Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

The Conservatives, Antisemitism and Extremism in Europe

Posted by Admin on November 19, 2009

Jim Murphy

Last week I blogged on this site about the Tories’ new friends in European politics. Over the weekend I thought I should post something more detailed about antisemitism in Europe more generally and, in particular, the Tories’ appalling new alliances.

The leader of the Tories’ new political grouping in Europe is none other than Michal Kaminski, a Polish politician with an antisemitic, neo-Nazi past. The charges against Kaminski include his poisonous view that Poland should not apologise for the massacre of hundreds of Jews. Journalists have now disclosed the details of his past. Kaminski told a prominent paper, Nasza Polska, that the Polish President “should withhold apologies” for the massacre by Poles, with SS assistance, of hundreds of Jews in the village of Jedwabne in July 1941. He went further than that to become a founder of the Committee to Defend the Good Name of Jedwabne, an organisation which was established to deny the historical facts of the massacre at Jedwabne.

Our Foreign Secretary David Miliband has rightly condemned the Tories about their new friends, and has been attacked by the Tory Party in London. But David Miliband is right to speak out. His family is one of many with painful personal memories and deep loss from the Holocaust. I look forward to David taking up my invitation to come to East Renfrewshire in the New Year to speak to the Jewish community. The Tories should be ashamed of themselves for teaming up with people with extreme views, and then attacking the Foreign Secretary for telling the truth.

I also noticed some of the comments over the weekend on this blog. My original posting has sparked some debate. Some people used this as an attempt to attack my politics or to criticise others in the Jewish community. My aim is much more straightforward than that: to draw attention to a real worry I have about the Tory Party’s new alliances in Europe.

I was interested to read that my good friend Rabbi Barry Marcus (Orthodox Rabbi of London’s Central Synagogue) and others have criticised the Tory partnership with Kaminski. I first got to know Rabbi Marcus some years ago when I started helping organise visits to Auschwitz for Scottish school pupils. Rabbi Marcus accompanied us and helped the children understand what they were seeing and feeling. He also led us in prayer in Auschwitz. He is a good and honest man. Rabbi Marcus’ intervention should shake party members out of their support for the crazy decision of the Tory Party leadership. His words should encourage would-be Tory MPs out of their silence. But so far no Tory MP or candidate is willing to stand up and be counted.

This is a sorry episode for the Conservative Party. There are many very good people in the Conservative Party, some of whom I consider to be good friends. But their party leadership have left a political grouping which includes Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Angela Merkel of Germany. Instead they have joined forces with dark and unsavoury characters. It’s not too late for decent Tories to break their silence.

I want to make some much broader points related to this controversy about antisemitism in Europe and beyond. Some of these comments come from a speech I made in the House of Commons:

Europe is today possibly the most tolerant of all continents. But Europe has experienced historic struggles between tolerance and faith and race based hatreds. We all know that European antisemitism is not a new phenomenon.

As we all know intellectualised antisemitism is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history the Jew of the antisemites’ destructive imagination has been simultaneously weak and inferior whilst also being all powerful. The French thinker and socialist Dohm articulated and reinforced a common perception of advanced thinkers on the eve of the French revolution that the Jews were indeed inferior but could be changed for the better. The French revolutionary thinker Fourier said “Are the Jews not the leprosy and the perdition of the body politic? In short the Jews are a parasitical sect.”  But perhaps uniquely Jews have an alter image of omnipotent and all powerful. And there always appears to be a utilitarian purpose for theories of antisemitism.

They have been blamed for many major European wars including the Napoleonic, First and Second World Wars. During the Boer War some in Britain accused the Government of pandering to Jewish gold mine owners in South Africa. During the Russian civil war Jews were interchangeably portrayed as being behind both the revolution and counter revolutionary forces. In fact counter-revolutionary officers circulated the fraudulent early 20th century antisemitic tome the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This utilitarian function is what is different from the discriminatory instincts and violent actions against other faiths in the past.

The Extreme Right, such as the BNP has at least two ways to rationalise its stand. Firstly, the tangible hatred of “the other” – be it Jew or Muslim or anyone different. Every society has its other – the visibly, culturally, ethnically or religiously different individuals in communities that helps a society form its own identity. For long periods in Europe the Jews were the only substantial other. But the Hard Right view of supremacy based on demonising the other is a twisted logic. Because, as we know, if our identity is formed by what we are not, it is a weak and fragile identity that will lead inevitability towards destructive competition and conflict. The Jewish community, of course, understands only too well the destructive power of the myth of the other.

The UK Government is amongst the most acutely aware of its responsibility of perhaps any government in the world. Not only is HMG providing some financing for the launch of this new think tank in the form of Department for Communities and Local Government’s commission of work on antisemitic discourse, but we are fully committed to supporting this initiative. From our perspective, it is excellent that we will have an independent, London-based body to draw advice from. Research and statistics on antisemitism in Europe, and racism more broadly, remains poor and we think there is real scope for this organisation to make a difference – including with the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, which has experienced difficulties dealing with antisemitism in the past as a result of having commissioned poor research.

Our commitment is absolute. That is the reason we welcomed the All Party Inquiry into Antisemitism and its important recommendations to the police, the Home Office, Government departments, schools and universities on steps to take to monitor antisemitism better and to reduce levels of abuse.

For those of us in public life we have a responsibility to speak out. I have always stood up against antisemitism regardless of where I find it, whether it is from left-wing or right-wing politicians. I have written and spoken about it before in Parliament and beyond. We should all do everything we can to challenge antisemitism, particularly those of us who are elected to positions of responsibility.

The Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP is the Secretary of State for Scotland.

400 Responses to “The Conservatives, Antisemitism and Extremism in Europe”

  1. Don't be in any Doubt said

    Thank you Jim Murphy. I may not agree with you about every policy of your Government but I respect the fact that you are a god hard working constituency MP.
    Members of our Jewish community that think that it is important to have an MP who they can contact if required should not be in any doubt that they should vote for you.
    Our community has never had as good a friend as you to represent our interests in Parliament. We never saw any Tory MP in the past other than two days before polling.
    The Tory Party have never been interested in the Jewish community.
    Thank you for taking the time to post Mr Murphy.

  2. Alex said

    How do GJEF manage it? In the same week as the Queen’s Speech they have secured an article for our community from Cabinet Member, Jim Murphy, the Secretary of State for Scotland.
    I genuinely don’t understand how they manage to ensure that Scotland’s top politicians engage with our community. Nevertheless, I am very impressed.

  3. Inquisitive said

    Its about time someone asked Richard Cook, The Conservative Party candidate in East Renfrewshire, to say where he stands on this. Will he do what is right and criticise his Party’s alliances to the far right loony fringe in Europe?
    Bet he wouldn’t dare?
    I don’t want my name on any Conservative list so I can’t ask but I’m sure that Ivor Tiefenbrun will have no qualms in getting us an answer

    richard.cook@eastrentories.co.uk

  4. Giffnock Resident said

    The Tories have never cared one iota about the Jewish community in East Renfreshire.
    Jim Murphy and Ken Mackintosh have been the best friends our community have ever had as elected politicians.

  5. Herald Reader said

    Congratulations Ivor Tiefenbrun on your company’s excellent business results, written about in the business section of today’s Herald.
    You are obviously a very successful businessman.
    That’s your game Ivor and there is nothing wrong with that.
    Politics is not your strength and that is very obvious from what you wrote on this blog. Don’t worry about it Ivor and don’t get hung up about it – keep doing what you do best and leave commentary on political issues and antisemitism to others who know much more about these things than you do.

  6. Community Member said

    A much needed rational response to the hysterical over-reaction to the Dispatches programme on the pro-Israel lobby was written yesterday by Tony Lerman for Comment is Free on the Guardian.
    Please see the link below – The Pro-Israel lobby and antisemitism – no apology to A Beitz for giving you the link (whatever became of him?)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/20/c4-dispatches-israel-lobby-antisemitism

  7. Alex said

    Lerman is a most refreshing voice. Otherwise we would read almost nothing different from the hysterical outbursts of the establishment both locally and nationally.

  8. Tory Voter said

    I have read Jim Murphy’s article and post and much as it disappoints me I have to admit that he is right. Despite my opposition to much of what his Government have done I won’t vote Tory next time unless they openly distance themselves from these far right groups in Europe.
    Mr Murphy will get my vote now.

  9. Local UJIA donor said

    I have just watched a recording of last week’s Dispatches Programme about the pro-Israel lobby in the UK.
    Is there any tie up between UJIA and Bicom?
    I would be grateful if someone could let me know.

  10. CST Watcher said

    If anyone can answer the above question I would like to know the connection to the CST. Did anyone note in the programme the delightful manner of Mr Gerald Ronson – the boss of the CST.

  11. Community Member said

    The producer of the Dispatches programme, David Henshaw, on the Israel Lobby has written in today’s Guardian about the programme

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/nov/23/censorship-dispatches-antisemitism-islamophobia

  12. Community Member said

    Anyone with any interest in Israel whatsoever should read this from Haaretz

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1130262.html

    ” How we became a night unto Nations ” by Yoel Marcus

    Yes, you read it correctly , night, no longer light

    Very interesting statement with huge relevance to the current debate

    ” our opponents are not motivated by antisemitism. If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel then antisemitism is the last refuge of the occupier”

  13. David (UJIA) said

    I wrote this 10 days ago and I am very disappointed that UJIA have not supported Mr Murphy

    David ( UJIA) said
    November 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm
    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.

    I think UJIA have an obligation to tell the community where they stand on this.

  14. Community Member said

    Interesting piece from Seth Freedman about the occupation of the West Bank and Israeli settlements.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/26/israel-occupation-jerusalem-light-railway

  15. Not that gullible said

    They are at it again. Scojec meet the First Minister. Usual spin and of course inflated claims that attempt to give credence to the idea that Ephraim Borowski is some sort of communal superstar.
    We should of course be grateful to Scojec. They are wonderful people who are doing their utmost to make people of influence realise that Ephraim Borowski and Walter Sneader are in fact wonderful people.
    No arguments about this at all. Scojec are a fantastic organisation that deserve out thanks and praise because they and no one else can represent our community in such a brilliant manner.
    The very notion though that they have any sort of democratic mandate is bullshit.
    I don’t know how Borowski only got an MBE.
    The guy is just so good and so dedicated to our welfare, and so disinterested in any personal acclaim for himself that he should have been made a Lord. As for Walter Sneader what can one say. Another guy who just wants to serve our community and our community is just so lucky to have him too. The fact that he was a dreadful ex President of the Rep Council who achieved so little during his period of office then should be erased from history. Walter Sneader is in charge again and we should be bloddy grateful that he is.
    And if you believe all of this you might as well believe in fairy stories.

    http://www.scojec.org/misc/2009/09xi_fm/fm.html

  16. Celtic Supporter said

    On the subject of meddling with no constructive intent today I heard the latest story about one Ephraim Borowski.
    Apparently he has been sending out stupid emails requesting that a Celtic supporting Jewish family might be prepared to comment on the STUC call to fly Palestinian flags at Celtic’s game against Hapoel Tel Aviv this Wednesday, in response to a request from the BBC.

    My observations are as follows. There seems to have been an intermediary who wouldn’t comment himself but thought the suggestion was sensible enough to act as Mr Borowski’s postman.
    Maybe Mr Borowski or Postman Pat might be prepared to tell us why Jewish families should be asked to comment at all. I don’t support Celtic because I believe in one Israeli policy or another. I support Celtic because of football. If the STUC want people to show sympathy with Palestinians by waving flags, I don’t personally think it will make one bit of a difference and is probably a futile gesture.
    However, if some people want to do it then let them get on with it.
    Why should I object?

    Further to the previous post about the crazy antics of Scojec and Borowski, I think this is more evidence that these people ( and their companions in the Jewish postal service) are quite frankly crackers.

    They wouldn’t do it themselves but would rather someone else puts their pen to their daft ideas.

    Such supporters Celtic and the Jewish community can do without.

  17. Armchair Analyst said

    Moving right along, my question is addressed to the STUC:

    Congratulations on being champions of the underdog. We now await your call to Celtic supporters to also fly flags of solidarity with the thousands of Irish children abused with impunity by agents at all levels of the Catholic Church there.

  18. Also Celtic Minded said

    Quite so Armchair Analyst but lets get our own house in order first.
    Why would a Jewish organisation behave so stupidly so as to try and get Jewish football supporters of Celtic involved in political advocacy just because the STUC wish to champion the underdog?
    Others, much more eloquent than me, have commented that in our community there is a wide variety of political opinions in relation to the Israeli Palestininan conflict. Why would Ephraim Borowski think that we would want to score points for Israeli policy because Celtic happen to be playing an Israeli Football Team?
    Show Borowski the Red Card.

  19. stamford hillbilly. said

    Here are the facts
    I have spoken to Eph. Bor once maybe twice in my life .
    He is not a friend and I have no specific loyalty to him.
    As a Celtic Supporter identified as such to him by a third party I was asked if Iwould like to speak to the bbc re the STUC flag waving protest ; at no time was it suggested that I said anything other than whatever I personally thought and SCOJECS involvement was only to find a willing participant in the debate as requested by the bbc . It is really pathetic that those who know little about the facts draw conclusions that suit their personal agendas and have yet another go at Scojec and EB.
    Those who know me well would put me at the margins of mainstream Jewish opinion……so if EB had an agenda of his own why would he have asked me at all ?
    On this matter all you snipers are simply wrong.
    Hail Hail.

  20. Celtic supporter said

    You are so naive Stamford Hillbilly. The very idea that Borowski wanted a comment from a Jewish Celtic fan about the STUC protest was without any doubt because he would have thought you would not endorse the STUC decision to protest in favour of the Palestinians. If he thought you would publicly comment in favour of the STUC he would not have sought your involvement.
    Celtic have issued a statement that points out that a football match is not the place for a political demonstration.
    Borowski wanted you to make a statement as a Jewish supporter condemning the STUC when it is not the job of this community to endorse Israeli politics in the Middle East.
    Wake up and smell the coffee Stamford Hillbilly. The intention was to use you. The Third Party that approached you either is naive about Borowski’s intentions or is as daft as Borowski in thinking this would have been a helpful intervention.
    Borowski’s postman or ” third party ” as you call them may be daft enough to do Borowski’s bidding. You SH should be clued up a little more. Scojec’s remit should not be to find Jewish supporters of Celtic to participate in BBC debates if by getting involved that is only likely to fuel tensions between the Jewish Community and Palestinian supporters.

  21. Community Member said

    Based on the premise that Israeli taxi drivers know everything about everything I thought I would ask one this morning about Celtic and Hapoel Tel Aviv.
    I have been reliably informed that Hapoel are not a good football team which if one reflects on the points Celtic have accumulated in this European competition says a great deal about the current state of the Glasgow team.
    The taxi driver, I can assure you, had nothing good to say about Borowski either.
    Perhaps, Stamford, you might wish to consider that as Ephraim Borowski was the mastermind behind taking a group of uninformed Scottish religious pilgrims to meet with declared supporters of Meir Kahane in Hebron in the summer of 2008, he might not be as neutral as you might wish to think when he asked you to speak to the BBC.

  22. Seymour Gordon said

    Perhaps CM you might consider that much praying was done by the ‘uninformed religious pilgrims’ to various and sundry dieties during the pilgrimage.

    If the Communites Minister gives them another dollop of cash for a second junket, one might say that Gods work in mysterious ways.

  23. stamford hillbilly. said

    CM and CS , you just do not get it …..EB may well not be neutral , the point is it was I who was asked to speak to the bbc and I therefor who set the agenda!!
    Anyway they used Eddie Isaacs…presumably because he had a better face for tv than I.
    Hail Hail and here’s hoping the Celts stuff the zionist , imperialist , pigdog Israeli bampots. (etc etc).

  24. Hapoel Tel Aviv Supporter said

    Eddie Isaacs. Don’t be so stupid.
    1. He is a Rangers supporter.
    2. I am reliably informed that knows nothing about the Middle East and talking informatively about a Palestinian demo would be beyond him.
    3. You might be extremely ugly Stamford but have you had a good look at Eddie ?

    Who was the postman or third party Borowski used? We know all about Borowski and what he gets up to but the identity of this person would be much more interesting.
    Who will be brave enough to own up to being a Borowski dupe without the balls to speak to the BBC ?
    Sad though for you Stamford – you were deemed less important or useful than good old Eddie Isaacs – Does it get worse than that?

  25. Celtic Supporter said

    The story unfolds piece by piece. Not only was Edward Isaacs an appointed spokesman on BBC TV but one David Links was on the radio.
    Now David Links may think of himself as an appropriate spokesperson for the Jewish community on Israeli affairs but sadly for David what he thinks and what is right is entirely different. David Links has a long undistinguished track record of allying himself to the lunatic fringe when talking about Israel. Yes I know he is a fellow Celtic supporter but a rocket scientist he will never be and probably the best excuse I can make for him would be to say he probably doesn’t understand what he is talking about. And I think I’m probably being very generous.
    So we’ve had Isaacs on the Television and Links on the Radio. It probably couldn’t get worse. And all because Borowski doesn’t understand when the appropriate response should be to say we don’t get involved in this, as Jewish supporters of Israel do not have a particular view on Israeli policy towards Palestinians.
    Whatever next?

  26. Amazed said

    David Links is a complete embarassment.Where did the BBC get this balloon from. As Jimmy Sanderson would have said, he talked complete bunkom. I have already requested a rebate on my license fee for having had to listen to his drivel. He should stick to what he knows best…Nothing!

  27. david links said

    Amazed
    Plonker .Please be aware radio licences were abolished years ago

  28. david links said

    Amazed and Celtic Supporter.

    Scumbags such as you hiding under your white sheets and hoods do nothing to enhance your reputation as the type of person to be involved with educating the Glasgow Jewish comunity. If you do not like my politics you may choose to do so but do not think that anyone takes a coward seriously. Disagree but stop the stupid comments. Thats playground tactics

    You obviously are the result of bad breeding and might be better leaving Glasgow or at least start trying to behave yourselves. You are unfit to be involved in promoting education as any education you may have has been wasted.

