anon Partie is serious “about less talk and more action” then what is he/she doing about it?

  25. Anon Partie said

    Well well well so Kneidel Boy is one of the organisers – what a surprise. What is disrespectful about wanting balance or where is the personal attack in my earlier post. Obviously this has touched a raw nerve. At least one of the five organisers is well known as a GZO and Peace Now supporter as well as being a Labour Party supporter. Maybe M. Green has a point after all, maybe this just a front for something more sinister, maybe we should be told.

  26. A Propsepctive Parent said

    How fortunate we are to eb able to even debate/discuss the options of education (and all else that a school offers)for our children and grandchildren. For those that attended Yom Hashoah 2006 would have heard and seen the play that informed us that during thhe Holocaust there was no choice. We are very fortunate and privileged that we can choose a denominational or non-denominational school and we should not forget that.

  27. kneidel girl said

    Why should it be that this is a front for something else and something more sinister at that. The organisers of the GJEF should be congratulated not condemmed for standing up and contributing something to the community. I think it is very sad that the presumption is being made that there is an alterior motive or agenda other than to create debate. Everyone is entitled to come along and air their veiws about the topic but let’s not enter into a personal slagging match.

  28. Yet Another Parent said

    What exactly is the problem with Kneidel Boy being one of the organisers, Anon Partie. At least they are trying to engage the community. If as Anon Partie suggests 20% of the group are GZO/Peace Now/Labour Party then by definition 80% of thenm aren’t. Maybe it’s you, who only identify yourself as Anon Partie (whereas the organisers names are well known) who is up to something sinister.

    Anyway, back to real debate, I thought Dr Duffy gave an excellent lecture and i am really sorry that he could not be persuaded to stay in post for a longer time than just till the end of the summer term. I hope ERC can find someone of equal stature to replace him but at least he has proved that the Head Teacher does not have to be Jewish to be a success as the figures he showed us proved.

    My only other worry about the lecture was the apparent lack of members of the Rep Council Executive at the meeting because if Calderwood is the “jewel in the crown” of our community shouldn’t our communal leaders have showed support too?

  29. A Beitz said

    I believe also one of the organisers is a Queens Park supporter. Does that mean GJEF is a Queens Park Supporters front since 20% of the organisers support that team?

  30. Interested parent said

    I was at the meeting and I am delighted with the change in Calderwood Lodge since Dr Duffy’s appointment. He has motivated the staff and my impression is that Calderwood is a super school. I was delighted to have the opportunity to hear Dr Duffy. No one else asked him to talk to the community. Those who purport to be interested in Jewish education in Glasgow should have been there to hear him.

  31. Red Herring said

    Appreciate the purpose of this blog should be to discuss matters of survival for our ever decreasing community. Instead some of the correspondents seem to wish to re-ignite that old chestnut of Peace Now vs Scottish Friends of Israel. “Yet Another Parent” now wants to bring the Rep Council into the firing line (let’s not bother!). This particular meeting was surely directed at future and current parents – who sadly do not participate in communal organisations such as the Rep Council.
    This was the first meeting / communal event for ages where I have seen so many of my peers actively particpating and wanting to contribute to the furture of the community – something of which Calderwood is part. I look forward to seeing with interest how many turn up at future meetings. If the subject matter of these meeting is not what peple want then lets discuss here alternative more enticing / less political topics.

  32. Karen Levy said

    Unlike many others I am not afraid to give my name to this blog.

    It’s a shame that you puerile idiots have railroaded a perfectly great forum to discuss the future of Jewish education in Scotland in order to bad-mouth one-another. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves for spoiling such a worthwhile and informative website.

    As a Trustee of CJE who works very hard to promote Calderwood to the local and wider community, you are doing myself, my colleagues and the school no favours with such disgraceful behaviour.

    All of you grown up.

  33. a mother said

    WELL SAID Karren Levy.

  34. debbie said

    We can always count on Karen to speak her mind and thank goodness for it. What we should be debating here is how we encourge those who do not send their children to Calderwood Lodge to do so. East Renfrewshire have remained supportive to the school but how long will that be the case if the Jewish community is not?

  35. Steven Black said

    Does anyone from the PTA etc at Calderwood speak to parents with young children and findout if they are going to Calderwood and if not then ….

  36. Karen Levy said

    Yes, we do have a system of contacing all prospective new parents which we have been running for a number of years. We produced a School Prospectus 10 years ago which was sent out with various invitations to potential new parents. We have recently produced a brand new one for the same purpose.

    We also have dialogue with many parents in the community and give them the opportunity to visit Calderwood. Unfortunately, there are some families who were privately educated and will not divert from this.

    It is up to all of us to act as ambassadors for the school. If anyone knows any parents with very young children that are looking at nurseries or primary schools, they should contact members of CJE, the School Board or the school office and give names and addresses so that we can make contact.

  37. Calderwood Parent said

    It is my understanding that the school board at Calderwood are looking at ideas how to sell the school to prospective parents. All parents of children at the school currently should spread the message about the impact of Dr Duffy and how things have improved enormously in the last year.It was so refreshing to hear last Sunday that Dr Duffy is aware of the real issues and concerns of most parents. The secular education at the school has to be excellent -and on a par with any private school. That is what most of my friends want for their children. There has been too much emphasis on religious education at the school in the last few years. I cannot recall CJE putting on an event for parents to discuss the future of the school. All they want to do is sweep important issues under the carpet. Dr Duffy stated his intention to teach the children about other religions. This is long overdue.

  38. Lockshen Kugel said

    I am sure that Karen Levy and the CJE have done much for the School over the years but this meeting with Dr Duffy was a meeting waiting to happen. It begs the question why nobody bothered to put it on before now. In one fell swoop the GJEF has done more for putting our School on the Community agenda than all the educational committees put together in the past few years. I hope that these committees will not fail to seize the opportunity that has been handed to them on a plate.

  39. Interested Parents said

    It was an informative meeting and congratulations to the organisers.

    Posting number 40 is spot on and we coudn’t agree more. The school will stand or fall on the basis of secular educational standards that are achieved. If the standards that Dr Duffy highlighted are maintained, the school will succeed and we will be happy to keep our children at Calderwood. However, if they are allowed to drop – we will take our children out as I am sure many other parents will. The Jewish education and ethos is important but not at the expense of its secular standards.

  40. npn said

    Funnily enough we removed our two (p3 and p4) not on educational standards but on the grounds of what I saw as terribly bad behaviour from some pupils which was disruptive(understatement) ;no wish on the part of the school to even recognise that ;and no obvious effective remedy even if they did rcognise that there was a problem-net result I moved them .I never had a problem with the learning aspects-indeed my kids , like many others from calderwood had no problem integrating into another school.
    Tell me is their still a discipline problem ?Certainly we were not the only ones that year to remove children for such reasons.This was about 4 years ago.

  41. Calderwood Parent said

    No there isn’t a problem now with discipline – a good headteacher like Dr Duffy has sorted the problem

  42. npn said

    Oops-spelling error-clearly I attended a different school and can’t tell my “their” from my “there”…….give me a break it is getting late.

  43. Michael Simpson said

    Well said Karen Levy. This isn’t the forum for such issues, even if it does make it interesting!

    I am also not in favour of this ‘anonomous’ lark

    Whether you do or don’t agree with the comments that M.Green made – at least he had the guts to add his name unlike the many who are trashing him. Hey, hold on a minute …. who knows that it was actually M.Green that added that post anyway! – it could equally have been a PeaceNow activist who has it “in” for him!

  44. Michael Simpson said

    Sorrie – speeling mistaeks reely anoy mee.
    Please replace ‘anonomous’ with ‘anonymous’ in the last post.

  45. A Beitz said

    I agree that the secular education at the school has to be excellent but not, as seems to be implict, that the religious education is a barrier to that. There is absolutely no reason why both can’t be of a high standard and imo they have been for most of the school’s life. The high staff pupil ratio should be emphasised also. I honestly don’t believe that our kids will get a better secular education in any other school and it is also helpful that when yomtov falls during the school week the children aren’t missing anything. At Mearns Castle the Calderwood FPs are well up to speed at the beginning of 1st year and as was mentioned also have an advantage in learning a foreign language since they already have certain concepts from learning Ivrit. On the religious side ,even if entirely irreligious, it is useful to know what to do not least because this can be socially helpful. It also avoids the need for cheder and if you see the alternative as being a private school the saving of approximately 7k per year per child should, standing the excellent secular and religious education at Calderwood, make it a no brainer.

  46. David Barnett said

    Does anyone actually know how many children that could be going to Calderwood but aren’t?

    I am talking here about the future Primary Ones and pre schoolers not those who have already started school somewhere else.

    It is up to those who send their children already or those who have sent them in the past to spread the good word about the school regarding performance, social aspects, discipline etc to those who have yet to decide private or not.

    I am of the belief that very few of our community send their children to local primary schools rather than Calderwood.

    The children who sit for private schools at the end of Primary 7 in Calderwood have always been accepted for the private school of their choice. It is a fallacy to think that by sending your children to a private school at Primary 1 it is a better(or easier) route to Private Secondaty education.

    So come on try us for size, you know you want to and you know it will be beneficial educationally, socially and financially. Calderwood needs YOU.

  47. A Beitz said

    The other aspect of what David says is that if your child attends Calderwood then no matter where you live your child is entitled to go to Mearns Castle since Calderwood is a feeder school. Whilst there is room for debate over the relative merits of MCHS v the private sector I don’t think that there’s much doubt that MCHS is one of the best comprehensive schools in Scotland.

  48. David Barnett said

    Point of Info Mr A Beitz. Only if you are resident in East Renfrewshire are you guaranteed a place At Mearns Catsle High School. All those who live in Glasgow City Council or South Lanarkshire or any other local authority area would have to apply for a place in MCHS by submitting a “placing request” but those outwith East Ren who chose to go to Calderwood for the Jewish ethos would be dealt with sympathetically.

    One other major plus for Calderwood which I don’t think has been mentioned prevciously is that the smaller class sizes (on average 22) are ideal for a better all round learning experience as the teachers have more time to spend with individual pupils. Other local authority and private schools will have class sizes of up to 33 (P4 to P7) and up to 30 (P1 to P3).

  49. NLL said

    My children left Calderwood in 1999 & 2001 respectively and found they were well up if not ahead in most of the secular subjects when they went to Mearns Castle. Similarly they were on an equal if not better footing in relation to Jewish & Religious subjects in comparison to their cousins who attended Jewish schools in London.

    Their time at Calderwood had ups and downs – probably no different from any school, but I do understand the problems of a small school where any child with extra needs stands out and any disruption has a larger impact on the rest of the class. This requires well managed additional support from trained staff and backing from the Local Authority, which didn’t seems to be in place for a while. Interestingly, looks like Dr Duffy has been taken more seriously by East Ren than his predecessors!!

    Not to disagree with the sentiments in post 50 – who maybe related to me – did I not hear there were plans to change the way the primary feeder school system worked?

  50. R Dover said

    David

    I can refer to an expert on the future demographics of our ever dwindling community! IIRC there are about 15 to 20 Jewish children or those of ‘Jewish parentage’ (please excuse the description I couldn’t think of a better one) who wish their children to benefit from the unique blend of ethos and culture that Calderwood offers. The trend is definitely reducing but seems to have stabilised a bit.

    I found the meeting to be interesting and was surprised at the lack of debate afterwards given the sling and arrows that have been directed at the school in the past. For my own part, I would be interested in the reasons given by those parent who chose not to send their kids to Calderwood as most of the parents at the meeting were supporters.

    On the title of the series of lecture:
    I feel that the title is somewhat misleading given the subject matters of the lectures. This community of ours needs to look long and hard at its institutions and their viability and I had hoped that these lectures would have been an ideal opening salvo in a long overdue debate. Calderwood’s future is key to our existence as a meaningful Jewish community irrespective of its physical location or whether it is on a shared campus, just as long as it exists as a discrete entity. I am glad to see that there is little disagreement on THAT issue.

    What I would have like to seen in these meetings, interesting though they will undoubtedly be, is the chance to open the debate on the consolidation of our communal institutions. [cue general intake of breath]. The car organisations have already undergone a marvellous transformation and a jewel in our crown, however we must accept that we are shrinking in size and having 7 Shuls is several too many. If we start to consolidate congregations and communal premises now then we will benefit in the long run. Frankly the broad brush strokes of the plan are obvious: Garnethill will become an ‘living’ museum (there are a couple of jokes fighting to get out there), The New Synagogue is doing very well and represents one unique part of our community, however there remains a big question mark over all the others.

    With all due praise to the organisers for their efforts, perhaps we should be discussing this instead of national/international politics under the guise of the ‘future’ of our community?

  51. Debbie said

    Richard very good point – I have always like the idea of paying not to be a member of a shul but rather the community inclusive to all. The amount of shuls and rabbonim dilutes the community too much. One of the difficulties for Glasgow in my humble opinion is the lack of inclusiveness to the reform movement by the orthodoxy. Which is in fact one of Calderwoods strenghts, it includes all no matter which shul they attend.

  52. NLL said

    I’m not sure Id like to see everything amalgamate into single organisations – surely we are still a big enough community to support some variety – rather we need the various groups to respect each others differences

  53. npn said

    I take it that this blog isn’t shomer shabbat ?
    I agree with Richard and Debbie-isn’t it about time the Orthodox clergy/community accepted reform ?The reform movement doesn’t need nor does it seek orthodox approval-but I suspect if asked the reform shul would say that the courtesy of a “hello” from time to time would be nice.
    Can anyone say what percentage of pupils at CL are from reform backgrounds ?There is an arguement that if it is a significant number ,that Rabbi Nancy should have the same role for CL as the other clergy.
    Indeed I have long thought that if the Council could get their head round the whole issue , they would insist on this-after all the non recognition of a religous movement goes against the Council policy.
    Do those in charge at CL have a view-the PTA/Board of education etc.
    It must be said though that at classroom level etc. CL draws no distinction making it almost unique in our community-gold star for that !

  54. R Dover said

    Re: Reform v Orthodox
    I would not like to think my point is being misunderstood so I’ll clarify. Whilst it is right and proper that a State school like Calderwood should make no distinction between the various brands of Judaism, I would not suggest for a moment that we, as members of the Jewish community, should do the same.

    I am orthodox, famed for my non attendance but am a convinced Shul member for many reasons. I would suggest that it is irrelevant whether orthodox Rabbis accept or even acknowledge Reform Judaism, after all, the Reform Movement is clearly mature enough to stand on it’s own merits without needing the approval, tacit or otherwise of Orthodoxy.

    My point was that any Shul that has a vibrancy and activity level on a week to week basis that allows it a decent ‘comfort zone’ need not concern itself with amalgamation and The New Synagogue is in that situation and should be admired for its efforts. The other Shuls however, for mostly demographic reasons, are unable to justify long term existance and this fragmentation is bad for the Community as a whole.

    It is generally accepted that the Giffnock Shul building is not ideal but the congeration has neither the funds nor the membership to justify demolition and rebuilding, however if there were an amalgamation of , say, Newton Mearns, Clarkston and Giffnock, not to mention Langside as well, then the membership and activity level would be sufficient to require the building of a top class facility of huge, daily, use by the WHOLE community. This is clearly unpalatable to many, but we either start discussion and planning now whilst we have the luxury of time or we do it in 10 years time in too much of a hurry and make a mess of it.

  55. Calderwood Parent said

    There are some people who think that because you pay for something it must be better. I do not agree. Having seen what private schools could offer and comparing this to Calderwood, Calderwood was better. It would be interesting to know what reasons those who have chosen to go on the private route will give for their choice. If they care for the future of this community then they should stop and think about the possible consequences of what they are doing. I hope that all connected with Calderwood – CJE and School Board etc are aware that the transformation in the school since Dr Duffy’s appointment is massive and cannot be understated. Before his arrival Calderwood was underperforming, there were problems that were not being dealt with, poor morale etc.
    It is very important that the parents and the entire Calderwood family ensure that the school will remain on an upward path and not slip back again. Because if it does we will lose pupils again.
    The next choice of head for the school is absolutely crucial.

  56. NLL said

    Interesting, whilst different types of schools obviously suit different children I’ve yet to hear anyone say much about the advantages of private schooling at primary level – except as a sure way into the secondary school.

    Now some of our friends who have sent their children to private secondaries (sp?)are saying they regret doing so for all sorts of reasons, one of which is that the universities seem to be positively discriminating in favour of comprehensives (although they still expect a higher level of exam passes from the ‘good’ comprehensives)and a trend has started of pupils transferring from private schools to comprehensives in 5/6th year.

    We are lucky to have several exceptionally good primary & secondary schools in East Ren & south Glasgow and you may have seen a recent report showing a huge reduction in pupils from this area going to private schools, which is adversely affecting the demography of the private schools – I suspect they must be quite worried.

    So given the increasing cost of university education, maybe people can be encouraged to save their money and use Calderwood & the local secondaries? Also not every child is destined for university and the comprehensives seem better at recognising this and supporting them into suitable careers.

  57. Myer (Mickey) Green said

    IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:

    I applaud the positive contribution being made to the Glasgow Jewish Community by the Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum in dealing with matters important to the community. Calderwood Lodge, present and future, is certainly an important issue.

    I wish it to be known that the comment (numbered 12 above) submitted in the name of “M. Green” has been erroneously interpreted by various individuals who have approached me and by a number of respondents to this web-blog as originating from me. I emphatically wish to state that IT WAS NOT SUBMITTED BY ME OR ON MY BEHALF and it has been submitted without my knowledge.

    Unless this blog was genuinely submitted by another M Green, this seems suspiciously like an attempt by a person or persons unknown to discredit me and by implication Scottish Friends of Israel.

    The owners of this blog-site have been notified.

    Mickey Green

  58. A Beitz said

    Thanks for the clarification , Mickey. Whoever has impersonated you should be thoroughly ashamed of himself or herself and if the moderator of this blog finds out who it is then I hope we are all given the culprit’s identity. Alternatively perhaps the culprit would like to reveal the true identity of the poster rather than awaiting investigations by the moderator.

