Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

Between Tradition and Modernity: The View From a Masorti Perspective

Posted by Admin on November 5, 2009

Rabbi Jeremy GordonOn Monday 11th January 2010, GJEF will be holding a very special meeting with Rabbi Jeremy Gordon of the New London Synagogue, in which he will examine the Masorti Vision of Judaism. The meeting will be held at Calderwood Lodge Primary School at 8.00pm. The title of his lecture is: “Between Tradition and Modernity: The View From a Masorti Perspective”.

Rabbi Jeremy Gordon has a first class honours degree in Law from Cambridge University and subsequently went to work in television for the BBC and a number of independent production companies. His love of Judaism was really ignited at the Limmud Conference in December 1995. This marked the start of a decade of study in England, at the Hebrew University and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He graduated from JTS with Rabbinic Ordination, a Masters in Midrash (Rabbinic Exegesis) and a number of academic awards.

While in New York, Rabbi Gordon trained as a hospital Chaplain and spent many hours working as a Chaplain with the Red Cross in the aftermath of the September 11th suicide attacks. He has been active in a number of social action campaigns – particularly relating to refugee issues and international development – and has served as convenor of a major interfaith dialogue forum in New York.

His academic interests include Midrash, which he teaches at Leo Baeck College, and contemporary Jewish legal Responsa. In January 2008, Rabbi Gordon was appointed as the rabbi of the New London Synagogue.

For more information about Masorti Judaism, please see the following links:

The Assembley of Masorti Synagogues

What is Masorti?

Darkenu – A Vision of Masorti Judaism

Rabbi Gordon’s Blog

New London Synagogue

61 Responses to “Between Tradition and Modernity: The View From a Masorti Perspective”

  1. Previously ambivalent said

    Fantastic news. Long overdue. A chance to hear Masorti in Glasgow is something not to be missed.

  2. Xcited of Glesga said

    Well done to the leadership of GJEF for bringing to Glasga such a fine , highly regarded speaker and Rabbinic leader.

    This is a Rabbi highly praised by his parishioners for his eloquence and insight

  3. Not Ambivalent at all said

    At long last. Could this be what the Glasgow community needs. We all know that most people who turn up in Orthodox Shuls don’t really believe in it. And that’s the ones that go. What about those who are members who only go once or twice a year at the very most. The chance to hear a sane perspective in tune with how most of us live our lives is something truly special.

  4. Xcited of Glesga said

    I agree with your sentiment Not Ambivalent, this could well be what the Jewish community in Scotland needs. Not just Glasgow!

    It seems like there would be a realignment if the Masorti where to open a shul here, in view of the declining numbers of people attending Orthodox Shul’s but not wanting to embrace the liberal alternative offered by Glasgow New.

    As we know there are problems with vastly decining numbers at Giffnock , Netherlee & Clarkston.

    Here’s hoping something will happen with this.

  5. Ouch said

    There is not one Orthodox Synagogue in Glasgow that has anything other than declining numbers.
    Some might argue that it is because there are too many Shuls. Others will tell you that the product being served up is uninspiring and not interesting.
    Competition would be good. Let Masorti tell us what they would offer that might inspire or interest and then let the people decide if they wish to support a new venture.
    Maybe the best outcome would be to close two Orthodox Shuls and open up one Masorti.
    I think I would leave United and try something different. After all I don’t live my life like the Orthodox so it would be less hypocritical than what I do now.

  6. Shabbat Shalom said

    Anything that might challenge the current religious status quo in Glasgow that allows those who turn up regularly in United Synagoue Shuls to think they are better Jews than the rest of us and somehow superior in their religious affiliation and practce must be welcomed.
    If Masorti can change this attitude then I support it. I look forward to hearing this speaker.

  7. Perplexed said

    Why would anyone believe that another Shul in Glasgow would help anyone?
    There are too many already, almost nobody is remotely interested, and it won’t make one iota of a difference if Masorti turn up or for that matter Moses or Abraham himself.
    Religion is to be blunt knackered. Live with it and move on.

  8. Community Member said

    Please have a look at this Good News Story about the people of Israel, written by Seth Freedman in yesterday’s Guardian.
    Tzedakah is a very important tenet of Judaism and it will be interesting to find out how Masorti actively engage with this.