    You claim to be interested in Israels welfare but not one member of Gjef was present to hear the Ambassador speak to a packed room in the Hilton this morning. You would also heard Menachem Leibovitch World Chairman of JNF who took the trouble to come to Glasgow whle your group who claim to be so concerned could not take the trouble to come a few miles.

    If you had been there you could have spoken to Stephen Purcell the leader of the City Council and one of many members of the council who are not biased towards one side in the M.E. Unlike the recent Lord Provost Alex Mossad whose pathetic idealogy did nothing for himself or this city.

  29. Amazed said

    Mr Links,
    Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself to be a cowardly, ill educated, mongrel dressed in Ku Klux Klan garb I have no issue with the bulk of the charges you have chosen to level at me. That is your perogative.

    I do however take complete umbrage to your outrageous inference regarding my affiliation to GJEF. I don’t have any affiliation to GJEF and never have done. GJEF can answer the accusation regarding non-attendence at the meeting today to listen to the ambassador. Personally, I found it to be a great meeting and wss glad I went.

    You on the other hand have always been a balloon and full of hot air. Your response continues to demonstrate your unique talents of which we as a community are so proud. Perhaps it is time to look in the mirror before using such colourful language in future.

  30. one of a select few ...... said

    Although you will choke on your horlicks to find it out Mr Links I can assure you that at least two founding members of gjef had a private discussion with one other and Mr Prosor before the game where a number of issues were discussed ; so do not jump to conclusions-respect to the Israeli Ambassador was shown and indeed Mr Prosor was happy to discuss with gjef founders some of the issues surrounding Glasgow’s community ; the no show at your breakfast was a reflection on the organisation that hosted , not a reflection on gjef.And before you ask yes I was there and no I am not on gjef.
    BTW he even told those present what football team he supported….but there is no way I am going to tell you.

  31. Community Member said

    Poor David Links. So confused. So full of anger because his politics have been questionned on this blog. My apologies for not being present to hear the Israeli Ambassador at the football match. I was actually in
    Tel Aviv so I hope that is a good enough excuse for you.
    Because someone has a go at your political allegiances you think that must mean that GJEF are behind it. I don’t personally believe that GJEF will be that bothered with what David Links thinks about anything. David Links is not that important.
    What is important though is the mindset of people like David that encourages them to think that by being simplistic flag wavers for Israel that means they are better supporters for Israel than others.
    He thinks that being a member of JNF gives him better credentials than those that might support Israel in other ways. Israel needs candid friends who can think intelligently about issues not simply what David thinks he offers.
    I don’t believe that support for Israel is best served by the actions of David Links. I don’t think he is a better supporter of Israel than me and I do not think his track record is in any way better than mine in supporting community meetings about Israel in recent years. The trouble with David is that he doesn’t listen to any other views about Israel.
    Rattling a tin can and saying Israel is always right is not in my opinion a constructive and sensible approach to arguing Israel’s case.
    Your recent post that accuses people of having come from ” bad breeding ” only confirms that you are totally unfit to speak on behalf of this community about anything.
    Being ignorant David is not an excuse for your behaviour. JNF would be better off giving you a pension and getting rid of you.

  32. Deputy Dog said

    The Penny has dropped. Does Derek Livingston moonlight for the Royal Mail and as a postman for Ephraim Borowski during the Christmas period?

  33. david links said

    Community Member you may have missed my point. My total disgust is that people like Amazed and Celtic Supporter can come onto a website and anonymously be utterly rude and make comments which they would not make if they were not anonymous. Can you imagine a newspaper allowing anonymous letters. Only people of bad breeding will behave like that.

    If you think I should be retired from JNF tell me to my face. I suggest you would only do so in private. Would you do so in public I think not. Any idiot can be brave if they are anonymous. If you do not understand this you may not understand anything.

    Please also be aware I have never spoken on behalf of the community only on behalf of myself.
    I am not important and have never claimed to be.

    I have no problem at all with anybody questioning my politics. I do have a problem with people who do not respect my right to have an opinion. I also have no respect for anonymous people who seem to think people with opinions contrary to their own are ignorant.

    Now to my opinions! Firstly a Jewish non Israeli passport holder should in my opinion be careful not to be critical of the State of Israel in the wider community. Particularly in the Press and on TV and Radio. Keep your beefs for the time you can speak to an ambassador or other representatives of the Israeli government or Israelis. They can influence by their votes. To criticise in front of the wider community only leads to dividing our community and giving the upper hand to our neighbours and enemies who state that the Jews are fighting among themselves.

    If you have a favourite party in Israel who is defeated in an election does not mean one immediately starts a tirade against the elected government. There are many Jews in the UK who do no good whatsoever by taking ads in the papers declaring their oposition to this or that.

    I do not have any worries about JNF. If you have any I will arrange for you to meet one of the World Chairmen the next time you are in T.A.

  34. Community Member said

    David, the very fact that you use the term ” bad breeding ” shows you up for what you are or what you have become.
    I couldn’t care less whether someone posts anonymously – I understand why they and I choose to do so – I am much more interested in the content of their post than who wrote it.

    Now, lets move on to the content. I reject completely your argument that Jewish people should not criticise Israel openly if they are unhappy with a policy of the Israeli Government. The Israeli Government will in all probability not give this criticism too much thought but they have always been happy to tell Presidents and Prime Ministers that world Jewry stands behind them when it suits to do so.

    Your worries that people will think that Jews don’t always agree with one another is not exactly going to come as a massive revelation. In today’s world to expect that Jews would all agree about Israel and have no political preferences is quite simply absurd.

    Also, I have been listening to ambassadors for years. They are paid to spin a story on behalf of the government that employs them. They do not give and never have done a picture that would represent different opinions within Israel if those opinions are not shared by their Government. Quite simply, listening to ambassadors might give you some consolation that you are in the loop, when the reality is that you are being used to fan out the political message of the day. I am genuinely surprised that you haven’t realised this over the years given the importance you give to having breakfast with the representative of the Israeli Government in this country.

    We can leave the debate about JNF to another time. Yet again it is not as straightforward as you suggest. There are worries and real concerns about JNF and the land that they purchase exclusively for Jewish citizens and the work that they do which I will happily debate when you wish to do so.

    I will finish by pointing out that many politicians and academics from Israel have visited this community over the years.
    Where were you David, when you had the opportunity to hear and maybe understand better what the arguments were about? You do not have to agree with their politics but you may get a better appreciation of what the argument is about if you listen to different views. You were very rarely at these meetings.
    What I suggest upsets people on this blog about you David is that the meetings which you think are important are your meetings and you are happy to castigate others and other organisations for not being at your events. You think your meeting with the ambassador is the biggest show in town. Good luck to you but not everyone agrees. But lets have a little less of the pompous indignation when others may think that what you are doing is not as important as you do.

    You are quite entitled to take a political line when you talk to the BBC. Good luck to you. However, I and others are entitled to expose that as being political and point out that your views have consistently been supportive of the far right and that many Glasgow Jews will not agree with you. If you don’t like the criticism then keep quiet because some people feel very strongly that you do harm to Israel by your actions. You think that you are supporting Israel in the best way. I don’t.

  35. Amazed said

    David,

    Your continual assertion relating to my parenting by constant references to “bad breeding” deserve an explanation.

    Are you insinuating that I am of mixed race, cross bred or possess some genetic disorder? Some would call those charges racist, bigoted or absurd. Frankly I couldn’t care less and am entirely happy with my parenting.

    I on the other hand take great pleasure in seeing you continuing to demonstrate your close resemblance to a donkey. Are you Shrek in disguise?

  36. Anglo-Saxon Football Fan said

    It is dreadfully sad to see Celtic Football Club in such rapid decline.
    I would have thought that Celtic supporters should give more attention to the poor standard of their team as they have been eliminated from 2 European competitions before Christmas.
    Instead, according to this week’s Jewish Chronicle they are obsessed with the rights of others to protest against Israeli rule over Palestinians. Do Celtic’s Jewish supporters not understand that in a democracy people can protest about things if they wish to. ( I forgot protests about Israel are not acceptable under any circumstances)
    What has happened to Celtic’s Jewish support that their moral decline mirrors the current ability of their football team.
    I am old enough to remember that Celtic FC used to champion the underdog and did so much to highlight those in need. I recall that Celtic played a match once for Unicef.
    Why don’t Celtic’s Jewish supporters do something useful and ask their club to play a benefit match to help all those who suffered during the war in Gaza.

  37. Community Member said

    I’m sure David Link’s views on this will be of interest to us all. A very interesting article has appeared on the Guardian website by Seth Freedman about JNF

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/06/israel-palestine-trees

    Here’s a flavour David of what its all about –

    “The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is no stranger to controversy, its sectarian approach to charity work having fomented tension for decades in Israel and abroad. The JNF is once again embroiled in a row, though this time the tables have turned, with the fund’s administrators finding themselves cast as pantomime villains by diehard supporters of the Jewish state.

    The JNF’s crime is its decision to donate 3,000 trees to a housing project run by the Palestinian Authority – a move creating fury among traditional backers of the JNF’s operations. The national president of the Zionist Organisation of America (ZOA) pulled no punches in his impassioned reproach of the JNF, proclaiming his disgust at a situation which many neutrals would find little to be disparaging about:

    We are deeply critical and indeed shocked by the decision of the JNF to donate thousands of trees, grown with money donated by Jews from around the world, to the PA. Has it really come to this? That a venerable Zionist organisation with only one purpose – the building-up of a sovereign Jewish national existence – takes money from Jews and then uses [the] funds to make a gift of trees to Israel’s unreconstructed enemies? “

  38. Local JNF Donor said

    I want to know as well what you think David.

  39. David Links said

    Community Member at least your comments are now not so insulting and as such deserve a reply.

    First a lesson in punctuation. David Link’s should be David Links’s. Second a maths exercise for one and all. 3000 trees were planted in Eretz Israel. This is ongoing work and can be added to the 250,000,000 planted previously all in Eretz Israel. You may wish to calculate the 3k as a percentage of the 250 million already planted. Answers with an entry fee of a £5 donation to KKL-JNF Scotland to our office. All correct entries will be published on the blog!

    JNF plant trees only in Eretz so what’s your beef?

    Hopefully nobody requires a lesson in Geography.

  40. Local JNF Donor said

    Well David, if I have understtood you correctly, you have now received my LAST contribution to JNF. I wouldn’t give you another penny and I will ask others to stop giving you as well.

  41. Voice Down South said

    How interesting Mr Links. What a wonderful ambassador you are for JNF, although you can at least be applauded for your honesty.
    Unfortunately, facts spoil your argument.
    The Palestinian Authority is not part of Eretz Israel and the town that will benefit from the trees is not part of Eretz Israel either.
    I suggest that your Geography is out of date.
    I would add my voice to Local JNF Donor but I would go further and suggest that those little JNF Charity boxes ought to be emptied and the money given to worthwhile causes because Mr Links you have confirmed that JNF is in fact still an organisation that holds racist sentiments deep to its heart. Mr Freedman describes it well…..

    Some critics accuse the JNF of attempting to erase Palestinian national history by planting forests over the ruins of former Palestinian towns and villages, while others claim that much of the JNF-administered land on the Israeli side of the Green Line was illegally taken from the Palestinians, and as such should be returned to its rightful owners. The JNF’s refusal to lease land to Arabs was also the centre of a furore in recent years, with courtroom battles eventually forcing the fund to end its system of racial discrimination, despite heavy Knesset support for the JNF’s original policies.

  42. KKL Box Owner said

    I know there are good people who work for JNF locally who only want to raise money for an Israeli charity. They will neither understand nor support the policies of JNF regarding the treatment of Arabs and will be shocked to hear their charity being described as racist, which it could be on the evidence of the article talked about.
    The problem it seems to me is David Links.
    His politics are horrible and his views are a hindrance to Glasgow JNF. At least they ought to be. Its time Links was fired – he is past his sell by date.

  43. David Links said

    How sad that a number of you charitable minded people are in getting upset at JNF. Their gesture in making a token contribution of a few sapplings to the Palestinians is to be commended. After all they are trying to make peace with their neighbours.

    There are too many talkers who only criticise and are rarely practical.No doubt that’s why they hide behind their masks. The majority of the GJC have little regard for this blog and a read through so much of its childish content will confirm that opinion.

    JNF and a whole host of charities are in need of helpers. So few step forward. If the serial bloggers spent half of the time they spend on the blog and devoted it to any worthy charity it would do some good.

    Channukah Sameach to one and all.

  44. Local JNF Donor said

    Mr Links, you don’t even have the humility to realise that you should shut up and do so very quickly.
    Until you opened your big mouth and allowed your inflated ego to get the better of commonsense I wasn’t particularly interested in your politics.
    However, when I read and learn what you are about I now know that you are an embarassment to the organisation that you are part of – JNF. Your language is crass – it is unacceptable –
    Your condescending superior attitude about ” a token contribution of a few sapplings to Palestinians ” says so much about you.
    You are pathetic Mr Links. You make a huge noise about your supposed pro-Israel credentials when the reality is that you are of no help to Israel or our community at all. Friends like you Israel can do without.
    Has it occurred to you Mr Links that your presence on JNF might actually deters others?

    I had and have no interest in Golf or Bonnyton but now that I have followed your recent conduct I’m not at all surprised that they were happy to get shot of you.
    My advice to JNF is that they do the same.

    The saddest thing about this is that you don’t have the intelligence to debate the Palestinian issue seriously.
    That though is not a good excuse.

  45. Observer said

    Rather damning David. Will you be counted out by knockout or will you be back this evening?
    It had better be a good response or you will be struggling to stay in the contest.

  46. Newton Mearns Shul Member said

    If JNF follow Bonnyton and get rid of David Links could someone tell us how to do it because we’ve had to put up with him for far too long and your advice would be so appreciated. He’s one of these guys that hangs around for far too long.

  47. Jews for Celtic said

    This is not fair. If Bonnyton, JNF and Newton Mearns all get rid of David Links, that would give him far too much time to bore us silly with his opinions on Celtic.
    We think that the best solution would be to put David up for a free transfer. No fee required and salary expectation in any new position expected to be very very very low.
    As he is a member of Scottish Friends of Israel, perhaps they could keep him on a permanent basis. Other suggestions include the Rep Council or Scojec. Maybe Joy Wolfe from Cheadle could use him.
    No one will be hard to deal with. David is yours if you want him. Just take him off everyone else’s hands.
    He has become the Souness of the Jewish community. ( Fellow Celtic supporters will know what we mean)

  48. Memo 356785 (Journalists Union ) said

    We would encourage the Jewish Telegraph newspaper in Scotland not to plagiarize press releases from the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities website discussing a meeting between that organisation and the First Minister, Alex Salmond.
    It was brought to our attention that the front page article in last week’s newspaper was virtually identical to the news item on that organisation’s website.
    That is not good practice.

  49. Community Member said

    Seems like David Links’ understanding of the concept of Eretz Israel is running into more trouble than ever.
    No doubt we will hear Mr Borowski complaining that this is just antisemitism. It dosn’t work like it used to Ephraim.

    The British government has for the first time called on all supermarkets to inform customers clearly when they are buying food produced by Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/10/guidance-labelling-food-israeli-settlements

  50. Mr Reasonable said

    The most stupid letter of the week is in the JC. Stanley Grossman of SFI, one of David Links’ friends
    ( I suppose Links doesn’t have too many options and has to befriend someone, even if it has to be Stanley) made some inane remarks about Palestinians failing to grasp opportunities to be positive.
    Poor Stanley was never renowned for being very bright – which is probably why he fits so well into the Scottish Friends of Israel – and doesn’t understand that there isn’t actually much for the Palestinians to feel positive about.
    Unless of course they think that it has been pretty good to be under military occupation for over 40 years, have no State of their own, precious few human rights, and by and large live in poverty.

  51. Not Reasonable at all said

    Mr Reasonable, you are not being reasonable at all. Stanley Grossman and David Links are part of the luny fringe in our community. Their politics are barking mad and they are an embarassment to our good name.

  52. Mr Reasonable said

    What is it about names that begin with Gross.
    I stand by everything I said about Stanley Grossman but this guy Michael Gross – see below – is even worse.

    Borowski may yet get himself a hit squad to blow away GJEF.

    I wonder who else has reason to be troubled by the GJEF blog for exposing their weaknesses for all to see?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/dec/13/israel-academic-antisemitism-documentary-dispatches

  53. Community Member said

    Good article by Seth Freedman on the suffering expereienced by Palestinians at the hands of the Settlers

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/14/settlement-freeze-palestinian-west-bank

  54. Stanley Links said

    Excellent gesture by Israel to ease restrictions on Palestinians for XMAS

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jnpek1m_aF4it_f3PkMk3SM_6hQwD9CJ4P7O4

  55. David Grossman said

    David Grossman sounds much better than Stanley Links – and is a well known Israeli author with dovish beliefs.
    Try another wind up Stanley – what’s coming next? Israel’s military occupation is the most benign occupation in the history of military occupations? Think not.

  56. Slinky Grossman said

    Is someone trying to be funny about my name and my politics?

  57. Seth Lerman said

    Interesting article showing a complete lack of unity amongst palestinians

    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=246687

  58. Walter Collins said

    Inspirational words from the outstanding figure in our midst:-

    http://www.scojec.org/misc/tftd/2009/09xii_11_miracles_old_and_new.pdf

  59. Ephraim Sneader said

    What’s going on here. Its very confusing. I can’t work out whether I am a Dr or a Philosopher.

  60. Chaim Rubins said

    Ephraim, Confusion over…..your definately a Doctor of Philosophy!

  61. Eddie Mendelsohn said

    Could Walter Collins please tell us what on earth could be considered inspirational about Borowski’s Chanukah message. It was rubbish.

  62. Philip Isaacs said

    Eddie, Borowski wasn’t that good.

  63. Davy Slinks said

    Tzipi Livni could have been arrested if she had turned up at a JNF conference in London. I wouldn’t advocate arresting people for supporting JNF. I would have thought public censure would be sufficient punishment for supporting this organisation.
    Any Israeli politician unsure what to do please contact Mr David Links ( no relation ) for useless advice on how to support Israel properly. Everything David tells you please ignore because you would be better advised to think for yourself rather than spouting nonsense about ” my country right or wrong “

  64. Billy Beitz said

    I can’t decide where I stand on this. On the one hand I think that Israeli politicians need to realise that ordering their army to attack civilian areas has potential ramifications in the future for them personally. However, on the other hand I know that life for Israelis is very complicated and politicians have to act as they see fit in the defence of the Israeli people.
    Why is life so complicated? I keep getting stuck on the fence.