  59. R Dover said

    With respect, “A Beitz”, can I suggest that if you wish Poster number 12 to be named, perhaps everyone who has used a pseudonym should reveal themselves. Please lets stick to the point of this blog and not allow ourselves to be sidetracked by silly quarrels.

  60. A Beitz said

    Sorry Richard but there’s a complete difference between people using pseudonyms which is normal with any blog and impersonating others. I understand that Mickey was very upset about this which was clearly an attempt to mislead.

  61. A Parent said

    Was someone taking the Mickey?

  62. Calderwood Supporter said

    Does anyone know why the children at Calderwood were not taught about other religions before the appointment of Dr Duffy? Thank goodness this is being introduced soon as explained at the meeting last Sunday. Super turnout.

  63. R Dover said

    Whatever they called themselves and whether their intention was to mislead, their point was a valid one, albeit crassly put. As I have already said here, I also feel that this series of lectures is mis-titled although I am very pleased that they are being held and I hope to attend them all but they cannot be said to be about the Glasgow Community’s future.

    The welcome page states “The purpose of this blog is ….. to contribute to discussion and debate about …. the community’s future.” I do not see that lectures about the Government’s position or about one person’s view from the Muslim side can be regarded as being a discussion on our Community’s future. Our future is tied up in our school, our religious, communal and welfare establishments and how we need to reorganize and rationalise to cope with changing demographic needs. It most definitely NOT about politics, international or otherwise except insofar as , intellectually, politics ultimately affects us all.

    It is THIS subject that we should be discussing not what punishment one anonymous respondent wishes upon another.

  64. R Dover said

    My understanding is that Calderwood follows the National Curriculum and other religions WERE taught previously.

  65. Calderwood Former Pupil said

    Great meeting last week. Can’t remember last time the Glasgow Jewish Community got such excellent coverage in the Jewish Chronicle.
    Calderwood’s profile is very high at the moment – just as it should be.
    Someone earlier posted that the executive of the Representative Council were not there to hear Dr Duffy. Don’t they care about Jewish education in Glasgow?

  66. Calderwood Parent said

    Other religions were not taught recently. That is why Dr Duffy is introducing it to Calderwood pupils.

  67. A Beitz said

    I think R Dover’s ideas regarding the community’s future are interesting and I’m sure many will share his views on some things and differ on others. I see Calderwood as integral to the future of this community providing a social and educational facility for Jewish primary children in Glasgow and East Ren that is available to all whatever their income situation may be.
    He’s right that there are too many shuls but the community should in the foreseeable future be able to support 2 orthodox and one reform. There are good facilities for the elderly and the disabled we need far more not least to keep people after they’ve finished their studies. The flow is not one way since I know many people here who were not born in the Glasgow area. Generally I think the quality of life in this area is good and much better than London with the surroundings being better than Manchester. So what can be done to keep more people so that many of our community do not depart permanently in their early twenties leaving an a gradually aging and diminishing community?
    Thoughts?

  68. Interested said

    I actually find R Dover’s views worrying. The Jewish Community does not exist in isolation from those around them. Our future relations with the local Islamic community are important as to how we live our lives in Glasgow. Also, many of this community express their Jewish identity by supporting Israel. Our future is not just about bricks and mortar. Our ethics and morality are just as important if not more so.

  69. R Dover said

    Our relationship with other faith communities is important but Jewish life in this City is not dictated by what others think of us. Our ethics and morality have nothing to do with the Community’s continued existence (except in an esoteric way) and international politics has even less effect at a local level. It is the questions that ‘A Beitz’ poses which are the point.

    We have to ask ourselves why we think it natural for our children to have to leave in order to further their Jewish lives. The sole reason, to my mind, for Calderwood’s existence is to give our children a rock solid foundation for their Jewish Identity. This Community’s future is entirely dependent on our kids wanting to live here, marry here and settle here and Calderwood is central to that but not solely.

    By nurturing our youth organisations, supporting the peer led Movements, the school and encouraging activities to be held in a Jewish environment we can at least be certain that our kids will be confident in their Jewish heritage, be more likely to marry in and even stay here in Glasgow because the Community, whilst small, is looking to the future and planning ahead rather than waiting for the worst case scenario to hit it squarely in the back of the head.

    There is a huge amount we can do but it will never happen while the radar remains locked on minutiae and irrelevances. Individual expression of Jewish Identity, whilst important, contributes little without an effective base to express it from. A fragmented and ineffective infrastructure run by the few, attended by the same old faces but criticised by the non attending majority is not the example I want to set to my children. We do not, as ‘Interested’ correctly says, exist in a vacuum but most of the Community acts as though it exists by magic. It exists by dint of the hard work of surprisingly few people and if more people got off their backsides and helped then perhaps we would have a more vibrant Community that our kids do not want to leave

  70. Curious said

    Surely the whole point of being Jewish or part of a Jewish community is that there should be some shared values or ethos. Our ethics and values define us. R Dover argues that
    ” our ethics and values have nothing to do with our continued existence”
    Then why bother. We might as well let it go if he is right. The minute we forget who we are makes it all meaningless. If we know who we are -and are confident in our culture, history etc – then the infrastructure follows. Without values the infrastructure is a waste of time. One of the major strenghts of Calderwood over the years is that it gives the children a real sense of community value. Those who decide to send their kids elsewhere are missing out on something very special and it is not possible for children to get this at any other school in Glasgow.

  71. Michael Simpson said

    Can I make a wee suggestion to the blog administrator. Where some “posts” have been removed – you should either replace the post with a one liner “Removed due to inappropriate content” (or similar) – or, simply have all posts with their original ‘post number’ but have gaps where you have removed a particular post (so the post number would go 11, then 13 etc). Because there are quite a few referring to post no.12 (which was the fraudulent post) – and this is now a totally unrelated post – making reading through the blog a bit bizarre to say the least!

  72. NLL said

    I agree with Richard that nurturing our youth movements is an important key to the Community’s future, but I disagree that our relationship with other faith communities and our ethics and morality are not important in this context.

    It is following school that most of our young people leave to go to university or seek employment in places with larger communities and having done so, very few return. This has become a self fulfilling prophesy, the more it is said that there is nothing here for young people the more people believe it and those that do stay are – very unfairly – labelled as having no initiative.

    There may be a slight change in this trend with more students going to Scottish Universities (mostly Edinburgh) this year – possibly due to top up fees down South. Unfortunately the Jewish Student Societies in Northern Region are not particularly strong, for a variety of reasons, one of which stems from an attitude, begun in the late 1980’s where students felt they did not have become involved in campus politics as it was not other people’s attitude that defined them as Jews. They were so wrong, and now after countless motions where others have attempted to definie what is and is not Jewish or Zionist they find themselves in a very uncomfortable position and unable to defend their religious, ethical, or political beliefs.

    As part of their continued education we must debate these issues within the Community and allow our young people to hear the widest possible variety of views so they go out into the world secure in their identity

  73. R Dover said

    As a student of the late 80’s (JSoc chair several times over and Northern Region Chair) I can agree 100% with NLL as far as the comment goes. It was GLASGOW’s JSocs that had that problem because the GLASGOW Jewish students mirrored their parents views that JSoc, youth movements and other communal organisations were for the ‘Nebs’. This has carried on for 25 years and now means that instead of constructive discussion of the way forward we have a philosophical argument about the importance of ethics, morals etc.

    let me make myself as clear as I can:

    any discussion of ethics, morals, relations with other faiths etc etc has it’s place, however if we have no young adults staying here or coming here because we have been unable to make this Community interesting enough then we HAVE no future.

    We have currently have almost all our young adults leaving and not coming back, students coming for 4 years and leaving and not coming back, and now the retired folks following their children and ……… NOT COMING BACK. Why? because they do not see anything here for them. Lets discuss how we fix this before there are only a handful of Jews left here.

  74. KGL said

    I disagree 100% with R Dover. If discussion of ethics, morals etc is no more important than “has its place” then it is a poor and sad future he proposes for our children and our community. While it would be nice to see a future community in Glasgow, in the greater scheme of things Glasgow is irrelevent. Even in its heyday it was only a passing through point for Jews. When the definitive history of jewry is written in the future I regret thar we wont even rate a footnote. What is important is that we provide them with the education, secular, religious, moral and ethical such that they will be able to contribute to the communities in which they settle.

  75. Hershie said

    NLL (72) considers that the increase in Jewish students studying in Scotland may help to reverse the demographic changes. I would like to think she was right but there was a time in living memory (at least mine) when Glasgow was popular with English medical and dental students. Many of the boys married local girls. All of them bar none returned down South depleting Glasgow of a generation of girls.
    It is obvious that our students are ill prepared for difficulties ahead on campus and lack backup once they get there. Who prepares them before they go and what is the brief of the Student Counsellor?

  76. Hershie said

    sorry, I meant “student chaplain”

  77. Curious said

    Why is it that those involved in our communal organisations never seem to think that they might be to blame for their organisation’s failings. First we have Karen Levy telling us how hard she works for CJE and now we
    have R Dover boasting about how many times he was chair of a J SOC.I wonder if he has ever considered that perhaps the product on offer to attract more students was not what they wanted. Normal convention is to wait for compliments from others not to bestow them on yourself.

  78. NLL said

    I think R. Dover has missed the point, you can’t separate any of the components of a ‘Jewish Identity’ and say one bit is more important than any other. Individuals may choose to concentrate on the bits that appeal to them – but only if they have well informed ideas about all the aspects. What makes a community is all the different people with all their strengths and weaknesses, all their levels of faith & practice, all their political views, all their differences. Judisim allows us many ways to express our identity – but we need the freedom to learn about it in the first place.

    Hershie is correct that supporting students on campus is the work of the Student Chaplain, but it is an uphill struggle. Without going into it in huge detail,
    – our youngsters are not as well prepared as they might be for being Jewish on campus hence my earlier post (we have no AJ6, although UJIA have been trying to fill a gap)
    – those actively seeking a Jewish peer group tend to go down South
    – of those remaining in Scotland few are keen to take on leadership roles and put themselves outwith the reach of the Chaplain (although recently a Northern Region Committee has formed for the first time in several years)
    – English students who come here to study are often running away from what they feel are claustrophobic large communities and don’t want to identify, let alone get involved
    – London centric organisations such as Hillel and UJS are unhelpful as they have decided it is not economically prudent to support the relatively few students scattered over the large distances in Scotland & NE England – failing to see that it is those very students and related communities that need their support most
    – because so few graduates stay in Scotland (never mind Glasgow) the Chaplaincy service is being run by people who would like to bow out, but have no one to take over.

    The parents are amongst the apathetic 40 somethings these discussions are trying to reach & so we come back round full circle

    Happy to talk on these issues in greater depth with people in another setting if anyone’s interested.

  79. R Zinger said

    Whether you agree or disagree with others’ views, isn’t it great that we are having healthy debate on something so important to our community – our very own Jewish primary school ?

    And isn’t it great to have someone who has come from outside our community and tell us its official – our school is not just good – it’s fantastic ! A plum head teacher job for someone to get, we’re told. A school producing academic performance which is at an all time high ? All this and a great Jewish education folks !

    What I would like to add to the debate is simply my observations as a parent who is seeing my eldest come to the end of 9 years of education at the school, and my daughter in her 6th year of education there.

    I can tell you that not only is the school delivering the first class secular education which I seriously doubt could be bettered at private schools, but it presently has a great mix of youth and experience in its teachers (and in its after school care too) – and what a great committed and energetic bunch they all are. As a member of the school board, I was involved in the recent head teacher selection process. I had never had the opportunity before to meet anyone within East Ren’s education authority, and would like to take the opportunity of telling people what a switched–on bunch of people I have encountered right throughout them, going all the way up to John Wilson, the director of education. And we are so lucky that John and his team support the school so strongly.

    And as for the Jewish side of things at the school, I have been lucky enough to see my children get a superb jewish education, seen them take part in many Jewish assemblies and activities at Chanukah, Pesach practice seders, Kabbalat Shabbat where they have been Shabbat dad, or son or daughter, seen the wonderful performances at Messibat Siddur where they were presented with their siddurim. The list goes on. The nachas is endless folks.

  80. alison ure said

    Re: David Barnett point 48 – At a school board meeting not that long ago it was confirmed that Calderwood is a feeder school for Mearns Castle no matter where you live. You could maybe confirm this with Ricky Zinger, I am 99% sure.

    I think most people agree that the problem for Calderwood is the Private sector. I also think the fact that everyone knows each other doesn’t help matters. One mothers problem with the school very quickly becomes known to every other parent and also parents of toddlers, grandparents of new born babies etc. Giving parents the perfect opt out excuse.

  81. NLL said

    absolutely – It must be especially hard for staff who are also members of the Community – not all parents seem know where to draw the line.

    It also might be why Dr Duffy has had more success in making changes. Mrs Levey tried hard, but maybe wasn’t taken seriously by staff/parents/ East Ren?
    Similar problems are experienced in other small schools – eg in rural communities – it’s not an excuse not to have small schools, just that more care needs to be taken about inter-relationships

  82. David Barnett said

    Re Alison’s point in no 80, it was made very clear by ERC Education Dept that only those children who reside within East Renfrewshire are automatically guaranteed a place in Mearns Castle on leaving Calderwood. This was done for obvious reasons because MCHS is a highly sought after place of learning and Calderwood could be used as a way in to MCHS for those who live outwith East Ren’s geographic area. My understanding on this position is that it has not changed.However, Ricky Zinger can confirm or deny after a phone call to John Wilson’s office.

  83. Debbie said

    Re no 77 The problem is that there are not that many people who actually want to do the work – people are great at complaining or moaning and even better at doing nothing about it!! At least Karen and Richard and the those responsible for GJEF are taking some responsibilty and doing some service to this and the wider community.

  84. alison ure said

    i am very sure that the situation has changed and that you automatically get a place at Mearns Castle if you attend Calderwood from P1 – P7. I think it was John Wilson who cleared this matter up at the School Board meeting.

    I was surprised as i always thought you had to do a placing request if you lived outside East Ren, and thought it might be a good selling point for Calderwood. I know if i lived in Shawlands, had no connection with the Jewish community I would be delighted to finding a way for my kids to attend one of the best secondary schools in Scotland, not to mention a good primary education in a lovely caring environment. The fact that everybody knows each other has its good points i.e. you are stuck in traffic a quick call and you will find numerous mums more than happy to take your wee one home and feed them until you pick them up. The community spirit is excellent and i am really pleased that we picked Calderwood and will do so again.

    re point 81 – i think it is important that the next head is not Jewish. How can you deal with issues between kids if you know one family. The other family will automatically feel at a disadvantage. The community is too small and i think Dr Duffy has proven that we should get the best man/woman for the job regardless of their religion.

  85. David Barnett said

    Re no 84.

    I would be very surprised if East Ren have changed their admission policy to MCHS via Calderwood because if they did then we could actively market it to all those parents within East Ren & beyond who want an easy route to Mearns Castle.

    Is it possible that what John Wilson said is that “no matter where you live within East Ren’s area you go to Mearns Castle” whereas if you go to Giffnock Primary then you feed through to Woodfarm. We really need clarification on this one!

    Also on the one hand, Alison you say we need a non-Jewish Head and then in the same paragraph say we need the best person for the job no matter their religion. I agree with your latter point, we need the best candidate irrespective of their religious beliefs.

  86. npn said

    Actually I’d go for some positive discrimination and go “out” ,-it is no coincidence that it took a non jewish head to drive the school forward.Jewish heads in such a small community are constrained on all sorts of levels-they are also less likely to withstand rabbinical interference .It is a problem that a large community eg London wouldn’t necessarily face.

  87. alison ure said

    david what i meant was that with the problems of running a small school in a small community that i think the best person for the job would be to quote a non jewish person although i prefer the term not jewish.

    i have spoken to Ricky Zinger and he is sure the policy as to Mearns Castle has not changed and you still have to do a placing request. I would have put money on what I thought was said at meeting, so just as well i don’t gamble. So what school does Calderwood feed? as I thought all primary schools are attached to a secondary school.

  88. David Barnett said

    Alison

    The only people who need a placing request when moving up from Calderwood are those who don’t live within East Renfrewshire. Those who live ANYWHERE within the East Ren boundary automatically move on to MCHS without the need for a placing request.

  89. NLL said

    That’s what has changed – after the transfer from Glasgow to East Ren anyone attending Calderwood from any Authority had an automatic right to a place at MCHS (although not to transport)- previously it was the opposite and everyone had to complete a placing request as Calderwood was linked to Hillpark secondary, but was not a feeder

    East Ren changed its whole policy with regards to faith schools/ feeder primaries etc a few years ago, not just in regards to Calderwood, but more to do with St Ninians – but I don’t know any of the details. I understood the agreement was that they would continue to look favourably on requests from Jewish pupils wishing to attend MCHS.

  90. David Barnett said

    NLL please check blog entry number 48 and you see that those who live outwith East Ren but have chosen Calderwood for the Jewish ethos will have their placing request for MCHS looked on favourably.

  91. Another parent said

    This is the first time I have posted a comment but I have followed the debate about the school with interest. My children are currently at the school.
    We are delighted with the school at present and are very grateful to Dr Duffy for his excellent work since taking over.
    Many contributions to the blog have implied that the school has always been good – Ask the parents and they will tell you that Dr Duffy’s arrival was essential.
    There is one aspect of the school that needs to be looked at. We send our children to the school for social reasons – so that they know other children in the community. We are though delighted that there is a significant non-Jewish minority at the school so that they learn to mix with other religions and cultures.
    I am sure that if you ask the vast majority of parents they will tell you that they would be quite happy if there was less religion and more PE. Modern Hebrew is fine as it teaches the children skills of learning another language.
    I would like to congratulate this new group for arranging Dr Duff’s lecture and for setting up this blog. My children have been at the school for several years and this is the first time that we have had the opportunity to say what we think. CJE do not consult with parents – it appears to me that they make decisions without checking if their opinion is representative of what we actually want in our school.
    So, I ask CJE, to facilitate proper consultation with parents about religious decisions that effect our children. Why don’t they start with this question.
    Are parents happy with the amount of RE in the school or do they want it increased or reduced?

