Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

Foreign Secretary to Address the Jewish Community

Posted by Admin on September 19, 2008

We are delighted to announce that the Foreign Secretary, The Rt Hon David Miliband MP, has accepted Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum’s invitation to address the Glasgow Jewish Community.

Mr Miliband will speak at a public lecture to be held under the auspices of GJEF, early in 2009. We will advise the community of the exact date, in due course, when we are informed by the Foreign Office.

GJEF wanted a senior member of the British Government to address the community and our first choice was always David Miliband. Local MP, the Rt Hon Jim Murphy, Secretary of State for Scotland, has worked tirelessly to secure Mr Miliband’s agreement to come to speak to the community and we are delighted that he has accepted our invitation to chair the meeting.

Mr Murphy has issued the following statement, and further details can be found on his website

“I am delighted that David Miliband has agreed to visit my constituency to address the Glasgow Jewish Community. Through my work with the community for over 10 years, I am fully aware of the issues that concern you and I can promise you that the Foreign Secretary will address them. I am very pleased to accept GJEF’s invitation to chair the evening and look forward to a memorable occasion.”

In addition to the Foreign Secretary’s talk, GJEF has organised an extensive programme of educational lectures which will explore many of the key issues facing Jews in the contemporary world. Our guest speakers include some of the leading intellectual figures in Anglo-Jewry. The following meetings have been confirmed:

Sunday 26th October: Antony Lerman, Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, will consider the moral responsibilities of communal leadership.

Sunday 16th November: Jonathan Boyd, Director of the JDC International Centre for Community Development, will examine the relationship between Israel and Jewish Communities in the diaspora.

Sunday 14th December: Dr Adam Sutcliffe, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at King’s College London, will consider the nature of the security threat to the Jewish community.

128 Responses to “Foreign Secretary to Address the Jewish Community”

  1. Community Minded said

    Will P Mendelsohn be prepared to tell the Rep Council AGM this Monday that the Foreign Secretary will be visiting the community under the auspices of GJEF? Or will he pretend its not happening just like he did with Alex Salmond’s community lecture?
    Will he tell his colleagues on Monday that the platform that appeals to senior politicians is now obviously GJEF?
    Will he tell the community that Miliband’s forthcoming visit will be THE community event and that it is an astonishing achievement of GJEF to have secured this promise?
    I suspect he won’t. And that is very sad. Maybe one day President Philip will have the integrity to resign because he’s not up to it. When he eventually realises that this would be the honourable thing to do perhaps he will encourage Eddie Isaacs and Graham Sneader to go as well.

  2. not always negative said

    Community minded – is it really necessary to follow this good news with such a negative post? GJEF have pushed the boundaries in bringing some brilliant speakers and opening up a real debate in this community – this kind of negative and overly personal comment just stymies fruitful discussion. I know a lot of people have been put off posting on this blogg – what a shame.

    The Rep Council are largely irrelevant and not worth obsessing about, I’m sure there are far more important matters worthy of your comment???

  3. GJEF supporter said

    I don’t think its personal for “community minded” to ask questions about the suitability of communal leaders to remain in public office.
    These questions are asked about Gordon Brown every minute of every day.
    The Rep Council and Scojec have decided that the First Minister’s lecture to our community never happened. They don’t record it in their review of communal events at all.
    I personally, have no problem whatsoever in ” community minded ” asking whether this will happen also with the Foreign Secretary’s visit.
    I would be interested to know how GJEF will satisfy demand for tickets to hear David Miliband. Who will get the first oportunity to reserve places? And as I went to hear Alex Salmond am I further up the queue than those who boycotted that event?
    Hopefully this post is not too negative?

  4. Telegraph Reader said

    P Mendelsohn is going to be very busy at the Rep Council AGM this Monday if we believe the front page of the Jewish Telegraph. What is the problem between the Reform & the Burial Society, does anyone know. Doesn’t the Reform have its own Burial Grounds? So why would their members want to be buried anywhere else.

  5. Community Minded said

    Nan claims I am negative because I believe President Philip should leave public office.
    If I can be described as negative because I believe this community deserves better perhaps Nan should consider that this is much preferable to being called negligent which is how I would describe those that think the staus quo is acceptable. It isn’t. The only way that change can happen is if people call for it. That’s not being negative – it is actually trying to something positive.

  6. A Beitz said

    You’re at it again CM. You suggest those who think the status quo is acceptable are negligent.
    1 Nan didn’t suggest the status quo is acceptable
    2 Even if he or she thinks it is that isn’t negligent whether right or wrong.
    Stop posting messages suggesting views which haven’t been expressed and then labelling these non existent views. It doesn’t become you or the Blog and you have managed to turn something positive into a go at the Rep Council officebearers. Even if you are right about the Rep Council have you heard the term “Time and a place for everything”?
    Congratulations on getting yet another top notch speaker. Let’s bask in it for a short period.

  7. Community Member said

    No, you are at it again Mr Beitz. Because you and Nan think its negative to comment about the very poor communal leadership this community has had for years doesn’t make your view right. Other people think that it would be beneficial if more people spoke out and said what needs to be said rather than continually keeping their options open. Too many know that things are wrong but say nothing and sit on the fence.
    But I am delighted you have returned after sulking for weeks on end because several people thought you were mistaken on several subjects.
    It’s just a shame you don’t even understand that you shouldn’t break the rules and try and reveal the identities of others on the blog.
    You and Nan think that for some reason it is acceptable to label others as negative but when someone disagrees with you, you sulk and get stroppy.

  8. A Beitz said

    Sorry where am I revealing anyone’s identity?

    Are you also incapable of responding without insults “negligent”, “sulking”,”stroppy”, “shameful” etc?

  9. Community Member said

    And maybe I should add this whilst I am at it. Some people believe that there is a need for a fundamental reappraisal of communal priorities and those who purport to represent this community elsewhere.
    I am only one of them. You and Nan regularly jump in and describe this call for change as negative. I happen to believe it is positive. So stop the personal nonsense about this not becoming me or the blog and deal with the issues please.

  10. Yet Another Community Member said

    I would certainly find Community Member’s postings more understandable if they were written in English. Perhaps he/ she could explain what posting # 9 is all about.

  11. Armchair Analyst said

    Sorry CM, I just don’t know what you mean in #7 when you accuse Beitz of trying to reveal the identities of others on the blog.

    I also think that some of the criticism of Mr. Mendelsohn, even if justified, could have been worded in a less confrontational way.

    Congratulations to GJEF on securing David Miliband. On reflection, prior to his appearance, is there not some way that an improved sense of Shalom Bayit can be attained, regardless of ongoing differences of some here with some on the incumbent Rep. Council?

  12. And Another Community Member said

    What don’t you understand posting no 10? Seems straightforward enough to me.

  13. A Beitz said

    My view as I indicated was that whatever th faults of our communal leaders we should be positive re GJEF getting Milliband who is probably going to become leader of the opposition in the next couple of years.
    I also think the Rep Council really have little relevance to the community now and that it is almost in the situation of a constitutional monarchy except its leaders are elected. Most of those involved are decent people who are working in their spare time and I don’t see the need as AA says to be so confrontational.
    However it is their AGM tomorrow. It’s a chance to go along if you feel sufficiently strongly about it and tell them where they’re going wrong and possibly, although I think nominations had to be submitted in advance, to stand for office.
    Meantime clearly the JC now comes to the blogs for its news
    Sunday 21 September, 2008Sign in RegisterThe Jewish Community Online
    Beta site – Powered by the Jewish ChronicleAdvanced search
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    Woodside Park lines up Glasgow minister

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    From The Jewish Chronicle
    Marcus Dysch
    September 19, 2008
    Woodside Park Synagogue is a step closer to installing a new minister, 10 months after the departure of Rabbi Hershel Radar split the community.

    Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch, currently with Newton Mearns Hebrew Congregation in Glasgow, is believed to be discussing terms with the shul’s management board.