  65. Ettie Edlin said

    Why has no one spoken of my cousin Paul?
    Does anyone know that he met the Russian President recently and told him all about his important work with the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council. The Russian President was well impressed and assured Paul that whenever advice is required he will phone him immediately.
    Paul will also be advising Barak Obama and President Sarkozy in the near future because he is without doubt a brilliant communicator who is destined for huge things.

  66. Armchair Analyst said

    The following communication has just been received by me from Comrade V. Putin (retd).

    A private meeting took place in Moscow recently between myself and Deputy Paulus Edlinsky of the Kilmarnock Dental Association. I couldn’t get my teeth into what he was saying while he noticed that I had a big mouth. It’s a start.

  67. Ettie Edlin said

    Cousin Paul advises Presidents, Kings, Queens,and Prime Ministers. He also runs the Board of Deputies and the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council. And of course he advises Governments on Holocaust reparations.
    If Comrade Putin couldn’t understand what Paul had to tell him I would have thought that this reflects badly on Comrade Putin.
    I am sure that our community should organise a Sunday afternoon talk in with Paul so he can advise us all how to be as successful as him and as big a personality.
    I don’t know who could chair it though. I’m not sure Glasgow has anyone of the same stature to sit on the same stage.

  68. Eddie Edlin said

    The only thing my cousin Paul ought to be concerned with is not who will be on the stage with him but rather whether he will fall through the stage.

  69. Katie Kliner said

    My cousin Stephen is much more important than Paul Edlin. Why don’t you do a simple test. Draw two columns and on the left list all Stephen’s communal achievements and on the right list Paul’s. Its what we Americans call a no-brainer.

  70. Eddie Edlin said

    My vote’s for Paul Edlin any day and its not because he’s my cousin. He is streets ahead of Stephen Kliner. I’ll bet Kliner wouldn’t get more than 2 votes if the community was to vote about this and the 2 votes would be Kliner himself and his missus.

    What is Philip Mendelsohn doing? Today’s back page of the Jewish Telegraph carries a report that the Board of Deputies are coming to Glasgow in January. Who cares? Firstly, only some members of the Rep Council and Scojec are really important, and Paul is streets ahead of every one of them. Secondly, we don’t need the President of the Board to come up here and tell us we still have an important place in UK Jewry. We have cousin Paul, on the Board, Mr Mendelsohn so we know we are important.

    A visit by the Board does not signify anything about our place as a community in UK Jewry. Do we not have more confidence on the importance of communal life here in Glasgow than some sort of consolation being taken because the Board want a January jolly to Glasgow.
    Its time Paul was made President here. We need someone big enough for the job and cousin Edlin is certainly well qualified on that account.

    Good morning.

  71. Phoney Tankel said

    I see no debate on this one. Effy is the top boy, the big cheese, the numero uno with the lovely Leah for support and cheerleading.

    Stevie Klingon, Philip Kneidelsoup, Slinky Linksy, Eddie Isex and Paul Goblin are mere nobodies by comparison to this dynamic duo.

  72. Leo the Lion said

    The name Tankel appearing on this blog was at first glance justice being served after the maulings handed out to various members of the community. Tony Tankel’s association with GJEF, and this blog, along with his colleagues Nick Naddell, Michael Samuel, David Barnett and Jeremy Stein has been well documented since the organisation came to life a few years ago. Once upon a time Derek Livingston was also a member of GJEF but I understand he resigned just before they sacked him for cosying up to Ephraim Borowski too closely.

    I then thought about this a little more closely. I have to hand it to these guys. They have been castigated in public for allowing this blog to continue. They have been ignored by the established organisations because they have intruded on to territory that they previously could have called their own. They have however continued to do what they want – their blog rolls on and the organisation now seems to have a more defined radical edge.

    I can’t think of many if any who have been attacked unfairly on the blog. Most of the individuals have got what was coming to them. There isn’t too much sympathy going to be handed out to guys like Paul Edlin, David Links, Ephraim Borowski or Stephen Kliner. The reality is that most things said about these individuals is basically right and fair.

    Others like A Beitz and Nachman Aronovitch have been lampooned and there is nothing like pricking balloons of pomposity to warm up a cold winter’s night. We have even witnessed on line rantings of rage when Nachman couldn’t take the heat that was self-inflicted.

    I remember Chaim Jacobs declaring this blog as the “Web of Hate” and I even recall sermons by Moshe Rubin claiming that this blog stopped people joining communal committees. If ever there was an argument for not taking the clergy seriously this was it.

    GJEF are still around and despite communal declarations that the blog would perish, it hasn’t.

    Glasgow’s communal scene is livelier because of this forum’s existence. Of course some don’t like what is written and that will never change. The biggest lie told by so many is that they ” never read it ” – but you and I know that they do. If I had a pound for every person in Glasgow who has told me this and if I received another pound from those same individuals who then profess great knowledge of what has been written in the past 24 hours I would be a very wealthy individual indeed.

    I also hear continually that the postings all come from the same few individuals. Who cares if they do? The interesting bit is that no one can be that sure and there is always that element of doubt that something written may have come from someone new.

    I wish the blog a very successful future. May it go from strength to strength telling me and you communal news that others would never tell you.
    Don’t worry who I am. You will never know. I am certainly not Tony Tankel or anyone else from GJEF. I am not Ephraim Borowski either and if anyone suggests that I am Paul Edlin I would sue you if I could. I am also not Chaim Jacobs or Moshe Rubin and no one can accuse me of being Stephen Kliner, Eddie Isaacs or Philip Mendelsohn. I can also assure you I am much brighter than David Links. My identity is a secret and that’s the fun of it.

    Have a Good Day.

  73. BIELSKI PARTISAN said

    Well written Leo the Lion, I like yourself believe the GJEF have done loads to make Glasgow Jewry think alot more about what ScoJec & GJRC than just accept the piffle that is handed out by Ephriam, Philip & Walter (oops nearly forgot Leah G)to Glasgow Jewry as being the final word!

  74. Walter Wonka said

    Piffle. Not me. I have a distinguished record of communal achievement. The only problem is neither me or anyone else can recall any significant success.

  75. Liberal Supporter said

    Well said Mr Clegg. Alone among our political leaders Nick Clegg hassaid what needed to be said about the humanitarian blockade of Gaza

    “What is less well-known is the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The legacy of Operation Cast Lead is a living nightmare for one and a half million Palestinians squeezed into one of the most overcrowded and wretched stretches of land on the planet. And as Israel and Egypt maintain a near total blockade against Gaza, the misery deepens by the day.

    This is not only shocking in humanitarian terms. It is not in Israel’s or Egypt’s interest, either. Confining people in abject poverty in a tiny slice of territory is a recipe for continued bitterness, fury and radicalism.

    And what has the British government and the international community done to lift the blockade? Next to nothing. Tough-sounding declarations are issued at regular intervals but little real pressure is applied. It is a scandal that the international community has sat on its hands in the face of this unfolding crisis.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/22/lift-the-gaza-blocade-nick-clegg

  76. Orthodox said

    I am told that Masorti Judaism have delusions of fantasy and think that there is a chance that a Masorti Shul could be established in Glasgow. What a lot of nonsense. Masorti are of no relevance to Glasgow and anyone that thinks they might be should see a doctor because they are surely becoming crackers.
    This is just another branch of do it yourself Judaism that could be bought in the DIY department of B&Q.

  77. Armchair Analyst said

    Masorti may be seven short of a minyan in Glasgow, but we’re coming to a Shul near you this Easter.

    Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers

  78. BIELSKI PARTISAN said

    Happy New year , Armchair Analyst!

    MASORTI will be up and running by Peseach.

  79. Orthodox said

    Bielski Partisan you have confirmed my suspicions. Do Masorti celebrate Christmas too? Louis Jacobs got it badly wrong many years ago and you have got it wrong now. If you really believe that Masorti will be up and running by Pessach then I suggest you get yourself an appointment with a leading psychologist to explain your thoughts and hallucinations.
    What possible benefits would Masorti bring to Glasgow? None.
    Maybe Masorti will organise a Christmas Carol service next December.

  80. Not Orthodox said

    If Orthodox is right then its goodbye to religious life in Glasgow. Orthodoxy is finished. It is no more. The shuls are empty – no one is interested. Unless something like Masorti happens soon to create more or refreshed interest the game is well and truly up. Lets hope that we get Masorti because some people still need religion. Not me, I’d rather worship the moon and the sun.

  81. BIELSKI PARTISAN said

    Orthodox

    Masorti you say celebrate Xmas? Shows how ingorant you really are or that you running scared at the thought of a relgious movement that is the fastest growing in the UK setting up shop in Glasgow.

    New North London {masorti] shul has close to 2500 members , surely a sign that the product is good , there are countless other masorti shul’s where the attendance is increasing.

    Please come along on the 11th January and hear a great Masorti Rabbi speak.

  82. Curious said

    How can Masorti claim to be the fastest growing movement in the UK? Most people in Glasgow have no idea what Masorti is about and most Jews in the UK couldn’t care less.
    Most Jews in the UK are not interested in splinter groups and pedantic discussions about religious trivia. Shuls will become less full as time goes by and who can say that this is a bad thing. There are other important factors that determine the viability of a Jewish community, like shared culture, tradition and history.
    Bielski Partisan obviously needs religion and thinks that Masorti is the best answer. Good luck to him or her but the rest of us will not be persuaded that this is anything more than a passing whim.
    I have no time for the Orthodox United Synagogue but why would Masorti make any difference to my life?

  83. Leo the Lion said

    I think its time the blog had an annual competition,
    Who was the biggest clot on the blog during 2009?

    Choose 1 only from the following list –

    A Beitz
    Nachman Aronovitch
    Community Member
    Mark Gardner
    David Links
    Jim Murphy MP
    Ivor Tiefenbrun OBE

    We don’t need Admin to run it. Just vote when submitting your comment. Closing date can be 10th January.
    Good luck

    I’m voting for Linksy, so he’s already the favourite.

  84. Voice Down South said

    My vote is for Nachman Aronovitch.

  85. Beachgrove Gardner said

    My vote is for Mark.

  86. Celtic supporter said

    David Links by a mile

  87. Giffnock Shul Member said

    I vote Beitz. He was a model of consistency.

  88. Newton Mearns Shul Member said

    David Links for me. Community Member 2nd. Jim Murphy in 3rd Place.

  89. Leo The Lion said

    I’m delighted that the competition is progressing so well.

    I am happy to announce that I will donate the prize for the winner –
    A Tub of Clotted Cream ( Parev of course)
    This will be presented appropriately ( by pouring it over the winner’s head) at the home of Dr Paul edlin at the conclusion of one of his legendary Shabbos Dinners.

    The score so far is

    David Links 3
    A Beitz 1
    Mark Gardner 1
    Nachman Aaronovitch 1

    Get your votes in quickly please

  90. An Israeli Ambassador said

    Ah my good friend Paul Edlin. I have fond memories of that wonderful Shabbat at his home.
    The food was splendid and the hospitality of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council was first class.

    For advice rendered to my predecessor, my vote goes to Nachman Aaronovitch.

  91. Leonie the Lioness said

    For the latest blog by my Uncle Leo I have to add him to the competition and his stupidity should be awarded by 5 votes

  92. Consul General said

    My esteemed colleague voted for Nachman Aaronovitch and I have no hesitation in voting for him too for imagined servies rendered.

    Sorry that should read immaculate services.
    English, like the previous ambassador, was never going to be our specialised subject.

    Jim Murphy MP gets my 2nd vote.

    Could I very respectfully inform Leoni The Lioness that the Israeli Government could never take part in a competition that allowed some people to get five votes at a time. We believe in 1 man, 1 vote, unless of course you are a Palestinian resident living in Judea and Samaria or even Gaza. As there are no Palestinians entered into this competition lets keep strictly to the rules – i vote at a time.

  93. Larry the Lion Cub said

    Leoni has never been the full shilling if you get my drift.
    Vote Links that’s what I’m doing.

  94. Harry The Lion Cub said

    My Vote is for Leo

  95. Parry THE Lion Cub said

    I would like to Vote for my Daddy Leo

  96. Garry THE Lion Cub said

    Can

    My vote goes to Leo the Lion

  97. B U Nicol said

    B U Nicol the dyslexic son of Leo votes for his Dad

  98. Lubavitch Watcher said

    Without any doubt A Beitz is the clot of the year on the blog and would walk away with the title in previous years as well.

    His vindictive assault on Glasgow Lubavitch was shameful.

    Incidentally, whoever keeps voting for Leo the Lion is barking mad – Leo isn’t in the competition you twerp , he is running it.

  99. The Right Voice said

    Community Member should be the clot of the year. He has consistantly put articles on here from the loony left, like Lerman and Seth Freedman and giving him this award would let him realise that Glasgow is unashamedly right wing and proud of it.
    I vote Community Member

  100. Leo The Lion said

    And the latest scores for clot of the year are as follows –

    David Links 4
    Nachman Aaronovitch 3
    A Beitz 2
    Community Member 1
    Mark Gardner 1
    Jim Murphy 0
    Ivor Tiefenbrun 0

    There are still a few days to go. Will Linksy win it? He is obviously the favourite. However, Nachman is still in contention and quite capable of pulling in the required votes. But Beitzy could be the dark horse and snatch the title in the end.

    Another name that has come to mind that I think should be allowed to enter, even at this late stage is Stamford Hillbilly.

    Vote now on the GJEF blog. You know it makes sense.

  101. stamford hillbilly said

    I vote for Stamford Hillbilly.

  102. Labour Party Supporter said

    Please put a cross next to Ivor Tiefenbrun for his contribution to the blog.

  103. Anonymous said

    I second that Stamford Hillbilly. You are a complete clot and lets hope you win it.

  104. David Links said

    I would like to vote for myself. I need all the votes I can get. Clotted cream is really very very tasty. Who is providing the Scones and the Jam?

  105. Bonnyton Golfer & NM Shul Goer said

    Linksy, for one small second I almost thought you were funny and I could have been tempted to vote for you. I have always considered you a clot but I still can’t vote for you. Instead I’m voting for Nachman.

  106. Leo The Lion said

    Latest scores –

    David Links 5
    Nachman Aaronovitch 4
    A Beitz 2
    Stamford Hillbilly 2
    Mark Gardner 1
    Community Member 1
    Ivor Tiefenbrun 1
    Jim Murphy 0

    Polling closes at 10pm on Sunday night – 10th January.

    Vote now for the blog clot of the year.

  107. Glasgow Limmud Supporter said

    Will Glasgow’s Orthodox Rabbonim be at Limmud?
    Has anyone asked Rabbi Rubin to lead a session?
    I think we should be told.

  108. Secular Simon said

    The vast majority of United Synagogue Rabbonim are dinosaurs. I know I’m generalising but the reality is that they are only interested in their kind of education and their kind of narrow definition of what is acceptable.

    A friend of mine was in Amsterdam recently and told me that the Jewish museum was open on a Saturday. . Now that’s what I call normal. I have no problem with those who are Shomer Shabbat living their lives in this way but I can no longer be bothered with these people telling the rest of us how we should live our lives. Here, the religious try and determine how we live. Most of us are happy to identify as part of a Jewish community but we don’t want religious decrees telling us what is right. Might be right for them but not for the rest of us.

    Think of the storm that would erupt if a Jewish organisation in Glasgow said they were going to open on a Saturday. We are not living according to the rules of a religious taliban so secular people, its time to stand up for our rights, and say enough is enough.

    Masorti is not the answer. That’s another set of religious rules. What I want is less religion.

  109. Gorgeous George said

    Limmud Supporter are you aware that there is a Limmud session titled Kaballah and Madona led by Rabbi Danny Bergson of the Orthodox Newton Mearns Synagogue? I only read that when I arrived back in the UK this weekend before the Egyptians threw me out. If I can buy the Jewish Telegraph why can’t you it’s all over it.

    Now if Rabbi Danny who is as Orthodox as it gets, I do believe he goes to Shul regularly can lead such a session who are you to mock the activities of Glasgow’s Rabbonim. You also do not understand the first thing about Jewish Education and have not listened to Tankel and his pals on the GJEF. They are so educated that they are have set themselves up as the prime controllers of Jewish Education in this city.

    Parhaps you should have asked them about the worst act that a Jew can commit. That is to embarrass a fellow Jew in public such as on a website. They understand such things. They would never embarrass anyone they are so educated. They also know about Loshen Hora which is for your information (lit. EVIL TONGUE) a main precept on how to go about your daily life. You do not speak about anyone in a derogatary way even if it is true.

    I understand such things and so should you. The GJEF are giving a platform to a Rabbi who is offering an alternative approach to your religion. It may lead to yet another option open to you. At present there are about 200 people who attend Synagogue evry Saturday from a Jewish population of about 5K. The Synagogues are empty save 3 days a year. If you are worried about setting the religious bar too high join the Reform if you don’t go there already. Then you can sit at home on a Saturday happy that you are breaking less rules than your neighbour who is a member of an orthodox synagogue.

    Are the Masorti supporters going to suddenly change the habits of a lifetime and become weekly Shul (I think that’s what you call a Synagogue) goers. If you think the finance to build a congregation is going to appear from the GJEF supporters you are mistaken.

    The GJEF are talkers running the odd talkshop. They do not do anything constructive in between except criticising those that do. They even make their rants behind masks. They are just jokers having a laugh.

    What have even one of the heid bummers of the GJEF done for this community. Sorry I forgot TT. He used to coach Calderwood kids in the art of playing, sorry cheating at football. If the truth be told some of their leaders are stepping back from the front line and rightly so. They are embarrassed to be connected to the extent that it might affect their professional careers.

    This community needs volunteers to work for its organisations to help them flourish. It does not need armchair bloggers and it certainly does not need Masorti

  110. Bonnyton Golfer said

    I vote Links. Can I use a block vote. Almost every member of Bonnyton would vote in the same way if they had the opportunity.

    Put us down for 100 plus votes for David Links.