  92. past parent said

    CJE like many other organisations within the Community, is a voluntary committee of interested & dedicated people, who hold meetings, AGMs etc and constantly ask for new people to join so their ideas can be heard. I don’t know who ‘another parent’ is, and wither they are involved in any communal organisations but if you are not, it’s a bit unfair to criticise if you are not prepared to put in the work.

  93. Concerned parent said

    “Another parent” (no91) showed concern about the amount of RE in the school.I am also a parent and cannot recall any effort by CJE to discover what parent’s think about their role, responsibility, function etc.

  94. Another Past Parent said

    In answer to No92, being interested,dedicated, holding meetings etc is worthy and laudable. The question is whether or not they do a good job and no matter how many hours they put in, if they are not up to the task, it is the School that suffers. It may of course be that they are up to the task but they must not be beyond reproach just because they are volunteers. This is a problem endemic in the community. Look for instance at the Representative Council (that is if you can find them when the important issues are being aired), no doubt worthy citizens, but what on earth do they do unless you consider handing each other spurious titles is an occupation of worth.

  95. Another Past Parent said

    apologies – I should have said in line 4/5 “it may be, of course”

  96. past parent said

    My point was if you don’t think they (or any communal organisation) is doing a good job – join them and change things. Most (not all, as there are some people who are career committee members) would gladly retire gracefully & give up their positions to new people. Too many people are content to take the services supplied by these organisations and criticise them over the dinner table, but not get off their backsides and put the hours in.

    The Rep Council is another thing………….

  97. David Barnett said

    The recent postings on this blog seem to suggest that CJE (and indeed other communal organistaions) are either not up to the job or full of people who glorify in their own self importance, yet the person(s) making these remarks are hiding behind the anonymity of “past parent” or “interested” or “whatever”.

    I challenge you to put your money where your mouth is and help shape these communal organisations in a manner which you see would benefit the majority (as you will never please all the people all the time). Furthermore, how about telling everyone who you are as it is incredibly easy to sit back and criticise (and not reveal your name(s)) but not easy to get involved and help.

    With regard to CJE I am sure they would be delighted to welcome anybody who wishes to make a contribution to their ranks from whatever side of the fence you land (or sit on). It is a thankless task working behind the scenes to provide Jewish education that after all you chose for your children by opting to send them to Calderwood. However, from the contributors who have been to Calderwood in the past they will know that Calderwood provides an excellent Jewish & secular education as well as friends for life.

  98. NLL said

    Sorry David
    I forgot you said much earlier that those who live outwith East Ren but have chosen Calderwood for its Jewish ethos are likely to have their placing request for MCHS looked on favourably.

    You and others are so right about the general apathy towards contributing to our various communal organisations. Some think by dipping into their pockets they’ve discharged their duty, and whilst financial contributions are vital, these groups need people with fresh ideas to show a positive interest and get involved

    Shortage of time is often given as an excuse, but everyone’s in the same boat. In many families, both parents are working – but you find its the busiest people who manage to squeeze a
    few extra hours out of their week.

    I understand this is a large part of the purpose of this series of talks and this online forum – hopefully it will bear fruit!!!

  99. R Dover said

    Well said David!

    ‘Curious’, If your intention is to insult Karen, me and others who actually do things for this Community then you are going the right way about it. Not that I need to explain myself to you, however I feel mention of the JSocs and Chaplaincy is an appropriate extension to the discussion about education and Jewish Identity.

    About 90% of our kids go on to University where they meet people from all over the UK (and often the world). My experience was that those who’d been to Jewish schools at some point or had been to youth movements were far more likely to want to be involved in JSoc. The problem was (and I assume is) that in Glasgow, JSoc was seen as unappealing from about 1988 onwards. In Edinburgh where I studied, membership went from about 15 in 1986 to 200 in 1992 due mainly to Calderwood educated students bringing their strength of Identity. This vibrancy has always followed wherever concrete effort has been made. It made Edinburgh attractive as a place to study for Jewish Students. This is future I would like to see for Glasgow.

    KGL, I think I’m not making myself clear. I agree wholeheartedly that ethics, morals and their discussion is very important but they are not central to the necessary reorganisation of our Community which is a much more mechanical process.

    BTW, Curious, what qualifies you to cast aspersions on the abilities of others. It is easy to criticise from the sidelines. Perhaps if we knew who you were …….

  100. A Beitz said

    Do I get a prize for posting the one hundredth message. Seriously great this blog has reached this milestone already.

  101. Curious said

    R. Dover, I do not believe that I casted aspersions on your abilities. I just said that normal convention is to wait for compliments from others not award them to yourselves.Let’s discuss issues – not personalities. Why does it matter who I am – all that would do is alter the focus to me and not deal with some of the questions that have been raised and we are still waiting to be answered.

  102. Another parent said

    I am still waiting for my question to be answered:
    Will CJE facilitate proper dialogue with parents to determine whether they think the amount of RE at present is the correct amount, too little, or too much?
    Please don’t bother asking who I am because like “curious” has just said – I am not going to tell you…

  103. Yet Another Parent said

    Dear Curious and Another Parent. How about going to the next CJE meeting or to the next School Board Meeting which is open to all and then you can make as many suggestions as you like. I am sure Karen Levy of CJE or Ricky Zinger of the School Board would be delighted to facilitate any dialogue you wish to propose about RE or any other school related topic.

  104. KGL said

    R Dover, you made yourself perfectly clear.
    However, mechanical processes will remain just that, mechanical processes unless they are underpinned with sound ethical and moral supports.
    Looking back, I dont think anyone on this site has been casting aspersions with the exception of Karen Levy (I presume it was someone called Karen Levy and not a pseudonym) who on posting No 32 called us all “puerile idiots” Perhaps we should leave that sort of language to “Big Brother” and deal with the many important issues raised.

  105. An Exasperated Parent said

    And “Curious” and “Another Parent” if you dont want to go in person and be “outed” at the School Board or CJE then you could always send an anonmyous letter to either Karen or Ricky via the school.

  106. mashoogi mama said

    KGL you wern’t even posting on this blog till after Karen referred to “puerile idiots” at blog no 32. You don’t enter the fray until no 74……………………..of course you may have been posting as someone else!!

    Karen was merely letting off steam at the imposters who chose to use this blog as a means of division.

    What do Curious and another parent think about the level of RE in the school – let’s hear your opinion

  107. R Dover said

    KGL, You are quite correct, however I think that this debate best kept until we’ve all finished discussing Calderwood.

    As for aspersions or otherwise, it is difficult if not impossible to make everything you write incorruptible. I’m was being tongue in cheek about Curious revealing their identity and as for being self congratulatory, to think that I need any accolades 20 years after the fact would be quite sad. I was simply stating my credentials on the subject of student involvement.

  108. A Beitz said

    Others haven’t responded on the religious education side but here’s my take. I have been really proud and impressed by the amount my kids picked up at the school relative to Judaism.As a result if with religious people they are secure and not worried about being ignorant about their religion. They are not particularly religious themselves but know about Jewish practise and history and can cope with leading the odd service and bensching. None of this was at the expense of their secular education and if you don’t want the religious education what’s the point of a Jewish school? A faith school without the faith is at best pointless and at worst sectarian.

  109. Gerry the Joiner said

    I’ve been a Calderwood parent for almost 6 years, yet I do not recall ever being approached for my views on Jewish education in the school. I will admit to not asking but I just thought I’d missed the meeting where it was discussed.

    Apart from actually joining the committee how do we parents get to find out the curriculum?

    Dr Duffy has given us his vision for Calderwood’s future as well how he intends to see it through, is CJE prepared to do the same?

  110. puzzled said

    If most of the Rabbis don’t educate their children at Calderwood does anyone know where they educate them?

  111. Michael said

    Where did CJE come from? If the Board of Jewish Education has simply changed its name does this mean that the resources of the Board were simply taken by CJE at the expense of jewish education outside of Calderwood Lodge? If so it seems a typical erosion of the community’s infrastucture. I hope I’m wrong and it would good for members of CJE to either hold a public meeting to discuss their curriculum or at least start answering all these searching questions

  112. Gerry the Joiner said

    Does the Kollel not have their own school.

  113. KGL said

    Puzzled at 110,
    you must first define what you mean by education. If you mean secular education, it is possible that they dont. I would suggest that these children are denied their birthright, the right to choose their own future. By the time they are old enough to make legal choices they are trapped in their world of ignorance and superstition. Their lifestyle is completely unsustainable and when it collapses it will be the children, not the parents who have to pay the price.

  114. R Zinger said

    For the record, all School Board meetings are open meetings and every parent is welcome to come along. I would love to have to stand up and say “sorry – there’s standing room only now” or “sorry even the standing spaces are all taken, would you mind standing at the door”. (Can you see the smile on my face ?)

    Similarly, if any parent has a specific issue they would like to take up with me, or to ask me to find out about, or to help out with, then the door is firmly jammed open. Email me, pick up the phone, contact the school and ask for me – whatever.

    Can I just answer the point about Mearns Castle being a feeder school ? As from 25/10/2001, the position has been that if you live anywhere within East Ren, and your child starts at Calderwood, then your child has the automatic right to go to MCHS. If you live anywhere else, you have to submit a placement request. There is only one exception to this rule – if your child was already anywhere in P1 to P7 at Calderwood on 25/10/2001, but you lived outwith East Ren, then your child’s existing right to automatic entry will be honoured, as long as you don’t move house to somewhere that is outwith East Ren, in which case you lose the automatic right and have to use a placement request.

    I really hope that’s clear…………

    If you do have to submit a placement request then already having a sibling at MCHS will increase your chances of the placing request being granted.

  115. Man in Pub said

    I agree with #113

  116. Interested Parents said

    How do the CJE consult with the parents?

  117. Concerned Parent said

    I don’t agree with A Beitz. He seems to forget that Calderwood’s roots were as a Zionist Federation school. Is he aware that Rabbis were not allowed in the door for many years when the school was established. The trend towards more religious education is a new phenomenon. No one has argued so far for no religious education, just proper guidelines-where it starts and where it ends.

  118. curious said

    CJE does not consult with parents. The school board is obviously interested in what the parents have to say and well done to Ricky Zinger for inviting all parents to come along.

  119. A Beitz said

    Don’t know what the school’s roots were but things move on. In any event the idea of a school devoted to a political ideology seems strange. If rabbis weren’t allowed in that was also wrong. Even non denominational schools allow ministers of religion through their doors. What’s wrong with the level of religious education at the school? Dr Duffy expressed his surprise that the religious education was almost completely divorced from the rest of the education and indicated that this was in contrast to the Catholic schools he had worked at. If Concerned Parent is correct I’m glad my children went to Calderwood long after its commencement. I’d far rather they were taught about their religion at an almost free school than someone’s no doubt conservative views of Zionism at a fee paying school as Calderwood was.

  120. Sleepy Head said

    Concerned Parent #117 is spot on. In the early days the school had a “frum” ethos. Now it is “orthodox”. for those who dont know the difference there is a simple mathematical formula –
    FRUM minus COMMON SENSE = ORTHODOX

  121. disgusted said

    To all those who are now questioning the role of CJE and the level of “Jewish education” taught, can I ask why you sent/send your children to Calderwood when you are well aware that you are choosing the school for its Jewish ethos?

    As far as the Jewish education goes, you have an opportunity every year at CJE’s AGM (which is advetised in the Jewish press and in the children’s schoolbags) to question the committee on the curriculum. Furthermore, you have a twice yearly opportunity to discuss said curriculum with your child’s teachers. Consequently, to suggest that CJE dont consult with the parents is at best misleading and at worst just wrong.

    KGL at 113 seems to be way off the mark to talk about the Rabbis and their children in that manner. It is their choice how they bring up their families just as it is your choice with your own. I find the manner of what you are saying to be downright insulting and I am no religious fanatic whatsoever.

    Incidentally, some of the Rabbis in Glasgow in the past and currently did/do send their children to Calderwood.

  122. Another parent said

    What is “disgusted” so upset about? Does he not believe that all children are entitled to a proper education? In the UK there are laws that are in place to ensure that this happens. It is not acceptable that children do not receive a proper education

  123. David Barnett said

    Point of info for “Curious” at No 118.

    In my time on the School Board (1998-2006), all parents were always welcome to come to School Board meetings. Indeed, we actually started posting the minutes on the wall outside the school office. Like Ricky says in 114 we never needed extra chairs either for the large influx of concerned parents, yet on every meeting’s agenda was “Parental Concerns”.

    It is brilliant that this forum has started the ball rolling and got more people involved and debating, unless of course its just three or four people with different pseudonyms!

  124. Disgusted said

    To answer 122 I am upset at the words used and the manner they have been put regarding how Rabbis bring up and educate their children. We all have different views on what a “proper education” is but I am sure as Dr Duffy said that the children at Calderwood are receiving an all round excellent education. Aren’t you?

  125. KGL said

    Disgusted #121
    It may well be their choice to condemn their children to being clones of themselves just as 100 years ago the Chinese bound their daughters feet at birth and forever more condemned them to a life of pain and inability to walk properly. We have all moved on since then, well mostly, and I would suggest that the Court of Human Rights may not look too favourably on this parent power game.

  126. Disgusted said

    KGL, what has any of that got to do with Caldrwood Lodge?

  127. Concerned parent said

    Surely “disgusted” is not being serious. Every parent has the right to ask questions about their child’s education and curriculum?
    It is ridiculous to suggest that because I chose to send my child to Calderwood that I do not have the right to question the role of CJE. If there is a call for more consultation and genuine debate and discussion who is “disgusted” to say that we are out of order. An AGM is not sufficient. Dr Duffy said at the meeting that his door is always open,
    Ricky Zinger has said that parents are more than welcome at his meetings,so come on CJE – hold a special meeting to discuss the Jewish curriculum in the school and let’s talk about what kind of Jewish ethos we want for our children. Please don’t dictate to us – ask us what we want and listen. I learned more about the school and what is happening in it, at the recent meeting addressed by Dr Duffy than I have previously. And I liked what I heard. It is a great school with a lovely friendly atmosphere. My children love it and I love it because they love it. But please “disgusted” open your eyes and ears. There are many different ways you can define “Jewish ethos”. Your opinion is not the only one.

  128. KGL said

    Disgusted, nothing. Its about the future and these children are as much a part of our future as those at Calderwood Lodge. I would further maintain that we have a resposibility to them just as the Rabbonim have a responsibility to our children. It is a symbiotic relationship which I see as very much in danger of breaking down due to the religious centre of the community lurching to the fundamentalist right.

  129. Gerry the Joiner said

    Disgusted, why can we not question CJE? Is it beyond scrutiny? Do you beleive that CJE should not answer questions asked of it? I find your self righteous indignation quite inappropriate.

    We have chosen to send our kids precisely because of the jewish ethos and so far I am satisfied with what they’ve been taught. The quality of hebrew language teaching is particularly good but I have serious issues with the cultural/religious teaching.

    Having “an opportunity once a year” is hardly consulting with parents. Who sets the curriculum, who decides what “jewish ethos” means, who decides on access by the Rabbis? I am also slightly confused about the different groups involved in the School. I know of CJE and PTA and the Board of Governors, what is the School Board? Where might I find a copy of the curriculum?

  130. Another parent said

    I think Calderwood is a super school at the moment. Why can we not try and improve it further?

  131. Disgusted said

    Surely concerned parent realises that I was disgusted at the manner at what KGL said and is still saying about how Rabbis educate their children not about how CJE does or does not consult with the parents.

    I would be very happy for CJE to have an open meeting and consult with us all on the level of the Jewish education.

    What intrigues me is that it has taken till now to ask these questions, when I was merely pointing out that CJE and the Board of Jewish Education before it would have welcomed your input before now and they have given you many opportunities to do so.

  132. Oy Gevald said

    Gerry , you should stick to being a joiner!

    The school hasn’t had a “Board of Governors” since it became a state school with a Jewish etos in 1992! The School Board is made up (in Calderwoods case) of 4 parent members, 2 co opted members and 1 teacher with The Head Teacher being an adviser. However from Aug 2007, School Boards are being disbanded and being replaced with Parent Forums ( all the parents at the school) and a parent council. Check your children’s school bags for more info.

    For the curriculum, I am assuming you mean the Jewish education bit then ask the class teacher or the hEad Teacher and I am sure you get a copy.

  133. past parent said

    I can’t believe what I’ve been reading – we are talking about the future of our JEWISH school and ultimately our JEWISH community and it is being suggested we reduce the religious education at Calderwood. It is not exactly a large proportion of the curriculum, but well prepares our young people to make an informed choice about their level of observance/practice as they mature.

    What do you envisage the Glasgow Community will look like when your children leave secondary school? What will Calderwood Lodge look like for their children? If they send their children to that future Calderwood for ‘social reasons’ it will be meaningless – they might as well send them to their local school to mix with the children from the surrounding area as there will be very little left to make it a JEWISH school.

    Interestingly the majority of our youngsters who go away to University or to find work – go seeking larger, more active Jewish communities – indicating that the Jewish bit is something they want.

    I am not a particularly religious person, and was brought up by parents who consciously moved outwith the Community – but I cannot see how you can reduce religious education at Calderwood and hope to see this community survive, let alone develop, keep its young families and attract new families in.

    If the argument is about the content of that religious education and who provides it, that is a different matter and does need discussion as suggested by people who can obviously type faster than me and have managed to do so in 15/20 mins I’ve been thinking about what I want to say.

  134. carolyn Dover said

    Firstly i agree with all my husbands comments [a rare thing in the Dover household!]
    I am happy with jewish education at calderwood but i would like more information as to what they are taught further up the school however although i am happy with my children being taught the basic beliefs of their muslim and christian classmates i was disturbed to see a display of christmas trees on the wall of the primary 1 classroom. My daughter proudly pointed out “her” tree that she had decorated.We do not have a christmas tree at home and i don’t want her to have one at calderwood,what do other parents think?

  135. A Beitz said

    I see those who are demanding more consultation with CJE haven’t answered my point.#119. What is wrong with the level of religious education at the school? I have a suspician that what some want is a school for Jews but no or minimal Judaism. In that event I can see little justification for Calderwood. A school which exists simply for your kids to mix with other Jewish children but in which your children receive no Jewish education would be something which would make me very uncomfortable. If on the other hand you want your children to learn about Jewish practise and see it in action then there is justification.