    The JC understands that he will spend a weekend at the North London community within the next month with a view to an appointment.

    Rabbi Hackenbroch and representatives of both shuls declined to comment this week. But the potential move is already being discussed on the Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum website, with one blogger writing: “Woodside Park no less – a good promotion for the Newton Mearns rabbi.”

    An appointment would conclude an acrimonious saga started by the departure of Rabbi Rader, who was offered an undisclosed sum, thought to be around £100,000, to resign. Over 500 congregants signed a petition calling for his reinstatement and the then synagogue officers were voted out by members.

    Last updated: 6:05pm, September 18 2008
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  14. not always negative said

    Please don’t misrepresent what I say – all I said was lets celebrate and applaud GJEF for landing such top notch speakers to stimulate good quality discussion and debate rather than have CM jump in with such a negative first post.

    I am no great lover of the Rep Council, but these sort of comments suggest it still has some relevance in our community. The focus of attention should be moved on to real debate in an open and honest forum which results in positive change and lets just leave the Rep Council to wither and die. The more you bring every thread on this blogg back to the subject and the people involved the more you bring yourself down to their level and play right into their hands by making them believe they are important.

  15. Community Member said

    It is in my opinion necessary to point out that Scojec and the Representative Council actually are damaging the reputation of our community. These two organisations tell the outside world that they are our representatives and that they have the authority to speak on our behalf to local authorities, Government and so on.
    Not only do I believe that their mandate to do this expired a long time ago, if they ever had such a mandate in the first place, but I believe that some of the decisions they have taken are actually against the best interests of the Glasgow Jewish Community. I think that it is necessary to point this out.
    I believe they have exaggerated certain issues in an attempt to influence decisions. I believe and hope that it is becoming apparent elsewhere that they do not speak on behalf of the whole community, but rather a very small part of it.
    Now you may believe this is negative – I don’t. I think it is a positive attempt to bring about an awareness that our community can move on and our community consists of different views and ideas. And hopefully Government – local and national – will continue to see that things here can change for the better.

  16. JC Reader said

    Why are the Chronicle so uninterested in Glasgow that they don’t even mention forthcoming visit of David Miliband?
    It’s no wonder that most of this community can’t be bothered buying this paper.

  17. Rabbi L said

    Shalom Chaverim,
    As we approach the end of another Jewish year I thought that I should post again on the Glasgow blog. At the beginning of a new year we should all reflect on what kind of person we have been over the past 12 months and think of ways we can be a better person in the year ahead. I am always struck that living in the UK, when a year comes to an end, the newspapers and commentaries look back at events over the past year. I prefer to look ahead at what might be in store for the world and the Jewish people in the next year.
    Will the Jewish year 5769 see the first black President of the United States? What a momentous landmark that would be. Unlike many of my colleagues I actually believe that Obama would be good for Israel because he would encourage the country to come to terms with critical choices.
    I don’t think Israel needs a President in the States that tells her everything is okay and the status quo is acceptable.A true friend in the White House would offer candid advice. Unlike Prime Minister Gordon Brown, I am free to say what my preference is, and I hope the Democrats triumph. The positive message that the election of Obama would send around the globe would surely offer hope for race relations and prejudice everywhere.
    And the election of a new Israeli Prime Minister,Tzipi Livni, as leader of Kadima also promises something better. She would be the First woman Prime Minister in Israel since Golda Meir and part of her appeal is that she is not Olmert, Barak or Netanyahu, all faces we know and all Prime Minister’s who failed to bring peace, notwithstanding their other faults. Also, as far as we know, and nothing is ever certain in Israeli politics, there are no corruption scandals around her.
    I see from the Home Page of this blog that the Jewish community in Glasgow are soon to be visited by the Foreign Minister, David Miliband. Now it is just possible that David Miliband could be Prime Minister by then. Mr Miliband is Jewish and the prospect of a Jewish born Prime Minister in the UK is something which I believe demonstrates how far the Jewish people have come in recent years in this country.
    Whilst we must always remain vigilant and always take steps to protect our security from those that may wish to harm us I have never been part of the camp that heightens concerns about our security. Maybe I am fortunate but I do not hear or see much evidence of a genuine increased threat to our safety as Jews living in the UK.
    These are just some of the possible outcomes that may become reality in 5769. I hope that all your prayers will be answered, and even if praying is not really your thing I hope that your wishes will come true. I hope every one of you will reflect on how you can make your lives better and also help those around you to have better lives next year.
    I wish you all Shana Tova – a good new year – and let us all hope that it will be a happy one, and a healthy one. Very few of us appreciate good health until we don’t have it.
    Good luck and let us be positive.
    Rabbi L

  18. Community Member said

    Very refreshing Rabbi L.

  19. Herutnik said

    This morning was the first time in a while that I’ve looked at the Glasgow Jewish Community’s blog as I am home to spend time with family for Rosh Hashanah.
    Now I don’t know if the community believes in fairy stories but having read Rabbi L’s latest post they would have to if they accept any of this wishful thinking.
    Rabbi L must be a member of the smallest club in the world. Orthodox Rabbis don’t believe this. This is Pinko Liberalism with capital letters.
    We all know that Jewish people are under threat and we all know that the world uses anti-Israel rhetoric to attack Jews. Rabbi L probably thinks it would be good for an American President to put pressure on Israel to make concessions on territory so he champions Obama. And Tzipi Livni – a lady that if she even becomes PM will depart office at the next Israeli General election when Bibi sweeps to power. Gordon Brown will last longer than her.
    So let’s not think that Rabbi L is a politician. He’s not. Most of what he advocates would bring great harm to Israel and the Jewish people.
    Orthodox Rabbis are as I said a long time ago part of the nationalist camp. When you turn up in your Shuls in the next couple of weeks and listen to the sermons ,you will realise that I am right.
    Rabbi L is not trendy because he he’s different. He’s just wrong.

  20. A Beitz said

    A wee birdie tells me that a prominent member of GJEF was in the Western Club in Glasgow last week. For those who are unaware this is a swanky private members club and the sort of place a beitz wouldn’t be allowed near.
    Whilst there a bearded dentist who has form with GJEF came over to the GJEF member’s host and made it clear that the said GJEF person was not welcome to become a member. Dr Edlin, for it was he, will doubtless be delighted to know that as a result a membership application will now be submitted.

  21. Al Chet said

    Is the rumour true that since his recent kashrut difficulties he now has Hermolis lunches delivered daily to The Western Club? He is constantly demonstrating that it is possible to be part of the greater world without denying from where you come. Is it any wonder that people of such principle become Community leaders?

  22. Phil Space said

    How distressing to read that a prominent member of GJEF had to have lunch at the Western Club. There’s no doubt that Chaim Jacobs is totally responsible for this breach of kashrut since he, unlike all other restaurateurs, only opens L’Chaims if he is guaranteed to make a profit.
    If Lubavitch really cared about this community rather than their own bank balance he would be open daily.
    Mr Beitz’s birdie has been busy this week because I understand that the same Rabbi Jacobs who bemoans that the community does not support his restaurant once again is not using Simcha Catering, the local supervised caterer, for his own daughter’s wedding later this year.
    I understand that L’Chaims is supervised by the same authority that supervises Simcha. Perhaps Rabbi Jacobs can clarify why he does not and never has supported a local caterer.
    On a happier note I wish all the readers of the blog and the entire community a healthy and good new year.

  23. A Beitz said

    What did his slogan used to be? I think it was “Use it or lose it.” His actions speak a lot louder than words here.

    A happy healthy and sweet new year to all.