    “Charity Makes Us What we are”

  9. Telegraph Reader said

    Hopefully Masorti will tell us how to get shot of Ephraim Borowski from our communal affairs.
    If they can achieve that feat I promise I will support them.
    I have just read Friday’s Jewish Telegraph and lo and behold on the front page there is an article about Scojec writing to the First Minister, Alex Salmond, about grafitti in Glenduffhill.
    This is just total stupidity – Borowski and Scojec are liabilities. Why would Scotland’s First Minister not dissociate himself from graffiti in any graveyard? Are they suggesting that he would approve of vandalism?
    Are they really suggesting that the SNP Government might be linked with Hamas because some lunatic or thug spray paints our cemetery?
    If the SNP happen to not support Israel and have sympathy with Palestinians who lived in Gaza during the last war does that make them accomplices to the crime of vandalising out tombstones?
    Grow up Borowski and get yourself something much more worthwhile to do than continuing to make a pratt of yourself and use your time more wisely than writing stupid letters to Scotland’s elected First Minister.
    I hope Salmond politely tells you where to go for having the impertinence to write such a stupid letter. No, he should tell you bluntly that you are a complete twerp and he has no time for such stupidity. Scojec have no right to send such a stupid letter.
    The SNP Government has held various events with the Glasgow Jewish Community since being elected to office. The First Minister and two of his Ministers have spoken directly to our community about issues that concern us and you think it is appropriate to ask him whether he would dissociate his Party from killing Jews.
    Please Masorti, or anyone else, Orthodox, Reform, Humanists, Agnostics, Aetheists, whoever, lets start a campaign to expose Scojec for being a crowd of nonentities with so little political acumen that they should be exposed for being exactly as I describe.

  10. Beachgrove Gardner said

    I completely agree with Telegraph Reader. I am appalled by what Scojec have done.
    It would be much more pertinent if the chairman of Scojec, Walter Sneader, could tell us whether he has written to Mr Cameron to ask him about Tory links to Kaminsky and others and I am sure he will tell us whether Richard Cook, the local Tory candidate in East Ren ,has been asked to explain himself to Borowski & Co to find out whether he supports friendships with people like that.
    Someone should point out to Mr Salmond that Scojec don’t represent anyone but themselves.

  11. OK Agreed said

    You are right, Borowski is a total liability and that is being polite about it.
    Scojec have this pathetic desire to tell everyone how wonderful they are and they need to try and prove to everyone that they are doing a good job and that they are very important.
    Why doesn’t someone dig a little deeper and my guess is that this meeting with Salmond won’t be quite as advertised by Scojec but will be about something very different, if it is true at all.
    Here’s a question for all readers of this blog that will reveal much more.
    If you could employ Ephraim Borowski and Leah Granet or Walter Sneader in your business would you do so?
    Thank you. That says everything.
    Now maybe we could return to Masorti.
    Does anyone know who is eligible to be a member of Masorti? How do they define being Jewish?

  12. Latka said

    Hi……….OK Agreed , here is an answer to your question on how Masorti define’ Jewish’

    Defined as being Jewish if descend from jewish mother, or Undergone a connversion recognised by the Masorti Beth Din

  13. Latka said

    futher info OK Agreed….on jewishness question: Masorti may not always recognise a Reform Conversion by the way, depends whom ran the conversion etc and which Rabbi’s made up the Beth Din.

    They wouldn’t accept a Liberal Shul conversion. There would have too be an’upgrade’ conversion if joining the Assembly of Masorti shul’s in that instance, i would imagine.

    As regards Scojec & Borowski can the community not request/petion , Borowski & his beard to resign or speed up their Aliyah

  14. Bemused said

    I disagree with Perpelexed. It is not the number of shuls that is the issue but what is on offer and how this fits with what, I believe, is the life style of the majority of Jews currently living in Glasgow who are either members of shuls or who have become disillusioned and might seek a fresh alternative. I am very much looking forward to hearing what Rabbi Gordon has to say and trust there are many others out there too who are keen to hear him. Religion isn’t knackered, just a little tired and weary and in need of a change.

  15. Bielski Partisan said

    I agree with Perplexed. Jewish religion in Glasgow is tired and in desperate need of some change of direction that would offer us a freshed approach to 21st centuary Judaism, without it following Rabbi Nancy’s ‘evangelical’ approach or anchoring itself in an 18th centuary Russian shtel mentality

    The product on offer in Glasgow does not offer the ‘dream’ that it should, otherwise the numbers attending Shul wouldnt be dwindling as rapidly as they are and thats allowing for the passing of some of the community.

    The Rabbi’s should take a leaf from some of the marketeers , for example : Guinness & Intel.