  136. Aaron Seasearch said

    Just a bit of advice to all out there. This blog can be read by all, not just those in the Calderwood or Jewish community but by all and sundry….including ERC’s education department, who by the way have been unstinting in their support for the school.

    So those who would seek to reduce the Jewish content too far could potentially take away the raison d’etre of the school in the first place.

    However, there seems to be a groundswell of opinion to make CJE more accountable so why don’t they hold a public meeting to discuss these issues and see if we can get a positive solution that the majority will be happy with.

  137. NLL said

    why should it have crossed the collective minds of CJE to go the time, trouble and expense of advertising and thinking anyone would turn up at a public meeting, when people have not used the existing channels to indicate they are not happy with what is being provided and don’t turn up at other metings?

  138. Aaron Seasearch said

    NLL they don’t have to go to any real expense just make their next scheduled meeting an open one for all in the school community. Advertise with letters in the children’s schoolbags and call it an EGM. Then those who are REALLY interested will make the effort to turn up and put thier views…wont they?

  139. R Dover said

    Can I ask everyone to read posts carefully before replying? By considering that your comment may be easily misread as rude/insulting in response to perfectly reasonable comments or questions and editing accordingly we will encourage more people to post here without fear of being thought stupid..

    With the various groups involved in the school continually changing names and being disbanded/reformed, it is not unreasonable for Gerry to ask for a bit of clarification without fear of rebuke.

    There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.

  140. R Dover said

    I forgot to add …

    My other half told me last night that she’s been to 2 CJE AGMs and at neither was the curriculum discussed. I have asked similar questions to Gerry’s at Parent evenings but have yet to receive a complete answer.

    We have a Community ostensibly of over 5,000 people and on this blog there have been about 140 comments by maybe as many as 20 people. Hardly representative. It is crucial that this discussion be held in the open, after all trying to things quietly has hardly been a roaring success.

    Religious teaching in the School is, to my mind, in need of overhauling. I do not mean reduction necessarily but going through the same process that Dr Duffy has started in the rest School. This is very much a positive thing and MUST be done in public. If CJE are unwilling or unable to answer these questions then it is CJE that also needs overhauling, however, they MUST be given the time to react and collate the answers. I would not like anyone in CJE to think they were being hounded, I for one appreciate the work they put in, but it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that all communal work is done to a high standard – quantity is less important than quality.

  141. Debbie said

    I find it difficult to understand why it has taken until now for parents to suddenly sit up and take notice of what the content of the Jewish education in Calderwood is. The minor failings of the school have nothing whatsoever to do with the Jewish content and indeed it is the very Jewishness of Calderwood that makes it what it is. Under Dr Duffys leadership many of the recent difficulties have been addressed and Calderwood is where it belongs amongst the best schools in East Ren.

    Disgusted is not suggesting that CJE is beyond scrutiny in fact quite the opposite. What I do also find objectionable is that KGL seems to think that how our Rabbonim choose to raise their children is a matter of human rights and that their children are being denied a proper education. What nonsense, does that then mean that those parents who choose to send their children to alternative forms of schooling are also denying them a proper education.

    And one other thing if parents are so concerned about Calderwood being too Jewish why do many of those from the Reform movement also choose Calderwood as the place they wish to educate their children?

  142. Aaron Seasearch said

    R Dover, whilst I agree that CJE could do better to inform and include the whole school body and like you I applaud them for the work they have done to date, you must remember that unlike ERC Education Department they are not a fully funded body all working full time on professionals salaries. CJE is made up of unpaid volunteers who have to cope with a decreasing Jewish population who in turn dont all pay the voluntary contributions that pays for the CJE teachers at the school. Now some people through financial constraints cant afford to pay but there are those who can afford and dont. If the school had a full complement of pupils paying the full amount of fees then it is probable that the resources available would be better. Having said that I repeat it would do no harm for CJE to consult with the school body via an EGM and put on a presentation like DR Duffy’s and be open for questions too. In that way all views could be aired in a sensible manner and we could all move forward positively.

  143. Debbie said

    In some way this forum has made it seem as though CJE has gone about its business in a very cloak and dagger manner. I don’t believe that to be the case and I am sure that if someone were to actually SPEAK to and suggest an event like Dr Duffy’s to the members of the CJE they would be more than happy to take that forward.

  144. carolyn Dover said

    Its not that parents have suddenly sat up Debbie [141] but they didn’t realise that so many other parents felt the same way.In a small community its easy to get labelled “difficult”

  145. Debbie said

    Carolyn I have always been difficult and never one to keep quiet for the sake of keeping the peace!!! But I am still confused as to why parents didn’t use the opportunities afforded to them (parent’s evening, AGM) to raise this in previous times. I do think that Dr Duffys lecture and this forum has raised interest and expectations. Perhaps some people feel more able to express opinion behind a psuedonym which hopefully will be translated into meaningful dialogue at the appropriate forum, for example at a School Board or CJE meeting.

  146. Solomon said

    I have worked closely with the school for many years, but don’t feel compelled to announce myself to let others judge my contribution. However, I think that those who know Karen Levy and what she has done for the Jewish Education in the school should be careful on criticising without knowing the facts. Before Karen was involved, parents used to take the liberty of hoping others paid for their children’s Jewish Education. With her drive and energy she has made it a much more equitable system and done the tough jobs nobody else would ever do. She has always had the interests of the school at heart and worked tirelessly to that end. She has my utmost respect.

    For all those who think they know how to do it better…. go get involved. Muck slinging may give you more self-satisfaction in a twisted way but why don’t you look at making a contribution to help.

  147. A Scott said

    As a parent of a child that has just started at Calderwood, I am not sure how the CJE consults. The question has been asked already how do the CJE consults. Surely it is not enough simply to have meetings or to say that the Chairman has an open door. Not everyone is able to attend meetings and perhaps some are unwilling to attend in case they find themselves co-opted onto a committee. There are many innovative ways of consulting such as newsletters, questionnaires, email, website or even blogs. Have any of them been tried?

    As a parent who fees pays the fees that the CJE charge, surely I should have an input into the content, level and appropriateness of the religious education.

  148. R Dover said

    Debbie
    I have raised these issues but not received adequate answers and I know I am not alone. Fact is this debate is now out there for all to see and hopefully it will be seen as a golden opportunity for CJE to reassure us that they are on top of things (not that I think they are not but there is always room for improvement).

  149. Oya Clog said

    A Scott,if the ideas of whoever are so good and positive why would they be afraid of going to a meeting or if the chaitman’s door is open then why not walk through it. Furthermore, nobody can be co-opted onto a committee unless they want to. Of course if you pay the fees you are entitled to an input nobody is suggesting otherwise, all that any committee asks is that you make whatever point you have in any way you see fit.

  150. Past Committee Member said

    Having been dragooned onto so many committees I am not going to any more meetings, particularly AGMs. A Scott’s ideas seem interesting but I don’t think they have been tried.

  151. Debbie said

    Let’s get something straight, we all chose Calderwood for it’s Jewish ethos, we all( well mostly all) pay for that Jewish ethos via CJE and the staff it provides, why didn’t those of you with concerns examine the Kodesh/Ivrit curriculum prior to sending your children?

  152. Debbie said

    As I said previously it is all very well being critical/concerned or whatever but somebody actually needs to speak to the chair of CJE and ask him to organise such a meeting. He may not be following this blog!!

  153. NLL said

    As I understand it this whole series of talks and this blog came about because of frustration around the apathy displayed by a large section of the community. It is a whole new way of getting people to engage with the issues, but previous contributors are right – the next stage is for all the concerned individuals to take their ideas to the relevant communal organisations.

    Bitter experience makes some of us cynical – new things have been tried,

    Chaplaincy invited over 60 families of current and prospective students to a cheese and wine event to try and get some new people with a stake in the service to join the committee and have a say about the direction it was going. 1/2 doz people replied that they couldn’t come – NO ONE turned up.

    Fun Lodge Out of School Care – an organisation very close to the discussions on this blog, nearly collapsed a couple of years ago. Despite letters home, newsletters, articles in the press, and individual pleas, hardly any new parents have joined the committee since it started. The feeling seems to be, we work that’s why we pay you to provide this service for us, so don’t ask us to attend meetings and take any responsibility!
    Fun Lodge was only saved because it was able to negotiate with another organisation in the community and amalgamate.
    This service was set up by working parents because it was needed – some of us not only no longer have children at the school, but our children have long left secondary school. We are probably no longer the best people to make decisions about this service, but if we had walked out 4 people would have lost their jobs and the 20+ families each day who use it would not have a first class child care service that builds on the Jewish ethos started in the school.

    Hopefully this forum will shake a lot of people and these discussions will translate into action

  154. Solomon said

    Well said NLL – Fun Lodge is a magnificent example of how willing parents pulled together to make a difference in the community.

    Another great example of excellent people, not normally involved in committees, working for the benefit of others.

  155. Oya Clog said

    Well said NLL. For too long the silent (but now vocal via this blog) majority probably said and did nothing. Now they can expunge their feelings anonymously (and rightly so) and the communal committees can hear the strength of their voice. So now it us to those of them who really care to stand up and be counted and help these committees prosper and change for the better.

  156. NLL said

    Absolutely, but how long before somebody starts mumping that it’s Jewish ethos is not to their liking and why don’t they ever consult parents etc etc – my point being if you put your head round the door may be asked to join the committee – but if nobody new ever joins the committee the existing committees can only try to do their best – or fold.

  157. NLL said

    oops should have made clear by ‘it’ in this instance, I meant Fun Lodge – but obviously the point translates across the various communal bodies.

  158. evelyn yedd said

    our eldest boy Danny is 30 this weekend and I would like to challange the chairman of the meeting last week (Mr Nigel Allon) when he stated he is the longest serving parent at Calderwood Lodge, but seriously, Calderwood was a supberb school back then in 1979 when Danny started nursery and school and continues now to give our children the best educatition a parent could ever ask for a love and understanding of what it is to be Jewish, a respect for all people of the world, all this in a happy environment. I am eternally grateful to East Renfrewshire Council, CJE, the School Board and all those who dedicate themselves to give our children such a good start to their life.

  159. Another parent said

    Far too many people are obsessed with what Karen Levy does or does not do. She is NOT the issue. All some people are asking for is a public meeting where CJE can explain the curriculum they offer and parents can say whether they are happy with that curriculum and whether they agree with the level of religious education. Please stop reducing this to personalities and deal with the issues. And by the way any responsible organisation would by now have offered to hold this meeting as a matter of urgency.

  160. Calderwood parent said

    Carolyn Dover is entitled to her point of view (134) but I think she is wrong. I hope she has had the courtesy to check this out with the teacher or Dr Duffy to make her point Dr Duffy stated at the meeting that there are non-Jewish pupils at Calderwood. If the teacher wants to talk about xmas that’s okay with me and given that much of the symbolism around this time is now non-religious I don’t see what the problem is. Maybe Carolyn you should ask the school not to let the children draw a snowman in case there are religious connections and perhaps reindeer should also be banned at this time of year. Let’s be sensible about this.
    The teacher concerned is a wonderful teacher so give them a break.

  161. Curious said

    Carolyn Dover wants to know what we think so I’ll tell her. The whole point of Calderwood is that children can enjoy learning about their Jewish culture, religion and history and have enhanced Jewish identity before moving on to the wider world. It is NOT the remit of the school to deny the culture of others or pretend xmas does not exist. This is a ridiculous issue. Why are we not more concerned as a community how some of our Rabbis do not educate their children rather than get hung up about the significance of painting xmas trees?Calderwood parent is right – this is not a problem.

  162. Puzzled said

    Can someone please tell me more about this issue about Rabbis in Glasgow not educating their children?”Gerry the joiner” asked if they still have the Kollel school.Perhaps those who keep telling us about the merits of more and more religious education may wish to tell us if this school is still open?

  163. Ousgematerd said

    Why are so many people hung on what the Rabbis do or do not do because as far as I am aware they dont run Calderwood Lodge nor do they run CJE. The only influence the Rabbis have is that Rabbi Rubin is the school chaplain. He doesn’t form curriculum and neither do any of his contemporaries. I would love if all the Rabbis in Glasgow would send their children to Calderwood just as Rabbi Hackenbroch does and Rabbi Jacobs did but it is their choice just as it is yours.

  164. carolyn Dover said

    “calderwood parent” whoever you are don’t be so pathetic ! snowmen and reindeer are not the same. I asked what other parents thought i did not expect to get a lot of snide comments. I’m very happy with my childrens teachers so get off my back!Why should we discus where the rabbis educate their children that is up to them they certainly wouldnt want them painting xmas trees!!

  165. past parent said

    I’m not quite sure what the problem is about the children painting xmas trees? If children in a ‘non denominational’ school were learning about Judisim, you wouldn’t be surprised to see relevant artwork – menorahs etc on their classroom wall

  166. Hershie said

    In my last posting some time back I questioned the brief of the student chaplain which remained unanswered. This fits in with the question of how and where the Rabbonim educate their children. Hopefully my children will one day go to university and I wish to know who is counselling them and where they are coming from. I observe that their own children are for the most part delightful and well behaved so I dont see their input as necessarily negative. However, I think I am entitled to know what positive input they can possibly have when their aspirations for their own children and those I have for mine bear little in common.

  167. R Zinger said

    Carolyn,

    I respect but don’t share your point of view. It is wonderful to see my son come home from school with probably an even better knowledge of our Jewish culture and practices than I have, but there is also absolutely nothing wrong in my opinion with learning in this way about other religions, i.e. drawing a xmas tree. Yes, if it were something more overtly religious I could see why you would be “disturbed”.

    Is it not rather similar to something like studying Scotland at school and then drawing a Scotland flag ?

    Walk into the fabulous Mearns Primary up at Malletsheugh, and immediately you will see the way that other children in other schools are taught about other religions, and about respecting them. There are pictures drawn of Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism (a very large Chanukiah), Hinduism, etc, etc, and I think it’s most respectful, and indeed lovely.

    Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, I say.

  168. carolyn Dover said

    I take everybodys points but on the wall there is only xmas trees and not a chanukiah,islamic symbol etc. i suggest that Hershie talks to our student chaplain Rabbi Dovid Cohen who is totally approachable and open to all backgrounds

  169. Rocket Scientist said

    Many people on this blog (or is it just one or two with different pseudonyms) have asked for CJe to explain thier curriculum.

    Now I am no rocket scientist (despite my pseudonym) but i would have thought that the Kodesh curriculum would be based round the Jewish festivals, being able to read basic siddur hebrew (Shema etc)and understand the basics of a shul service. For the older children they learn about the weekly parsha and how that relates to modern times. All the children in P3 get their first siddur so learn blessings.

    For the Ivrit classes er I think the curriculum is well Ivrit. Now i am not sure how many classes they get of these subjects a week but it used to be three or four in total but I am sure someone more qualified on this than me (maybe a nuclear physicist) will confirm the actual percentage of time spent on these subjects in a working week.

    Notwithstanding the above the school results are excellent as per Dr Duffy’s lecture so the extra work our school does on Ivrit & Kodesh is not affecting their secular studies and on the contrary the Hebrew study is helpful when they do French at Mearns Csatle.

    It must also be pointed out that the Calderwood pupils have a slightly longer school week to fit in these extra subjects that no other school in Scotland does.

  170. NLL said

    rocket scientist – that sounds a fair estimation of my understanding, but also the Jewish ethos permeates throughout the school day & the rest of the curriculum.

    Also, as I said at post 49, I found that not only were my children well up if not ahead in most of the secular subjects when they went to Mearns Castle they they were also on an equal if not better footing in relation to Jewish & Religious subjects in comparison to their cousins who attended Jewish schools in London – no mean feat for our wee school.

    My older son – who is now involved with JSoc in Manchester and on the FZY National Exec, often sighs and comments that apart from those who went to the Jewish secondaries in London & Manchester, there is hardly anyone other than himself at events capable of leading a service.

  171. R Dover said

    I’d like to support my wife on the subject of the Xmas trees …… partially.

    I do not see the issue as being teaching of other religions which is something we are both very much in favour of. It is an expression of disquiet that it was ONLY a christian symbol without comparison to those from other religions. It was NOT a criticism of the Teacher.

    As for how Rabbis educate their children: this is NOT our business. They have the right to educate their children as they see fit in the same way as we have the right to send children to private schooling – or is Curious going to attack those parents as well? If the Authorities have an issue with the Kollel school (which has now closed I am told) then that is a legal matter and not a matter of discussion for us here on this blog.

  172. R Dover said

    Hershie

    Rabbi Dovid Cohen is the Chaplain to the Students and is a fully trained and qualified Counsellor. His original remit (which he has done marvellously) was to support any student from whatever religious background. I can assure you he is unfazed by anything that’s thrown at him and he’s very approachable.

  173. Past Committee Member said

    Surely community issues being discussed on this blog include Rabbinic leadership and how they perceive jewish education in the city. Post 163 is correct, I think, in stating that only Rabbi Hackenbroch and Rabbi Jacobs have sent their kids to Calderwood. Why haven’t the the other Rabbi’s sent their children to the school? I doubt that that the Kollel school has closed but if so where are these kids being educated?

    Post 113 was very close to the mark.

  174. Gerry the Joiner said

    last night I had a very interesting conversation with someone who’s been to a recent CJE meeting and tells me that there is a new curriculum being discussed that is a huge improvement over the one currently used.

    It seems to me that CJE is probably only making 1 mistake and that is not to fully publicise the meetings. Can I suggest that when the next meeting is announced that the agenda is also sent to parents?

    Wow! a positive suggestion without sarky comments – who’d have thought it!

  175. R Dover said

    Let’s be honest here, Calderwood is unlikely to ever be religious enough to satisfy Chassidic Rabbis, so the whole discussion is a red herring. If their childrens’ eductaion is not up to legal levels then it is a matter for the Authorities to take action on. We may as well ask the same questions of parent who’ve sent their kids to Hutchie/Craigholme/Glasgow Academy as to how THEY perceive Calderwood.