  111. Leo The Lion said

    I posted in defence of this blog on the 19th December. I wrote then and I will repeat it now, I am not a member of GJEF.
    I do though appreciate what they are about.
    The ridiculous rantings of Georgeous George – post 109 – require a response. Who wrote it is irrelevant. What is more important is that the mindset of such a person is obviously so bitter and troubled that the writer will be a certainty for clot of the year in 2010.

    Whoever was the author thinks they are an expert on GJEF. I know the people involved and I can assure you that there has not been one resignation because “members are embarassed to be connected to the extent that it might affect their professional careers.”

    In fact GJEF still has only lost one member in 3 years and that as we all know was Derek Livingston.

    GJEF have done more for community education in this city in the last 3 years than any other organisation, bar none. Not one other organisation comes close to providing 20 plus public lectures in 3 years. Not one other organisation has delivered Government Ministers from both UK and Scottish Governments on a public platform for anyone in this community to hear.

    Along with UJIA I do believe they produced 50 plus youth at Eastwood Theatre to take part in a seminar on racism attended by yet another Minister.

    Bigotry and a bigoted attitude has little or no respect for boundaries. So the attack on GJEF, the intolerance towards Reform , the implacable opposition to Masorti before even hearing the argument, all points to reliable evidence that the writer is someone deeply troubled and upset that times have changed since GJEF and their blog came about.

    Perhaps they should get professional help.

  112. NM Shul Member said

    If Bonnyton are using a block vote for D Links then I will too. Sixty Five votes for David Links please.

  113. SFI sympathiser said

    WE, the Scottish Friends of Israel, would use a block vote but we only have 3 members. We vote Links too. Someone has just told me that this is for Clot of the Year so maybe that’s not right.
    Let me see, vote Links anyway.

  114. Leo The Lion said

    David Links is the blog clot of the year. Congratulations Mr Links. You walked away with the title by a massive margin.

    You will be notified when you have to appear at Paul Edlin’s house for Friday night supper. You will receive your prize – a jug of clotted cream will be poured over your head.

    David Links is clot of the year.
    ( those that are overly cynical will no doubt be commenting that they could have told us this without having to have a competition to prove it. )

    Thank you to all those who took part and thank you to all those that voted.

  115. Community Member said

    Very interesting article about Iran written by one of GJEF’s friends – Tony Klug

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/11/bombing-iran-arab-peace-initiative

  116. Interested in Israel said

    JPR, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research has just launched a survey about the place of Israel in the lives of Jews living in Britain. This is pretty groundbreaking in the context of UK-based Jewish research – it’s the first time a survey like this has been conducted here – It will take about 15 minutes of your time, and it includes a range of questions that I think you will find genuinely interesting. It doesn’t matter what you think – you could be left-wing, right-wing, care passionately about Israel, have little interest in Israel, don’t know what to make of Israel, be confused about what’s going on in Israel, whatever…

    And/or… if you know other people – friends, spouse, parents, other family members, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. – who might be interested in having their say, feel free to let them know about it. They just need to be Jewish, living in the UK (not necessarily UK citizens), and aged 18 or over to be eligible.

    Here’s the link: http://www.ipsos-mori.com/israelsurvey. Click on it, fill in your email address, and you’ll be sent an email enabling you to access the online questionnaire. None of the sponsoring organizations will retain your details unless you specifically allow them to do so.

  117. One of the Privileged Few said

    I am very concerned about an invite I received to the following meeting. I have thought long and hard about what to do about this. I have never written anything on this or any other blog before but I think it is not acceptable that the future of our community is discussed and decided upon by a secret cabal. Accordingly, I have decided to speak out and I hope that by doing so I have contributed just a little to communal democracy. We have seen so many times attempts to discuss where our community is heading but when I look at the invitee list I think that many of my esteemed colleagues in community life are not on it.

    I truly hope that by taking this step a vigorous discussion will ensue. Thank you.
    Please see below.

    The Glasgow Jewish Representative Council wishes to facilitate a meeting of some key individuals to discuss various aspects of our community’s future. There are a number of serious matters facing us and this meeting would be beneficial in raising the awareness of these issues. I am also attaching a paper that Edward Isaacs, my Vice-President, wrote on this subject. It should be noted that this paper is simply a discussion document the purpose of which is to highlight some of the issues that require consideration.

    The intention is not to resolve any of the issues at one attempt, rather it is getting the discussion out into the open and determine how, if possible, we as a community can move forward into this new decade.

    I am intending to call this meeting on Monday 15 February 2010 at 8pm in the JCC and I would very much like to know if you would be interested in participating.

    Philip Mendelsohn

    President

    Email to be sent to: Malcolm Livingstone, Adam Berkley, Raymond Strang, Howard Beach, Giles Wolfson, Ethne Woldman, Maureen Solomons, Bernard Solomons, John Dover, Stephen Kliner, Michael Jackson, Malcolm Granat, Barry Cooper, Henry Tankel, Anthea Masson, David Shenkin, Sue Faber, Ben Freeman, Fiona Brodie, Michael Clerck, Walter Sneader, Jo Zinger, Norrie Zinger, Rosalie Soudry, Harvey Livingston, Stanley Lovatt, Edward Isaacs, Daniel Clapham, Dianna Wolfson, Kenny Davidson, Kenneth Collins

    Discussion Paper on the Future of the Jewish Glasgow Community

    In considering the future of the Community we have to consider where the
    Community is at present and where the Community will be or perhaps wants
    to be in the short, medium or long term and What steps the Community has to
    take to plan for the future. One factor which is probably a given is that the
    Community is diminishing in size at present (is it?) and will continue to
    diminish in size (will it?).
    Present Structure of the Community
    A. Organisations.
    B. Resources.
    C. Funding.
    A. Organisations
    (i) Community Structures – GJRC and SCJC. Will they continue in present
    format? Do they need to change and how and when?
    (ii) Religious – Synagogues (Orthodox and Non-orthodox), Kollel and
    Lubavitch, Beth Din
    (iii) Education – Calderwood Lodge (Secular/Jewish), pre-school/primary
    school/secondary school/further education/adult education.
    (iv) Care Organisations – Newark/Cosgrove/Arklet/Jewish Care. Current
    structures/requirements (including funding) and resources
    (v) Security – CST/Private Security
    (vi) UJIA/JNF/GZO
    (vii) Social– Maccabi/Youth Organisations/Bonnyton/others.
    (viii) Burial Organisations.
    B. Funding
    (i) Internal (Donations/Charitable Trust) Community Trust and other
    Trusts).
    (ii) External – Local Authority/Scottish Government/Other Trusts.
    C. Resources
    (i) People – Resource for Organisations and Funding. Numbers in
    Community involved in Organisations.
    (ii) Buildings – List of current community buildings and current use
    (iii) Cemeteries – How currently funded and maintained, membership and
    space.
    (iv) Kosher food (where currently procured) – delis/supermarkets/outside
    sources and Catering, Kosher, Simcha catering/Binnie Stern/others)
    Future Needs of the Community
    What will the Community require for the future. Over what period are we
    looking to plan – 5 to 10 years/10 to 20 years/20 to 30 years or beyond?
    We require to consider the requirements of the community in the following
    areas (in no particular order):-
    (1) Education.
    (2) Religious.
    (3) Care.
    (4) Social.
    (5) Kashrut/Food & Drink.
    (6) Security.
    (7) Burials.
    (8) Organisation/Representation.
    In determining the foregoing (list may not be exhaustive). We need to look at:-
    (i) People and Organisations.
    (ii) Funding.
    (iii) Buildings.
    How do we advance the discussion?
    We have to look at the people/organisations both internally and externally
    within and outwith the Community that need to be involved in discussions.
    Internally
    (a) Community Trust and other Trusts/Major Funders.
    (b) Care Organisations.
    (c) Calderwood Lodge.
    (d) SCJC and GJRC.
    (e) Scottish Council of Synagogues and Glasgow New Synagogue.
    (f) Maccabi/Bonnyton/YouthOrganisations/UJIA/Otherrelevant Charities.
    Outside Organisations
    (a) CST
    (b) Board of Deputies?
    (c) Local Authority and Scottish Executive (perhaps not initially)
    (d) Others?
    • How do we go about moving the discussion forward?
    • Do we need outside assistance to prepare for example an audit on the
    present Community and present proposals/structures for our future
    Community?
    • Do we reform the Community Strategy Group?
    Personally I think we need to have a wide ranging discussion with Major
    Organisations and Funders within the Community where GJRC takes a lead
    role in advancing the project (although we require Community support to do
    so) and following such a meeting a major public meeting is held perhaps with
    some genuine proposals to put in front of the Community or as a minimum a
    summary of where the Community is now and where the Community is likely
    to be in the medium to long term.
    My own view is that whether initially or at some stage in the process the
    Organisations within the Community have to meet separately to discuss their
    current state and needs and future needs (although some may have done that
    already) and then they have to link into a Community organisation set up to
    consider the future of the Community as a whole.
    What we don’t need is a body that is simply a talking shop. Whilst it is
    important to consider the issues and make the Community/Stakeholders
    aware of them it is important I believe to act on any proposals that are
    considered necessary to safeguard and provide for our Community going
    forward. That may not be easily achievable.

    Edward Isaacs
    Vice President, Glasgow Jewish Representative Council
    22nd October 2009

  118. Indebted said

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Some brief observations.

    1. Mendelsohn and Isaacs cannot even arrange a meeting in confidence.

    2. Isaacs’ document is pretty unoriginal and uninspiring.

    3. Isaacs still deludes himself – only the Rep Council could really think that they should have a lead role. They have neither financial clout or sufficient ability to lead anthing serious.

    4. Still Rep Council do not understand community dynamic has altered. Same organisations and people involved. Many have presided over decline but still they cling on to power or try to cling on to power with their fingernails.

    5. Considering their influence with Scottish and UK Governments, and their community education role, it is absurd and illogical that GJEF are not invited to attend. I suspect that the nature of this meeting is not something GJEF would want
    anything to do with but Mendelsohn and Isaacs should grow up and realise that this community’s future is a lot more important than playing spiteful silly games, excluding those who have correctly criticised their performance.

    6) The whistle blower who has brought this to our attention has done us a huge favour. I can think of numerous talented people who would be preferable to some of the dead wood invited to attend. If you don’t believe me go through the list of invitees for yourself. Quite frankly, some of the invitations are ridiculous.

  119. Dave Allen said

    Philip Mendelsohn and Eddie Isaacs are our community’s equivalent of Laurel and Hardy. You couldn’t make it up if you tried. It seems beyond their competence to even arrange a meeting and to invite the correct people. Because you work for a community organisation doesn’t mean you are competent to look at future needs. In actual fact some of the people invited are the ones that shouldn’t be there under any circumstances.

    Perhaps we should take one word to rename Philip Mendelsohn – lets call him Frank.
    and one word from Eddie Isaacs – lets rename him Spencer.
    Put the two together and our dynamic duo turn into Frank Spencer. And that blog readers sums it up perfectly.

  120. Chaim Clot said

    Dave Allen does a huge disservice to our dynamic duo. Mr Mendelsohn is not so daft. He states in his email “The intention is not to resolve any of the issues at one attempt” – so even he is aware that it will take at least two meetings to right all the wrongs in our community. It appears that being a past president of the Rep Council automatically entitles you to a place at this table. And Kenneth Collins is just the right guy to pontificate about the future of the Glasgow Jewish community – he has just gone on aliya!

  121. Blog Reader said

    Congratulations to the blog for exposing this nonsense.

  122. Frank Spencer said

    We got it wrong. We now realise that the whole community have a right to be consulted. We now realise that half the people invited shouldn’t have been. We now realise that it is absurd to think that we should have been chairing this meeting.

    We accept unreservedly that we have made a complete hash of this.

    Anyone can come along on Monday 15th February to the JCC at 8pm and the meeting can elect whoever they want to be the chair. We will not be candidates. We also accept that if no one is interested in this meeting because of our elitist approach, that would be entirely understandable

    Yours sincerely
    Philip & Eddie. ( AKA Frank Spencer)

  123. Simple Arithmetic said

    I have just done a quick count. 30% of those invited to this meeting have past or current connections with the Rep Council. Is Mr Mendelsohn really trying to tell us that given the breadth of communal organisations that still exist in Glasgow and the numbers of people involved, that the Rep Council should have 30% representation at a meeting to consider the community’s future.

    Think about it Philip. 30%???
    I’m afraid that’s why you and the Council are not taken seriously. You have no right to fill such a meeting with your friends.

    I will do a bit more Arithmetic. JLB 3 people – that’s 10% of the total. It is ridiculous. Why do Maccabi get 2 but Brownies zero? Eddie Isaacs wants to discuss Calderwood Lodge but you don’t ask the parents?
    Glasgow ZF hold 1 event a year – yes only 1 – but that gets them a place. All shuls are invited but not Garnethill.

    You deserve to be ridiculed for all of this. Next time do your homework diligently before arranging silly meetings in an attempt to make you look good.

  124. Logical? said

    I think Eddie Isaacs needs to explain what he means or maybe someone else could explain it instead.

    He opens his paper by telling us that he will look at the

    Present Structure of the Community
    A. Organisations.
    B. Resources.
    C. Funding.

    He then proceeds but gets the order all mixed up and doesn’t remember which one follows which.

    If Eddie can’t even get his paper in order then how will he possibly get the structure of the community in order. I think the Vice President of the Council needs to get back to basics.

  125. Philip's Private Party said

    The Invitee list to discuss Eddie’s paper – is otherwise known as Mendelsohn’s Mates.

    Could someone please tell me why Maccabi get 2 seats at the table but Jewish students get none? Why is there no Chaplaincy representative invited?
    No Friends of the Hebrew University either? Habonim are invited – but its through their Parent Representative, not a youth leader. Habonim always took pride that they were an organisation run for youth BY youth – seems not any longer. I thought maybe it was all down to who still had communal buildings. That can’t be right, because JLB have 3 places but Langside Synagogue don’t get one. And JLB don’t have a building. Love them or loath them GJEF are involved in community education through their lecture programme but no surprise here, they are not invited either. Thriving Brownie group – no place for them either. I could go on and on.

    I then realised what gets you an invite. You need to be a mate of Philip Mendelsohn. Its so obvious.

    These Rep Council guys are a disgrace. They attempt to manipulate community affairs for their own advantage. Anyone with any integrity will tell them to get stuffed and not go. Most will, because they will want to be where they think the action is. However, this toothless talking shop will come to nothing. The Rep Council and decisive action is a contradiction in terms.

    If Mendelsohn and Isaacs really wanted to look at the future of the community without protecting their own fiefdom then they would ask someone genuinelyindependent to conduct firstly a survey of opinion about what is actually happening on the ground and then produce an independent report with suggestions and solutions.

    Why is it that this community can’t get a simple first step right. Is it any wonder that there is a perception of decline when you see who is left running things here after talented people have gone elsewhere. There are talented people still in this city who could do this properly. The problemm is though they wouldn’t touch communal life in a million years with this lot still trying to keep control.

  126. David said

    Edward Issacs mentions the Community Strategy Group. What was that all about and who was on it?

  127. Mastermind said

    Eddie is a genius. This is absolutely brilliant. It is clear, decisive and without doubt the panacea we have been waiting for.
    I quote from Eddie’s article

    ” My own view is that whether initially or at some stage in the process the
    Organisations within the Community have to meet separately to discuss their
    current state and needs and future needs (although some may have done that
    already) and then they have to link into a Community organisation set up to
    consider the future of the Community as a whole.
    What we don’t need is a body that is simply a talking shop. Whilst it is
    important to consider the issues and make the Community/Stakeholders
    aware of them it is important I believe to act on any proposals that are
    considered necessary to safeguard and provide for our Community going
    forward. That may not be easily achievable”

    Edward Isaacs
    Vice President, Glasgow Jewish Representative Council
    22nd October 2009

    This man is wasted. Make him President immediately and give him the power to do what he thinks is required to save us all. It looks so easy and straightforward. Thank goodness we have Eddie.

  128. Para-Military said

    3 seats for JLGB at Eddie and Philip’s private meeting.
    I wonder by any chance if any of the officers of the Reresentative Council have children that have had in the past, or at present, a strong association with this organisation.

    I think we should be told.

  129. Mr Benglestein said

    The shekel has just dropped ; Eddie Isaacs is the Moshiach , delivered to us , to save us and our community and indeed mankind as a whole.
    Roll over Chaim and Mendel you are worshipping a false prophet-cancel that fax to Brooklyn-Eddie is the special one .
    Does anyone have his fax number ?

    Are the REP COUNCIL having a secret summit this Sunday with the Board of Deputies ? Maybe JLGB will provide protection and surveillance , the CST can do the catering , and the Glasgow Zionists can provide the entertainment….

  130. One Of The Privileged Few said

    On January 14th I posted Philip Mendelsohn’s email and Edward Isaacs’ discussion document on this blog.

    I have been asked by my nearest and dearest whether I regret my actions in allowing this issue to enter into the public arena. On the contrary I think I was right to do so and I am grateful that others have chosen to share their thoughts on this blog.

    I appreciate that there have been serious concerns about who was invited. I am more troubled that the leaders of the Representative Council think it is appropriate to discuss the future of our community – yes it is our community as much as it is theirs – within a secret cabal. If there had not been this publicity, by the time the general community would have been consulted the deals would have been done. This is the antithesis of communal democracy and I want no part in it.

    Communities will always evolve. Sometimes decisions regarding rationalisation are required. Some organisations will ultimately reform or they will die. These organisations ought to be consulting their memberships about how they see the future.

    I think the role of Mendelsohn and Isaacs is actually rather sad. As life moves on, more and more of this community now realise that the Representative Council is withering away to the point that they no longer have the influence that they once might have had. Without influence nor money nor personalities that are respected for being influential, the Council is desperately trying to think up some plan that will keep the flame alive for a short while more. This is sad and pretty desperate.

    Many have commented about the invitation list. The Representative Council have always behaved like this. Private invitations to those that are safe and appreciative of being asked has always been the preferred method of business.
    Times have changed and in today’s world it is ability that is recognised.
    I have been around long enough to know that safeguarding one’s old power base is never going to help initiate genuine reform and progress.
    I hope that my actions will have helped to point this out.

    I appeal to others to join in this debate.