    Intel : An invisible chip? NO the guarantee of cutting edge life enhanced by sexy technology

    Guinness doesn sell beer. It sells community, it brings people together , it offers peopl comradery and friendship

    Thats the difference with a Masorti life style is offers the opportunity to live a jewish life in a modern context

  16. OK Agreed said

    I think speeding up Borowski’s aliyah is a fine idea.
    I would sign immediately as the guy is a dangerous liability and we as a community would be well shot of him.
    In fairness to Stephen Kliner, he got one thing right as Rep Council President, and probably only one thing right, when he gave Borowski ” a boot up the backside ” and flung him out. The biggest mistake Kliner made was that he didn’t kick himself out at the same time.

    Can you tell me Latka if everyone who is a member of the United Synagogue then automatically qualifies for Masorti membership?

  17. Latka said

    Hi Ok Agreed!

    Everyone who is a member of the United Synagogue would automatically qualify[ i guess that’s you sorted then?}. on a further note:I wonder if I should set up an email address/account where we could get people in the community to register their interest in a Masorti shul been formed?

    Any thoughts on that score?

    Maybe we could open a wager on when Borowski & his Beard will depart Glasgow? Could William King handle the wager?

  18. OK Agreed said

    Latka, I don’t think it is worth a bet on Borowski going quickly. He won’t go unless he has an incentive to do so. Why don’t you ask people to pledge a fiver if he goes before the end of the year, £7.50 if Leah Granet goes too and £10 if Walter Sneader resigns as well.
    If they wind up the organisation and turn out the Scojec light on the way out I will round up my contribution to £15.

    Set up your email address for supporters of Masorti to sign up by all means but I would have thought you should judge the level of interest at Rabbi Gordon’s meeting in January first.
    From what I know about Masorti it is certainly an improvement on Orthodox or Reform. However, I need to know more about what it stands for.
    Do you know where it stands on Jewish schools? Who would get in?

  19. Latka said

    Oi Oi , Ok Agreed.

    I missed the opportunity for pun above . I should have written ,’ [i guess thats you Misorti[d] then?}

    Off to have my salt beef and latkes

  20. OK Agreed said

    Can anyone who knows anything about Masorti tell me whether they would have supported JFS’s position re entry to Jewish schools?
    Will they allow men and women to sit together?
    Do they believe that women should be treated equally and not as 2nd class citizens and be allowed to have a role in any services?

  21. Orthodox Ollie said

    Are you suggesting OK Agreed that Orthodox Judaism treats women unfairly?

  22. Beachgrove Gardner said

    Perhaps we can have a slight diversion back to the problems of the Conservative Party re Kaminsky and the astounding silence of the CST and my namesake Mr Mark Gardner.
    I will wait patiently until Mark and indeed Ephraim Borowski and Walter Sneader & Co tell me if they have contacted David Cameron to ask questions about Kaminsky rather than waste Alex Salmond’s time by asking him to disown grafitti in cemetries which of course he has no control over.
    I will also wait patiently until they tell me whether Richard Cook, the local Tory candidate in East Ren, has been asked these quesions about where he stands on Kaminsky and what he says about it.

    In the meantime can I direct you all to a brilliant piece by Jonathan Freedland on this very subject about the Tory party and Kaminsky

    Here are two extracts –

    The letter-writers say the attacks on Kaminski and the Latvian party are “baseless” and “unsubstantiated”. But the reverse is true. The evidence is very substantial. On Kaminski, look no further than his very recent remarks on the horrific 1941 pogrom at Jedwabne, in which Polish villagers burned 300 or more Jewish women and children to death. Those comments have been rather brilliantly deconstructed by David Aaronovitch who noted the absurdity of “demanding that a foreign secretary, descended from Polish Jews, should apologise for possibly offending the sensibilities of a foreign politician who vehemently opposed there being an apology for the massacre of Polish Jews.”

    As for the Latvians, you’d think that parades celebrating SS veterans who fought for Hitler and against Britain and its allies would speak for themselves. Or you might note that the leader of For Fatherland and Freedom describes those SS veterans as “tragic heroes”. But those hungry for more evidence should listen to Allan Little’s compelling despatch from Riga on the BBC’s Today programme, which reported that the party has long been at the leading edge of Latvian ultra-nationalism, fostering an atmosphere of “ethnic intolerance” and appealing to “much that is dark and dangerous in popular sentiment”.

    So come on Borowski and Sneader and Gardner I’m waiting and so are others.

  23. Bielski Partisan said

    Orthodox Ollie, nobody is suggesting that Orthodox treat women unfairly , however there are constant references in the Singer prayer book with reference to being ‘thankful that we are not born women’

  24. Bielski Partisan said

    Masorti is a way of approaching Judaism, not avoiding it. Whilst encouraging ourselves to increase our commitment to Jewish practice and values, they also recognise that many people wish to express their Jewish identity by emphasising the social, communal and charitable values of our faith more strongly than its ritual aspects.