    It is a matter of personal choice and they do not need to justify themselves to us.

    Can we PLEASE discuss the future rather than the past?

  176. David Barnett said

    Gerry I agree with you . Lets have loads of people at the next CJE nmeeting . But why have none of these people ever come to an AGM before, which are publicised well in advance. I have been to the last 6 or so AGM’s and very few times have I seen anyone who wasn’t there before. My theory is that they just left it to those already there because it didn’t interest them enough, but if this blog has made them more interested in the Jewish side of the school then I am all for it.

  177. A. Scott said

    Delighted to hear that a new curriculum is being discussed. This is the first I have heard of it. So how is this going to be communicated to the parents. Can it be put onto a website for example.

    We need information before we attend any meeting

  178. Kneidel said

    As long as our Rabbonim are meeting legal requirements to educate their children, it should not be anybody else’s business how they do so. Some Jewish Schools in London & Manchester have a ‘frum stream’ or withdrawal classes for those wishing a higher level of Religious input. Nice thought – but I don’t see it working here.

    If you want to bring the Rabbonim into the debate about Jewish/Religious education for other children in the community be careful – they might well suggest that that should be centred round the shuls and be far more intensive than currently offered at Calderwood. Calderwood would then only provide the social/cultural aspects, which might suits some. Pro would be that people would then have a curriculum tailored to their shul ethos, con would be that as it would be an ‘opt in’ system, hardly anyone would use it and it wouldn’t be sustainable. The proof being that Glasgow seems to struggle to support one chedar, let alone several.

  179. A. Scott said

    Kneidal wrote that “The proof being that Glasgow seems to struggle to support one chedar, let alone several.”

    This is so true but only because it is primarily used by non-Calderwood chidren.

    What is there in the way of jewish education for children who have left Calderwood. I do not think that the youth groups provide the kind of education that we are takilng about. It also comes down to facilities. There are not available here in Glasgow in the way that they have in Manchester or Liverpool.

  180. R Dover said

    David
    Sometimes it takes a bit of a storm to stir up some interest but lets not forget that although hundreds ‘may’ be watching there are only a few interested parties posting.

    A.Scott
    This is exactly my point. If we consolidate our Communal facilities then the Youth Movements, social groups etc will have somewhere to be based that gives them the facilities they need. Involvement in PEER LED Youth Movements like RSY, FZY, Habo, BA and JSoc to name just a few is critical to Jewish identity. Calderwood gives a fantastic foundation but without continued learning of what it means to be Jewish both religiously and culturally we are destined to lose 50%+ of each generation.

    This, I believe, is the greatest challenge facing our Community right now. We MUST re-create the infrastructure that allows our children to learn to be Jewish, eithically, morally and religiously.

    Who’s up for a meeting to discuss this one? I’m free Sunday night!

  181. A. Scott said

    Richard

    I definately agree with you on the need to consolidate our communal facilities. I am just not sure how it could be achieved.

  182. NLL said

    I think post Calderwood, particularly post Bar/Bat Mitzvah education is even more important. In the past the Kollel has offered yeshiva type classes, but that carries certain connotations. UJIA have facilitated Ivrit classes and the GCSE in Religious Education, very successfully. Pupils sit the exam in 3rd year – 1 year before their standard grades & 2 years before their English counterparts & I think all recent candidates have achieved grade A or A*. Unfortunately the last class started with 9 pupils, but only 1 persevered and sat the exam.

    I would love to see a co-ordinated programme for older children across Glasgow, and have suggested it before. Those slightly longer in the tooth than myself talk – fondly (?) of the Hebrew College. I will happily meet with anyone else interested.

    Sorry Richard I already have a meeting this Sunday evening.

  183. Man in Pub said

    Sorry Richard, I going for a pint on Sunday night.

  184. Past Committee Member said

    Yes I remember the Hebrew College and I also remember it was held in the Calderwood School building.

    Can the community use the school building in the evening or is that a matter for the ERC Education Department. If it could be used for adult jewish education then surely there would be no objection on their part.

  185. David Barnett said

    Gerry #174 & A Scott #177

    Having been at the last few CJE meetings I can only assume the “new curriculum” you are referring to is the new reading scheme which is hoped to be introduced to P2 & P3 (if my memory serves me right). This can only be done if CJE have sufficient funds to buy the scheme and support it over the next few years (work books/replacement booksetc)as well as funding the training for the teachers. So once again money comes into it and as we have a falling school roll and therefore a reduced revenue stream it is hard to budget for such expense. However, if you guys can find people out there who could help with the funding then we could probably introduce the scheme sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, progress comes at a cost and we dont have council tax to fund us.

  186. A. Scott said

    Thanks David.

    What do our fees cover? I thought it covered both the salaries and all the books etc. What is the money situation?

  187. David Barnett said

    A Scott

    The money raised through fees covers for the Teachers salaries, Teachers training, Insurance, Admin staff salary, books and all resources. We have to pay the staff at the appropriate rates as if they were employed by ERC Education Dept. and are subject to the recent McCrone Commission conditions for all school teachers.

    However, not everyone pays the fees and therefore CJE runs (I think) at a loss so we have to supplement our income through donations and appeals which are not always as successful as we would like them to be.

    For a fuller position on the finances you would have to ask Karen Levy

  188. Debbie said

    A Scott if the school decided it was going to change the curriculum I bet you would attend a meeting with little more information than that. My question is why then should you need more information from CJE before attending a meeting?

    182 NLL I am involved in UJIA renewal and the subject of how to engage with the post bar/bat mitzvah age group is often a “hot” topic. There is always going to be an element who decide for whatever reason they do not want to be part of any group or youth club. I don’t quite know what you mean by a co-ordinated programme but I do agree with you in that we must seek to keep these kids involved even in some tenious way or risk losing them.

  189. A. Scott said

    Sorry Debbie that is a poor excuse for lack of information being provided by CJE.

    Anyway the school cannot change the curriculum since it follows the National Curriculum which is published initially in draft form open to consultation and then approved by Parliament. The school then has to implement the changes. CJE is not in that position and could and should abide by the wishes of the parents, who after all are paying for the education.

  190. Past Committee Member said

    David said that not everyone pays the CJE fees. How many aren’t paying and why not. If that cannot afford it then that is understandable but are there any other reasons.

  191. NLL said

    Years ago (long before Fun Lodge) I suggested a set up whereby Brownies, Cubs, dancing, chess, music, etc plus Ivrit and Chodesh classes could be offered after school in the Calderwood premises. There are a number of ways it could have been done, but the idea was to provide access to a range of activities in one place for 2-3 hours after school. This would also have solved the problem of ‘after school care.’ An added bonus would have been to reduce the need for parents to spend their evenings running around taking children places – often different children in different directions. No reason why Secondary pupils couldn’t have slotted into this. It’s a variation of a recognised Community Education model and I know it was done at one of the Jewish primaries in London.

    Debbie (188) By a co-ordinated programme I really just meant something that was thought out and had goals that were attractive to both the youngsters and their parents and meant that activities and groups were not competing with one another.

  192. David Barnett said

    A Scott

    Rocket Scientist #169 gave you the curriculum details as he/she saw it. After all it isn’t really that difficult to work out what the curriculum is for Ivrit & Kodesh. How much info do you need before you would go to a meeting which is what you have been asking for. Dont you think you will get the info at the meeting?

  193. David Barnett said

    Past Committee Member

    The CJE fees are VOLUNTARY.

    Some people dont pay any or only some due to financial constraints.

    Some people dont pay because they dont send their children to Calderwood for the Jewish ethos.

    Some people dont pay because they choose not to.

    What numbers in each category are confidential and probably covered by data protection laws and known only by Karen Levy

  194. Debbie said

    A Scott 189 poor excuse for not attending a meeting!!!

  195. David Barnett said

    May I clarify item 193 – I don’t know if there are any people in any of the above categories, it is pure supposition on my part.

  196. R Dover said

    NLL
    That idea has some legs, however Calderwood is not the right location IMHO as it is way too inconvenient for everyone bar those with only CL kids. If you have Secondary or Private school kids then you will have to run ragged anyway.

    Perhaps a Giffnock based campus made up of function rooms, meeting/class rooms etc would work. Of course it means following a radical plan of closing Shuls, selling land and using the cash to build something useful that the WHOLE Community, Orthodox, Reform, Secular are free to use.

    I hasten to add that this would most definitely NOT be a Community Centre although it may share some minor similarities.

  197. Gerry the Joiner said

    Debbie
    Why are you getting so defensive. I know that most of us have not done enough in the past but isn’t it positive that we’re asking stuff. I’ve learned a huge amount about what happens at Calderwood from this blog and the offline discussions that it sparks at the school gates and that has to be a good thing.

    I’ve been very busy involved in other things in the community and can’t do everything. CJE has not done enough to let everyone know what they do. Curious may not like self-publicising but he/she is just wrong, CJE has to blow its own trumpet just so dimwit like me get the message.

  198. Curious said

    Is Carolyn Dover walking around Calderwood with her eyes closed? (168)
    All over the school there is evidence of the Jewish content in the school. In the classrooms, in the corridors. Almost in every aspect of the school Judaism is visible. It is quite ridiculous that she suggests that only xmas trees could be seen. Carolyn, do you only see what you want to see?

  199. Debbie said

    Gerry I am not defensive just asking a question. I have no idea who most of the people on this blog are so I am certainly not suggesting that you or anyone else has or has not done enough. I am merely replying to a comment made by A Scott.

  200. Astonished said

    I have not posted my comments before but I have a couple of observations to make
    1. Sorry to disappoint R Dover-171 and 175- and Kneidel – 178- How the Rabbis educate their children is our business. We pay their salaries.
    2. If by their actions they bring this community into disrepute is this not a matter for communal concern? I would suggest that it is. I have always thought that people get respect if they earn it – if they don’t behave properly I do not respect them. Like any group of people there are some good Rabbis and some not good ones. Some of our community think you should respect them all because they are Rabbis. Well sorry I don’t go along with this. And thankfully I know of many people who would agree with me.

    3. Surely part of the problem in this community is that too many people have failed to speak out when they should have. I congratulate the founders of this blog for allowing people to express their views. I hope people speak out and make it perfectly clear what they want.

    4. It is clear from following this debate that CJE’s position has altered since the appointment of a non-Jewish headteacher at Calderwood.
    Previously they and the headteacher had freedom to do what they wanted as regards the Jewish curriculum. Now they are being asked to give answers and it would appear that they do not like having to consult. They give of their time and I’m sure work hard and are dedicated but that is not the point. They have a responsibilty to the parents of the school. I cannot believe that the answer to requests for information are met with a response to turn up at the AGM. They should be thankful that people are showing an interest.
    They should follow Ricky Zingers’s lead and be welcoming and up front – not evasive and elusive.
    5. Dr Duffy is to be applauded for his work and the community is indebted to him for turning round our school. If he had not arrived when he did the situation would by now have been desperate.
    6. Why was it left to this new group to give him a platform to promote Calderwood.?

  201. ex pupil- Hebrew College said

    You have to be kidding NLL. Hebrew college was awful. The curriculum was poor – the teaching wasn’t any better.
    I went there for too long because of parental insistence. The day I left was ver happy. If you want to bring that kind of place back to Glasgow think again!
    It always amazes me that those who generally have mucked things up in this community think they are the best people to sort it out now.

  202. R Dover said

    Curious

    You have gone too far with your personal comments. You hide behind the anonymity of this blog as a coward not as someone offering anything constructive and you should be ashamed of yourself. If you are unable to disagree with someone without jibes and insults then I suggest you keep the hell out of it. This blog is a place for adult discussion and your responses are barely fit for the playground!

    Carolyn raised concerns about one aspect our child’s class’s activity (within the P1 classroom), which is 100% relevant to the discussion in hand, but YOU would rather rubbish her concerns and views than actually discuss them. Because of your ignorant behaviour she no longer wishes to correspond on this blog and is gravely concerned about getting involved with the school in case she has to work alongside someone so rude and ignorant.

    I just wonder how many others are now discouraged from contributing in case THEY get the same treatment.

    An official complaint is being put to the blog owner about your comments.

  203. Gerry the Joiner said

    all of curious’s comments have had a sharp edge to them. I think it is better to stay anonymous unless you have a rhino’s skin.

    I don’t care who Curous is but I’m amazed at what people think of as fun!

    A. Scott
    The Jewish curriculum is unlikely to be part of the National Curriculum. Can someone tell me where the CJE one comes from?

  204. Friend of Harry the Dog said

    Richard

    Please encourage Carolyn to continue participating in this blog. Her views her worth reading.

  205. Interested Parents said

    We also would be interested to know the CJE put the curriculum together.

    We also agree with 204, everybodys views should be heard.

  206. Even more astonished said

    Astonished 200 the Greater Glasgow Health Board pays my salary – does that mean I have to follow their guidance on eating, smoking, drinking etc?

    By what actions do you think that the Rabbi’s of this community bring it into disrepute? What you are saying is that YOU don’t like the way they behave and YOU don’t respect them. Of course there are good Rabbi’s and not so good but don’t tar them all with the same brush. You are entitled to your opinion but please don’t speak for others “Some of our community think you should respect them all because they are Rabbis”

    I don’t see where the idea that CJE’s position has changed. What makes you believe that they don’t like or want to give answers? The CJE are as far as I am aware not communicating through this blog and it is others who have suggested attending AGM’s etc. Have you asked a member of the CJE directly the questions you want answered. This is not CJE’s trial and execution but it is in danger of becoming so. As the majority of users are not giving their identity away who knows who is using it?

  207. hershie said

    #206 What an illogical introductory sentence. Of course you dont. However if, for instance, you were anti contraception I could see good reason for you to be kept well away from the family planning clinics. Similarly when labour cabinet ministers send their children to private schools, I understand the ensuing furore.
    It is not the advice you are given that matters so much, it is the advice you give that entitles people to ask your right to give it.

  208. NLL said

    ex pupil- Hebrew College (201)

    The – before and the ? after the word fondly was meant to imply that I was speaking tongue in cheek. The idea is to improve on what has gone before – to take any (there must be some) good bits from past experience, borrow from other communities/disciplines etc and develop them to suit the current needs and wishes of the Community.

  209. Angry from Newton Mearns said

    You know what, I think that a lot of people are spending too much time talking about whether what other people choose to do with their kids’ education is right or not. It’s actually none of your business. rabbis do what they believe is right just as people who choose the private sector believe they are doing the right thing. That’s called freedom of choice. Isn’t that what people have died fighting for?
    One more thing….hands up all those with private health insurance?
    What’s the difference between choosing that over the NHS and a private school over a local authority school?

  210. astonished said

    “even more astonished” asks me simple question – “By what actions do you think that Rabbis of this community bring it into disrepute?”
    My simple answer is that there are several of them who do not properly educate their children – and in this country that is not permissable. Now let me ask you a question.
    Do you think it is acceptable that there are Jewish children in Glasgow that are not properly educated?

  211. Forward Thinker said

    Can’t help wondering if Calderwood was moved sooner rather than later to a site in Giffnock, Clarkston or Newton Mearns to this state of the art new buiding idea then it could improve everything in one go – more pupils going there because of the location, and greater use of the building as a community centre ??? Perhaps that’s one we should be pursuing now – rather than wait for the school roll to fall further ?

    Any takers ?

  212. Solly said

    So I am amazed at how many people think they are qualified to define the Jewish Curriculum at Calderwood. I think you are missing the point on CJE. It is a management body to oversee the funding of the Jewish education in the school. It is also responsible for hiring of staff. Their job is to ensure that they have hired properly qualified staff to deliver a balanced curriculum.

    Ok, so some people want to know more and that is no bad thing. But I fear many others want to just eliminate the “dull Jewish bit” that wont help their children in getting into a top school / university. All they want is to get a secular school in a place where mainly Jewish children from their social group are admitted. Better still they want it all for free.

    So if I was involved with CJE I would certainly not wish to debate the curriculum with parents. That will be a disaster.

    What I do want though is to know more about what is happening with the finances, the curriculum, the attainment levels achieved and a comparison with the other Jewish schools in the country. So please start communicating with the parents more so we can understand what your objectives are within the CJE.

    I for one don’t want to go to meetings to find out the basics of what you are doing once a year. Give us some info once a month!

  213. concerned parent said

    R Dover, if I could be bothered I would report you to the blog owner for your ridiculous attack on “curious” who defended the judgement of a great teacher by pointing out that it wasn’t accurate to suggest that “on the wall one could only see xmas trees” Why get hot and bothered because it is suggested that there are several walls one could look at to see the broader picture.

  214. Interested said

    Those who keep attacking requests by some for CJE to hold a meeting to discuss Jewish curriculum at the school and the amount of religion that is taught at the school seem to miss an important point. Surely CJE exist to provide Jewish education at the school to the satisfaction of most of the parents. If they only consult with parents once a year at an AGM that like most AGMs will be preoccupied with run of the mill business how do they know if the majority of parents agree with what they are doing?

  215. A Beitz said

    Personally whilst my children were are at Calderwood and since then I’ve never felt it neccessary to ask about the kodesh curriculum not least since I had a fair idea from attending parents evenings and from what I saw my kids able to do eg on a Fri night. However if people want to know more perhaps Karen or someone could provide an email address for queries and these could be dealt with. A monthly newsletter sounds a bit much. Funds and time are limited. If sufficient people mail privately saying they would like a discussion meeting then go ahead.
    BTW I quite enjoyed my time at Hebrew College and got both secular (O Grade) and Jews College qualifications meaning I had something to show for it other than enhanced knowledge. I appreciate as with many things of this nature matters might depend upon the quality of the teaching and frankly the attenders own attitude and whether he/she was going voluntarily or felt forced into it by parents.

  216. past parent said

    There is a world of difference between people expressing views on how the local Rabbonim educate their children and the argument about whose business that is and a worrying suggestion that is creeping into some of these later posts of concern that the education being provided does not meet legal requirements. I think the later IS of concern to the Community and the shuls/bodies that employ them as it brings us and our religion into disrepute.