  131. Tevye said

    For the first time in a while we have an honest posting from a mensch. Mr or Mrs or Ms One of the Privileged. There is absolutely no point in being nasty, and slagging off decent folk in order to feel good as most of the contributors to this blog do with sickening regularity.

    However you have to understand that the Rep Council have called this meeting and they have every right to invite whoever they wish. Its their party and those who are disappointed then hard cheddar. Who on earth wants to be where you are not wanted or required. You could on the other hand hire the Armadillo and invite the entire 5,000 or so Jews in Glasgow to attend.

    This is only a talking shop and I am sure will not try to change yours or anyone elses lives. The vast majority of this cross section of our fellow jews are inteligent well meaning respectful individuals. No doubt some ideas will be put forward for debate and who knows something might come out of it.

    The omission of the GJEF is to be honest no surprise. Who wishes to invite disrespectful hooligans who are regarded by the vast majority of this community as unworthy of support. The Masorti people were ill advised to get into bed with them as it totally wrecked any chance of getting support for their movement, and anyway God wrote the torah and gave it to the people.

    And please stop using the word cabal which was only a committee of five Ministers at the time of Charles II. Sir Thomas Clifford, Lord Arlington, the Duke of Buckingham Lord Ashley and the Scot Lord Lauderdale made up that group and their initials happen to spell the word cabal. Their alleged secrecy belied the truth that they mostly hated each other and could not really work together although they did manage to steamroller the Treaty of Dover.

    History lesson over! Let’s hope that the big debate does at least make one worthwhile decision, and that could be to disband the GJEF.

  132. Mr L Wolfe. said

    Tevye does not understand that Eddie and Philip and whoever else they have invited to discuss the future of our community have no power or significant influence to implement anything. Some of the individuals invited – some but not too many – could make important changes but they certainly don’t need the approval of Philip and Eddie and the other Rep Council people to do so.

    GJEF will disband when GJEF decide, not when Eddie or Philip choose. GJEF’s existence allows you to write and have your say about community issues and give you something to do when the rest of us are sleeping at 1.20am.

  133. Perchik said

    Lets use an analogy that Tevye and Eddie and Philip may understand. I agree with much written by ” One of a Priviledged Few ” Eddie and Philip are like the simple sons in the Haggadah. They certainly are not wise and most certainly not wicked They don’t understand that they are part of the problem not the solution. They don’t understand that organisations like the Representative Council need talented risk takers if they are to be genuine leaders. The Council has never encouraged free thinkers and they always shy away away from anything which requires deep convictions or values and drive. It is self evident that anyone that wants to actually do something in communal life won’t go anywhere near them.

    If Philip and Eddie weren’t so desperate to carve out a role for themselves they would realise that their ability to influence decisions is very limited. They cannot accept that their role could be as helpful facilitators rather than as involved participants with a stake in the argument with the power to deliver.

    This weekend will demonstate this point. Philip and Eddie have the President of the Board of Deputies in town. The Board is only a slightly improved version of our Council but there isn’t a lot in it. After all not many of our better run organisations in Glasgow, and we still have a good number, would let Paul Edlin anywhere near the position of vice-President. That is in itself a dreadful indictment on the Board.

    If any of you attend meetings with Mr Wineman of the Board this weekend, have a good look at Eddie and Philip. They will think they are important for a day and they will attempt to portray themselves to their visitor as the big bosses in Glasgow. Most of us know better. Who will Mr Wineman be introduced to? I rather suspect it will be to the usual crowd – many have been invited to the private meeting – who will reinforce the usual message. Mr Wineman will go home on Monday and in truth he will be none the wiser. A genuine attempt to listen to different opinions about the future of our community will again have been lost and only those trusted to confirm the party message will be allowed anywhere near him. Philip and Eddie will feel very important for 1 day. Benefit to our community will be zero.

    For those like Tevye who can’t understand why this private meeting has aroused such condemnation one can only feel pity. Tevye is an almagamation of the Simple Son and the one that doesn’t know how to ask. Poor Tevye cannot even understand the argument and does not even understand why questions need to be asked.

    If Vivian Wineman turns up anywhere near you on Sunday, have a good look at Philip and Eddie and tell me later that day if I’m wrong. I suspect you won’t be in touch.

  134. Previously Involved. said

    Although it hurts me to say so given that I was once involved with the Rep Council as a delegate, Perchik’s analysis is correct.

  135. Another Priviledged Recipient said

    Eddie’s having a very busy week. Please see his latest pronouncement.

    I attach a Report from the Magen David Adom Team currently doing sterling and life saving work in Haiti.The work done by MDA in Haiti
    has been given reasonable press coverage and despite the tragic circumstances which resulted in MDAs presence and that of Israeli army
    doctors and other medical staff in Haiti it is gratifying to note positive Israeli press coverage for a change..

    Edward Isaacs
    Vice -President
    Glasgow Jewish Representative Council

    I am uneasy about this. What do others think?

  136. Community Member said

    This article by Seth Freedman from today’s Comment is Free in the Guardian should be read by Mr Isaacs and ” Another Privileged Recipient ”

    I apologise for posting the article in its full length but I think under the circumstances this time it is warranted.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/22/israel-haiti-relief-palestine

    Israel’s double standards over HaitiThe Israeli relief effort in Haiti is laudable, but it underlines the state’s indifference to those suffering on its own doorstep
    Comments (251)

    Seth Freedman guardian.co.uk, Friday 22 January

    Almost as soon as the IDF embarked on its aid mission to Haiti, accusations began flying that the Israelis’ objectives were of a sinister rather than humanitarian nature. Some accused the country’s leaders of trying to divert attention away from their behaviour towards the Palestinians, others went as far as claiming that Israeli doctors were engaged in stealing the organs of dead Haitians.

    On the other side of the fence, diehard supporters of Israel trumpeted the relief efforts as definitive proof that Israel was a light unto the nations, some even claiming that Israel was acting on behalf of world Jewry, rather than just the Israeli people:

    We believe that it is a Jewish duty to help the people of Haiti. As the representative of the Jewish people, the State of Israel is leading the relief effort… we are not only helping Haitians with their tragedy, but uniting the Jewish world and demonstrating the Jewish values of the State of Israel.

    It is almost impossible for any news story connected to Israel to exist in a political vacuum, thanks to the nature of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians and the global polarisation resulting from the hostilities. In the context of Israel’s assistance to Haiti, however, credit should be given where it’s due: Israeli rescue teams’ efforts have been second to none, and their staff have shown true humanity in a time when it is so desperately needed by the victims.

    Israel’s response to the Haitian earthquake is only the latest in a long line of noble deeds when it comes to disasters around the world: 140 countries have received aid from Israel’s state-run Mashav humanitarian relief division, including Turkey, India and El Salvador after earthquakes brought devastation to their shores. Israel’s foreign affairs ministry borrows a Biblical quotation to describe Mashav’s work:

    If there be among you a needy man, one of thy brethren, within any of thy gates, in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thy hand from thy needy brother” Deuteronomy 15:7

    However, for all that Israel’s sterling work overseas deserves to be praised, it highlights the lack of compassion shown by the country’s leaders to those suffering on its own doorstep. Israel’s insistence on doing next to nothing to alleviate the suffering in Gaza while rushing to Haiti’s aid exposes just how far they are prepared to stray from the religious teachings to which they claim to adhere. Likewise, when Zionist movements such as Bnei Akiva trumpet the achievements of Israel’s relief teams as representative of the entire Jewish people, they inadvertently tar all Jews with the same brush when Israel’s frequent violations of international law are brought to light.

    Israel should shoulder its responsibility to help countries such as Haiti along with all other states fortunate enough to have the manpower and resources to assist in such a mission. Every nation which has done its part to alleviate Haitians’ plight should be praised for their work, but neither they nor their supporters should be allowed to hide their other, less favourable actions behind the efforts they have made in Haiti.

    Questions should be asked about why Israel – which has proved itself incredibly capable when it comes to responding to certain humanitarian crises – is so intransigent about assisting the Palestinians. If, as many claim, Israel’s leaders believe it to be in their long-term interests to slowly strangle Gaza’s economy and destroy its infrastructure as a means to topple Hamas, it is a reprehensible way to behave. It is a damning indictment of Israel that it is prepared only to come to the aid of those who fit certain political critieria, rather than that of every victim crying out for intervention.

  137. stamford hillbilly said

    one bad doesn’t cancel out a good ; kol kavod to Israel for all efforts to help the earthquake victims ; hisses to those though who seek to use it for PR purposes-the highest mitsvah is to do charity and to seek no recognition or thanks ; to seek a pat on the back reduces the act tenfold.
    scoop isaacs makes a very good job of giving us reasons to complain , but in this instance someone is mischiefmaking trying to create a scandal where one does not exist.

  138. Voice Down South said

    Unfortunately, Stamford Hillbilly has not understood the implications of Edward Isaacs’ email. Mr Isaacs was using this for PR purposes, that is very obvious. He even told us that ” it was gratifying to note positive Israeli press coverage ”

    How low can the Representative Council possibly sink? Exploiting a natural disaster for propaganda purposes is outrageous. If the Israelis have done the right thing in Haiti that’s great but we should not attempt to exploit it for our own benefit. If you look at Mr Freedman’s article – he draws attention to Bnei Akivah
    and how they are claiming that Israel is acting on behalf of world Jewry.

    http://bneiakiva.net/about/?catID=46&id=643

    Mr Isaacs has blundered badly again. Its a shame Stamford Hillbilly that you don’t see how badly this looks. Natural disaster – and Jewish community’s major concern is how to portray Israel positively.

    Stomach churning.

  139. Shabbat Shalom. said

    Our family discussed the latest email over Friday night dinner. All of us thought Edward Isaacs’ email today was distasteful.
    Sending out this sort of email is unpleasant and inappropriate.

    Did anyone notice the report on the Rep Council private meeting and its exposure on this blog in the community page of this week’s JC? It would appear that the blog is more powerful than Philip Mendelsohn because it forced him to go public about a matter that he wished to keep private.

  140. Philip's Private Party said

    I note that the President of the Board of Deputies will be in town tomorrow. It will be very interesting to ask him tomorrow evening to list his diary engagements for the day. I suspect it will be as follows.

    1. Met Philip
    2. Met Eddie
    3. Met Eddie and Philip
    4. Met Paul Edlin ( sometimes being President requires sipping tea with people you wouldn’t pass the time of day with in normal circumstances.

    5. Met Ephraim and Walter of Scojec
    6. Met Rep Council Management crew.
    7. I’m bored to tears and can’t wait to go home.
    8. Turn up at public meeting. Can’t understand why Philip Mendelsohn has been wearing a toilet chain around his neck all day. He claims it his chain of office.

    9. Returned to hotel and vow never to spend another day in that lot’s company for as long as I live.

    Fall fast asleep but wake up in the middle of the night with a dreadful nightmare. I thought Eddie Isaacs had come round for more talks about communal strategy.

  141. Blind Bob said

    Hells bells and you lot wonder why the Rep Council (and anyone else with a modicum of sense) won’t ask your opinions?

    I read Mr T’s whining ‘comments’ in last weeks JC and let me be the one to point out the bleedin obvious: You are not invited because you refuse to affiliate to the Rep Council & you constantly insult and attack the Councils members.

    Grow up or go away.

  142. Would you join that crew? said

    My knowledge of GJEF is that they have never requested membership of the Representative Council. They can speak for themselves – they have never been shy in doing so – but my guess is that they probably would not want to be part of any body that would attempt to muzzle their activities and stifle debate. The Representative Council would certainly want to do that. My advice to GJEF is that you remain independent.What could you possibly gain from signing up to an organisation that is led by the current office bearers and management of the Rep Council?
    What have Mendelsohn or Isaacs done that would inspire confidence?
    I read the JC too Blind Bob – I suggest you change your name to Daft Bob – because there was nothing at all whining or complaining in GJEF’s contribution – it merely advised people to share their opinions on the blog. Has the penny dropped yet Bob, because you have followed their advice exactly. Now when’s the last time anyone in this community followed the advice of Mendelsohn or Isaacs?

  143. Not me said

    I wouldn’t join Rep Council either. It is the worst example of a talking shop – one with no power or influence to do anything.
    I would make Mendelson President for Life. No matter how bad he is can you imagine Eddie Isaacs as a frontman for this community? And after him Sneader Junior?
    And after him Daniel Clapham.

    Lets be serious for a moment as these guys are not proper communal leaders. They have never taken an important decision on communal affairs in their lives and got it right. Ambition should never be confused with ability.

  144. One of a Privileged Few said

    I have given further consideration to the proposed meeting being organised by the Representative Council to discuss the future of the Glasgow Jewish community. I was delighted to see that my intervention made the front page of the Community Section of the Jewish Chronicle.

    Mr Mendelsohn expressed regret that what he considers should be a private discussion has now entered the public domain.

    My current thinking is that I will attend the proposed meeting. My intention will then be to publicly inform both the readership of this blog and the press about both the content of the meeting and who said what.

    Mr Mendelsohn has a choice. He can either continue with his proposal to discuss the future of the Glasgow community by private cabal or he can invite the wider community to participate in exploratory discussions at a public meeting. Furthermore, I believe that a proper independent survey should be initiated before that meeting to find out what people think and actually want. I stress that the survey needs to be run independently so that no one group can influence the findings.

    Mr Mendelsohn and Mr Isaacs now have a choice. I hope they think about this very carefully. If they continue with their current path I will do whatever I can to release details of discussions in order to safeguard communal democracy. As I stated previously, private deals at private meetings are the antithesis of communal democracy and I want no part in it.

  145. Philip's Private Party said

    Very interesting. Big decision for Philip and Eddie. Do they take the risk of everything going public even when they don’t want it?
    Do they think ” One of a Privileged Few ” is bluffing?
    Get it wrong and the chances are their positions will be untenable.
    They don’t have a choice but to admit defeat and do what has been requested and call a public meeting and find out what the community want.
    Big, big decision Philip – you had better get it right.

  146. Herald Reader said

    Have you seen this from today’s Herald

    Auschwitz survivor: ‘Israel acts like Nazis’

    Dr Hajo Meyer’s lecture tour includes three dates in Scotland
    Exclusive: Graeme Murray and Chris Watt

    0 commentsPublished on 24 Jan 2010

    One of the last remaining Auschwitz survivors has launched a blistering attack on Israel over its occupation of Palestine as he began a lecture tour of Scotland.

    Dr Hajo Meyer, 86, who survived 10 months in the Nazi death camp, spoke out as his 10-day tour of the UK and Ireland – taking in three Scottish venues – got under way. His comments sparked a furious reaction from hardline Jewish lobby groups, with Dr Meyer branded an “anti-Semite” and accused of abusing his position as a Holocaust survivor.

    Dr Meyer also attended hearings at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, where five pro-Palestine campaigners are accused of racially aggravated conduct after disrupting a concert by the Jerusalem Quartet at the city’s Queen’s Hall.

    Speaking as his tour got under way, Dr Meyer said there were parallels between the treatment of Jews by Germans in the Second World War and the current treatment of Palestinians by Israelis.

    He said: “The Israelis tried to dehumanise the Palestinians, just like the Nazis tried to dehumanise me. Nobody should dehumanise any other and those who try to dehumanise another are not human.

    “It may be that Israel is not the most cruel country in the world … but one thing I know for sure is that Israel is the world champion in pretending to be civilised and cultured.”

    Dr Meyer was born in 1924 in Bielefeld, Germany. He was not allowed to attend school there after November 1938. He then fled to the Netherlands, alone. In 1944, after a year in the underground, he was caught by the Gestapo and survived 10 months at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

    He now lives in the Netherlands, and is the author of three books on Judaism, the Holocaust and Zionism.

    Dr Meyer also insisted the definition of “anti-Semitic” had now changed, saying: “Formerly an anti-Semite was somebody who hated Jews because they were Jews and had a Jewish soul. But nowadays an anti-Semite is somebody who is hated by Jews.”

    A spokesman for the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, of which Dr Meyer is a member, said criticising Israel was “not the same” as criticising Jews.

    Mick Napier, Scottish Palestine ­Solidarity Campaign chairman and one of the five demonstrators facing charges when the court case continues in March, said: “Palestinians are happy to have him as an ally in their cause.

    “Hajo knows that Israel has a long history of abusing the tragic history of the Holocaust in order to suppress legitimate criticism of its own crimes.

    “Especially since Gaza, people are no longer taken in by their claim that anyone that criticises Israel is anti-Semitic.”

    Dr Meyer’s claims met with a furious reaction from pro-Israel groups, who branded him “a disgrace”.

    Jonathan Hoffman, co-vice-chairman of the Zionist Federation, said: “I shall be telling him he is abusing his status as a survivor, and I shall be telling him that if Israel had been created 10 years earlier, millions of lives might have been saved.

    “Whether he is a survivor or not, to use Nazi comparisons in relation to Israel’s policies is anti-Semitic, unquestionably.”

    The tour was cynically timed, Mr Hoffman added, to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

    Dr Ezra Golombok, Scottish spokesman for the Israel Information Office, accused the anti-zionist lobby of “exploiting” Dr Meyer, who he described as someone “who’s got into a situation he doesn’t understand”.

    “This is a propaganda exercise by Mick Napier and his friends, and nothing more. It’s preposterous to compare Israel with Nazi tactics.”

    The lecture series, entitled Never Again – For Anyone, continues until January 30.

  147. I can't believe it said

    The back page of this week’s Jewish Telegraph has frightened me. I have seen a vision of possible things to come and its very very scary.

    Our local MP, Jim Murphy has turned into Eddie Isaacs. What could be worse than that. Can you imagine Eddie as our local representative in Parliament? Its bad enough that he thinks he is our representative in the Rep Council but this is just one fright too many. The paper can’t make up its mind who or what is Philip Mendelsohn so at least it has got that bit right. Thankfully, he took a previous poster’s advice and left his toilet chain at home.

    Someone please tell me that Eddie is not our local MP, because if he is then I will need to get myself certified.

    If you don’t believe any of this then look at the back page of this week’s Telegraph for yourself. Incidentally, is the President of the Board of Deputies Vivian Wineman, not Wiseman? Who wrote this drivel in the Telegraph?

