Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

Archive for February, 2007

Website Updates

Posted by Admin on February 20, 2007

In response to public demand, we are pleased to announce that the discussion forum on the subject of Jewish education has now been re-opened.

To mark this occasion, we have decided to set up a new page which will be dedicated exclusively to the discussion of Jewish Education and the future of Calderwood Lodge. To participate in the debate, please visit the Jewish Education page.

Additionally, we have also set up another page dedicated to the discussion of issues related to communal affairs. To have your say about the community, please visit the Community Voice page.

In other news, archive copies of the first article written by the Jewish Telegraph’s new columnist, Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch, are now available. To download a copy of Rabbi Hackenbroch’s reflections on Jewish education, please click on the link below:

The Hacken-Blog (pdf)

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The British Government’s policy towards Israel and the Peace Process

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2007

The second meeting in our series of lectures took place this evening, Sunday 18th February 2007.

Jim Murphy M.P. addressed the community on the subject of the “The British Government’s policy towards Israel and the Peace Process”.

Did you agree with his exposition of the Government’s Middle East policy?

We welcome your comments on this issue.

Posted in General | 35 Comments »

A Warning on Unacceptable Content

Posted by Admin on February 13, 2007

Although we have asked everyone to behave responsibly, a comment posted earlier today – Tuesday 13th February – breaches our code of what is acceptable. We have given careful thought as to whether it should be deleted, but we have decided to leave it in place as an example of what is unacceptable. The comment posted could be construed as racially inflammatory and we have sent a warning letter to the person concerned. If this is repeated, we will ensure that the person will be unable to participate in the blog. Once again we ask everyone to behave responsibly.

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Who Speaks on Behalf of British Jewry?

Posted by Admin on February 8, 2007

The question of “Who speaks on behalf of British Jewry” came to the fore this week when a group of prominent British Jews declared their independence from the Jewish establishment.

The group, Independent Jewish Voices, published an open letter in the Guardian, which raised questions about the legitimacy and authority of those organisations which claim to represent the interests of the Jewish Community:

We are a group of Jews in Britain from diverse backgrounds, occupations and affiliations who have in common a strong commitment to social justice and universal human rights. We come together in the belief that the broad spectrum of opinion among the Jewish population of this country is not reflected by those institutions which claim authority to represent the Jewish community as a whole. We further believe that individuals and groups within all communities should feel free to express their views on any issue of public concern without incurring accusations of disloyalty.

In an accompanying article, one of the group’s founders, Dr Brian Klug, set out the case for a more open debate within the Jewish Community:

If there is one thing on which Jews can agree, it is this: it’s good to argue. Jewish culture has thrived on argument – frank, sincere disagreement – ever since Moses disputed with God. But today an oppressive and unhealthy atmosphere is leading many Jews to feel uncertain about speaking out on Israel and Zionism. People are anxious about contravening an unwritten law on what you can and cannot discuss, may or may not assert . . . We are not setting ourselves up as an alternative to the Board of Deputies or any other body. But we challenge the standard concept of “the Jewish community” as a collective entity for which the board is the secular voice and the chief rabbi the religious voice. This system was developed in another era – though it is being used today as a template for other minorities. It pictures “the Jewish community” as a single bloc that, whatever its internal complexity, presents a common face to the outside world via its ambassadors.

We welcome your comments on this issue. (Please note that the discussion forum on Jewish education has now been closed).

Posted in Issues | 101 Comments »

GJEF Video Productions

Posted by Admin on February 8, 2007

We present our latest initiative, The GJEF Video Player™.

To access the player, please visit our new Multimedia page where you can watch Monday’s edition of Newsnight, which featured a debate between Rabbi David Goldberg and Melanie Phillips.

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A Message from the Website Administrator

Posted by Admin on February 7, 2007

It has been brought to our attention that a number of contributors to the Comments forum have been using multiple pseudonyms in order to post replies to their own comments, rather than engaging in a dialogue with other participants. We appeal to everyone who wishes to participate in the debate about the Community’s future to refrain from such conduct, and we ask that you use this forum in a responsible manner.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Jim Murphy Meeting: Change of Venue

Posted by Admin on February 7, 2007

Please note that the venue for the meeting with Jim Murphy M.P. has been changed. The meeting will now be held at Newton Mearns Synagogue. (For more information, see the advert below)

Jim Murphy Advert

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Calderwood Announces Open Day

Posted by Admin on February 6, 2007

Calderwood Lodge SchoolCalderwood Lodge has announced that it will be holding an Open Day on Tuesday 20th February. The Open Day will be divided into 2 sessions, the first starting at 10.45am and the second at 2.15pm. Each session will feature an introductory talk from Dr Duffy, followed by a guided tour of the school.

There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of each session.

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News and Notes

Posted by Admin on February 4, 2007

This week’s edition of the Jewish Telegraph features a profile of Dr Jim Duffy, Acting Head Teacher of Calderwood Lodge. Reflecting on his initial experiences as the first non-Jewish head of Calderwood, he said:

I did expect there to be some resentment. It was quite natural for
there to be concerns about a non-Jew being in charge for the first
time. I’ve been amazed though by the welcome I’ve received. From
day one I’ve had nothing but nice things said and done from parents,
grandparents and pupils. I just hadn’t expected the perspective that
people would be grateful that I took the time to come here
.

The article adds that:

many people will feel some sadness in June when Dr Duffy returns to
St Cadocs. You only need to look at the Blogs on the Glasgow Jewish
Educational Forum website to see how highly he is thought of
.

Quite so. 

The meeting with Dr Duffy received widespread coverage in the press, with feature articles in the Jewish Telegraph and the Jewish Chronicle.  Archive copies of both articles are now available in pdf format:

Jewish Telegraph, Friday 26th January, 2007 (pdf)

Jewish Chronicle, Friday 26th January, 2007 (pdf)

In addition, we also have copies of Dr Duffy’s Powerpoint presentation which accompanied his lecture. To download a copy, click on the link below:

Dr Jim Duffy Presentation (Powerpoint)

In other news, the date for the meeting with Rabbi Professor Naftali Rothenberg has now been confirmed. It will take place on Thursday 26th April. (Venue to be confirmed)

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