  217. NLL said

    Re the debate about CJE and how it interacts with parents – I think it is getting unnecessarily personal and nasty. A few of observations;

    – Times have changed, people used to be happy to allow those employed, eg Doctors, or those elected, eg MPs or communal committees to advise them or act on their behalf with little intervention or comment. With the advancement of mass communication and the easy availability of information people feel (in my mind rightly) that they have a right to be consulted more frequently and on a wider range of issues.
    – AGMs and/or open meetings is where individuals make it known that they are interested in the work of that body and want to get involved. You can’t have consultation with the wider constituency or develop the service provided by any communal body (CJE or otherwise) if people don’t come forward to take it on.
    – As has been discussed at several points in the blog – most of our existing communal committees will tell you they have tried to communicate with various sections of the Community in various – sometimes quite innovative – ways, to gauge opinion, but have been met with apathy and disinterest. Hopefully this forum will be the catalyst for change. We need new blood across a number of our organisations, to look at new ways of doing things and to share the burden of responsibility – sometimes quite onerous with Charities Commission/Care Commission regulations.

    A Scott said it all at back in post 147 when he/she suggested people might be unwilling to attend meetings in case they find themselves co-opted onto a committee. But somebody has to take on these responsibilities and it will continue to be the same people, possibly doing the same old things unless new people come forward.

  218. M Take said

    I’ve been lurking for a while and I think there are a few people here deliberately winding others up. I think it has backfired. If this blog is to be taken seriously as a discussion forum for us in Glasgow then a little decorum is needed

    To paraphrase private eye: Curious, Concerned Parent – are they by any chance related?

    Do us all a favour, read the whole blog before you get the hump. Carolyn asked her question in post 134 and clearly mentioned a display on the wall of P1s room. Neither Curious nor Concerned Parent perhaps noticed that and took post 168 as the one and only. I don;t think she deserved what you gave. You have succeeded in putting a lot of people off posting here.

  219. R Dover said

    Concerned Parent.

    Neither Carolyn nor I have maligned the teacher (in fact we both think she she is great and have said so here), had you or Curious read the posts properly of course then you would know that.

    Rabbis educating their kids
    The Rabbis are employed to do a job and unless their contract requires them to send their kids to mainstream schooling then none of us have the right to comment. Statistically there are wives being beaten, children being abused, drugs being taken and so on. all of these could “bring the Community into disrepute”. This has nothing to do with our future and if anyone doesn’t like what the Rabbis are doing then take it up with them directly – if you have the balls.

    Personal remarks
    Every point containing a personal remark could just have easily been said without said remarks. Ricky’s posts are a perfect example of this. If you don’t agree with someone then say it but why be nasty unless your real intent is to simply irritate. It is NOT a way to promote debate.

    I think this will be my last post on this blog because I feel it has lost its way. It, like so many other initiatives has quickly become a source of irritation and embarrassment but in this case it still has the chance to change.

  220. hershie said

    #129 I think it would be unfortunate if you were to leave because you are obviously quite passionate in promoting your cause. I could of course accuse you of being pathetic in which case you may be enraged. However, refer back to #164 and note that this is Carolyn’s very language in dealing with “Calderwood Parent” “Calderwood Parent” didnt stamp out in anger, perhaps you should think again

  221. Man in Pub said

    Sorry, I seem to have lost the thread at the moment. Obviously my hangever doesn’t help

  222. M Take said

    Why call anyone pathetic just because you disagree? Perhaps this is why nothing actually gets done. If you get involved all you do is set yourself up for flak so why bother. There are lots of passionate views here but unless they are discussed and developed then they end up being a waste of time.

    Ah well, they say 2 Jews, 3 arguments. I suspect we have 10 Jews and 200 arguments.

  223. A. Scott said

    NLL

    I absolutely agree that more people need to come forward to undertake positions of communal authority. The difficulty is twofold: the dwindling number of people in our community in general and the pressures of modern life. In days gone by the leaders were quite often self-employed business men who could afford the time during the day to look after communal business. Also quite often these men employed jews within their business and they were happy if these jewish employees spent some time doing communal work as well. My much older brother told me that when he once had a summer job in a jewish firm, he counted 23 jewish employees. He also met a delegation of jewish leaders waiting to talk to the owner about communal matters. The point is all that happened throughout the working day. Life is not like that, I am sitting in an internet café waiting for my next customer who is late. The long winded point is that we need to professionalise our institutions as much as possible and that must mean rationalisation on huge scale, otherwise it is not affordable.

    Real communal planning must be our objective

  224. NLL said

    A. Scott

    Absolutely – and the rest of the committees were run by women who didn’t work…………. the world has moved on. Unfortunately the required professionalisation of the communal bodies that haven’t already gone down this road isn’t the whole answer either. They still require management committees & Boards of Trustees etc with onerous workloads to meet the requirements of the Charities/Care Commission etc – work that can longer be done in the laid back manner you described. Also some of the people who still carry out communal business in this way have to understand it’s not acceptable to phone others at work unless they’ve been told it’s ok to do so!!!

    But new technology does mean that a lot of business can be done by email, cutting down the need for time consuming meetings and enabling a wider group of people to be involved/consulted. Yep – we’re all busy people, but if we want good quality, modern communal services more/different people have to be prepared to contribute.

  225. Past Committee Member said

    NLL and A Scott seem to be saying things that are all true.

    A friend of mine was willing to join a Board of Trustees, but was put off by having meetings scheduled for 12.30pm for the sub-committees and 4.30pm for the main committees, and always in Giffnock. He could not schedule his day that way. He thought that those times re-enforced the perception that the small coterie who ran this organisation was only willing to bring new people in on their terms. He declined their offer.

  226. M Take said

    What’s the best way to approach this process. There are clearly poeple willing to get stuck in but I bet they are not in positions of authority.

    Do we need a coup or putsch?

  227. NLL said

    A suggestion of action – well that’s frightened everyone away!!!

    I think both this series of talks and this blog need a lot longer to develop and catch the imagination of a far wider group of people. Look where the discussion has gone in a couple of weeks. We wont solve problems that have taken the last 20 – 30 years to emerge after one talk and 226 posts from presumably a relatively small number of people

    But what a wonderful catalyst it has been – congratulations to those who conceived this and set it up and to those who have picked up the baton and taken the first faltering steps

    good shabbos everyone

  228. lokshen kugel said

    210 Are you an educator, how do you know that the Rabbis children are not being properly educated? Your definition of properly educated may be different to theirs but no more or less correct.

  229. past parent said

    Lokshen kugel- well said, as long as their education meets legal requirements, who are we to criticise?

  230. A Beitz said

    Whilst I agree that some people are too strong in their language to people with whom they disagree this is, unfortunately, an aspect of blogs which often have cyber hardmen/hardwomen who would never make such a comment to your face. Unless someone is grossly abusive or guilty of impersonation I think it would be a shame to censor mails on this blog. I hope Richard and Carolyn will continue posting since what they have had to say has been very interesting and it would be a shame to lose their input simply because some people are less than polite in their responses.
    A reliable source tells me that tomorrow’s sermon at NM will be about this blog. Be interested to hear what is said and the views of those present.

  231. hershie said

    #228 and #229 When you say “rabbis’ children” I take it you mean all the children of the Glasgow charedi community who are not educated in mainstream schools. Where exactly are they educated? How many standard grades and highers do they attain on average. How many go on to provide the doctors and dentists and lawyers (apologies to all other worthy professions and trades) that their community needs? How many of their children are offered these choices, the choices that a previous blogger suggested we went to war to uphold. I put it to you that these children have no choice whatsoever, they are the sacrificial lambs to their parents intolerance of the outside world and determination to trap them in the dark ages.

  232. lokshen kugel said

    I really hope you are doing this to wind people up and I would strongly suggest that we don’t even bother to take the time to reply anymore to Hershie.

  233. past parent said

    A Beitz (230) good point. That’s why many bloggers remain anonymous. This is a small community and a blog gives people the chance to say what they think (within the bounds of civility one hopes) without personalities and past baggage coming in to it.

  234. M Take said

    A couple of years ago I was a regular (some would say too regular) contributor to a minority interest forum. One of the threads was started on the the starting of the 2nd gulf war and a lively debate followed. Some comments were vehement, some were obvious trolling exercises (trolling: posting comments under an assumed name designed to goad others into retaliating. often creating multiple identities in the process), with several Israelis, George Galloway’s former right hand man and a host of Muslim/Palestinian sympathisers all making their views clear as day. Interestingly enough these people who were all anonymous and from all over the world managed to avoid trading insults for over 8 months. A lesson to be learned here by people to who actually know each other very well, too well or, perhaps, not well enough.

  235. jezabel said

    The charedi grandchildren might not be doctors and dentists but our grandchildren might not be jewish, take your pick.so back to main subject the future of the community. someone ? anyone?

  236. KGL said

    I’m with hershie. I want my children and grandchildren to be Jewish ,by choice and education,not by lack of choice due to lack of education. If we really are talking about the future, jezabel, this difference in approaches between us and the charedim has to be faced and dealt with, or maybe it is easier in the short term to convince ourselves there is no problem.

  237. M Take said

    Welcome to the Glasgow Jewish Comedy Forum!

  238. lokshen kugel said

    We need to have Rabbi’s to have Jewish education, no Rabbi worth his weight in salt will ever force his views onto anyone else. After all it is what we do not what we don’t that counts. I know some very well educated Rabbis so RABBI does not equal UNEDUCATED

  239. jezabel said

    kgl, here in Glasgow we don’t have a “problem” with charedim there are only a handful of families here unless of course they all in disguise !

  240. KGL said

    Did you know that jezabel turned her husband Ahab away from Judaism to worship idols, and later suffered a most unpleasant death. This seems a rather strange pseudonym for someone taking your stance.

  241. jezabel said

    Thats funny the jezabel i know is a cat!

  242. moshe said

    but is it a jewish cat?

  243. M Take said

    It’s far more likely to be Schroedinger’s!

  244. Community member said

    I have followed the blog for a few days and I would just like to say well done to all those who have contributed. Yes there are differences of opinion but healthy debate is vital for the future of our community. No doubt some will complain that some comments are out of order but as an occasional blog user elsewhere I can assure you that there has been nothing wrong with what has been posted. I think all of you who log on to read what has been written in the comment section should start typing your own message and tell the blog what you think. I have just read in one of today’s newspapers that “blogs are changing the way we see the world”. Well it will hopefully change the way we see our own community and hopefully we can all get ideas how to help make the community better. Already Calderwood Lodge is back at the centre of communal debate – as it should be. It is obviously a great school under super leadership. I can alwaysunderstand why some people for personal reasons might have decided to take their children elsewhere if they had a particular issue. I have always been mystified though why some parents will not give the school a chance in the first place. If you care about the future of this comunity I urge you to support this excellent school.

  245. a.n.other said

    Well said. Community member is spot on, it is about making our school and community the best it can be because …………we’re worth it!!!!

  246. jezabel said

    There are very few jewish children being born in glasgow now and even fewer younger couples settling here so calderwood is doomed. i give it 5 years before it closes! my kids will have left by then so i don’t care

  247. M Take said

    Newspapers may think that “blogs are changing the way we see the world”, however what changes the world is actions. Plenty of views are being expressed here and I await the corresponding action with baited breath.

    I’m with Richard on this one, proper concrete action IS needed and I’m ready to help. 1 question – if we’re all anonymous how are we to know who’s best to organise a real meeting? Can I suggest Purim is an ideal time as we can all wear masks and blame the booze if we’re rude to each other.

  248. hershie said

    #246 In 5 years I wont have any children at calderwood either but unlike you I do care

  249. Moshe said

    Jezabel surely thats not the same Jezabel that was debating with 239. What sort of attitude is that to take. If you really dont care then why are your children at Calderwood now. Dr Duffy publicly stated that the school is in very safe hands with East Ren backing it to the hilt. As long as we can support it in the best way we can by all pulling together for its (and our childrens) benefit then there is no reason to suggest it wont continue for many years to come. Your opinion hardly makes it likely to attract new blood to our fair city (and school) and goes against everything you said in #235.

  250. A Beitz said

    Jezabel #246 you should care. Like you, unless certain precautions fail, I won’t have children at Calderwood in 5 years time. However from a point of view of educating our primary school children and as a community generally it is important we maintain a Jewish primary school for as long as possible. The future of the community partly depends on our primary children’s education and that is why we should all care and if we have young children make every effort to send them to Calderwood and resist the allure of other schools. If you send your child to Calderwood you can also make a very sizeable donation to charity using even 10% of the fees saved, get tax relief and feel good about yourself whilst knowing your child is getting an excellent Jewish and secular education. The numbers of children in the community may be dropping but there should still be enough to keep Calderwood viable provided a greater percentage of parents send their kids there.

  251. a.n.other said

    246 why don’t you care about the future of this community as that is what Calderwood represents. Or do you not care about the community in general?

  252. M Take said

    I think Jezabel was expressing frustration with the community’s overwhelming apathy. There seems to be only 10 people on this blog with only half of them contributing positively. Is there any hope in the face of poeple more concernded about other peoples business than their own.

    My children will still be at Calderwood in 5 years but Calderwood is not where it ends. We need to look much further ahead than that.

  253. a.n.other said

    Yes we need to look further ahead but not at the expense of what we already have – Calderwood might not be where it ends but it certainly is where it begins.

  254. Ben Avraham said

    #252 Their can be no excuses for jezabels unacceptable behaviour. If she wishes to have tantrums of frustration let her do it in private, not on my computor. She (or he) does a disservice to the school. When you say there are only 5 people contributing positively to this blog I assume your support for jezabel indicates that she is included in your list so I would take her off which leaves four. Oh, now I think about it your judgement in defending her is suspect so that leaves three.

  255. jezabel said

    254, Who made you god of all blogs? I can say what i like! I also think Maccabi is on its way out apart from Bridge theres not a lot on offer. The building is under used.Why cant the youth groups move in there?

  256. NLL said

    Jezebel – I talked (at #191) about a suggestion I made – well over 20 years ago – re a set up whereby a number of different youth groups, arts & sports and activities plus Ivrit and Chodesh classes could be offered in one place as part of a programme – strangely enough I suggested it to Maccabi long before I thought about using the Calderwood site. At the time a couple of people liked the idea, but not particularly linked to Maccabi and hinted that there were discussions going on in the community where they might use this idea – I suspect that was the Community Centre that never was.

    To answer Richard (#196) who picked up on the idea and pointed out that Calderwood might no longer be the best place geographically – I possibly agree, but it has the ideal layout. You could use any of the primary schools in East Ren if you weren’t making it immediately after school – and at the time that was part of the point. I believe Giffnock primary is used for some sort of classes by the Muslim Community at the weekends.

  257. M Take said

    If we exclude Ben Avraham for for his fit of pique that leaves NLL and A Beitz. I think we’re in good hands, personally.

    NLL for President, A. Beitz for Queen

  258. Calderwood parent said

    Hope Jezabel is feeling very proud this evening. You must be the most pessimistic person on the blog… all doom and gloom…Calderwood is doomed… Suggest you start thinking positively and stop throwing out incorrect statistics – Calderwood has a future – there are no plans to change anything at present – and if in years to come numbers drop – then different options will be considered. Thankfully people care about this school more than you do and have a positive attitude towards it.

  259. calderwood parent said

    sorry forgot to add that ” community member” – was spot on about Calderwood earlier today. I am sure many of us know of people who have not sent their children to Calderwood because they think that private must be better. It isn’t. Private schools cannot claim to produce better educated pupils and they cannot offer a Jewish identity. I agree with ” community member ” that if there are particular or personal reasons why parents think their child needs to attend another school so they remove them that is a completely different matter. But what really annoys me though is some people who have never sent their children to Calderwood love to have a real go at Calderwood to justify their position.If private schools are so good why do they have to continually advertise for children to go there? Calderwood is a very good school – ask Dr Duffy.

  260. Shul Goer said

    A Good Week to everyone.

    Now that Shabbos is over I have lots of points to make.

    Personally, I agree with Hershie on #231 that the Kollel School children are being deprived of choice. But my mate in shul this morning pointed out the context in that people like me you only send their kids to Calderwood but do nothing else, particularly at home, are also guilty of not providing their children with choice. I was not convinced by this argument but perhaps he will post and he can put the argument more articularly on this blog.

    I pointed out to my mate that the Rabbonim that I most admire are the ones who have both a university and a yeshiva education. The Italian Sephardic Chief Rabbi is a perfect example in that he is a consultant radiologist who works 3 days week and he concentrates on his rabbinic duties on the other 4 days. He has published both Medical and Talmudic papers and is highly thought of in both fields. Having a secular life is not a barrier to living a jewish life. Surely that is the point of Calderwood, to give our kids a high standard of education in both secular and religious knowledge

    Incidentally, I do agree that the CJE should consult more, but my mate said taht all the information that you need is on the web. I looked and found the school’s website, which looked very impressive, but there was no link to the CJE – or if so I missed it. Could I please suggest that the CJE construct a website and put all the information on it with a link to the school website. Someone must have the IT skills to write in HTML.

    My mate also pointed out that he personally saw communal leaders both from the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, the Scottish Council of Synagogues, the Glasgow Reform Synagogue and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities so the past blogs on this topic are unnecessary.

  261. Non IT Person said

    Is it possible for these blogs to be reversed so that the last post is at the top?

  262. Interested Parents said

    I like the last suggestion, but I have not heard of two of the organisations that blogger 260 mentioned. Are they real?

  263. A Beitz said

    I think shul goers mate may have a point but not in the way he puts it. The parents who don’t send their kids to Calderwood and give them little or no kodesh education (and there are quite a number) are the ones who are not giving their children a choice. Those who go to Calderwood at least have some education in Judaism which does give them a choice later even if they grow up in a non observant home.
    #257 I decline your nomination for me to be queen. Apart from being a republican the Act of Settlement debars me. Thank you however for thinking of me.

  264. Man in Pub said

    I am off for a pint – anyone joining me?

  265. Interested Parents said

    If Rabbis do not send their children to Calderwood but the community parents do; does it matter?

  266. past parent said

    In an ideal world I would love to see a school that met the needs & wishes of both ends of the spectrum, but given the divided views already expressed here on the religious content of the existing curriculum I don’t see it

  267. NLL said

    M Take (#257)- thanks for Presidential nomination, honoured I’m sure – but aren’t these things usually decided by all sorts of cumbersome things like open meetings, votes and such like processes???