  24. Community Member said

    I’m afraid A Beitz is talking to the wrong birdies. Rather than concerning himself with Dr Edlin’s lunchtime habits he should consider how we should react to Scojec’s latest propaganda rag – ” Four Corners “. Now some may be mistaken in thinking that this could be considered a respected publication but those who listen to the right birdies Beitz will know that Scojec are misleading the community about their grant from the Scottish Government.
    Those who cooperate with this nonsense are going to look very silly when the truth gets out.
    The pilgrimage will not be funded again and I think other boasts concerning the apparent £100,000 are also untrue.
    Why will Scojec not tell the truth?
    The justification used by Scojec is that this is all done to promote Jewish life in Scotland throughout the regions and islands where small numbers of Jews may live. Quite interesting that Lubavitch use the same tactics and shout the same boasts
    The community needs to wake up.

  25. Shul member said

    Are you suggesting that Chaim Jacobs and Ephraim Borowski have much in common? Let’s discuss the similarities.

  26. Armchair Analyst said

    For those who wish to patronise Chaim’s in Glasgow, ‘Arf a Kosher restaurant is better than none lad. If Chaim can avoid making a loss, for that is what a full service Kosher restaurant in Glasgow would almost inevitably make, then more power to him. On this issue at least!

  27. Can't tell the difference really said

    Ephraim & Chaim? well, they both have silly beards! and they both are shy, retiring and not very assertive at all.

  28. Can't tell the difference really said

    …and their names rhyme, and no one has a bad word to say about either of them!

  29. A Beitz said

    Let’s see
    One has an AGM the other doesn’t
    One has active adherents that the rebbe is moshiach unlike the other
    One is staffed mainly by paid workers who come from one family whilst the other has one paid member of staff unrelated to the officebearers
    One is cross communal
    One gives those who participate in their activities a voice in the running of the organisation
    Despite the fact they are both engaged in some level of outreach work I think the similarities end there.

  30. Community Member said

    Let’s have a better look…
    Scojec may have an AGM but there is no proper accountability with the community they are supposed to serve. There is no proper consultation on any issue where the community are asked to give their view. It is an AGM in name only, not in any proper meaning.
    The claim that Scojec gives a voice to those that participate in their activities seems a little far-fetched.
    Some evidence of this would be useful.
    Lubavitch is an organisation that doesn’t appeal to me but does to some. Those that wish to utilise their services are free to do so. As long as they don’t send uninvited letters to my children I have managed to keep out of their way for the entire duration of my life. And I hope that continues. It’s not for me.
    Scojec on the other hand claims to represent this community to the wider Scottish community. They have never sought public approval for this and many of their decisions in recent months are contrary to what I consider to be the best interests of this community. NO, Let’s go further than that – some of their recent decisions are actually harmful to this community’s best interests.
    As far as I am aware Chaim Jacobs does not claim to be speaking for me to anyone. Chaim Borowski does.
    So which is the more harmful?

  31. Intrigued said

    Please tell us Community Member what Scojec have done that is “actually harmful to this community’s best interests.”
    Even one example would be a start. Thank you.

  32. Community Member said

    As I have posted before, Dr Kenneth Collins, past chairperson of Scojec initiated proposals to build a Holocaust museum in Rouken Glen Park. He claimed this was the wish of the Jewish Community. Not only did he not consult with our community to see if this was the general view, he did not consult with the experts either. Stephen Smith who visited Glasgow recently was never approached by Dr Collins and he is recognised as the leading authority on the subject and has experience of building a Holocaust museum in Nottingham.
    So the scenario that was painted to the local authority and the Scottish Government was that we wanted this. The substantial difference is that no one was asked. No one was invited to hear proposals before Dr Collins started talking to Council officials and Scottish Government. No feedback was asked for from the community. Dr Collins and Scojec and the Rep Council executive thought this would be a good idea and went ahead in our name.
    If you read the material posted about the Stephen Smith meeting on this blog there is another powerful argument against the Collins proposals. And an expert opinion it is.
    I think this is a clear example of Scojec working against the best interests of our community, pursuing their own agenda and caring little about what widespread feeling may be. Consultation is not something they like to take part in.
    And ” intrigued – post 31 -” there are other examples I could give as well.

  33. Even more intrigued said

    I’ve heard about the Holocaust museum issue before and you have a point community member. But do you have anything else worth sharing with us about recent events that are “actually harmful to this community’s best interests? “

  34. Learned Friend said

    Having followed the thread of this discussion I think the time is opportune for me to now contribute.
    I think it is in the public interest to share the following information with readers of the blog.
    A few months ago my attention was drawn to a recently written book by Dr Kenneth Collins. This book was a Scojec publication and Dr Collins was assisted in his endeavours by the Director of Scojec, Ephraim Borowski, and Leah Granet.
    When I looked at this book about “Scotland’s Jews” I was directed towards page 48 and read the following statement:


    I was very surprised that this sentence had been included and my first thoughts focussed on why Dr Collins and Scojec had not arranged for the book to be scrutinised very closely before publication.
    As time has passed my initial worries have been proven correct. Statements like this that are potentially defamatory are potentially very damaging to our community’s best interests.
    If one now looks at the same chapter of the book, which can be found on the Scojec website, the sentence has been taken out so we can deduce that there has been a problem here.
    It would have been better to have been more prudent and Dr Collins and Scojec should exercise much greater caution before castigating others with accusations of anti-semitism. My research has discovered that through the threat of costly litigation Scojec and Dr Collins have been forced to correct a bad mistake.
    I am a keen supporter of Israel and have no association or regard for this Palestinian group but I do not think that it helps our cause as a community to accuse others of demonising Jews unless we are absolutely sure of our research and the results. I note even in the amended version that the phrase “anti-semitic incidents are increasing ” remains. I am troubled by this because I understand that this would not be corroborated by any independent law enforcing agency or by any independent statistical analysis.
    Most of you reading this will be unaware of this story about Scojec and the negative consequences for our community. We often read about Scojec exclusives in the front page of our community newspaper. Perhaps the reporter who writes these stories will wish to investigate this affair further.


  35. still not shocked said

    OK- there have been some misjudgements made by some of our communal leaders. And if YOU were in charge of the community, or I was in charge, WE would never make ANY mistakes.

    So what’s the way forward? Do we aim for a situation where there are no communal structures in place? Who then decides what is ‘actually in the community’s best interests’? Is it MY priorities? is it YOURS?

    And what do we tell the government officials? Don’t listen to anyone who calls themselves the representative of the Jewish community. Instead, you have to ask me, Learned Friend, my neighbour Mr Cohen, my Aunty Becky etc what they all think. And if you ever get round all 6 or 7,000 Jews in Scotland, THEN you’ll have the full story of what the community wants.

    It’s all very well to criticise, and of course if you yourself were leading the community, YOU would never make any mistakes at all, so we would be fine.

    Other than getting involved in existing structures, along with likeminded others, and trying to effect change and evolution from within, or actually setting up a rival Federation of Jewish Communities north of England, what then do you suggest can be done?

    We can have blogs aplenty and lots of meetings with speakers, but what actually will change in the community, and when will it actually impact on the real world?

  36. are you sure of your facts? said

    Community Member

    Re the proposed Holocaust Centre, my understanding is that the idea came from the Scottish Executive and East Ren Council and that there were meetings to talk about its feasibility. A delegation from East Ren Council and the Rep council went to Beth Shalom to look at their project and met with James Smith (Stephen’s brother).

    As usual, the full story is more complex than sometimes appears on this blog, because there are 2 sides to the story.

  37. Armchair Analyst said

    I don’t know, I wasn’t there, but it seems a bit of a stretch that the idea for a Holocaust Centre would originate from the Scottish Executive or East Ren Council without some politician or other being primed initially behind the scenes by a senior SCOJEC or Rep Council committee member.

    To the previous poster: I’d sure like to know when this idea was first exposed to open debate in the community by Dr. Collins, how the original approach from the Executive or East Ren Council came about, and following this, how much quantifiable community support there was for it?