    Women and men in some Masorti shul’s sit togther , whilst in others that is not always case. It seeems a decision is taken on a local level.

    But its seems [to me]that the majority of the congrgations offer participative, friendly and fully egalitarian services.

    They Masorti movement have some fantastic female Chazan’s has to be said.

  25. Not Orthodox in a Million Years said

    If the Singer Prayer Book refers to
    ” being thankful that we are not women”
    how can Bielski Partisan possibly comment that no one is suggesting that the Orthodox don’t treat women fairly.
    Of course they don’t treat women correctly – women are treated as 2nd class or possibly 3rd class.
    The reality is that Orthodox Judaism believes women should be good wives, good mothers and good cooks and that is it. Full Stop

  26. Bielski Partisan said

    Not Orthodox in a Million Years, you cant treat women unfairly if there is no regard for them in the first place!

  27. Member of Reform said

    Would I be accepted as a member of a Masorti Synagogue?

  28. Bielski Partisan said

    Member of Reform:

    Best come along to the hear Rabbi Jeremy speak! Take a break from Nancy and hear an truely gifted , erudite Rabbi speak on a modern approach to Judaism


    Defined as being Jewish if descend from jewish mother, or Undergone a conversion recognised by the Masorti Beth Din

    Masorti may not always recognise a Reform Conversion by the way, depends on whom ran the conversion etc and which Rabbi’s made up the Bet Din.Maybe possible to get an upgrade?

    They wouldn’t accept a Liberal Shul conversion. There would have too be an’upgrade’ conversion if joining the Assembly of Masorti shul’s in that instance, i would imagine.

  29. Happy Harry said

    Would Ephraim Borowski, Leah Granet and Walter Sneader – the people behind Scojec – be accepted as members of Masorti or would they be politely pointed in another direction because they have embarrassed our community and regularly tarnished our good name?

  30. Bielski Partisan said

    Happy Harry , I seriously doubt they would want to join Masorti!

    Who knows maybe the Executive of Masorti – Glasgow ,would decline their membership for the reasons stated by your good self.

    Happy Harry maybe you could be recruited to the job of membership at Masorti -Glasgow

  31. Happy Harry said

    Thank you for the kind offer. I need to be absolutely sure that Ephraim Borowski couldn’t join.
    Apart from all the other obvious reasons he was responsible for trashing the reputation name of Giffnock Shul in the local neighbourhood by accepting some coppers from a mobile phone company in return for putting a mast on the Shul roof.
    One way of ensuring he couldn’t join would be to control the membership list I suppose.
    I don’t know why you think they wouldn’t want to join though. Please tell me. Rumour has it that if it would be a successful venture Ephraim would be first in the queue.
    Addicted to power and influence allegedly.

  32. Bielski Partisan said

    Happy Harry , would you be able too expaand on the ‘halacha’ of having mobile telecom masts on the roof of a Shul?

    Does this not constitute ‘work’ on Shabbat? By having an operational mast.

    Another thought occured, maybe the microwaves from the masts have affected Borowski & his Beard and made him what he is?

    Having a Masorti shul would be a succesful venture,rest assurred.

    I doubt Borowski and the gang would be interested i am sure there are some applications for grants that need their attention?

  33. Beachgrove Gardner said

    Very interesting that on the CST blog two most recent stories cover the promotion of a book by Anthony Julius about antisemitism in England and another story about the desecration of graves in Poland.
    Still nothing about Kaminsky and the Conservatives.
    The CST are losing credibility by the day.
    Answers need to be forthcoming.
    This IS an issue that matters. If the Conservatives are elected to office at the next General Election then questions about who are their friends and allies in Europe are very important to the Jewish community.
    An organisation that prides itself in defending Jews from antisemitism has lost its voice. Scojec also continually raise the issue of antisemitism. Silence here too.
    Its not good enough and I will continue to ask questions until we receive answers.

  34. CST Watcher said

    This extract from today’s CST blog shows they are getting a little bit nervous.

    Dispatches, the “pro-Israel lobby” and CST
    November 12th, 2009 by CST
    On Monday night, Channel 4’s Dispatches will broadcast a one-hour documentary, called Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby and fronted by Daily Mail journalist Peter Oborne. The Dispatches website promises:

    Dispatches investigates one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel.

    Despite wielding great influence among the highest realms of British politics and media, little is known about the individuals and groups which collectively are known as the pro-Israel lobby.

    Political commentator Peter Oborne sets out to establish who they are, how they are funded, how they work and what influence they have, from the key groups to the wealthy individuals who help bankroll the lobbying.