  268. Bobby said

    Why are so many of you so interested in religion? Do you not realise that the majority of the community are quite happy with their Jewish identity but are not interested in going to Shul full stop.
    Is religion not quite rightly on the way out?

  269. confused said

    Is man in a pub on a pub crawl cos he/she says he/she is for a pint but he/she is already in the pub?

  270. jezabel said

    calderwood parent [258] jezabel is very proud thank you! I didn’t use any “incorrect Statistics” But on a positive note [just for you] the calderwood disco was brilliant and should become an annual event. “man in pub” see you in the op later!!

  271. M Take said

    NLL

    An open meeting?

    Votes?

    Shame! These things are done by back room carve up, normally. Did the Caller episode mean nothing?

  272. Gerry the Joiner said

    #258 – What statistics did Jezebel mention?

    #268 – As an avid shul avoider I understand where you’re coming from, however as others have pointed out it is a matter of allowing children choice as adults. If they are not given the grounding in Judaism as kids then they will find it much harder to learn as adults. It goes back to early posts about morals, ethics and religion. Judaism is more of a way of life with a many more Laws concerning person:person issues than deity:person. The way we live, how we live is inextricably linked to Jewish teachings.

    Do we follow the model of the rest of the UK where we ‘celebrate’ festivals in a purely intellectual or commercial way and just forget several thousand years of history. If so forget about Calderwood it is an anachronism. To be 100% serious, Calderwood is essential to our kids having a choice about their Jewish identity but is not uniquely so. We also need strong Jewish youth movements, strong examples set by parents and then if by age 18 htey decide to reject part or all of their upbringing it is definitely their INFORMED choice.

  273. Man in Pub said

    Man in Pub with a pint and blackberry

  274. Joey said

    I have been re -reading this blog, and I think that Gerry the Joiner with #109 and #129 was very close to the mark.

    But he and we have had never had an answer.

    What is CJE’s vision and how do they inform us parents

  275. god of all blogs said

    Just back from “Venus” at the Quay though when I read what I have missed in my absenceI think I’ve just arrived on Venus. Recommend it highly. So Jezabel, you’ve been at it again . Perhaps you should change your blog name to Cassandra, much more fitting. If your statistics are correct exactly what are they? How many Jewish children are born within the Community each year and who provides the figures? How many leave the community before school age? How many newcomers have arrived in Glasgow during the period of your statistics? What percentage of those children end up at calderwood. What percentage leave for whAtever reason before p7? Are you including the figures of the orthodox because we may not get them but they are potential for the school. As we have seen, some are already coming.If a few more were to come there could well be a momentum and the conditions created for the rest to come. If you really care about the future, then let us consider how to put in place the conditions necessary for the projected future community, not just enough to see our own children through and then washing our hands of the whole affair.

  276. Ross said

    We went with some friends to see Pursuit of Happyness. Very good as well.

  277. Interested Parents said

    We are just back from having dinner with some other Calderwood parents. We only had one topic of conversation and it was this blog.

    But how are we to going to convert any of this into action?

  278. Gerry the Joiner said

    According to figures from Mrs G’s schoolgate buddy who follows these things, there are now about 15 Jewish children per year (either Reform or Orthodox) plus another 5 ‘possibles’ with non-Jewish mothers on average for the next 3 intake years (2 lots are nursery age already). Current take up is about 85% translating to 12 Jewish kids per year.

    Thing is, the number has halved in 7 years and although the drop has stabilised a bit it is still falling. There are those parents who do not believe in denominational schooling, those who irrationally dislike Calderwood, those who’s kids have educational needs better met elsewhere and those who are either sheep or go private for snob value. This is their choice and long may that situation continue. It is the job of current Calderwood parents, CJE and the school’s job to promote Calderwood as the Primary of choice for Jewish kids in Glasgow.

    This must only be done by positive promotion and I would be annoyed to think that anyone who has chosen other schools had felt tehy were under adverse pressure. I hope that as CL continues to improve that more parents will save the £7,000 per year to give their kids the same secular education and a solid grounding in Judaism.

    We all have our part to play and I hope that loads of us ‘ere bloggers go to the CJE AGM in 2 weeks and show our support. Can a CJE member please post the time and place so we can all book ‘sitters and come along?

  279. Joey said

    Gerry the Joiner has again said something that makes me stop.

    He said “We all have our part to play and I hope that loads of us ‘ere bloggers go to the CJE AGM in 2 weeks and show our support. Can a CJE member please post the time and place so we can all book ’sitters and come along?

    What CJE AGM, this is the first I have heard of it. When, Where etc

    CJE people have been on this blog and have never mentioned it.

    Thanks Gerry for telling us.

  280. Interested Parents said

    At the meeting Dr Duffy put the school roll at 150. When does the school become not viable.
    120, 100, 80?

  281. cassandra said

    Morning Bloggers! I haven’t got exact figures but roughly 16-20 jewish kids born a year, of course there are some leaving Glasgow and others arriving. Some kids both in the school and in the nursery have just sat for the private schools so the roll could fall even further. You will never get the kollel kids into calderwood as mixed schooling is just not acceptable to them.I compile the statistics myself with some help from a man with a beard.Has that answered your questions G-d of all blogs [275]

  282. jezabel said

    [273]Man in the pub, you are spending far too much time in the pub, you need a hobby have you ever thought about joining the rep council?

  283. Ben Avraham said

    It was his time on the rep council that probably drove him to the pub.

  284. Ben Avraham said

    How big a blog are people prepared to read. I have been mulling over the many good propsals so far but feel that they would be at best temporary and at worst end in tears unless a holistic approach is considered rationalising the community organisations buildings and personnel from cradle to grave.This wopuld involve the interconnecting relationships of all the parts and as far as possible everything to be arranged on a multi-use basis. At the moment I have a page of A4 and still considering.

  285. NLL said

    That ‘A’ word’s been mentioned again – seriously I think whilst its important not to loose people who are feeling positive, its equally important not to scare people off. As I said before, this has only been one meeting and 2 weeks of blog with probably relatively few people contributing (although hopefully more after Rabbi Hackenbroch mentioned it in his sermon!) The next few meetings should widen out the discussion and the field of contributors. Surely we can keep talking at the school gate and at dinner parties and wait a month or 2 before charging into action?

    Has anyone been watching ‘Colin & Justin in Arden?’ – not that I’d hold that up as a paragon of Community Development – but, even with a staged set-up and a planned agenda it took 8 -12 months to move forward and who knows what has happened since the film crew moved out. Similar population size, despondent disillusioned committees and we are so lucky to have so much more to start with.

  286. Joey said

    If my new mate Gerry is right that the CJE AGM is in two weeks when are we being told about it.

  287. Interested Parents said

    If the AGM is being held soon, we should all go

  288. confused said

    Gerry the Joiner, Cassandra, Jezabel, Man in a Pub, Friend of Harry the Dog & Ben Avraham all seem to be interrelated or could they just be the same 2 people. I’m of the opinion that there are only about 10 REAL people contributing and if so then this is definitely not representative of our or indeed anybody else’s community. So don’t dear readers believe everything you see posted because some people are just arguing with themselves.

    With regard to the CJE AGM, it is always advertised in a letter in the children’s school bags as well as in the Jewish press so when the AGM comes around I’m sure we will all be well aware when it is so I can exclusively reveal it is not in 2 weeks.

  289. Man in Pub said

    You know the old saying

    Never alone with schizophrenia.

  290. Ross said

    Any other good films that we should see apart from Venus.

  291. Interested Parents said

    Regardless of when the AGM is we should all be at it

  292. confused said

    good choice

  293. past parent said

    talking of films – I see there is a very good series of interesting films being put on as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival, by the newly reformed Jewish Arts in Glasgow. Followed by Jewish Book Day on 25th Feb. These events are great to met and chat informally and shouldn’t be missed

    Contact Adele Conn or book at the Grosvenor Cinema 339 8444

  294. jezabel said

    confused 288, Are you only one person? How strange! I will be at the AGM in my guises and in a bullet proof vest!I’m sure theres more than 10 of us on the blog.Its a bit like celebrity big brother 10 people locked in a blog!

  295. confused said

    I dont know how many people I am thats why I am confused!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  296. Upset said

    This is getting ridiculous. Cassandra sounds so like someone I know who compiles statistics with a Rabbi in Glasgow which does not include children from the Reform Shul. This has been going on for years and thankfully their figures are not taken too seriously.

  297. Interested said

    Spot on “upset” (296). I was just thinking that “Jezabel” 246 seemed like someone I know who makes out they know about communal statistics. Do you think Jezabel and Cassandra are the same person. I do. The people who exclude the Reform from communal figures are working against the best interests of Jewish people in Glasgow and should know better.

  298. jezabel said

    297 Wrong wrong wrong ! I do include reform children so don’t make false assumptions about me.You don’t know me as well as you think you do!I have asked my friend at the reform shul to keep me informed of any births they think i have missed [so there]

  299. A Beitz said

    Am interested to know how accurate the stats are. Firstly by no means does every birth appear in the JT. Secondly with some which do the child is not halachically (from an orthodox or reform perspective) Jewish. Whilst if the child has an orthodox brit the clergy will know about him what about the girls who for some reason form the vast majority?
    I think it must be very difficult to tell. In this year’s P1 Calderwood class the vast majority of the Jewish kids are female. How many of them were in the JT?

  300. jezabel said

    you are right A Beitz [299] its not easy to work out, I do my best and could always do with some help! All but one of the p1 girls were in the JT [not including the muslim girls!]I do my best to encourage ALL jewish children from whatever background to come to calderwood as i love the school although since coming on this blog i’m now a bit wary of some of the parents!!

  301. interested said

    But everyone knows that “the man with the beard” does not include the Reform births. Do you and him then have different numbers. Would you agree that there is a very high percentage of Reform children at Calderwood? As some births are missed according to Jezabel’s friend and given that the man with the beard only counts which births he wants to it would appear A Beitz that these stats are not accurate at all. We had better find a more reliable way of working this out.

  302. upset said

    Jezabel you wrote recently that you don’t care about the future of the school! You can’t have it both ways.

  303. Ben Avraham said

    This is all very worrying. I asked for statistics (#275) and it appears there’s a man with a beard and a friend up the Ayr Rd giving some figures which may or may not be accurate but are certainly not reliable. If this is the nonsense on which we project the future of the community no wonder we have to get someone from outside to sort us out. Is there anyone out there who has the sort of figures I asked for. I doubt the rep council will because as was said some 200 postings ago, they’re too busy handing out spurious titles to each other. What about UJIA. Maybe they’ve got the figures and are going to release them after the 30 year rule or maybe they also go about their business of regeneration without an accurate picture of where they are heading. .
    I’ve noticed that rather than fixing up an old house, builders find it much more profitable to knock it down and start again. They make fortunes from discarding old inefficient structures and replacing them with the latest designs and materials. Maybe its time for us to discard all our outdated institutions and committees and replace them with modern streamlined functional ones.

  304. jezabel said

    iterested and upset also seem to be the same person!There are fair number of reform children at calderwood but not that high and yes i have different numbers. It is very hard to be accurate there are all sort of problems with jewish demography. 1n 1999 the university of Edinburgh department of social policy produced “the jewish community of greater glasgow: population and residential patterns” I don’t know who commisioned it but it is well worth reading.I would love to see a follow up report commisioned but i expect it would be quite expensive. Ben avraham all this talk of builders! you need Gerry the Joiner!

  305. upset said

    Can you tell us whether you care about the school or don’t – as I wrote before, you can’t have it both ways.
    Also – you say that there not that many Reform children at Calderwood. I have been told there are. As you so much love statistics do you know how many? – “a fair number” is not very precise.

  306. Gerry the Joiner said

    I think jezabel’s first post was a wind up and nothing to get upset, confused or curious about!

    Mrs G thinks she knows who Jezabel is and believes that her figures are very accurate. over that last 6 years (or more) the figures compiled by Mrs G’s schoolgate buddy (Jezabel?) have been shown to be accurate by the actual numbers enrolling at Calderwood. As a part of a peer group she also knows who’s had what brand of offspring (male, female, puppy, kitten, rabbit).

    If jezabel’s figures are not absolutely correct (a probability) then they are very strongly indicative. It is actually irrelevant what the precise number is as the number going to Calderwood is affected by parental choice. We should consider only those children of Parent who as, in some way, involved in the Community. I know of several halachically Jewish mothers who have at least 3 primary age kids each but would never consider Calderwood because they are only technically Jewish with 1 Jewish Grandmother. They are NOT included in any demographic calculation I know of.

    Ben Avraham is welcome to the “lets sort the whole schmeer out in a 1’er” club. It takes years to plan and unless we start the planning NOW we will have to do the job under the cosh.

    There are many primary schools with fewer than 90 children and Calderwood should be compared to a rural school serving a small community rather than a big city school.

  307. Past Committee Member said

    What is needed is “community planning” not a discussion of whether Jezebel numbers are accurate.

    Somebody posted a question as to the viability in terms of numbers. In my day it was thought to be about 160 in the school roll but now that number is less. How many children do we have to lose before the ERC closes the school or moves to a joint campus site.

  308. Ben Avraham said

    #306 you seem to know a lot about the working of jezebels mind which, if true, is remarkable. So it was all a wind up. She was telling porkies! And her claim to have given accurate statistics, was that a wind up?

  309. jezabel said

    so now i’m accused of being a liar!very nice! and you wonder why people don’t want to get involved with the community. Upset why do you want to know how many reformchildren there are in the school? does it matter? I f you are THAT interested meet me at the school gate and i will talk to you about figures.The same for ben avraham i’d rather talk about it face to face to avoid any misunderstandings.

  310. Bored with this said

    Am I the only person who is now bored with all of this?

    Everyone is hiding behind false names; we don’t have the answers to the questions that CJE were asked; the date of the AGM was given out in error probably deliberately; the machors on the rep council don’t care; there is a nasty undercurrent against the reform; and a even nastier undercurrent against the Rabbis.

    This blog should be closed.

  311. confused said

    Ah but dear bored with this is still reading and posting!

  312. Bored with this said

    Not any more

  313. volvoc303 said

    Oh yes you are!

  314. Joey said

    I am also very disappointed about the tone and content of Post 310.

    One of his points is OK in that the rep council leaders are all now so old that they don’t care about our school.

    Could we set up some different body that really represents those of us who care not just about the school but also our community? I think this would answer points in 303 and 307.

  315. Gerry the Joiner said

    Sorry to disappoint you BA, it’s Mrs G who claims to understand Jezabel. As a typical male I only understand things, even understanding the cat is beyond me, fortunately the dog is male and keeps the male majority in the house!

    Perhaps it is time for Ben Avraham (and others who only criticise) to make a positive contribution to this discussion. Perhaps a full side of A4 may be pushing his limits but if he’s allowed something sharper than a crayon for a few minutes we may be enlightened.

    Neilston Primary has under 80 kids and is not under pressure to close

  316. Gerry the Joiner said

    Joey
    cf # 226

  317. Joey said

    Thanks mate but I am not sure if I know the difference

  318. P Take said

    If Calderwood produces 317 blogs how many will Israel make

  319. M Take said

    And how many will be rude.

    ……….

    ……….

    Hang on ……. M Take …… P Take ……. are we by any chance related?

  320. A Beitz said

    For those who want change tonight’s Newsnight has an interview between Paxman and a Jewish group (pro Palestinian) who seem to be promoting themselves as an alternative to the Board of Deputies. There’ll also be someone from the BOD.

  321. Gerry the Joiner said

    Quiet in here tonight

  322. History Man said

    Bit concerned about the anti-Rep Council jibes. Re nobody from the Executive being at the Dr Duffy meeting, we are talking about 5 people, and to be fair, we don’t know how many of these 5 were sick, out of town, or otherwise engaged. I agree that the Rep Council isn’t perfect, but before we trash an organisation in existence since 1914, and the only body at least trying to represent all sections of the community… A lot of the Rep Council’s work involves liaison with/representing the Jewish community to the wider community, on a whole raft of issues, ranging from the provision of kosher meals in hospitals to interfaith and multicultural work, relations with the press and the police, CST, JCC, Yom HaShoa etc You may not agree with everything which the Rep Council does, but people are giving up their free time over many years to participate in such activities, so deserve a little bit more respect. Also, it’s not that difficult to get elected to the Council and put in your own twopence worth if you want to change things. Or would people rather there was no umbrella organisation in the community (for the first time since 1914)?

  323. M Take said

    There seems to be a whole lot of anti-anything jibes on this blog which seems to ridicule the whole concept of discussing the future of our Community. If a reasonable debate cannot be held without anyone using their real name because they’ll picked on then clearly this forum is a waste of time.

    Until spring comes and I’m back in the garden I’ve got some time on my hands. That’s MY excuse and I’m sticking to it.

  324. Interested said

    History man tries to defend the Representative Council(322)but the reality is that this organisation has outlived its usefulness and is no longer representative of communal opinion. For years they have stifled debate. They are particularly good at praising each other at their meetings and whenever a subject comes up that they don’t like one of their Honarary Presidents jumps up and suggests ending the discussion. This nonsense has been going on for years. They have as an organisation consistently showed a lack of leadership to the community. As someone posted previously they are too concerned with their own imagined importance than leading the community forward. They are not very good either at dealing with the press and one of their most recent attempts at interfaith work was not to speak out against the ill advised UJIA decision to invite Kilroy-Silk to Glasgow. As usual they did nothing . They have as an organisation held back progress on countless issues.

  325. Past Committe Member said

    I think Interested is talking a load of nonsense and anyway in Post 260 someone posted…………………..
    my mate also pointed out that he personally saw communal leaders both from the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, the Scottish Council of Synagogues, the Glasgow Reform Synagogue and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities so the past blogs on this topic are unnecessary…………………………..

    So what is the big deal

  326. Blog Reader said

    I am not History Man, but I would like to agree with most of what he says in blog 324. My husband is friendly with a current member of the rep council’s big table.