  38. Community Member said

    I’m absolutely sure that I’ve got the story correct no 36. Dr Collins informed East Ren that he wanted this Holocaust Museum in Rouken Glen Park and the first the general community were aware about these plans was when the story appeared in the Jewish Chronicle.
    There has NEVER been any open debate or discussion about this in the Jewish Community and the blunt reality is that Dr Collins and Scojec/REp Council have no idea whatsoever if there is any communal support for any Holocaust museum because they have never consulted the community about it.
    The visit to the Nottingham Holocaust Museum was not undertaken to ask for expert advice regarding a possible similar venture in Scotland. Stephen Smith made it very clear that he had not been asked for his opinion about a Scottish museum when he addressed a GJEF public meeting on this subject. If official advice or opinion had been requested it would have been given but there was no official request at any time.
    So let’s not try and muddle the story.
    And this is not a minor misjudgement either. It is institutional failure to deal with issues properly and those that find caveats and excuses for this failure will hopefully one day realise that these failures are major, not minor. Supposedly representative bodies have an obligation to consult properly. When they don’t they are no longer useful.

  39. are you sure of your facts? said

    We are not going to get anywhere here in this argument. You say you are reliably informed of X but I say I am reliably informed about Y.

    My understanding is that the initial idea came from Jack McConnell, who had spent time visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, and also that East Ren Council insisted on the idea not being made public at the early stages of feasibility study.

    Again, my understanding is that a group from East Ren and the Rep Council had an hour-long meeting with Stephen Smith’s brother at Beth Shalom to discuss how the centre was run. So are we now arguing about whether the brother’s advice was ‘expert’ or not?

    I think you are blowing up this situation to make it seem worse than it is/was.

  40. Community Member said

    Well perhaps you can answer the following:
    Do you think it is acceptable that the first the Jewish Community knows about the proposals to site a Holocaust Museum in Rouken Glen is when they read it in the Jewish Chronicle? Kenneth Collins was quoted and it was quite clear that it was his project.
    No one other than Kenneth Collins has publicly supported the Rouken Glen option. There seems to be little enthusiam for this from East Ren, Scottish Government, and if you read Stephen Smith or even heard him , he certainly would not think this is a good location.
    But the main issue here is Kenneth Collins pursuing an agenda alongside Scojec/Rep Council without finding out what the community might want and think.
    It seems be a recurring theme this – doesn’t it?

  41. A Beitz said

    Meantime I am confused. I read on page 16 of this week’s Jewish Telegraph that the fast commences on Sunday night. Does this mean I should be in shul and fasting at this moment?

  42. JT Reader said

    Things must be really desperate in the Beitz household if Mr Beitz is reduced to reading an article headlined “In the Kitchen”.
    Or perhaps Mr Beitz is a restaurateur. Is it possible that Mr Beitz is a pseudonym for Chaim Jacobs? His confusion concerning the date of Yom Kippur certainly gives weight to this theory.
    Come on Mr Beitz own up!

  43. CJ said

    Given that the fast concludes 19.23pm Thursday, in your case, yes.

  44. are you sure of your facts? said

    JT Reader (what an admission!). Are you saying that Chaim Jacobs is A Beitz?

    Is that libel, Learned Friend? Does A Beitz have a case?

  45. Chambers Webster said

    Beitz: Person of low character, prone to unprovoked assaults verbal or physical, a West Bank Rabbi.

  46. Admin said


  47. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    I find posting 46 quite scary. Once again our self appointed leaders have at best been thoughtless (see postings about Scojec traipsing round the West Bank) but more probably arrogant to the extreme and thereby compromising our community. They think anything goes; they are untouchable, beyond criticism and accountability which for them is order of the day. Well the chickens have come home to roost and it is time for poor WS to come forward and explain what is going on. Tough on him to have lifted the poison chalice but glory has a price and the opportunity to sup at the table of diplomats and ambassadors (unless you are kosher) is going to prove very expensive.
    Posting #35 asks whether you or I would make mistakes were we in charge. I, for one, would certainly make mistakes but I would never hide from those I purported to represent, I would be honest and upfront. And I would resign if I did not have the confidence of those whom I would represent whether or not I felt justified in my actions. #35 brushes aside the opinions of Mr Cohen, his Aunt Becky and possibly most of the six or seven thousand Jews in Scotland. Therein lies the problem, for so do they who would be our representatives.

  48. A Learned Friend said

    I note with surprise that you have chosen to edit the sentence I quoted from Kenneth Collins’ and Scojec’s book because it was “potentially defamatory”. This sentence has now been removed from the latest edition of the book and as such it is reasonable to suggest that the charge in question would not have stood up to any proper detailed scrutiny. The author of the book and the organisation that published it made a serious error of judgement. Anti-semitism is a very serious offence and rightly so. It does not help our community’s cause when it is used against people without detailed facts to support the claim that would withstand cross examination in court. The advice to have removed it will most likely have been given because legal action against Dr Collins and Scojec would have been successful. Actions taken by communal figures that can result in costly litigation and results which may be very detrimental to our community’s standing elsewhere deserve to be brought to the public’s attention. I will continue to research this further and will publicise my findings.

  49. Shul Attendee said

    I wish everyone a good, healthy and peaceful new year. In Shul today I picked up a little leaflet by Scojec – updating their activities – October 2008. The piece about the Scottish Interfaith Pilgrimage was interesting. They visited many different places. I know that their have been posts on this blog concerning trips to Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs and a talk by settler leader David Wilder. There is no mention of this in the resume.
    Are Scojec now so embarassed by this part of the pilgrimage that they don’t want to mention it again? Or does anyone else have another explanation. I would be grateful if anyone could give me an answer.

  50. Worried - Gibson Street. said

    If Scojec and Dr. Collins have been forced to remove this sentence from their book then I would have thought that there must have been a settlement between them and The Palestinian group involved. Was compensation paid as well ? Are trustees of a charity (Scojec) allowed to use the charity’s funds for this kind of thing or would they be liable personally? As Mr. Salmond wrote the foreward, I wonder what his thoughts were on this whole affair. Maybe someone should write and ask him.

  51. Labour Party Supporter said

    Scojec and Dr Collins may have made a mistake. That appears obvious. However, the First Minister does not look too clever either. If he is in such a hurry to write forewords to books that I presume he has not read, can he not find someone to read it for him before he signs it off? Is this not incompetence? If this book was the subject of legal action Mr Salmond must now know something about what’s going on. I’m quite sure that if the First Minister has asked Scojec and Collins to remove the offending sentence they would have been only too happy to oblige. No one with any commonsense would do otherwise. So what happened First Minister? Where do you stand on all of this?

  52. Alex S. said

    Do you think I’ve got the time to read every Vanity Publishing book that I write the foreward to?

    Actually I read the book in question, but I fell asleep at page three.

  53. Shul Attendee said

    Well if the First Minister doesn’t have time to read books before he writes the foreword, I’m prepared to bet that he won’t do another one for Scojec after this.

  54. Scepnik said

    Surely the First Minister would have read the book very carefully, or more likely, had his legal department check it. They must have been happy with what they read.

  55. you expect too much said

    IMO, it’s a bit naive to think that anyone will have closely read ‘Scotland’s Jews’ before the FM submitted a forward. At best, some official will have had a cursory glance at the contents and the chapters and approved it. An official will then have written the forward.

    Despite all the blogs, and despite the offending sentence, the book itself is not THAT bad! It’s a useful overview for visitors, students etc, and there’s nothing comparable on the market.

  56. Learned Friend said

    The previous comment makes me even more worried about what is going on. I am delighted that there is nothing comparable on the market when this book is the subject of such contoversy.
    Apart from the sentence that had to be withdrawn there are other comments that are included which I seriously doubt stand up to any proper research. It is easy to make glib generalisations and expect readers to accept them but if one looks for the evidence and some proper documentation there is nothing there. Dr Collins states that anti-semitism is increasing but provides no factual evidence for his conclusions. No crime statistics are given that are confirmed by any police authority or the crown prosecution service. More than likely he has jumped on the CST bandwagon that continually exaggerates the problem. I always have believed that we need to remain vigilant and take any incidents seriously but I do not believe that the situation will be helped with hyperbole. I have heard that the CST do not wish to debate these issues within our own community but instead they send continuous reports to the wider world explaining the worsening situation.
    It seems that the Collins/Scojec book is doing the same.
    As such it is not a useful overview at all. Books that cause harm and embarassment should not be on students’ reading lists unless they will be the subject of academical tutorials to properly discuss the contents.