    He investigates how accountable, transparent and open to scrutiny the lobby is, particularly in regard to its funding and financial support of MPs.

    The pro-Israel lobby aims to shape the debate about Britain’s relationship with Israel and future foreign policies relating to it.

    Oborne examines how the lobby operates from within parliament and the tactics it employs behind the scenes when engaging with print and broadcast media.

    We do not know what will be in the programme, which has been made by Hardcash Productions of Undercover Mosque fame, but we do know that CST is one of the organisations that have been under investigation by Dispatches. We only know this because last week, Dispatches wrote to CST’s Chairman Gerald Ronson, to inform him that they “will be looking at a number of groups and leading individuals who collectively make up the pro-Israel lobby including the Community Security Trust” and to ask for an interview.

  35. Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP said

    I have followed the debate on this site about the Tory party and their new friends in Europe. I thought I should do something that I have never done before and comment on another blog to offer my view. I have never done this before but this issue has made me so angry.

    Before being Secretary of State for Scotland I was Minister for Europe, which included having responsibility for the UK government’s work on combating antisemitism internationally. It was a responsibility I took very seriously as there is still a big job to do, particularly in some cities in central and eastern Europe. That’s why I am so appalled at the Tory party’s decision to join forces with some of Europe’s more hardline politicians.

    The Tories are so obsessed about Europe that they have left the political mainstream and found common cause with a peculiar group of Euro politicians.

    The Conservatives are putting their Party’s interests before our country’s needs. Being engaged in the European mainstream is good for Britain. Labour is in a grouping with other centre-left parties across Europe which gives Britain a real interest. Up until now the Tories were in a centre right grouping of decent Conservatives. All of this is good for Britain. That’s why it is bewildering that the Tory party have turned their backs on Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Germany’s Angela Merkel – mainstream conservative politicians – and instead sided with those on the outer reaches of European politics. Why you might ask have they done this? It’s because the Tory party is still obsessed by Europe. Mrs Thatcher had a very strong view about Europe but this lot are much more Eurosceptic. They are also determined to appeal to the 3% or so of voters that side with UKIP. This means that a party that wants to be our next government is totally without allies in Europe. David Miliband is right to say what he has said. The sad thing about this is the total silence from Tory candidates across the country. Many of them are decent people and they are embarrassed by how far their Party has gone. It’s time for Tory candidates to stand up for what’s right and say publicly what many of them feel privately. In politics you are judged by the company you keep. On this issue the judgement on the Tories is rightly very harsh.

  36. Labour Party Supporter said

    Well said Jim Murphy. This needs to be said and I am delighted that you have come on here for the 1st time to say it. I am also very concerned about who the Tories have befriended in Europe and people like Kaminsky trouble me graetly.
    Like you, I have not posted before either, but I had to comment this time to support what you have said.
    Thank you

  37. Tory Bhoy said

    Michal Kaminski is not a roaring Jew-hater in the classical antisemitic mould. He supports Israel — but then both Nick Griffin of the BNP and Jean Marie le Pen have also expressed pleasure at Israel’s military attacks on Muslims.
    It is clear that the Conservatives did not do due diligence on their new allies

    Cameron, who is pro-Jewish and pro-Israel, has done himself damage by allowing William Hague and his Europhobe shadow team to set up this new alliance. Cameron has dropped his pledge to have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Could he now be persuaded to disentangle the Tories from a relationship with east European populist, nationalist politicians who are equivocal on the massacres of Jews?

    Pro-Tory members of the community would be better advised to talk privately to Cameron and urge an end to this alliance

  38. Amazing said

    Thank you Mr Murphy. All those people in this community who have come on to this blog over the past couple of years complaining about the treatment they have received must be completely cheesed off tonight. You have recognised that this medium is the best and quickest method to talk to the Jewish community in Glasgow and your message is welcome.
    Those who either in private, or in public, tell us that they never look at it will be choked tonight. Almost 3 years after it started this blog is still going strong despite the repeated attempts to discredit it.
    And today you have signed your post as the Rt Honourable Jim Murphy MP, Secretary of State for Scotland. You have made my day sir and you have done more for our community in one post than many others have done for years.
    I’ll be voting for you.

  39. Beachgrove Gardner said

    So Mr Murphy spells it out quite emphatically – Kaminsky is unacceptable.
    Now, Mr Gardner – we have had 2 Cabinet members pointing out the dangerous allies of the Tory Party – Mr Murphy and the Foriegn Secretary David Miliband.
    Will you now please break your silence which threatens the credibility of the CST to speak out on antisemitism – and will you ask Mr Borowski and Dr Sneader and Mr Mendelsohn whether they have raised this with Richard Cook, the local Conservative candidate?
    Or will you all remain silent as others expose the dangers of Kaminsky whilst you sit on your hands pretending to be useful when you are actually harming the best interests of our community?