    This guy is out most evenings going to all the meetings that History Man lists. The work may not be sexy but it needs to be done by somebody. We also know someome who could not get a jewish divorce but something happenned at parliament that has changed all that.

    Can someone explain what all these organisations mentioned in post 325 do

  327. Gerry the Joiner said

    The Rep Council is a fine organisation. It is the current incumbents and the setup that needs replaced. The people who have been running it for years have put in huge amount of effort and deserve our respect as such, however it is time for new blood and a new style.

    The Rep Council has a decent reputation and dissolution for the sake of it is a bad idea. This is an integral part of the discussion as we not only need to sort out the Shuls, communal facilities but the decision making infrastucture.

    Again, Coup or Putsch?

  328. Gerry the Joiner said

    putsch n.

    A sudden attempt by a group to overthrow a government.

    coup n.

    Definition: seizure of power, rebellion

  329. To Sum Up said

    If I may I would like to sum up the debate(as I see it) from Jan 22nd to Feb 6th so as all the newcomers (of which I hope there are many) dont have to read through all the Blog.

    Calderwood Lodge

    Nothing but praise for the turn around since Dr Duffy’s appointment and the improvement in attainment across the pupil spectrum. He was quoted at the meeting as putting Calderwood in the top 10% of Scottish Primary schools.

    With regard to the schools future, ERC have confirmed there are no plans to close the school or move it to a shared campus but eventually if numbers drop significantly then they will have to look at the size of our school campus versus the number of pupils and nursery using it. ERC are 100% committed to Calderwood Lodge and currently run at least 2 schools with less than 100 pupils.

    CJE

    The majority of bloggers have questioned the curriculum and how CJE consult with the parent body. Most thought that an annual AGM was not enough to quench their thirst for information and have asked for an open meeting like the DR Duffy lecture in order to better acquaint themselves with CJE’s remit.

    CJE are a small group of individuals who constitute a management committee to oversee the running of the Ivrit & Kodesh Dept at Calderwood Lodge.

    Rabbis

    Most people would like to see the Rabbis send their primary school age children to Calderwood.

    Communal Organisations

    There has been some talk of revamping the way we run our community on a communal basis. Some people believe we have too many shuls for a community of our size and what communal buildings we have could be utilised better if we were to rationalise across the whole spectrum of organisations.

    Action

    A number of bloggers would like to see more action on a variety of areas CJE/Communal Structure/Resources for Post Primary Age children.

    However, due to the nature of blogs I dont know whether its 1 person or 20 people. Suffice to say that if you want to change something for the better there are 3 ways I know of. Either get on the committee and change from within utilising the expertise already in situ (my preferred option) or set up an alternative group and let people vote with their feet or do nothing and just moan enough and hope someone else gets involved instead.

    Notwithstanding all the above (and it is my personal take on the blog to date) what has been stimulated is a generally healthy debate which can only serve this community better and I for one am looking forward to the next blog after our MP Jim Murphy’s talk on the 18th Feb at Newton Mearns Shul.

    I hope I haven’t bored you with this update and been fair across the board. Please accept my apologies if I have missed the main point of your argument.

  330. jezabel said

    329 That was a brilliant summing up you should blog more often!

  331. Past Committee Member said

    Very good summing up

  332. Past Committee Member said

    Why don’t CJE have open meetings apart from the AGM?

  333. Joey said

    I am also happy to agree with blogs 331 and also 332

  334. History Man said

    Didn’t say the Rep Council was perfect, and we could point to bad decisions in most communal organisations over the years – doesn’t mean they should all be disbanded. I just worry that if you take away the only organisation in the community which has the possibility of including all sections (religious/political), it will be difficult to revive it. Doesn’t mean it can’t be restructured. Also, wanted to emphasise that it’s possible to change an organisation from within if you are bothered enough. I think sometimes that this community gets the organisations it deserves, because it’s left up to ‘others’ to run the organisations.

    One of the main problems in this community is that the 20-40 age group doesn’t get involved in the running of many organisations, where they could make a difference, and get to take over at some point- sooner or later.

  335. Gerry the Joiner said

    History Man
    Well put!
    The problem seems to be that as people have families later in life, they are only reasy or have time to get involved from their 40’s onwards. The same group (roughly speaking) has been running the Rep Council for over 30 years and ti has stagnated as a result. What is needed is for enough interested parties to get together adn get involved.

    The obvious starting point is the Rep Council for all teh reasons you state, however the huge amount of time involved remain a problem for most of us who have young families and businesses/professions that leave us with little free time as it is. A case for many hands making light work if ever I saw one.

    A major concern I have is of putting myself up for some post or other and finding myself either trapped as the only fool to stand up and/or being pilloried by the likes of Curious and others who’s only efforts are to denigrate others’ efforts.

    A risk worth taking? I hope so.

  336. Ben Avraham said

    I have had my doubts about the Rep Council as stated in previous blogs but if Gerry the Joiner is considering joining, then I’m joining Exit.

  337. past parent said

    Correct me if I’m wrong – I’m sure someone will;

    My understanding is that the Rep Council is made up of delegates nominated by its constituent communal bodies to represent the interests of that body in a cross-communal forum within the Community AND to work together to represent the Jewish Community in the wider Community?

    If I’m right, then surely those individual communal bodies that require revamping/updating/refreshing need to do so first so that their delegates can then take their newly revamped/updated/refreshed ideas and practices into the Rep Council so it in turn can be revamped/updated/refreshed – if you see what I mean?

  338. Gerry the Joiner said

    #336 I love a challenge. Race you!

  339. Arthur Minute said

    Why has CJE not responded to any of the questions on this blog?

  340. Angry from Newton Mearns said

    Perhaps CJE dont feel accountable to the bloggers.
    “He who pays the piper…..”

  341. Ben Avraham said

    CJE dont pay the piper, the parents pay….

  342. KGL said

    #334 I disagree. This community deserves much better and the answer is to scrap the Rep Council altogether discarding with it a century’s worth of unnecessary baggage. This would be as part of a package restructuring the community to account for modern circumstances such as the need to rationalise the three main orthodox shuls on the Southside which at present haemorrhage money and manpower.Although it would take time there must first be in place an overall plan encompassing all aspects of community life, secular and non secular, orthodox and reform, and which caters especially for the children and youth without whom there would be no future.

  343. History Man said

    KGL – so under whose auspices would this brave new world be under? and who would make decisions? and with what democratic underpinning? And who would decide who could be involved? Orthodox organisations wouldn’t want Reform, and the community would split irrevocably. You might end up just creating a new Rep Council, under another name – and in 5 years’ time you would have the same complaints!

  344. Man in Pub said

    Stayed in last night and enjoyed my Laphroaig

  345. Mrs NM said

    Why do so few parents want to help the CJE instead of critising it. i know there are plenty of mothers who do not work full time and must have some spare time to help. A lunchtime meeting in the school could be a good start.

  346. Past Committee Member said

    I think KGL is out of touch. Over the last few years the rep council has changed as has the care organisations and even UJIA.
    Rationalising sounds good but 3 on the southside – is that Giffnock, Newton Mearns and Clarkston – sorry is that not what we have already. Langside is not open during the week and will close shortly. Garnethill is a nice building and nice for weddings and they got money from outwith the community to stay open, and anyway the archives are there.

  347. jezabel said

    344, I thought that was a breed of dog! 345, Good Idea mrs NM what sort of work do CJE need help with? I’m no good at fundraising for instance.

  348. A Beitz said

    The problem with the Rep Council is that it has a very democratic structure which is completely bypassed. Accordingly you have the Council consisting of the delegates, the executive consisting of 12 elected members, various officebearers and the hon life presidents of whom there are a fair number and the inner exec consisting of about 5 people. In practise however the inner exec decide virtually everything and then bring it to the executive committee and eventually to the delegate meeting. Almost everything is a rubberstamping job. Any attempt to get any genuine discussion tends to be met with the matter being closed to discussion or words such as “delicate” or “confidential” to thwart this. The amount of time that has to be spent to get anything done does rather put off those who have a life. There is now alienation from the community as can be seen by the few people (compared with those eligible) who attend council meetings.
    I have no doubt most of those involved are well meaning but the organisation is top heavy and long winded.and seems to have as its raison d’etre the constant talking up of each other. Would the community miss it if went?

  349. Forrmer Pupil said

    Deligthed to see that Calderwood are holding an Open Day on Tuesday 20th Feb. Dr Duffy will be showing prospective nursery and P1 parents round the school and giving them a chance to see for themselves what be in store for their children. Please spread the word to as many as possible so that Dr Duffy and his staff are kept busy on the day and have areal opportunity to fill the classrooms with new pupils.

    Remember the education offered puts Calderwood in the top 10% of Scottish Primary schools with all those sitting in Primary 7 getting in to a Private school (or Mearns Castle if they live in East Ren) and saving the parents upwards of £7000 per annum to boot. What a bargain. When I have some children that’s where they wil be going.

  350. Past Committee Member said

    Mr Beitz, are you not just over-simplifying a little.

    The two representative councils have to talk to the local and central authorities in order that they (the authorities) are aware of the communities concerns and practical needs. If there was no dialogue with these bodies then our community would be much poorer.

    I know that you know of the value of the some recent successes.

    If there is a separate need for internal reform then that is matter for the people on the councils to consider.

    Man in Pub, I prefer Bunnahabhain to Laphroaig as an Islay malt.
    Ardbeg is not bad either.

  351. Angry from Newton Mearns said

    341 that was actually my point….CJE seems to exist in a bubble where they think they are out of reach and all these blogs seem to prove that that is indeed the case. Someone mentioned an open meeting with CJE…is that actually happening? cos i think that could be the most constructive thing to come out of this blog

  352. not Angry From Newton Mearns said

    #351
    Why would an open meeting with CJE be the best thing?
    What concerns do you have with CJE?
    What exactly do you think CJE could tell you that would ease your concerns?

  353. A Beitz said

    I’m not sure an open meeting held by CJE will resolve anything except perhaps the perception that CJE feel they are not accountable. I think they do a really good job but their silence is not assisting them. They could take a leaf out of Ricky Zinger’s book and urge people to come to their meetings. Despite Karen Levy’s criticism of those who she regarded as going off at a tangent she and her organisation have been conspicuous by their recent silence when their own body has been discussed.
    I think the criticisms of CJE, except in connection with their non responsiveness are unjustified but come on CJE. Deal with them!

  354. Conscientious Objector said

    Is Ricky Zinger not a member of CJE along with other parents with pupils at the school?

  355. slightly confused said

    do CJE want us to come to meetings or not?Is “not angry from Newton Mearns “a member of CJE ? RIIIIIICKY whats going on ?

  356. Bob the Builder said

    I have it on good authority that “Not angry from Newton Mearns” is not a member of CJE just an interested parent who doesn’t really understand the CJE debate.

  357. Prospective parent said

    Great that an official Open day is being held but as usual at short notice and only during a working day. Could a third one be held on the same day but about 6.00pm?

  358. KGL said

    #346 You misunderstand. I am not proposing 3 southside orthodox shuls, in fact I would suggest there is a case for one on the present giffnock site as part opf an all encompassing complex. As for the Rep Council changing, you gotta be joking. Even the Israeli ambassador can’t be bothered coming. I have on occasion attended their open meetings and no matter how awful they are the next one is worse.
    #343 History Man, indeed it would be a Brave New World, and it would mean ruffling a few feathers and sending a few dinasaurs back to Jurassic Park but far better than the community going downhill due to apathy. Unlike some bloggers I’m tired and hungry after a hard days work so will deal with your main points later in the evening.

  359. community member said

    A Beitz is quite right about what he says about the Rep council. It would not be missed at all if it went. It has been said many times on this blog that because one has an interest or enjoys going to committees that is not a reason to allow these people to make decisions if they don’t have ability. By and large the only people who talk up the Rep Council are those who are either currently on it or those who thought they were important when they were on it. If you don’t believe me ask some of the larger communal organisations if they have much time for the Rep Council and you will not get a positive answer. It’s had its day and it is time to move on. Past Committee member(350)seems to be referring to the Scottish Council. The guy in charge of this is held in so much esteem that he was pushed out of the Rep council. Anyone with that qualification or distinction on their CV is not exactly the kind of leader that this community needs.

  360. Ben Avraham said

    #344 Man in Pub Stick to pints. You obviously know nothing about Islay malts if you are bragging to the community that you drink Laphroag.

  361. George said

    The Rep Council think that invited speakers to their delegate meetings. should be punished by having to listen to the Council’s executive officers talk for over an hour about everything they have done over the previous few weeks.They go on and on and on and on and on. Most of the delegates are fast asleep by the time the guest gets to his or her feet. It never seems to have clicked with any of the executive officers of the Council that there might be a better way of doing things – a better way of informing delegates about routine business. No wonder the Israeli ambassador has turned them down twice at least and apparently even one of his assistants didn’t show up but phoned in on their mobile instead of having to turn up. It’s been like this for years – the personalities involved just don’t get it. But most people do realise that this organisation is a complete waste of time. So what do we replace it with?

  362. Ben Avraham said

    Sorry Laphroaig

  363. Ben Avraham said

    #359 Are you saying that the Scottish Council is a refuge for those who have had the ultimate ignomy, to be chucked out of the Rep Council?

  364. History Man said

    As a member of Langside Shul myself, not aware that it is closed during the week. There is a minyan most weekdays at 6pm, used mainly by those saying kaddish, on their way home from work. Not always a minyan, but I gather that even Giffnock has problems sometimes. And we don’t all live in Giffnock/Newton Mearns/Clarkston. Also, some people feel uncomfortable and out of their depth in the ‘wealthy’ suburban shuls – not to mention being unable to afford the seat rents.

  365. KGL said

    History Man, you will note that I left Langside out of the equation. It is well known that it has its own peculiar method of funding and indeed serves a need not catered for elsewhere. I also agree that in the reforms that inevitably will come, there is a dichotomy betwen the orthodox and the reform. It may well be that including the reform in the greater scheme of things may be postponed until a later date when wiser council prevails. The complex would include an orthodox shul, seating 500 with two retractable walls which would be opened when necessary to enlarge the shul. The complex would be made up of units or modules to cater for all possible situations. There would be a council made up of the participants, hopefully all the community organisations who would appoint delegates. They would all have a vested interest and this would de facto become the community council, in fact, it would be a genuine representative council. Do you want me to proceed or shall we get together because I’m just beginning?

  366. A Beitz said

    KGL’s ideas sound good re a new orthodox shul .It should all be on the one level so that females can feel more involved. I do think there is room for 2 orthodox shuls in E Renfrew and the community even in that area is spread out over around 4-5 miles. To some extent Giffnock already has something of a community centre by way of the resource centre and I’m not sure whether the expense would be worthwhile were those organisations at the old Macabbi centre to be moved there. Against that I suppose land is very expensive and were say the Glen at Giffnock to be demolished a purpose built centre could be erected and the ground at May Terrace could be sold for housing which might provide the finance for the plan. Against that more of the community live in NM although I think it has less space and is geographically at the extreme of the community. There’s no doubt that consolidation is required and to some extent the banquetting facilities at the 3 E Ren shuls duplicate each other with it being rare that 2, let alone 3, are required on the same night.

  367. NLL said

    We’d definitely need 2 Orthodox shuls – after all where would people go when they fell out with one????

  368. Tzimmes said

    Cosgrove Care has developed part of the old Maccabi building now ‘Cosgrove Connections’ with some activity areas done to a really high standard. It’s not used all the time and I’m sure they would welcome other organisations who wished to rent rooms which would help offset the cost.

    We don’t always need new buildings, just to make better use of the ones we have.

  369. KGL said

    We dont need two shuls. We need one shul with at least two Rabbis. The two would have different specialities able to to complement each other. One possibly could double as a director of education for Calderwood, or the third employee could be a full time youth worker with a proper brief.The combinations are limitless, as many as our imaginations will permit.The land at Clarkston and Newton Mearns would release enough capital to fund the project and leave enough to invest for a secure future. Cathcart cemetry would now service the united community on the southside and excess land in Glenduffhill would be sold off to ensure the solvency of the burial society. Of course we can, instead, patch up the mess our leaders have got us into and wait until the various organisations go bust and contribute nothing to the pot. Next problem ?

  370. KGL said

    #368 There is absolutely no shortage of rooms to let. This may well help Cosgroves immediate needs and finances but it is this short term approach that I’m sugesting we sweep away. We dont necessarily need new buildings, we need fewer buildings. We need buildings that are functional, multipurpose and relatively inexpensive to maintain.This we dont have. By building such a centre the savings in maintenance, over a period of time, would cancel out the original capital cost

  371. NLL said

    Not sure I agree with those who are advocating only one communal building/complex. I am definitely for rationalising our various premises, but not sure it would work to have all the educational/welfare/religious/youth groups on one site. Apart from the sheer size of building required it might not be appropriate for the welfare organisations to conduct some of their business in such a public setting

  372. not Angry From Newton Mearns said

    I’m with you on this one NLL as unless its got a large amount of different rooms of different sizes its unlikely that all the avialble groups that could use it would be able to meet at their allotted times over a 7 day period (remebering that it might be unavailable over Shabbat).

    #357 Prospective Parent
    I’m confident that if you contacted Dr Duffy at the school then he would be able to fix a visit time that was convenient fior both you and him,.
    The reason for the open day being during the school day is so that prospective users of the service (either nursery or school) can see it in action rather than an empty building. Clearly there is more buzz about a busy working school permeating a welcoming atmosphere.

  373. KGL said

    ~372 There would be many units in the complex of various sizes. More importantly the dividing walls would be retractable, making them multipurpose. The building would not be the preserve of the orthodox, it would be administered by a management committee or council and the various parts leased back to the organisations, some on a long lease such as the shul (99 years?) and others by the hour. The area leased by the shul would in turn be managed by the shul committee and be run under orthodox rules. The rest of the complex would be none of their business. If, for instance, Giffnock shul rented a public hall for an overflow service, it would be none of their business what was happening in other parts of the building.
    #366 I agree that we can still justify 2 southside shuls, but this wont be the case in 10 years time, so you can rationalise now when the financing of the project is easy or you can wait for a forced sale when there is nothing left.

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