  57. you expect too much said

    You are entitled to argue about whether antisemitism is on the increase, as is the author of the book.

    I don’t imagine that there are huge numbers of antisemitic incidents, but neither would I expect them all to be reported to the police, so the police crime figures in this respect will also be open to debate.

    Again, you are concentrating only on one small part of the book, when the rest of it fills a gap in the market.

  58. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Of course you are right YETM. The author may argue what he will. I have much respect for the author, enough respect to regard him as an academic. As such he must stand or fall as an academic, and in this section he fails miserably. He provides absolutely no evidence for his claims and accusations, instead talks of perceptions and feelings and even there admits on occasion that they are without reasonable foundation. You, yourself, are quite entitled to make unsubstantiated postulations, but that is because you make it clear it is your imagination and not facts.
    I confess that I was put off right from the beginning of the section on ‘Discrimination and antisemitism’. It began with 7 bullets defining behaviour that may offend Jews. The first five lacked any examples or clarification.

    Now I come to the sixth bullet.It concerns failure by authorities to provide kosher food, I presume, where Jews may be present. Is this the Rep Council to which they refer? Is it Friday night schmoozing with the Israeli ambassador that comes to mind. Regrettably no. It is an impertinence on behalf of the author to gripe at authorities who must listen to many voices, when they themselves are embarrassingly silent as to our own Council’s blatant disregard for communal proprieties.

    In the 7th bullet the author complains of the use of BC and AD instead of CE and BCE. If this is an example of insensitivity or antisemitism as suggested, then I am guilty as charged. I have no statistics but suspect that the overwhelming majority of our community (maybe even you,YETM) are quite comfortable with BC and AD. As such I would ask whether this section has been written on behalf of the Community, or rather , on behalf of Scojec.

  59. lghten up said



    BC=Before Collins
    AD=Antisemitism Detected
    CE=Collins Elected
    BCE=Borowski Chairman Elected

    Or is something else?

    IMHO there is FTM jargon going on in here!

  60. A Beitz said

    Maybe LU can answer why Rangers supporters seem to have a thing with File Transfer Protocols?

  61. Community Member said

    Nachman, you are right. This book is poor, very poor. If it represents what the author and Scojec think and is indicative of the seriousness that they research issues concerning the community or prepare reports for MSPs then it is time they were replaced by something much better.
    Why anyone would have confidence that these people will represent our position effectively or accurately is beyond me. They see the world very narrowly, and do not consider whether they are representing positions correctly. Many before have raised issues regarding accountability and consultation but the reality is that Borowski, Collins, Sneader and co don’t bother themselves with this. They have found a tool and continually use it irresponsibly to serve their own wishes and desires. Just read what has been written in the last few weeks about Scojec concerning a number of issues and you can only wonder how they have managed to convince anyone. I suggest that those who fund this organisation think again.

  62. Back from outer space said

    Community Member – when is your magnum opus ready for public consumption? Yes it is dry and strangely lacking in depth, however it is better than you or I could manage and is aimed at the Tourist Info market for which it is fine.

    It seems to me that all this moaning and complaining is simply as much hot air as you find at an average Rep Council meeting and almost as effective.

    The thing is we get the ‘leaders’ we fail to turn out to vote for and it is no use complaining about the people who run our community as they are the very few who put in the effort. I’m not very good at explaining these things so let me quote a minority interest magazine of the late 80’s.

    ” …..Running a club and organising club events takes up a great deal of time and entails a great deal of hard work. Yet the ones who put in all the hours necessary to keep the club alive, and work very hard to make it a success, seldom complain. …… Inevitably, if only a few people can be bothered to spare the time to devote to planning and organizing events, then those events are going to reflect their interests …
    Club activities reflect the interests only of those members who take an active part in the club. If the club doesn’t cater for your interests, don’t blame the club officials, or the other members. I’ll leave you to guess who you should blame.”

    So kol hakovod to GJEF for organising events, although many find the subject matter repetitive and boring, at least they are doing something, however all this complaining about Scojec/Rep Council is wasted effort. If you don’t like it (and you don’t) and think they don’t represent your views (and again they don’t) then stand for election and get voted in then everyone else can complain about YOU!

  63. lighten up said


    (For the unitiated to the jargon here – Well said Back From Outer Space)

  64. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    In that case, what is the jargon for ‘Well said Back Outer From Space?’

  65. A Beitz said

    I have recently received an email from GJEF telling me of a public meeting on 26th October at 8pm in Giffnock Shul Reception Area entitled
    “Does the Jewish Community GetThe Leaders it deserves?
    Representation and Responsibility in a Time Of Crisis”
    The speaker is Tony Lerman.
    Seems to me that this is germane to the discussion which is ongoing on this blog and could be an interesting meeting.
    Personally I think the community does get the leaders it deserves although I am not sure we are in a time of crisis. Is the meeting advertised on this site? If not is there a reason? Is it poor leadership?

  66. not always negative said

    Beitzy – the meeting is on this site – go to the top left of this page, under categories then click on meetings.

    But I think it would be good if admin inserted a wee note into the discussion from time to time drawing upcoming meetings to people’s attention as this site is not brilliantly easy to navigate.

  67. Planet Earth said

    I think some of those posting recently need to return to this world because they are living currently on another planet. Comment 62 refers to the GJEF educational programme – ” many find the content repetitive and boring ”
    Perhaps those that come on to this blog to defend organisations which have either done very little in recent months or have actually done things which are potentially harmful to this community should consider what GJEF have actually undertaken in recent months.
    I am not a member of GJEF but I do support what they are doing and hopefully one day if asked I might try and help.
    This organisation are independent from any others communally and as I see it they arrange meetings based on what they think is necessary for communal discussion. They are able to do this because they dont wear 10 different communal hats – are capable of taking on others’ vested interests when appropriate.
    But let us look at their recod and the content of their educational programme and public meetings. Apologies if I have missed any but I think you will get the message from the following.
    1. Dr Jim Duffy – The future of Calderwood Lodge
    2. Jim Murphy MP – Government attitude towards Israel
    3. Jonathan Freedland on Israel
    4. Mona Siddiqui – Attitude of local Islamic Community towards
    Israel and the Jewish Community
    5. Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg – Orthodox Jewish Attitude towards
    non Jewish Israelis
    6. Jewish Council Racial Equality
    7. Community Balloon Debate
    8. Alastair Falk on Jewish Education
    9. Tony Lerman on anti- semitism
    10. Stephen Smith on Holocaust memorialisation
    11. Fiona Hyslop – Scottish Government Education Minister
    12. First Minister Alex Salmond – open lecture to community

    And what have they now got planned?
    Tony Lerman on responsibilities of communal leadership
    Jonathan Boyd on relationship between Israel and the Diaspora
    Adam Sutcliffe on nature of security threat to Jewish Community.
    And of course Foreign Minister David Miliband.

    So lets not hear and read nonsense about this educational programme being repetitive. What other communal organisation in Glasgow involved in any way with education can claim anything remotely similar?
    I know which organisation tackles difficult subjects. I know which organisation is capable of stimulating real debate. And I know which organisations have failed us, do not represent us properly and have outlived their usefulness.
    GJEF have filled a void communally. I hope they remain successful because our community will be better for it. Only those that are threatened by GJEf stimulating real debate about communal issues have something to lose

  68. A Beitz said

    Strange, for someone who’s not a member of GJEF that sounded suspiciously like a party political broadcast. PE must be a GJEF groupie but if wanting to join why doesn’t he/she contact admin?