  40. Ivor S. Tiefenbrun MBE said

    It is a fact that to construct a centre right group in the EU Parliament will take time and leadership which is not the same as being slavish followers like Labour in these matters, however the cheap and dishonest attempt to smear their opponents is an area where Labour not only lead but stoop ever lower. The Labour Party did not smear the same people when they were part of the same grouping. The attempt to win votes through spreading false alarm and bearing false witness is unforgivable and renders them and all their participants in this libel unfit for public office in a democracy. Jim Murphy should be ashamed of his cynical sectarianism and opportunism. It is no wonder that given this behaviour from the Party in power that respect for democratic politicians is waning, in similar circumstances similar behaviour has brought about extreme governments and policies and if Jim Murphy had any other desire but to cling to his job at any cost would inhibit him from this disgusting slander. No thinking or decent person should feel able to support him, his Party or his vile defamatory words and actions.

  41. Community Member said

    So well known Conservative supporter Ivor Tiefenbrun comes out fighting.
    Such a shame though Ivor that you do not tell us what you think about Kaminsky or the other allies of your party who still indulge in celebrating the Waffen SS.
    Jim Murphy has told you why such allies of your party are unacceptable. If you care to scroll back a little you will find several posts that explain exactly who Kaminsky is and what he stands for.
    Have you researched what these people stand for?
    I suspect not.
    So come on Ivor please tell us why its “false alarm” and why it is “bearing false witness”. Your unwarranted attack on a good MP who has fought against antisemitism in Parliament and elsewhere and your outrageous allegation that he is guilty of ” cynical sectarianism ” only demeans you.
    Does it hurt Ivor, because deep down you know your Party has teamed up with some horrible people?

  42. Tom Smith ( No Title) said

    Spot on Mr Murphy. The Conservative Party policy to cosy up to antisemites and facsists is a disgrace and your intervention is welcomed. Local squires or hopeful members of the gentry like Ivor Tiefenbrun know that your words will carry a great deal of weight and that is why his post was vitriolic.
    Mr Tiefenbrun has made a complete ass of himself.

  43. Chaplaincy? said

    Like others I am delighted to read Mr Murphy’s contribution and acknowledge his concern about allies of the Conservative Party and their links to antisemitism.
    I would have thought by now that he would have been joined by some of our communal organisations in this battle.
    Others have commented on the very peculiar silence of the CST but locally
    my first thoughts lead me to the Chaplaincy Board – who told us on this blog that their students were in the front line fighting against antisemitism on campus and I do recall a lengthy debate on this very subject.
    Why remain silent Chaplaincy? Do you agree that this is a very serious concern and if so do you not feel that you should support the Secretary of State? I believe you should.

  44. Jewish student said

    Murphy’s right.

  45. David ( UJIA) said

    UJIA ‘s main focus today seems to be taking our youth to Poland. I would have thought that the leadership of UJIA would support Mr Murphy’s comments because if any communal organisation would be troubled by the alliance with Kaminsky I would have thought UJIA should be top of the list.
    Jim Murphy, our local MP, has spoken out because he realises that any alliance with people like Kaminsky is unacceptable.
    Adam Berkley has come on here before, even though he always prefaces his remarks by telling us that he doesn’t like nor read this blog.
    Well I am a UJIA donor, and given Mr Murphy’s principled intervention, I hope that UJIA will stand beside him on this.
    Whether Adam likes this forum or doesn’t is irrelevant – Mr Murphy deserves to be supported publicly on this issue.
    If you continually take our kids to Poland to show them antisemitism at its worst then it is appropriate that you back the Secretary of State for Scotland when he points out a current danger to our people.

  46. Armchair Analyst said

    Given the attention that has been focused on the Tories’ association with Michal Kaminski on this blog, and Mr. Kaminski’s failure to ‘appropriately’ join in the belated official Polish apology for the atrocity at Jedwabne, would it not be reasonable to ask Netanyahu and Lieberman to make a belated official Israeli government apology for Qibya?

    There are some parallels and some differences between these events, but none of the ‘few outcasts’ that Kaminski says perpetrated Jedwabne went on to become Polish government ministers, unlike Qibya and Ariel Sharon.

  47. Voice Down South said

    Kaminsky isn’t the only one. The Tory party have also alligned themselves to the
    Fatherland and Freedom Party (LNNK)in Latvia who support an annual commemoration for the Latvian division of the Waffen SS.