  148. I can believe it said

    Solution simple – make Jim Murphy President of the Rep Council and get shot of everyone else. It could only improve it.

  149. News from Israel said

    Israeli army has admitted that white phosphorus shells were used in Gaza.
    Not impressive

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8490646.stm

    Israel has revealed it has reprimanded two top army officers for authorising an artillery attack which hit a UN compound in Gaza last year.

    In the attack on 15 January 2009 the compound was set ablaze by white phosphorus shells

  150. Which is it Philip? said

    Eddie Isaacs, Vice President of the Rep Council wrote in his discussion paper about our community’s future]

    What we don’t need is a body that is simply a talking shop.

    Philip Mendelsohn, President of the Rep Council has been quoted in tomorrow’s JC
    stating

    “This is only a talking shop to try and find the best way forward,” stressed rep council chair Philip Mendelsohn. “That group is not going to come up with the solution.”

    Read it for yourself – good article about Glasgow

    http://www.thejc.com/community/special-reports/26816/glasgow-community-where-less-more

    So which is it Philip?
    Is it any wonder that the Rep Council has had it when they can’t even work out whether they are or are not a talking shop. Poor Philip, such a difficult question

  151. talking and doing? said

    Which is it Philip? etc

    This argument is helping the community how? Is this blog also ‘just’ a talking shop? Other than some speakers from time to time, how is the community changing as a result of this blog?

    It’s an old argument, but whatever you think of the performance of the Rep Council guys, they are giving up their free time and doing what they think is right. If you don’t like it, get involved, go to their meetings and complain then. Otherwise stop sneering.

    So what are YOU doing to make the community a better place?

  152. The last poster is not the full shilling said

    You really are very stupid previous poster. How many times do some people need to be told that comments on this blog are not official comments on behalf of GJEF. Why is that beyond your intellect to understand?

    Answer me this though. Who are you to tell others to go to meetings? Don’t you get it that the Rep Council only invite their cronies to meetings that are organised by them?

    This blog has turned an issue that the Rep Council wanted to keep private into a large public issue, highlighted by the Jewish Chronicle. It seems to me that the blog has worked and worked well. You must be one of these people who hates progress and would rather life didn’t move on. That’s why you repeat the same worn out arguments about people giving their time and we should be grateful. The fact that they frequently make mistakes doesn’t bother you because you are happier with the status quo.

    Well I’m not.You and the Rep Council deserve each other.

  153. one and sixpence said

    Calm down – you’ll only upset yourself!

    Don’t fool yourself about a ‘large public issue’. Bet you hardly anyone is interested in this story.

    As far as I can see, many of the posters on this blog have an attitude not much better than our Rep Council leaders – greatly-inflated, self-righteous and smug attitude, quick to make personal attacks, accuse others of being stupid etc. It’s easy to criticise. Why not get up off your comfortable anonymous rear ends and DO something for the community yourselves?

  154. The last poster is not the full shilling said

    And what do you do for this community you twerp. Your problem mate is that you think you know what is in our best interests but the reality is you don’t. You don’t know what I do for this community but your arrogance makes you think it must be more than me. Actually I doubt that. History will judge you as the blogger who was comfortable with preserving the status quo and scared to embrace change or progress. You are a dinosaur.

  155. one and sixpence said

    Thank you for your ‘reasoned’ argument! This is the finest the blog has to offer – everyone you don’t agree with is a twerp or a dinosaur or not the full shilling or very stupid.

    Where did I say I do more for the community than you? What would be the point in such an argument when we are both anonymous?

    And I don’t think ‘History’ will bother much about a blog that has an average of 2 posts a night!

  156. This community has a problem said

    Maybe we could digress from the Rep Council and examine another problem in the community at present.

    Next weekend there is a Massorti Shabbaton – a day of activities for all ages in the company of the senior Masorti Rabbi in the UK, the excellent Jonathan Wittenberg.

    Yesterday, I am led to believe that the Giffnock Shul Rabbi, Rabbi Rubin attacked Masorti at his after Shul lunch, accusing them of being divisive and trying to split the community.

    This is disgraceful and Rabbi Rubin should know better. Unfortunately, he has a track record in declaring organisations that offer something different divisive. It would appear to me that If Moshe Rubin doesn’t agree with Masorti then automatically it is divisive and threatening. Glasgow does not need such attitudes and it is time that his employers, the Giffnock Shul committee, explained to their Rabbi that this attack on Masorti is unacceptable. He doesn’t need to agree with Masorti – he can even dislike what they stand for, but to accuse those who wish to find an alternative expression for their Judaism, as people who are splitting the community, is not only wrong, it is intolerant and bigoted.

    Maybe Rabbi Rubin should understand that Masorti is in London a mainstream branch of Jewish belief. It may have ideological differences with the United Synagogue, but it is not some sort of fringe sect with no following.
    Or maybe Rabbi Rubin is actually threatened by something which might one day in Glasgow hold widespread appeal. Is he attacking because he knows what he is offering, doesn’t have appeal. The Giffnock Congregation is shrinking and numbers of young people attending are fast diminshing.Rabbi Rubin should concentrate his efforts in improving his own product and leave others to go about their own business.

    Its time the Giffnock Shul committee had a long hard thinking session. Is Black Hat Judaism really going to bring numbers in even if their Rabbi is generally thought of as a nice guy. We all know the answer. Masorti is much nearer to how people live their lives in Glasgow than 19th century Shtetl Judaism. Is that what really worries the Giffnock Rabbi?

  157. I agree said

    I agree with the comments above. Rabbi Rubin’s Judaism is not my Judaism. I am not that into Shul but Masorti seems to me much more relevant and intellectually stimulating. The United Synagogue is a sham. All those people following silly rules that almost no one believes is anything other than nonsense just does my head in. Fundamentalism is not the way forward.
    Masorti might be.

  158. Not sure I agree said

    So if Orthodox Judaism has ‘silly rules’, where do we draw the line? If Masorti says don’t eat bacon, is that just a silly rule? Who decides just what rules are ‘silly’?

  159. Kneidel Balls @ Dawn said

    Very disappointed with Rabbi Rubin, creating ‘secterian’ non sense.

    Masorti/Conservative Judaism is the largest practising form of Judaism in North & South America.

    In South America you would be hard pressed to find a Orthodox shul. So why cant we in Glasgow have a taste?

    The Masorti/Conservative movement deserve a fair shot & support at offering Glasgow Jewry a modern and yet Traditional form of Judaism. Would the Rabbi Rubin make the same comments if it was the Charedi Movement ?

    The best way forward is for free thinking people to support Masorti , by either attending the event or sending them financial help to establish themselves in the community. this would send a clear message through to the US

    Masorti/Conservative is not some launtic fringe group. They have been going for a long time.

    We have to be respectful and Judaism needs all the friends it can possibly muster these days.

  160. Its actually very obvious said

    Rabbi Rubin must be worried. Bums on seats is what its all about and Giffnock is failing miserably. Rather than attack Masorti as something contoversial which it certainly isn’t he and his Shul committee should think why they are in steep decline. Maybe the Rabbi needs to change a little and start selling a modern product rather than an outdated one.

  161. Time for a Change said

    I’ll tell you how Masorti would win in Glasgow. If they were to find a Rabbi who could give some intellectual argument that was thought provoking and interesting, people would come and listen. Then what would happen is the community would vote with their feet and in all probability, many would become become members. That’s the challenge facing the Masorti movement in Glasgow – can they get someone charismatic enough to make people want to participate in their movement? All the Orthodox Shuls have failed lamentably in this regard for years.
    Ask anyone involved in Giffnock Synagogue why their numbers are falling away and you will get the same tired response that there is apathy and no interest and the community is in decline and all the usual excuses. What you won’t get is a realistic appraisal about the product that is being offered. That’s why people really don’t go. They don’t think that the message is relevant and they can’t relate to fundamentalism. Its time for a change.

  162. emet said

    A truly religious man would not care a jot about Masorti-he would have the faith to say-if people want to go then it is up to them .And there are many in Glasgow who will take that stance .Only someone scared of losing power and influence would attack another man’s religious preferences. When it becomes a numbers game the battle is already lost.The Glasgow Taliban deserve a shake. Mazorti might just give them it. It is a wonderful development …only the sheep will be intimidated by the pulpit preaching of a scared blackcoat.Reform are also wondering how it will impact on them…but instead of being critical they are cautiously welcoming the discussion . Of course Reform have long since embraced the intellectual challenge of our faith and can therefore deal with Mazorti on a sensible level .Some of orthodox prefer to wear knickerbockers and wave chickens over their heads occasionally.Its their right….and also their undoing.

  163. Stephanie Brickman said

    I follow this blog with interest and would like to cover the forthcoming meeting organised by the Rep Council. I wonder if “One of the Chosen Few” would be prepared to get in touch with me and let me know how the meeting goes? He/she is welcome to remain anonymous, if they call me I won’t know their identity anyway. I can be reached on 07739 184 480.
    Many Thanks,
    Stephanie

  164. Spot On said

    Emet you are star. I enjoyed your post. Apart from being highly amusing and perceptive, you actually wrote the truth about fundamentalism in our community and your honesty should be applauded. Our Orthodox Friends are feeling the pressure. They are asking questions everywhere about Masorti and they are genuinely worried how many people might be interested in an alternative.Shuls are not really my thing but when one section of our community tries to rubbish another alternative or in the case of Rabbi Rubin accuses those behind Masorti of splitting our community then I am drawn to the alternative for reasons of fair play and basic decency. Rabbi Rubin can believe what he wants but as you said Emet he has no right to impugn others of false motives. Good luck to Masorti.

  165. Sim Shalom said

    I wonder if our Orthodox friends have enough cotton wool ?

    When one takes the Moral High Ground , generally people can suffer from nose bleeds at such dizzying heights!

  166. This Community has a problem said

    Sim Shalom you are mistaken. The Rabbi at Giffnock has lost all claims to the moral high ground on this issue. He should retract his declaration that arranging a Masorti Shabbaton is divisive and splitting the community and he should applaud those people who are trying to organise a Jewish experience this weekend.If he fails to do so then many people will think less of him.

  167. Fight against Extremism said

    What will the Glasgow Taliban complain about next?

  168. Progressive Paula said

    Whoever thought up the description ” Glasgow Taliban ” deserve our thanks for describing the creeping and continual influence that religious fundamentalism is trying to exert on our community. Many people are sick of it and its time to say no more.

  169. Shabbat Sermon said

    This is what Rabbi Rubin of Giffnock Shul should say this morning –

    As many of you will be aware, I have been speaking out over the last couple of weeks about Masorti. I was quoted in the Jewish Chronicle and last week after the service I called this new group divisive and attacked those organising this new group as polarising the community.

    I now have had time to reflect on this and I got it very wrong. There are profound differences between Masorti and myself – theological differences – which I think are crucially important. I therefore will always disagree with Masorti Judaism. However, to attack a Jewish group who are inviting people in this community to attend Shabbat services and inviting their families to a Shabbat lunch, and their children to a youth programme was not right. I apologise for attacking the organisers of Masorti as being divisive and I apologise for suggesting that this could polarise our community. The more people who find religion on Shabbat is to be welcomed, even if my preference would be to see them here in Giffnock.

    I have let my congregation down and I hope that you will accept that I now realise what I did was an emotional outburst that has now been tempered by thinking about this reasonably. Shabbat Shalom.

    Above is what Rabbi Rubin should say this morning, but won’t. Its a great pity because many in Glasgow have had a close up look at fundamentalism in the last few weeks and don’t like it at all. It looks like Masorti have touched on something.

  170. Non fundametalist said

    Should he not also include an explanation as to why he won’t be going to Limmud? Maybe he’s just busy?

  171. Visible World said

    Well , what a great weekend !

    Masorti Shabbaton, was exceptionally well organised and a real pleasure to be a part of and witness too.
    I am not the most devout or observant Jew in Glasgow, but thoroughly enjoyed the Drosha and the service that Masorti held. Rabbi Wittenberg is a nice even tempered individual and highly intellectual man, who is able to explain things to the congregation in a very simple manner.

    My sons seriously enjoyed the Noam Youth service , something that they are normally hesitant to comment on

    The discussion in the afternoon was a treat too , and was exceptionally enlightening…..good day , enjoyable company and delicious food.

  172. a fine balance said

    Rabbi & Rebbetzin Rubin might have been to busy to attend Limmud , because the John Lewis wedding gift list still needs sorting out.
    By all accounts its a rather large & expensive list

  173. A DOER not a TALKER said

    I am a member of GNHC and proud of it. As far as the the Masorti movement is concerned I personally wish them every success in Glasgow because everybody is entitled to their beliefs. With regards to “A fine Balances” comment of the 15th February I consider this insulting and disgusting behaviour. You want to take a good long look at yourself in the mirror!

  174. Reflections on a Community that has Lost the Plot said

    I left Glasgow a number of years ago and now live in London. I have been told by friends and relatives still living in your city about the controversy about Masorti and I read about it in the JC.

    What has happened to the Glasgow Jewish community? What has happened to so many people living in Glasgow that you don’t understand that the world, including the Jewish world, has moved on.

    Why is your community so full of bigots?
    Masorti is so mainstream now in London that no one, and I mean no one, would bat an eye lid if there friend said he or she was now a member of a Masorti Shul? No one would possibly claim that a Masorti Shul could be divisive? Masorti is so mainstream that anyone who thinks it isn’t needs a very quick check with reality.

    Religiously, Glasgow has always been very tolerant and middle of the road. Now you seem to be tied up with a fundamentalist approach to Judaism which is not how people in your city live their lives. Fundamentalism will do you no favours.

    Anyone that ever starts something new in Glasgow seems to be attacked for polarising the community. If the majority don’t make their voice heard soon then Glasgow is finished as a community.

    Incidentally, your local Rabbi’s perspective on a Masorti Shul being established in Glasgow makes you as a community seem a joke. Rabbi Rubin can preach to an ever decreasing number about the dangers of this or that but the sensible ones among you will know that his attitude is blinkered, out of date, and out of place for Glasgow.

  175. A Pacifist said

    Perhaps the Rabbi and Rebbetzin did make an error of judgement including a gift list with all invitations to their daughter’s wedding, rather than just with those that have also been invited to the dinner.
    However I find the cutting comments of “A Fine Balance” harsh and unnecessary.
    The Rabbi is one of the hardest working men in Glasgow, doing much work behind the scenes, on call 24 hours a day – every day, and the family are all warm and approachable.
    Those that wish to give a gift will give a gift. Those that don’t, won’t – irrespective of whether there is a list or not.
    Everyone always does exactly what they want no matter what. Time to get over it “Fine Balance” – there’s too much else that’s so much more important going on

  176. Community Member said

    Interesting article by Gideon Levy in Haaretz about the assasination in Dubai.
    I’m sure before long someone will say that this is all evidence of growing antisemitism and that Israel was only defending her citizens etc. Maybe those so inclined will read Mr Levy and think again. Am I kidding myself? I think so.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1150683.html

  177. emet said

    The comments re the wedding list are offensive and not warranted ; they are gratuitous and demean the blog-they should be removed at once.

  178. Old Enough to Remember said

    Rep Council President Philip Mendelsohn is obviously a revisionist at heart. He is quoted in this week’s Jewish Telegraph praising the Caplan report of the mid-1990’s.
    Those like me who were around the communal scene at that time will remember that the Caplan plan was a bogus attempt to make the community think that the powers of decision making involved the foot soldiers when the reality was that this was a crude attempt by Simon Caplan to impose the will of the community trust on the Jewish community.
    I still remember a young man by the name of Joel Conn destroying the arguments of Caplan coupled with his withering assessment that a glossy presentation by Mr Caplan did not help substantiate the argument but in effect it concealed the fact that the community was being spun a lot of nonsense.
    Now 15 years later Mr Mendelsohn has found this defunct Caplan report on his bookshelf and thinks that reinventing it will also fill the current void in sensible decision making. Working Parties are to be established ssays Mr Mendelsohn and it will take 2 months to organise a fact-finding mission to other communities.
    How long does it take to book a train ticket Philip?
    I am absolutely in accord with One of a Privileged Few that this exercise is a waste of time, undemocratic ,and being led by people who have a specific interest in ensuring their own survival.
    Anyone with any commonsense will have nothing to do with this.
    Joel Conn was right 15 years ago when he rubbished Caplan. Anyone who rubbishes this rehashed version will be right also.
    It is a complete waste of time and money.

  179. Cutting for Stone said

    Philip Mendelsohn, as far as i am aware leaves office in June , why dont they {GJRC}just wait for another ‘President’ to assume the reins of power and feed us better highly uninformative non sense

  180. W.Douglas Bader said

    Lubovitch + Masorti =LUBORTI
    Luborti,
    Customised Authentic for Centre Judaism C.A.C.j
    Fenwick Road
    Giffnock
    Email: luborti_scotland@religious.com

    Press Release

    Release date: 26th February 2010

    A new organisation has been created in Glasgow to serve the Glasgow and wider Scottish Jewish Community. The new co-operative venture between Lubovitch Scotland and Glasgow Masorti will be known as Luborti has been created to fill the religious void at the heart of the Jewish Community in Scotland.

    After intense secret negotiations between Glasgow Masorti Director W. Douglas Bader and Lubovitch Scotland Chief Rabbi Jacobs an agreement has been reached to merge their operations and provide a real authentic traditional Judaism to the Scottish Jewish Community.
    “We want the community to give all they’ve got to support this magnificent initiative” said Rabbi Bader when he realised just what could be gained by providing this wonderful new service.

    The Scottish Jewish community have been missing out on the traditional Jewish experience for many years and with the Representative Council starting the reorganisation of the community this was the right time to provide the opportunity.

    This new Luborti Judaism, that has the guidance of Chief Rabbi Jacobs, is the perfect answer to empty synagogues allowing us to realise the potential of redundant buildings.

    Luborti will provide services that will allow all members to be counted as truly authentic Jews and will be happy to adapt to the needs and wants of the individual so no-one will feel excluded.

    Luborti are confident that this venture will be generously supported and I just the thing needed for the future.