  69. Planet Earth said

    Deal with the content please Mr Beitz. Are you one of those threatened by GJEF stimulating real debate or do you support the organisation in its endeavours?
    Don’t worry about me wanting to join GJEF. I may be more useful arguing their case from the outside.

  70. A Beitz said

    I’m threatened. What do you think? For someone who seems to have researched the organisations ac tivities in detail you seem to less able to read te postings. I think from these you woulod know I support the organisation.

  71. Moses said

    Maybe you could enlighten readers of this blog A Beitz if you post comment 70 again. Hopefully this time you will be a little more coherent and free from whatever poisons may have been affecting you last night at 2.15am. What are you trying to say?

  72. A Beitz said

    Moses should not confuse poor typing with inebriation. When I’m sober my typing is still a good deal worse than a drunken secretary. However for what it is worth in the scheme of things I do support GJEF generally.
    Meantime those who were in Giffnock Shul on the day of Simchat Torah will have heard Rabbi Rubin, addressing the wife of one of the celebrants, having a dig. He spoke highly of her communal work and contrast that with “the anonymous posters on blogs who criticise but do nothing.”

  73. Community Member said

    I’m quite sure that if Rabbi Rubin had serious concerns about this blog he would have approached GJEF directly to discuss it.
    As far as I am aware he has never done so. That says a great deal. He’s obviously not that bothered.

  74. not quite so sure myself said

    CM – how can you be so sure about Rabbi Rubin’s attitude towards the blog, when he specifically mentioned “the anonymous posters on blogs who criticise but do nothing?’

    I’ve heard a number of people in the community express misgivings about the negativity of the blog.

    It’s great to have public discussions about communal issues, and of course GJEF are to be praised for getting good quality speakers. But good quality speakers have been brought to the community by many organisations over the years. What we don’t see is anything concrete coming out of all this to replace the infrastructure we already have.

  75. NLL said

    Indeed when several of us posted with suggestions and ideas about various things that could be done – future planning processes etc, they were ignored or it completely killed the discussion.

  76. Ken Wood said

    There has been much criticism on this blog of the Rep Council in general and of Drs Collins & Sneader and Messrs Kliner, Mendelsohn, Sneader, Borowski & Edlin in particular (apologies if I have omitted anyone). The general thrust is that the Rep Council is an anachronism and that the new kid on the block (should that be the blog) is the GJEF and that they are leading the way.
    I understand that the GJEF comprise of Tony Tankel, David Barnet, Derek Livingston, Nick Naddell and Jeremy Stein.
    Perhaps someone out there can enlighten me and the community as to why this not so famous five can claim the moral high ground. OK so they have brought in a couple of high quality speakers; hasn’t the Rep Council and others also done this?
    Mr Beitz who is a regular poster in post 72 says “However for what it is worth in the scheme of things I do support GJEF generally”. What does this mean?
    Does Nachman Aaronovitch another regular poster and avid critic of the current set up think that any of this motley crew would be better that our current Rep Council president?
    Does anyone think so?

  77. Do We Kno said

    What exactly are you on about Ken Wood

    1. When have GJEF or those members of it “Claimed the moral high ground”?

    2. Why do you describe the 5 members of GJEF as “the not so famous 5”?

    3. I think David Barnet spells his name “Barnett”.

    4. When recently have the Rep Council brought in any speaker of note?

    5. I think Mr Beitz saying “in the scheme of things I do support GJEF generally means ….eh …. that in the scheme of things he supports GJEF generally!

    6. Why are GJEF ” a motley crew”?

    7. Who is the current Rep Council President?

    8. Why is Gerry The Joiner not still on here?

    9. Why cant Celtic score a goal (let alone a win) in the Champions League?

    10. Why?

  78. Anna Crony said

    The Rep. Council have on more than one occasion deliberately stifled highly relevant comment and debate on the subject of Israel at meetings they have organised that were open to the community.

    From what I know of GJEF, they have never made their platform the replacement of the Rep. Council by themselves. What they have done is to provide both live and blog forums for both educational lectures and debate on subjects that are of significance and interest to the local, and often the greater, Jewish community.

    If the Rep. Council had merely tolerated debate on certain issues important to local and World Jewry at past meetings, they would probably have been allowed to go on their merry boring uninspirational way, legends in their own minds. But arrogance and hubris brought them down.

  79. Planet Earth said

    GJEF have been quite open about what they stand for. There is no secret. When First Minister Alex Salmond addressed the Jewish Community, GJEF made their position quite clear…. I took notes.
    “We want to have a conversation with the Glasgow Jewish Community. GJEF want a vibrant active community that is pluralistic in its outlook and where a diversity of views is welcomed rather than feared. Many of us have children growing up here and are committed to a future in Glasgow. We want a community where discussion and debate on all sorts of topics is encouraged and accepted and where proper communal dialogue and discussion can be embarked upon. ”
    It seems to me that GJEF are trying to do this – look at their forthcoming lecture series.
    I repeat what I wrote in post 67.
    ” I know which organisations have failed us, do not represent us and have outlived their usefulness. GJEF have filled a void communally.”

  80. blogged out said

    Still feel that this blog is becoming very repetitive, and constantly going over the same themes, without giving any concrete alternatives for the future.

  81. A Beitz said

    Since some people seem to think my views on GJEF are of interest I should maybe clarify post 72. The words “in the scheme of things” referred to “For waht it’s worth”. Putting it another way I support GJEF generally. Since GJEF holds little in the way of positions on matters other than that a debate about how we want our community to be is important the support must be general since GJEF is general.
    From what I know of the 5 people who were involved in the setting up of GJEF they hold different opinions on many things and therefore cannot enunciate a collective viewpoint on very much.
    Having said that I agree this blog can be repetitive. A bit less of a few posters slagging off the Rep Council and Scojec wouldn’t be a bad thing. A bit less personal criticism of people who are in these organisations would be even better.
    Meantime have we got the leaders we deserve? Discuss that at tomorrow night’s meeting.

  82. Do We Kno said

    Should A Beitz now be referred to as A Mensch?

  83. Stickler said

    I assume, BO, that you are talking about ‘choices’ for the future, not ‘alternatives’. There can be only one alternative. Sorry to be a stickler but I find such loose use of English very disconcerting.

  84. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Come off it, Beitzie. If you had included your own bete noire, Lubavitch and associated personel among those to be handled with kid gloves, I could almost have taken you seriously. As such, your comments can only be regarded with disdain

  85. A Beitz said

    The difference between Lubavitch and the other organisations is that as far as I am aware the formers personnel make a very good living out of the community whilst the latters office bearers are unpaid volunteers and therefore worthy of some sympathy.
    However if it makes people happy I’m prepared to refrain from criticising Lubavitch, its moshiach and its self perpetuating oligarchy in Glasgow.

  86. Phil Space said

    Mr Beitz you have made me very unhappy! I think you should continue to criticise Lubavitch, its moshiach and its self perpetuating oligarchy in Glasgow.

  87. Not Another Macher said

    Whatever work Lubavitch do – good, bad or indifferent – they are not elected (or even invited) into most Communities – ref the new Chabad ‘Campus Rabbi’ in Edinburgh. They will not work with a lay committee of any shade and seem to have trouble with the authority of the Chief Rabbi’s office. They have their own agenda and aren’t accountable for what they do, except to some dead Rabbi in America.

    I find this deeply worrying – and quite different from any petty arguments about who stands for and is elected to our various communal bodies. That is quite easily remedied – join (yourself or with a few other like minded folk) get onto said committees and change things if you so desire.

    What meetings can you go to and where can you get a report of the work (& finances) of Lubavitch? What body can you contact with a complaint, suggestion or even a compliment?