  48. Politically unattached said

    Having just read Ivor Tiefenbrun’s ignorant and misplaced comments about Jim Murphy’s statement I would like to thank Ivor though for sharing his views with us.
    He has made up my mind for me. I will now definately vote for Mr Murphy. I would not want to leave a polling station thinking that I might have voted for the same party as Ivor Tiefenbrun.

  49. Tom Smith ( No Title) said

    Ivor Tiefenbrun has followed a good
    tradition on this blog – how to make a complete chump of yourself very quickly and then withdraw without further comment. Others have claimed injury, foul play or insult but Ivor can’t even use that defence.
    Mr Murphy has been a brilliant MP for our community.

  50. In the Public Interest said

    Please see details below taken from Wikipedia on the Latvian Party LNNK

    “In 2009, British foreign secretary David Miliband has criticized Conservative Chairman Eric Pickles’ decision to secure an alliance with TB/LNNK in the ECR group “despite the fact that its members attend commemorations for the Waffen-SS”. In a response, William Hague demanded apology to TB/LNNK and Latvian government from Miliband, describing his remarks as recycling “false Soviet propaganda” and noting that “the majority of parties forming Latvia’s current Government including the Prime Minister’s party, have attended the commemoration of Latvians who fought in the Second World War”.

    The Israeli historian and Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israeli office in Jerusalem, criticized the party’s “obsession to pay public homage to the Latvian-SS Legion in contradiction to all historical logic and sensitivity to Nazi crimes” in a column for The Guardian on September 28, 2009, while Vilnius University professor Dovid Katz, writing that the British Conservatives must not be let “get off the hook for their dalliances with some of the worst racists and Holocaust perverters in eastern Europe,” called for Pickles’ resignation as chairman in October 2009.

    Nice people the Tories want to mix with Mr Tiefenbrun. We still have nothing from the CST.
    I urge all communal groups in Glasgow to support Mr Murphy in his efforts to make it quite clear that this alliance between the Tories and these kind of people is not party politics but just about decency.
    I urge the Rep Council, Scojec, UJIA, Chaplaincy and everyone else to stand up for what is right and make it clear to the Conservative Party that this is totally unacceptable.

  51. pro jec deboo wun rools. said

    Hold on Ivor….you have always been forthright with your opinions , but usually they were some way credible-this time you just sound like an old malcontent ; business is tough for us all-yes blame the government if you want , they have to take a large part of the blame and I’ll not quibble . BUT JM MP was making a political point far removed from the economic debate ; he was pointing out that the Tories were siding with the dangerous far right and for that I applaud him. And what is wrong with being opportunistic anyway ??Didn’t you build your business by being just that ?The world leaders in turntable tech. abandoned the crusade and went all cd driven….and for sound business reasons I am sure…..but opportunistic all the same ;I am interested though in your implication that Labour MSP’s sided with similar odious extremists in Brussels…seriously can you respond to me on that with some detail as it would go a long way to explaining your obvious outrage at the whole thing. And I am not challenging you for this info. , I am asking you as I am genuinely in the dark on that front .
    Yes JM MP must be kacking his pants at the prospect of the next election but I think he is a good constituency MP and deserves to be returned ; if it is relevant (and some would say it is not)he is also a fair critic and a supporter of Israel which by and large appeals to the Jewish vote.
    Haste ye back Ivor …I welcome your presence on the blog…we need and enjoy high profilers like you and JM MP.

  52. stamford hillbilly. said

    Is it being suggested that UK Jewry power brokers eg CST and others are not openly criticising the Tories Brussels balls up because they are unwilling to upset possibly the next government ?
    Is there a cabal ?

  53. Queen Elizabeth V said

    How can anyone claim that Ivor Tiefenbrun is high profile. He might make a big noise but he is a little man.

  54. Spot the Tory said

    Is Ivor Tiefenbrun the only Tory reader of this blog? I know the Tories are virtually extinct in Scotland but surely there is someone somewhere that might support him.