  181. Don't Like the Giffnock Taliban said

    Whoever wrote the last comment has the same mindset as our local Giffnock Taliban who can be found at Giffnock Shul. In all probability they are probably one of the Giffnock Taliban.
    The writer obviously thinks they are both smart and funny when in fact they are neither.
    Firstly, the only organisation in the community that has such close links to Lubavitch is Giffnock Shul. On which premises do Lubavitch run a Cheder and a restaurant? You guessed it Giffnock Shul. Which Shul regularly holds joint events with Lubavitch?- you guessed it Giffnock. Yes, we have all heard the stories that Rabbi Rubin isn’t that fond of Lubavitch but the facts speak loudly. Maybe the good Rabbi at Giffnock should have a little word in the ears of some of his friends and confidants who go around the community telling everyone how they have no time for Lubavitch etc, how they can’t stand Lubavitch etc etc and tell them that the good Rabbi of Giffnock doesn’t agree. Or maybe this would be one principled stand too many.
    Instead he has stood up and denounced Masorti and claimed that the arrival of this movement in Glasgow is divisive. Lets just think a little about the position of Rabbi Rubin. He doesn’t speak out about Lubavitch and when the Kollel try and wreck his daily Minyan his response is rather muted. While he didn’t agree we have to respect their reasons, I think was the official line in the email sent to his congregation. There was certainly no denunciation.
    Warren Bader has worked really hard to bring Masorti to Glasgow and the community should thank him. In time they will appreciate what he has done giving people here a choice.
    Lets remind ourselves what the choice is. It is a choice between black coated fundamentalism and intolerance against a traditional form of Judaism that understands that the world has moved on. It is also a choice betwewen allowing people here to choose what they want and how they wish to practise Judaism against a dogmatic intolerant approach from Giffnock that always claims that anything that is different from the Orthodox line is divisive and against the best interests of the community.
    Is it not about time that the Giffnock committee told their Rabbi that he is the one who is polarising the community and it is Rabbi Rubin who has become the divisive figure?

  182. NM Shul Member said

    The Giffnock Shul committee should also consider whether it is appropriate that their Rabbi does not send his children to the local Jewish school. He often speaks about Jewish education but he doesn’t even support our wonderful community school.
    They should also look closely at how the Rabbi educates his children before shipping them out of Glasgow to Yeshiva, seminary etc? Are they properly educated? Is this acceptable?
    I don’t. Newton Mearns Shul might have its problems but at least our Rabbis support Calderwood and educate their children.

  183. Against Fundamentalism said

    Does anyone think that Rabbi Rubin has read his Chief Rabbi’s Book
    “The dignity of difference: how to avoid the clash of civilizations”?

    Is respecting differences between religions only applicable? What about the differences between Jews, the differences between Reform, Orthodox and Masorti and Liberal?
    What does Rabbi Rubin think about that or are wasting our time asking the question as his stance seems pretty obvious?

  184. Me Too said

    Did he not go to Israel as one of the Scottish pilgrims a year or so ago? The subsidy given by the Scottish Government should be refunded because Rabbi Rubin did not learn much about religious tolerance.

  185. Giffnock Shul Member said

    I accept many of the complaints made against Rabbi Rubin as being fair and reasonable.
    I think that the Shul committee needs to make it clear to our Rabbi what is permissable.
    It seems to me that our employee is running our management committee and that cannot be right. Unless we make it clear that we accept differences of belief and have respect towards all traditions in Judaism, my fear is that Giffnock will lose many members. Attacking Masorti – quite mainstream – offends most people because Masorti is seen and is a respected expression of Judaism. Our Rabbi may not see this but our committee need to act and act quickly or the reputation of our Shul will be badly undermined.

  186. Giffnock Congregant said

    We used to be a mainstream community at Giffnock. What’s happened? What can we do about it? The AGM is approaching in a few weeks – Is there a candidate that might emerge that can change things for the better. I am embarassed at the moment about how my Shul is behaving and I want something done about it.

  187. A DOER not a TALKER said

    What in particular is it that you find embarassing about how Giffnock Shul is behaving? If you feel so strongly about it why dont you “emerge”, stand at the AGM and do something about it!

  188. Giffnock Congregant said

    I might or I might find someone to stand already on the committee. Or I might just up sticks and go somewhere that respects others’
    Judaism and isn’t bigoted and doesn’t think that their way is the only way. I find the attitude of the Rabbi to Masorti – to be awful. It is against everything that I think Judaism should be – tolerance towards others – respecting others’opinions and allowing people the right to choose. It is no surprise that our congregation is being described as the Giffnock Taliban after what Rabbi Rubin said about Masorti and the dishonest accusation that they were splitting the community. That is what is embarassing. We will be a stronger congregation if we concentrate on what we do best, improve our product and our offer to our members rather than trying to delegitimise others.

  189. GS said

    A friend just posted me this link to the New North London Masorti Synagogue in London.
    It is really worth looking at

    http://www.nnls-masorti.org.uk/

    The sooner Masorti comes to Glasgow, the more enriched our communal life will be.

    If only we had modern, thought provoking Rabbis in Glasgow like Rabbi Wittenberg or Rabbi Gordon.

  190. reformer said

    I’m having a laugh reading this drivel…all you poor Mazorti supporters feeling hard done by…..WHAT A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITS YOU ALL ARE .Where were you over the last 20 years when Reform have been systematically treated like dirt ? No thanks you cannot use our Kosher caterer , no thanks your events shall be ignored , no thanks your hall is not suitable for a community event , no thanks your Rabbis cannot do funerals at Glenduffhill , etc etc.
    Not that I care-we at Reform got over it a long time ago ; but please spare me the tears and tolerism bullsh*t -you only object because it spoils your “love-in”-not becuase you really believe in inclusion.

  191. Tolerant Tom said

    Reformer, it would be much better if a new consensus could be built in this community that has no tolerance for bigots and discrimination. I agree with you that the Reform have been treated shabbily by the Orthodox and I agree with you that this has been utterly disgraceful. However, rather than calling me a hypocrite your anger would be better utisied in condemning recent discrimination against Masorti. You and I are on the same side against bigots and fundamentalists. Why try and divide us?
    The Rabbi Rubins and the like are not open minded and tolerant. We know that. Their idea of tolerance stops when you disagree with what they believe in. So Reformer, my plea to you is lets work together against the forces that will destroy any good name that our community still has. I hope you are up for the battle.

  192. W.Douglas Bader said

    Luborti celembrated PURIM in tradishnal way of getting megillad and reading legless.
    Seems you are all so jwish you forgot twas Purim

    Luborti – combines to reduce the community of any inconvenient jewishness. lubavich and masorti the next best thing to Juadaism

  193. Bemused said

    Someone needs to hang W Douglas Bader out to dry.

  194. The Frozen Rabbi said

    Good to see Secterianism is alive and well in Glasgow, strange that is in the Jewish community, now when so much progress has been made to eradicate it from the Christian side!

  195. Reflections on a Community That Has Lost the Plot said

    This issue has been rumbling on for weeks communally. Is it not about time that someone in Giffnock had the guts to clarify the position of the Shul Council and whether they agree with their Rabbi’s position and his conduct in denouncing Masorti? Is it not about time that someone in Giffnock Shul had the guts either to defend their Rabbi from this growing amount of criticism now coming his way or to defend him if they think he is being treated unfairly?
    He has been attacked on this forum in the last couple of weeks for his views on Masorti, his refusal to send his children to the local Jewish school and his fundamentalism. Questions have been raised about how he educates his children and whether his Judaism is the right Judaism for the Glasgow Jewish community.
    The Rabbi has gone quiet. The Shul committee have gone quiet. Is he not entitled to some support from his employers or does their silence say everything? If the Rabbi was a football manager the dreaded vote of confidence would seal his fate. On the other hand, given the onslaught against him, the Shul committee ought to defend him because when so many accusations are thrown some of it will undoubtedly stick.
    Does their silence imply that they cannot defend him because by and large it is true?

  196. emet said

    Something dreadful happened in our community last week ;it will become public knowledge soon enough ;it is a prime example of all that is wrong in Glasgow Jewish life ;those responsible are spineless and beneath contempt.They will be found out.Then the rest of us will know how far the rot has set in .When it is out in the open I hope all the good people who read this blog speak out.

  197. Giffnock Congregant said

    Could this be anything to do with the Burial Society outrageously sacking Warren Bader last week for his involvement with Masorti? Warren Bader was excellent at his job. Ask anyone who has unfortunately suffered a bereavement in recent years and they will tell you just how good he was. Is this another example of the intolerance and bigotry of the Giffnock Taliban?

  198. Don't Like the Giffnock Taliban said

    I don’t believe that the Burial Society would have acted to remove Warren Bader without the encouragement or agreement of Rabbi Rubin. Rabbi Rubin has a reputation of being a good guy. Removing someone’s livelihood because it does not fit with your intolerant fundamentalist view of the world is something that was made illegal years ago in the UK. Rabbi Rubin will no longer be considered to be a good guy if he had any involvement in this shocking example of religious discrimination. If he had no involvement he should now say so loudly and clearly and the community can then focus on those responsible.
    Do the Burial Society not have a decent lawyer who could have advised them on basic employment law?
    The community should be told who made this decision.

  199. A DOER not a TALKER said

    As a prominent member of GNHC I should like the opportunity to defend our Rabbi on two counts.
    Firstly regarding his opinion on the Masorti movement I think he is entitled to express his views like anybody else.
    I think he has at the very least to be respected for giving his opinion publicly and not hiding behind a PC with an alias name
    Personally I once again wish the Masorti movement every success in Glasgow, as I appreciate Orthodox and Reform does not suit everyone.
    The second issue is the decision of the Glendufhill Burial Society to terminate Warrens employment.
    I know that Rabbi Rubin was not in any way involved in this decision and that it came as much as a surprise to him as it did to the rest of the Glasgow Jewish Community that have had dealings with Warren.
    I have only heard good things regarding him and the Burial Society and that he went way beyond the call of duty.

  200. Giffnock Congregant said

    Our Rabbi is entitled to his opinion but calling something divisive and that it would split the community was an irresponsible statement. Unfortunately, Rabbi Rubin has a track record in calling things divisive when it does not agree with his opinion. He is perfectly entitled to tell his congregation why Masorti is not for him and why he would not recommend it to his congregants. That would be acceptable. What he should not do is claim that others are acting against the best interests of our community because they wish to be Jewish in a different way from him.

    If Rabbi Rubin was not involved in any way with the decision to remove Warren Bader from the Burial Society then he now has an obligation to tell the community this. As a result of his denounciation of Masorti in the manner that he went about this he raised the temperature considerably and at best he gave the green light to people who have behaved very badly. Leadership is about responsibility and in this regard Rabbi Rubin did not think about the consequences of his attack on Masorti Judaism.
    Somehow, my fellow Giffnock Congregant, I think you are being naive regarding the Rabbi’s lack of involvement with the removal of Warren. Are you really saying that he had no opinion on this at all and gave no encouragement to the Burial Society committee that they should remove him? I don’t think too many will buy this argument but Rabbi Rubin can clear this up by telling us what his position was and whether he believes it is acceptable to remove someone from employment on the grounds of affiliation with Masorti. If you are right then he can easily denounce the Burial Society decision and ask for Warren to be reinstated.

  201. A DOER not a TALKER said

    My understanding of the decision to let Warren go was made by a group of 4 people on the management committee. Rabbi Rubin was most definately not one of the four people; and he was informed of the decision the day after, and was, as previously stated as surprised as the rest of the community.
    I am also “told” that the decision to let Warren go was not based on his affiliation to Masorti.

  202. Giffnock Congregant said

    Well then I suggest you check your sources. Who was on the Management Committee? Only 4 made the decision you claim. I believe there are more than 4 guys on this committee.

    Alan Levy ?
    Jeffrey Gladstone ?
    Ephraim Borowski ?
    David Jackson ?
    Barry Cooper?
    Irving Hyman?

    Anyone else?

    Of course your sources won’t confirm that he was let go because of his afiliations to Masorti. They are aware of the community backlash that will occur. They are running scared and rightly so. Now please go and tell the Rabbi to make a statement condeming religious discrimination as it was him that set the ball rolling with his claim that Masorti was divisive. I know Rabbi Rubin won’t have actually sat on the management committee and made the decision at that time but I don’t think that this would have happened without his knowledge and his agreement beforehand, or even subtle or not subtle pressure. I suspect I know more about this than you do. I know you are trying to defend your Rabbi but he has to speak out for himself.
    As for the Burial Society Management committee, they have by their actions brought the organisation that does such wonderful work into disrepute.

  203. bereaeved said

    I have had the occasion to use Mr Bader ; he was professional , courteous and hugely supportive-I needed him and he delivered way beyond anything previously experienced .Plus he is performing a mitzvah.Take a poll of those for whom he has acted-I’d be amazed if satisfaction was not at 100% . Such a loss and such a pity . I’m astounded that it is suggested that he lost his job due to his religous beliefs…surely not. I guess the Burial society will not discuss it openly.
    The whole thing stinks.

  204. Not Impressed said

    It won’t look very good the next time Ephraim Borowski raises the issue of religious discrimination against Jews with civil servants or politicians in Scotland, if an organisation that he serves on, is held responsible for discrimating against an employee because of their religious orientation.
    Did Borowski think of the consequences of this and our community’s reputation when he decided to act against Warren Bader?
    It seems pretty clear already that the Burial Society has a great deal of explaining to do. Rabbi Rubin might like to tell everyone that he knew nothing about this at all but it simply won’t wash. Many of this committee are very regular attenders of Giffnock Shul and close friends of the Rabbi. What we are being asked to believe is that Rabbi Rubin and the committee never even discussed Warren Bader’s connection with Masorti. This is just absurd and I don’t believe it for one moment.

  205. Another Giffnock Member said

    I would like to ask ” A Doer, not a Talker ” (201) to clarify a couple of points that they made earlier today.

    1. If 4 members of the Burial Society made the decision to get rid of Warren Bader how many disagreed with the decision? Who voted for and who voted against?

    2. If Rabbi Rubin was informed afterwards as you suggest how do you know that he was surprised. Was he disappointed or did he agree with the decision taken. Please don’t tell us he did not have an opinion either way.

    3. Did the Burial Society seek legal advice before acting?

  206. A DOER not a TALKER said

    In response to post 205 I re-iterate that it was told to me that the final decision of the Burial Society to let Warren go was made by only 4 committee members.
    I do not know who else was present.
    Once again ,the Rabbi was as surprised as everybody else about this decision, and I have no idea what legal advice they took before making this decision.
    I have no involvement in the management of the Burial society nor would I want to given this latest turn of events.

  207. ODIOUS said

    Does anyone know when the next AGM is for the GHBS?
    The current executive committee should be voted out of office!

    Any one else notice a foul smell eminatting from the people who hold the high office of this venerable charity! I am not surprised to find the names of the characters involved as mentioned in post 202.

    It’s very sad to see the hard work of the many previous office bearers , reduced to naught, by a few egotistical & power hungry maniacs.

    Chesed Shel Emes?

  208. Very Angry said

    I have just read the JC on line about the outrageous sacking of Warren Bader for his association with Masorti.
    The vice chair of the Burial Society has claimed he doesn’t know what Masorti is. This is pathetic. Maybe his associates will tell him. Are Alan Levy or Jeffrey Gladstone or Irving Hyman or Ephraim Borowski or Barry Cooper as ignorant as the vice chair of the society?
    I am also delighted that Rabbi Rubin has been linked to the contoversy because like others I am of the opinion that he was involved somewhere.
    I also think that if it is confirmed that the Burial Society acted because of Bader’s Masorti connections then Ephraim Borowski should be forced to resign as Director of Scojec. There is no way that the community can be represented by someone implicated in religious discrimnation. As for the other members of the Executive of the Burial Society they should not be allowed to hold public office within this community ever again. Their individual and collective conduct is as described by the previous post, odious. If Rabbi Rubin was involved as many suspect then he will have lost the respect of the community that he serves.

    http://www.thejc.com/community/community-life/28999/masorti-man-sacked-burial-society

  209. ODIOUS said

    I have also read this article now, and wonder if as according to David Jackson, it was a cost effectiveness cut, why was it not handled according to the due process as stipulated in current Employment Law?

    Surely these most ‘distiguished of gentlemen’ must have access to the cream of Jewish lawyers for free or possibly at a reduced cost?

    After all they represent a Charity that provides burials at times when some folk can’t afford them? I some how can’t believe that they couldn’t access professional advice!

    The other point that needs to be raised is this:

    Are the finances of the GHBS in good order? Should we who contribute be concerned that our money is being wasted?

    If not then why is this ‘cut’ being effected!

    I leave you readers with this distasteful quote ”GHBS vice-chair David Jackson claimed it had no legal obligation to Mr Bader.”

    Nice one, David!

  210. The Stench of Intolerance said

    Which one of the Burial Brigade will squeal to try and save face and point the finger at their religious supervisor, one Rabbi Moshe Rubin?
    The pressure is growing, the heat is being turned up and communal life is going to become increasingly uncomfortable for these guys. Not everyone knows about this yet but they soon will and this is not going to fade away. Most people who I have spoken to about this are appalled and want justice to be served. The communal careers of D Jackson, J Gladstone, I Hyman, B Cooper, E Borowski and A Levy will quite rightly be over.

  211. bereaeved said

    I think the Burial society may have a wee problem .

  212. a simple act said

    I am completely appalled by the cowardly act that the GHBS have perpetrated by sacking Warren. It’s sickening in this day and age that there’s no such religious tolerence!

    It beggers belief that the Chairman, Dr Barry Cooper, a doctor on the payroll of the NHS, has had no training in the rudimentaries of Employment Law through the NHS? When he runs a practice in East Kilbride?

    It seems to me [and hopefully everyone else] that these fine upstanding members: David Jackson, Jeffery Gladstone, Irving Hyman, Barry Cooper, Ephrhaim Borowski & Alan Levy can think they can ride rough shod over anyone & everyone , thinking that they are above the basic moral code of the teachings of the Fathers and the Torah!

    I would like to believe that Walter Levy[z”l] would be most ashamed & disgusted of his son, Alan’s hand in this matter.

  213. I cannot believe that people like Very Angry and Odious are not in a special needs establishment said

    Those idiots in our community who open their big mouths and post rubbish on the blog are right to do it anonymously. That way they will not be seen to have red necks and faces when their stupidity is exposed. Do you really think that the Accountant the Doctor the Advertising Tycoon and the Academic need any advice from you who have no idea about employment law. Let me give you your first lesson.