  88. Blog watcher said

    Mr Beitz you are a hypocrite. What about your attacks on this blog against Paul Edlin and Philip Mendelsohn?
    It seems to me that if you don’t like someone or something then its okay to have a go. But if you like the people involved or have reasons to stick up for them then you think its negative and unwarranted.
    Readers of this blog sussed you out weeks ago.

  89. Jewish student said

    Not Another Macher is obviously well acquainted with Jewish student affairs.
    Did the Chaplaincy Board not employ a chaplain who everyone knew was a Lubavitch Rabbi?
    Did he not remain in his post for about 10 years?
    Didn’t seem to bother that organisation so why does it bother you so much?
    Why don’t you follow your own advice and join the Chaplaincy Board with some friends and change things?

  90. Not Another Macher said

    There is a difference – as far as I am aware the student Chaplain was employed by and accountable to the Chaplaincy Board – Lubavitch or not.

  91. A Beitz said

    I am always suspicious of people such as B W who claim to be psychic ie know what readers of this blog think. As far as I can recall my criticism of both these gentlemen has been in short compass and not repetitive as claimed. However if that’s hypocriticial I stand convicted.

  92. Blog Watcher said

    And what about your vilification of JLGB on this blog?
    Another example of attacking those you don’t like ? But that’s ok because according to you its fair game but if you like the organisation then criticism is apparently unwarranted.

  93. A Beitz said

    Are you a stalker BW?
    If you can’t tell the difference between dislike of the ethos of an organisation, which I have expressed with JLGB ,I have a thing about militaristic and quasi militaristic youth groups, and personal criticism on a repetitive level then that explains the tone of some of your posts.
    And having criticised the constant repetitive stuff about Scojec and the Rep Council you then accuse me of saying criticism of these organisations is unwarranted. That jump is I am afraid rather akin to the jumping by a person who posts under another name on this blog.
    And if I criticise an organisation it does not mean I don’t like it, merely that it could do better. Equally if I agree that repetitive criticism of an organisation or its office bearers is tedious that does not mean I have to like the body concerned.
    You see very little is black or white in this world.

  94. Phil Space said

    NAM might be interested in the following info extracted from the OSCR web site

    Charity Name: Friends Of Lubavitch Scotland
    Address: 8 Orchard Drive
    G46 7NR
    Year End The gross income The date the return
    for this period. was submitted
    31/12/2003 £148,000.00 08/09/2005
    31/12/2006 £246,521.00 26/03/2008
    31/12/2007 – Overdue

    It appears that Lubavitch are not so observant regarding filing accounts!

  95. Not Another Macher said

    mmm… I also wonder how Lubavitch will fair when it is scrutinised by OSCR in relation to the Charity Test?

    From that same website

    “The Scottish charity test – an overview
    The Scottish charity test is a two-part test. First of all, it needs to be established that a body
    has only charitable purposes, and then it needs to be established that the body provides
    public benefit.”

  96. Blog Watcher said

    No, I can’t see the difference Beitz.
    And it would appear others can’t either.
    You have written more personal abuse about one organisation – Lubavitch – than any other contributor to this blog. I don’t have a problem with this. What I can’t stomach is your hypocracy. If you do it then its okay. If others do it then its tedious and unacceptable and you pontificate as a self appointed moral authority.

  97. A Beitz said

    Happy to leave others to decide. I do try however to avoid terms such as “your hypocrisy” since I prefer not to bring the blog down into personal abuse.
    If I have ever failed then let me apologise in advance of BW going through every post I have ever made.

  98. Not Always Negative said

    Oh dear it must be a very cold & wet night in Glasgow – so many people sitting at home in front of their computers, there hasn’t been this much activity on the blogg for months.

    Shame we can’t channel all this energy into something positive.

  99. Learned Friend said

    Post 95 refers to the charity test.
    I wonder if Scojec are now in breach of these qualifications – specifically regarding providing public benefit. I will continue my investigations.
    For the benefit of blog watcher and A Beitz I am happy to provide the Collins English dictionary definition of ” hypocrite” –

    a person who pretends to be pious, virtuous etc, without really being so.

    ” hypocrisy ” – pretending to be what one is not.

  100. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Not another Macher has got a rather distorted view of public life. It appears that if you are voted into office you are then beyond criticism except by those who participate and vote in their control games. I could call such argument pretentious nonsense but rather I will be blunt.It is a load of crap. If you are bad at what you are doing then you should be brought to account by those you purport to represent whether or not they voted for you or in fact voted at all. Are you suggesting that those who chose to abstain in the last general election have no right to criticise the mistakes of the present government. If so, you dont understand the very fundamentals of democracy. The Government is accountable to 100% of the electorate.
    Let me say now, there has been much criticism of the Rep Council and Scojec on this forum, some of it justified and some probably not but not once has either of these organisations confronted the criticisms here or on any other forum. Most of them are good and willing people, but that is not enough when qualities of leadership are needed. By refusing to face their critics they show weakness and lack of ability. They do themselves and their community a disservice. Nobody is trying to get rid of them, we just want to get on with our lives and not be told repeatedly how wonderful and representative a group they are. As long as they carry on the age old and near impossible tradition of being worse than their predecessors, I for one, will carry on with my inalienable right to criticise.

    Just as an afterthought, how does one join Scojec. Do threy have open elections for their constituents, the Jews of Scotland whom they claim to represent? They may do, but I have never noticed an advert or intimation anywhere. I ask this out of curiousity not some out of character urge to attend.

  101. Not Another Macher said

    Nachman – I don’t believe our views are very far apart, I think you have misunderstood what I said, or at least what I meant. Of course those elected to the various communal bodies are not above criticism – the point I was making is that there a democratic process that can be followed (if a bit loosely for some of them) – but there doesn’t seem to be such a process for Lubavitch

  102. Community Member said

    I would have thought that GJEF holding a lecture to discuss communal leadership and the qualities required is a very positive action –
    (NAN post 98)
    A glance at the back page of this week’s Telegraph emphasises that very little is currently going on communally at present.
    A public meeting that discusses representation and responsibility may even attract those that profess to be our leaders and claim to be our representatives.

  103. Not Another Macher said

    The back page of the JT is probably not the best place to look for information on action – activities are positive, but don’t always equate to action, they may just be more of the same. This edition in particular is not representative, given we have had a month of mid week Chagim and it was the mid-term school break.

    The GJEF meeting tonight will hopefully be very interesting, but not much use if it is just talk and nothing concrete follows.

  104. Not Another Macher said

    Also – adverts are expensive and few organisations seem to bother sending reports about their activities to the JT (except ScoJec who’ve worked out how to do it) – either that or the JT are choosing not to print such stuff

  105. Admin said

    Please note that due to flooding in the reception area, tonight’s meeting at Giffnock Synagogue has been moved to the banqueting suite.

  106. JT Reader said

    Did last Sunday’s GJEF meeting take place. Nothing on this blog and nothing in today’s JT

  107. Jewish Chronicle Reader said

    I am not a fan of JC columnist Geoffrey Alderman but I couldn’t help smiling when I noticed a review of his book about the history of the British Jewish Community.
    Stephen Games quotes Mr Alderman –
    ” The duty of the historian is not to tell the truth, but to support the communal image ”
    He must have been referring to History Man on this blog.
    And he could also have been referring to a certain A Beitz who last week apologised for all his previous misdemeanours in his quest to achieve communal redemption.

  108. Stanley said

    It will take a lot more than a couple of apologies for Beitz & Co to get redemption from Lubavitch.

  109. A Beitz said

    My invite to Rabbi Jacobs’ daughter’s wedding appears to have got lost in the post. However I understand that this glittering event later this year will take place at the Grosvenor Hilton and will not be using the Glasgow Kosher caterer.
    So perhaps a Torah scholar can help me out here. Is there not a concept known s Shechita Chutz ie the obligation to use local kosher facilities? How does getting someone from Manchester equate with this? How is it reconcilable with Rabbi Jacob’s oft repeated mantra of a few years ago of “Use it or lose it”?
    It’s unfortunate when communal leaders whether they be the Rep Council or lubavitch don’t see the need to use our, excellent, local facilities.