  55. Ivor S. Tiefenbrun MBE said

    Some contributors to this blog seem to be too easily won over by Mr. Murphy to convince me that they are not simply blinded by their own and others unthinking bigotry.
    Unlike the Tory Party, the Labour party has some very extreme and anti semitic anti Israel bedfellows, close partners and advisors. They also support extremists of similar convictions some of whom are closely and directly linked to terrorist organisations, and indeed the Labour Government and the left wing led EU fund some of them to boot. The BNP and the like are also socialst parties and attract mainly dissaffected Labour voters with some of the most left wing policies on offer in the UK. I suppose this is what Mr. Murphy and his supporters seek to disract our attention away from by raising false fears, with their smears and crocodile tears.
    The Tory position on the EU is not aimed at being anti semitic or anti Israeli, nor is it extreme, fascist or about supporting Nazis, nor is William Haig anything other than a fairminded and decent, clever and educated man, it is about creating and building a democratically elected centre right block to oppose the federalist left wing who deny the many dissaffected people of Europe a vote on any significant matter, vilify their opponents and supress all critisism and who have built and recently completed, according to Pravda, a new Soviet Union in Europe.
    This blog it seems has a clear and settled narrow sectarian consensus so I regret naively seeking to change the views of its anonymous participants but not making plain my disgust with the slander and distortion peddled, a position I share with the Chief Rabbi of Poland.
    Those who criticise me or swear blind undying allegiance to Mr.Murphy and the Labour party position have not confronted my central point so there is no reason to continue despite one warm invitation to do so.
    Again for the record I was not speaking as a member of the Tory party as I have yet to join, but I do support them as I agree with most of their objectives, policies, actions and values, not as some grandee or member of the gentry but as the hard working self made son of a Jewish sixteen year old Polish refugee from the Nazis who owes his life and loyalty to this Country not any other entity, religion or Super State. I imagine from what they have written that I know more about these issues than any of the blogging ideologues who are also now keen to smear me rather than address the facts about the allegations made, or the pretence at indignation and the misrepresentation of those who oppose Labour, by playing the race card .
    Being born in Springburn and growing up initially in a single end it amuses me to read class driven drivel written about me but not enough to engage more of my time in the absence of any sound counter argument or debate, only the repeated parroting of falsehood.
    I should now join the Tory Party and support it more strongly as, I am now more convinced than ever by MR. Murphy’s cheap sectarian and innapropriate partisan posturing on this blog that we need honest politicians who do not subscribe to the shabby political standards that have debased every aspect of this Country, from its constitutional system to its economy, over the last dozen years.
    Mr. Murphy claims that every other Party should support his left wing views and EU allies, and that he and they alone occupy the high moral ground and deserve or will reward Jewish votes. It is sad that such a profoundly false, anti democratic and indeed anti Jewish position finds any, even if it is fear induced, unthinking or uninformed, support.

  56. Community Member said

    Mr Tiefenbrun, you claim that Labour were part of the same grouping as the Tories. Could you please elaborate on this because I know nothing about links to either Kaminsky or the Latvians.
    You have made this allegation so prove it.

  57. Working Class Hero said

    Not you Ivor I’m afraid. Selling turntables for £16,285 to the super rich kind of undermines your working class credentials doesn’t it?
    Did William Hague buy one? Please note the correct spelling of Hague, Mr Tiefenbrun.

  58. Scottish Tory (without an ASBO) said

    On this topic, I found this link interesting.

  59. Labour Party Member said

    Could Mr Ivor Tiefenbrun please explain the following –
    He claims that the BNP are a socialist party. How does he come to that absurd conclusion?
    Will Mr Tiefenbrun please explain how Labour have played the race card?
    Mr Tiefenbrun claims that his allies have been slandered. Will he tell us what he thinks are the attributes of Kaminsky and the Latvian Party that are now aligned with the Conservatives?

    Some hypocrites may welcome Mr Tiefenbrun’s participation in this debate. It might make them feel good that he is debating with them. I would rather deal with the substance of what he has written and if you look at his comments closely there are several charges that seem baseless and confused.
    He has a lot of explaining to do.

  60. Admin said

    This discussion thread is now closed. The debate will be continued on the latest comment forum, in which the Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP discusses the issue of the Conservative Party’s alliance with extremist parties in the European Parliament.

  61. Rainbow Warrior said

    How come we managed to move from Masorti to a discussion on Conservative vs Labour. Did I miss something? After reading the various letters in the Jewish Telegraph regarding the Masorti Movement in Glasgow, I feel I have to point out, that the most important point was missed by the critics. How many members of Masorti Scotland, truly live by the philosophy of the movement? How many are observant to Masorti standards and how many actually know and understand the teachings of Rabbi Louis Jacobs ZL? If the answer to these questions are a resounding yes, then Kol hakavod, there is a place for you in Glasgow. If the answer to the above questions are no, then what difference do you bring to a community were the majority of members of the Orthodox Shuls and Glasgow Reform are non observant to their movements standards?
    The purpose of a true modern perspective within Judaism requires commitment and understanding of the philosophy, not as a form of convenience or justification for an easier Jewish lifestyle.

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