  110. JT Reader said

    Don’t be too upset Mr Beitz. My invite has also been lost in the post and I have spoken to a number of friends who are not exactly holding their breath waiting for postman pat. I know this is purely coincidental but none of us are contributors to Lubavitch.
    Anyway isn’t nice to see that the credit crunch hasn’t affected Lubavitch. Despite the article in the JT about scaling down the size of simchas – perhaps Rabbi Jacobs has not had time to read this.
    In another interesting article in the JT we are led to believe that “250 people joined in for the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.” Aye right!

  111. JT Reader said

    sorry forgot to say the 250 people joined in for the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services at Shul in the Park

  112. Not So Negative said

    Has anyone thought to check if Doreen Cohen has another booking that day?

  113. Stanley said

    Do any of you anti-Lubavitch bloggers
    realise that there are more important issues in the world than who caters Chaim Jacobs’ wedding or where it is being held?
    Do any of you read newspapers or watch the news? Why don’t you broaden your minds and think about who might be the new President of America on Tuesday rather than indulge in this petty vendetta against the local Lubavitch Rabbi?
    You should all get out a bit more.

  114. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Sitting in shul this Shabbat the story of Noah and the flood made me so aware that the hand of the almighty is ubiquitous. It is only our own blindness that makes us insensitive to His work. Should we open our eyes and interpret that which is constantly revealed, all becomes clear. October may well have been high on the list of wet months culminating in the flood or flooding of the JCC. Not only was the JCC flooded, the disabled toilets were flooded. Now you may well question the need for a disabled toilet at the top of a flight of stairs that needs the skill of a mountaineer to ascend. It is rumoured that the Director of Scojec used them as a storeroom for “Scotland’s Jews”, maybe an innovative use for toilets or as has been unkindly suggested, his own subconscious verdict on the books’ worth. Notwithstanding that, the toilet was flooded with the loss of the books. Divine retribution indeed!

  115. A Beitz said

    Actually Stanley I have given some thought to the American election. Indeed I heard a little story that Obama has invited Chaim Jacobs to meet with him since with Obama having only raised a few billion to assist his rather overblown election campaign he wanted to consult with a real fundraising professonal.

  116. NLL said


    GJEF has just hosted a talk which considered the moral responsibilities of communal leadership. Chiam Jacobs holds himself up as a leader in our Community. I think it is quite proper for us to discuss the morality of his decision not use the local kosher caterer for his daughter’s wedding – especially when he urges the rest of us to use local facilities. It’s nothing to do with his being Lubavitch – unless you wish to discuss how he came to hold such a position.

    But maybe he is being misjudged – as NSN says, maybe Doreen Cohen has another booking that day?

  117. Stanley said

    I would like Obama to win the American election because I believe this would send a signal of hope around the world.
    Who wins in America will impact on us all.
    Maybe I should say all of with the exception of A Beitz and NLL.
    They would rather deal with irrelevant details about Chaim Jacob’s family wedding. Once they have dealt with the caterer then we can discuss the floral arrangements and the guest list. Maybe Beitz will have to something to say about who will be wearing what on the day.
    Are you so obsessed that you can’t even wish Rabbi Jacobs and his family Mazel Tov on their forthcoming Simcha?

  118. Armchair Analyst said

    Whoever wins the American election is a creature of the Rebublicrat system. This system is really run by 2000 lobbies and 40,000 lobbyists in Washington. Ralph Nader would be the best non-waste of a vote.

    McPain or O’Bummer, nothing much will change. Yes but there is hope, even if nobody can figure out what he means yet.

    On behalf of myself, Stanley, I wish Rabbi Jacobs and his family Mazeltov on their forthcoming Simcha. I just wish they’d booked Do…

  119. NLL said

    When I wish the Jacobs mazeltov I will do so to their face and not here, but it wont change my interest in discussing the morality of the decision they have made within a forum that hosted a talk about moral responsibilities amongst communal leaders.

    If this is not considered important enough in comparison to The American Presidential election – something which will probably have little impact on this Community compared to what would happen if we lost our only kosher caterer – then why did GJEF sponsor this event?

  120. Community Member said

    What have Chaim Jacobs’s wedding arrangements got to do with GJEF NLL?

  121. A Beitz said

    There are 2 issues in particular which I think impact on the Jewish community. The first is that there has been condemnation by a number of rabbonim, including Rabbi Rubin, of lavish simchot. As he has pointed out, where people who can afford it have parties which are far larger and more expensive than is reasonably appropriate the problem is that other people feel like cheapskates if they don’t do something similar. Some of these others cannot afford it leaving them creating serious financial problems for themselves by attempting to hold what seems to be the norm.
    The second is the snub, for that is what it is, to the Glasgow kosher caterer. In other words she is not good enough for the Jacobs at least, it would seem in their eyes.
    Whether we like it or not the rabbonim are our religious leaders and of all people should be using our kosher catererand exercising moderation. Don’t tell us to have kosher functions using the kosher caterer only to go outside when it is your turn.
    Is the communal leadership we deserve?

  122. Stanley said

    Why pick on Chaim Jacobs Mr Beitz?
    Why not pick on Rabbi Rubin for not sending his children to Calderwood Lodge? At least the Jacobs supported the school.
    Just think Mr Beitz, if the Rubins sent their children to Calderwood wouldn’t it be good for them and for the school? But they have the right to refuse. We may not agree with their choice – we may think it is very wrong to urge parents to give their children a Jewish education and then refuse to send their children to that school because it is not good enough for them – but ultimately we have to accept it is their right to do what they want.
    But what is obvious is that you only want to have a pop at Chaim.
    Why not highlight on this blog Mr Beitz all those that buy Kosher Food from Tesco, Asda etc when they should be supporting the Kosher Deli?
    Is that wrong in your eyes too?

  123. A Beitz said

    Stanley, I dealt with rabbonim and Calderwood in the very first post on the very first blog. As far as I recall only Jacobs child went to Calderwood.
    Apart from the fact it is not really an answer when one thing is criticised to ask why I don’t criticise another shoppping in Tesco, Asda etc rather than the Delis is a different issue.Wherever you shop in Glasgow for kosher food you are helping maintain that facility there. We are also back to leadership. Frankly if Mrs Beitz or I were to use an outside caterer or even a non kosher cater that is for us to decide. We are entitled to expect an example by our leaders however.

  124. My Turn Now said

    Stanley – just because people don’t discuss the US elections on this blog doesn’t mean that they don’t care about them! I thought this blog was to discuss the Jewish community in Scotland and related issues. If we’re going to discuss the US elections, why not the situation in Congo, or where ever?

    Also, we are entitled to discuss commual leaders/leadership and the standards involved. If we can here criticism of Scojec people and Rep Council people in every second blog, then Chaim isn’t immune from this.

  125. Stanley said

    I have no idea what you posted about Calderwood and Rabbonim when this blog was started. So please tell us now whether you think that Rabbi Rubin is right not to send his children to Calderwood when he urges everyone else to give their children a Jewish education. You tell us that we are entitled to expect an example by our leaders. Why is Chaim the only Rabbi you pick on when they are all culpable in different ways?

  126. K Nickers said

    Maybe A Beitz and his friends will soon discuss the colour of Chaim Jacob’s underpants.
    Given their obsession with the man they will surely know the answer.
    And no doubt you will have objections.
    Go on tell us please

  127. My Turn Now said

    Come on! How many obsessive postings have we had about Steven Kliner, Ephraim Borowski etc? Either none of our leaders is to be criticised or you can’t complain about what is said about Rabbi J.

  128. Admin said

    Comments are now closed. Please see the latest news item on the main page regarding GJEF facilitating consultations with the Scottish Government.

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