    If you are not employed by an organisation you do not have any rights with regard to employment law with that company or Burial Society.

    Mr Bader who is a decent chap may have problems finding a comfortable haven in which to worship due to personal circumstances. This may be why he wishes to encourage others in trying to set up a Masorti movement in Glasgow. I personally hope that he does not succeed. My right and personal view. I believe that God wrote the Torah. Masorti think someone else wrote it. End of discussion

    I do believe Warren Bader’s association with the HBS has terminated for a number of reasons and that the Society did not feel it needed Very Angry or Odious to be involved. Will these two Ladies or Gentlemen be appearing in hoods at the AGM

  214. Its time to stand up and be counted said

    The previous post on behalf of the guilty executive of the Burial Society only confirms what we all knew already – These guys – Cooper, Levy, Gladstone, Borowski, Hyman and Jackson are not fit to hold public office. When OSCR find out about this act of religious discrimination they will not look too kindly on any of them being fit persons to be trustees of a charity.
    The accountant should know about employment law but obviously doesn’t. The academic is a philosopher and always thinks he knows better than anyone else but clearly doesn’t, the advertising bloke wouldn’t have dared acted like this to one of his employees and the doctor is a doctor, not a lawyer.
    Congratulations to the press for exposing this bigotry.
    Its now time that decent middle of the road people stood up and said to those who perpetrate intolerance, bigotry, narrow mindedness and fundamentalism that we have had enough and we won’t accept this kind of gutter behaviour.
    We as a community are better than this lot.
    These guys think they are bigger than they are. They really are sad insignificant power hungry guys with big egos and little intellect. They like being big fish in a tiny pool but even at that they are way over promoted. How dare they trash that organisation’s good name to serve their petty ends.

  215. The Stench of Intolerance said

    This is why Rabbi Rubin is compromised. The same week as presents are picked up from the John Lewis Gift list by Rabbi Rubin, a good and honourable worker for this community was sacked by the Burial Society. Rabbi Rubin sent out notification that gifts could be purchased by the community from John Lewis for his daughter, and the community were morally pressurised into contributing. Even the elderly and poor would have felt an obligation.
    Warren Bader was deprived of his living this week.
    Rabbi Rubin must have known what was going on. If as some people have claimed he was surprised then he should have already condemned the people who did it by telling the press, posting here, email to his congregants whatever. I will never think the same of Rabbi Rubin again.
    I think we’ll probably be stuck with him for years now because no modern Jewish community will tolerate this behaviour.

  216. Resignation ( not far away) said

    If ever we needed to be persusaded to leave the United Synagogue and join Masorti the Burial Society and Giffnock Shul have just given us the excuse to do it.

    Reading the Jewish Telegraph today has convinced me to now resign from Giffnock Shul. I expect they won’t care but until the chairman and his executive make a statement that censures the Rabbi’s rant against the mainstream Masorti Movement I’m not hanging around. Company like this I can certainly do without on the few occasions I want to go to Shul.I wouldn’t want to stand side by side with people like this.

    http://www.jewishtelegraph.com/
    Click on Glasgow.

  217. let's be realistic said

    Let’s be realistic here. Talk of ‘religious discrimination’ in the case of Warren Bader is tosh and akin to the JFS admissions issue. Mainstream Orthodox Judaism does not recognise Reform/Liberal/Masorti or whatever as being within the Jewish fold for religious purposes eg because of conversion standards. In the same way as you wouldn’t expect Orthodox organisations to admit Christians or Muslims, and you wouldn’t call that ‘religious discrimination’ the official line is that Reform/Liberal/Masorti, whatever you or I might feel about it personally,does not conform to Orthodox Judaism.

    It’s one thing being a ‘lapsed’ Orthodox Jew, but quite another to be actively organising and promoting another version of Judaism. So even if it’s not your own philosophy, you can see why it’s happening.

    Maybe an analogy is for an events organiser for the Labour Party to suddenly join the Tory Party and then wonder why his employers aren’t happy.

    What the employers actually do in both cases is a legal matter.

  218. Elder said

    The Burial Society’s David Jackson commented that Warren Bader was employed by a contractor and his dismissal was a cost cutting measure.
    Rubbish.
    Warren Bader was to all intents and purposes an employee and the Burial Society’s abrupt ending of his relationship with them is not only open I’m sure to legal challenge but also was morally reprehensible.

    What kind of people are running this organisation that they follow no proper procedures when ” cost cutting “, offer no adequate explanations to anyone, offer no adequate period of notice, express no regret at having to remove someone that the Community thought was doing an excellent job? The reality is that the Executive of the Burial Society removed Warren Bader from his employment with no consultation or explanation.

    This can only have happened because of his Masorti connections and it is repugnant that this important institution’s reputation has suffered so badly because of these ignorant people and their Rabbinical advisor in the background.

    The Chairman, Barry Cooper, Vice Chairman David Jackson, Treasurer Jeffrey Gladstone and Secretaries Alan Levy and Ephraim Borowski should be forced from office. Their behaviour is totally unacceptable. We as a community require a Burial Society and it is totally unacceptable that their politics and fundamentalism have brought about the removal of a good man who was a great asset to our community.

    Personally speaking, I’m sick of people like these guys telling us how to lead our lives. They claim to be acting on behalf of us all.

    I will finish by asking one more question. Why would anyone given what has happened to Warren Bader want Alan Levy, Jeffrey Gladstone Ephraim Borowski, Cooper and Jackson to represent their views to anyone. I certainly don’t. Nor do I think after this that Rabbi Moshe Rubin is an acceptable ambassador either.

  219. Campaign to Out Bigots said

    Lets Be Realisic (217) should go on Mastermind and their specialist subject would be without doubt

    ” How Orthodox Judaism has the right to ignore any employment rights for an employee and can be 100% justified in expressing bigotry and discrimination ”

    I have to hand it to Lets Be Realistic. Theirs is one of the most ignorant posts I have read on this blog for months.

  220. let's be realistic said

    Thanks for the compliment! I suppose anyone who doesn’t agree with you is ‘ignorant’!

    I said at the end of my post that there are legal issues involved and I wasn’t commenting on these. That’s for the lawyers.

    How can you expect an organisation to employ someone who goes over to be an organiser of ‘the opposition’? There’s an argument about how this is handled, but the bottom line is that you can’t have your religious cake and eat it. It’s not as simple as ‘bigotry and discrimination’. You might not agree with the Orthodox party line, but as I said, you wouldn’t expect the Labour Party HQ to keep employing someone who was actively campaigning for the Tories.

    And here we are again, like with the Rep Council. I’ll mump and moan and criticise and make personal comments against those running the organisation, but just don’t expect me to give up my spare time to get involved in the running of that organisation (Rep Council, Burial Society etc). If you don’t like the way the organisation is going, either leave it, or become involved with a group of like-minded friends and stand for office. I’m sure the current office-bearers would appreciate the break.

  221. Campaign To Out Bigots said

    I suppose it is possible you are amoral rather than immoral. That might be a good excuse for someone who thinks that it is ethically sound to sack someone who is good at what they do. The fault in your argument is that Warren Bader wasn’t campaigning for Masorti when he was arranging a funeral or offering sympathetic assistance to people when their loved ones had passed away.
    He always acted with the highest standards of professionalism so his paricular views on how to practise Judaism never came into it. Maybe you would want the Grave Diggers to fill out a questionnaire before they do their duty too?
    In the UK it isn’t acceptable to sack someone who is doing a good job because you would prefer they followed the identical religios practise to you. It is as simple as bigotry and discrimination, even if you want to excuse bad behaviour just because it emanates from Orthodox Fundamentalists.
    Maybe when you defend your fundamentalist friends you will raise a toast with them and say ” Stuff employment rights, stuff treating someone who has given good service properly, stuff the fact that custodians of a Jewish organisation should behave at all times with dignity, we’re the Giffnock Taliban and we’ll do whatever we want”

  222. let's be realistic said

    More tosh!!

    I wasn’t discussing the legal side or employment rights. That’s a matter for the lawyers.

    I wasn’t commenting on how good he was at his job. That’s not really the point, is it?

    Grave diggers aren’t usually Jewish, are they? And of course, Jewish organisations employ non-Jewish staff, caretakers etc, who are not expected to be Jewish in any way.

    What I was trying to do was think for a moment of the Burial Society’s position as an Orthodox organisation. Employees also have responsibilities and I again use the analogy of Labour and Tory. How did he expect to continue working for an Orthodox organisation when he was organising a non Orthodox congregation which would seek to poach members?

  223. The Stench of Intolerance said

    It doesn’t concern either Queens Park Burial Society or Garnethill, both Orthodox, so it would appear to me that you are the one that is talking tosh.
    The problem here is the bigotry of the Giffnock Taliban.

    The best defence Gladstone and Borowski could use would be to plead that they were not in possession of their full faculties when they made this decision. They could argue that they had been indulging in too much whisky at the Taliban Distillery ( AKA Giffnock Shul Haftorah Club) and their judgement was flawed because they were inebriated.

    The highly principled Rabbi Rubin tolerates this every week when his regular congregants depart the service well before the end to indulge in the inhouse distillery.

    At least this argument might be credible unlike the others we have heard so far.

  224. Progressive Pete said

    I’m partial to a good malt. Would I be allowed entry into the Giffnock shul Pub?
    What about my wife? Can she come or is it a men only drinking den? Was sexual discrimination not outlawed years ago too? Seems this Rabbi presides over both religious and sexual discrimination, all concealed of course by wearing a fundamentalist cloak in the name of Orthodox Judaism. My advice to Mr Bader – throw the book at the Burial Society. They deserve everything they get and if their actions cost them a vast sum of money the office bearers will be forced to go.

  225. let's be realistic said

    Wonderful! sounds as though you have such a low opinion of mainstream Orthodox Judaism that you would like to see it prosecuted for ‘sexual discrimination’.

    And while we’re at it,let’s ban shechita and circumcision. I suppose Zionism’s a bit of a problem too.

    Hey – why not just give up Judaism altogether?

  226. Campaign To Out Bigots said

    What needs to be outlawed are bigots and apologists for bigotry like you.

  227. let's be realistic said

    Great debating skills you have! You don’t agree with me, so I’m automatically a bigot and an apologist for bigotry!

  228. Campaign To Out Bigots said

    No not because you don’t agree with me, just because of what you write and what you make excuses for. I will repeat it again – you are an apologist for bigotry. You may not like to be told that but its true. Because it is Jewish and Orthodox bigotry and culminated in the removal of a good man who did such a great job for our community, doesn’t excuse it. Their conduct – the Burial Society – was disgraceful and will be condemned by many – – including many members of Orthodox Synagogues. The fact that you can’t see that you are an apologist for religious discrimination is your problem.

  229. Newton Mearns Member said

    Is this really true that Giffnock Shul has an inhouse pub where members can leave in the middle of the service to drown their sorrows. I hear that those who are allowed to be members of this exclusive club within the Shul are ageing men with far too big bellies and dwindling intellect but I have to ask what’s going on In Giffnock? They probably think that it would be beneath them to go to the Orchard Park one evening during the week instead but there is something far wrong at Giffnock Shul if this is tolerated.
    I’m on Warren Bader’s side 100%. The executive of the Burial Society have done something very wrong and my guess is despite the denials on this blog that Rabbi Rubin was involved somewhere.
    My advice to moderate members of Giffnock is come to Newton Mearns Shul if you want to be Orthodox and/or go to Masorti when you want to see sometjhing progressive. Giffnock Shul is going down the tubes.

  230. Giffnock Shul Pub Goer said

    Well I don’t think Warren Bader would be too welcome at our Giffnock Shul Pub right now, but his father Douglas can get legless with us any shabbos he likes. Tell him to wander down just after ein kelohenu for a good knees up !

  231. Giffnock Shul Goer said

    One pub in the area is enough. I wasn’t aware we had another. Jeffrey “5 Bellies ” Gladstone should find another place to drink.
    In all seriousness, how can Raymond Strang, the Shul chairman, allow a pub to operate on the premises?
    What kind of Shul is this?

  232. Don't Like the Giffnock Taliban said

    A Shul with a Distillery.
    I’m really surprised that no one has claimed yet that the Rabbi doesn’t know anything about this pub within his Shul.
    Someone will soon try and claim this just as they claim Rabbi Rubin was surprised to learn that the Burial Society had sacked Warren Bader because of his connections with Masorti.
    Does anyone know who else is a regular at the Giffnock Distillery?

  233. The Balvennie said

    well its Peseach soon enough and i am sure the malt whisky won’t make an appearance in GNHC after that !

  234. reformer said

    When the Burial society unilaterally decided to ban Reform Rabbis from the Glenduffhill Tara house (despite 30 years of peaceful co-existence) it was suggested that Rabbi Rubin was behind it ; this was never established though because despite requests (plural) from the Reform Shul for a meeting to discuss (on or off the record) , the B urial society refused to meet and would only communicate through letter.Suffice to say that the Reform members drew a pretty quick and non -complimentary view of those upstanding fellows who lacked the courage to discuss it face to face .

  235. Victor Meldrew said

    “I don’t believe it!” Reformer I have it on the highest authority that at least one meeting took place when Giles Wolfson and Ronnie Harris met with the burial society. And why let the facts get in the way of a good story because my source also tells me that reform rabbis are not banned from the prayer house at Glenduffhill. Reform style services are.

  236. The Story in Context said

    I would like to add some substance to the story so far. The Giffnock Shul Pub or The Taliban Distillery as others have named it is run by Jeffrey “5 Bellies” Gladstone, Treasurer of the Burial Society. Allegedly, Ephraim Borowski and Irving Hyman of the Burial Society are frequent attenders as well. The Burial Society have been known to use Derek Livingston as their lawyer and he certainly attends the pub regularly.
    Did the Burial Society take advice before firing Waren Bader? Was the decision to axe Bader discussed at the Shul Pub? No doubt denials will be forthcoming. We have also been told that the Rabbi of Giffnock knew nothing about this either and was shocked to learn of Bader’s dismissal.
    It is just nonsense.
    The Burial Society are sending out conflicting messages everywhere. The reality is that Warren Bader was removed from his post as a result of religious discrimination and the sad reality for Giffnock Shul is that their members are at the heart of this.
    Furthermore, the frenzy against Masorti was whipped up by Rabbi Rubin and by calling Masorti divisive and accusing them of splitting the community he allowed others to think that somehow Masorti was a bad thing and ultimately this has caused Bader to be sacked.
    Rabbi Rubin should hang his head in shame. A Rabbi should work to bring his community closer together not feed the appetites of the irate. As for the Burial Society the communal anger is growing and those responsible should go.
    There is more to come but lets leave it at this for now.

  237. Inquisitive said

    Do Giffnock Shul have a trade account at the local Oddbins?

  238. you can't have your cake said

    What utter tosh! It’s NOT religious discrimination! If they didn’t employ a Sikh as burial officer – would that be religious discrimination? Why should an Orthodox burial society employ someone who’s organising a non-Orthodox congregation?

  239. Cardhu Single Malt said

    You can’t have your cake:

    I think you are a founder member of the Taliban Distillery at GNHC,

    Warren Bader , was a member of GRS, when he was approached by the GHBS to be their Burials Officer!

    Did he poach members for them, NO!

    How was he going to poach members for Masorti? Hand flyers out at a funeral?

    Me thinks, you have had way to much malt

  240. reformer said

    If there was a meeting it took place long after the original decision-At the time they would not meet .
    Are you telling me that Rabbi Nancy can do a an orthodox funeral……I don’t think so!

    Two more points
    Where is Rubin just now……..surely if ever his congregants needed him to speak it would be now ? Or is he happy to be quiet whilst madness prevails ?

    And do Giffnock need a Liquor Licence for their Shebeen ?

  241. reformer said

    Clarification please…a wee while ago I heard a far fetched story that a member of the Calderwood PTA or possibly of the Board of Jewish Education tried to prevent flyers for a UJIA event to be put in the schoolbags of Calderwood kids (as was the practice) ; the reason being…………………..it was to happen in the Reform Shul Function Hall . Does anyone know if this is true or just a nasty rumour so far unsubstantiated ? And if true who was it ? And do they have any connection to the Burial Society ?
    I suspect if true then there are others who witnessed this behaviour-can they speak out and clarify ? No names please unless a matter of record eg duly minuted and known to be the case by a number of people .
    Otherwise we can bin it as just a nasty rumour .

  242. Boozegate said

    Of Course they don’t need a trade account at Oddbins. They creep in when no one is around and stash the booze away for the booze up on Shabbat morning.
    These guys really were into the spirit of Shabbat if you excuse the pun.
    I agree, Rabbi Rubin has got a lot of explaining to do. Allowing a drinking club to operate in another room when the congregation is preoccupied with prayer is not what one normally expects of Rabbinical leadership.
    Have a good look at the members of the drinking club. Gladstone might have five bellies, actually I thought he was closer to six or seven but the others are not that far behind.

  243. The Taliban Malt Whisky Society of GNHC said

    Is the ‘Good Doctor’ Cooper a member of this elite drinking club? If so, then not a very good image for the NHS let alone for a House of Prayer, to have this going on , on Shabbat.

    Lovely role model for all the children and teenagers attending Shul.

    It’s really a sad indication of Glasgow Jewry that we are left with the likes of Jeffrey ‘5 Bellies’ Gladstone,
    Alan Levy
    Jeffrey Gladstone
    Ephraim Borowski
    David Jackson
    Irving Hyman
    Derek Livingston
    Nigel Allon
    All in some way controlling/managing the likes of GNHC , ScoJec, Rep Council & GHBS & Scottish Council of Synagogues!

    Where is the Chairman of th GNHC, Raymond Strang ? Or have they managed to ‘castrate ‘ him too?

  244. George Washington said

    Although now in the USA as a former Glaswegian I follow this blog with interest.
    If The Taliban Malt Whisky Society of GNHC and some other bloggers are upset with some of the communal leaders why don’t they attend the AGM of these organisations, stand for election and then sort out all the problems.
    I’m passed it now but a long time ago when I was involved with a major communal organisation I had a complaint about how that organisation was run and a suggestion how things could be improved. When I suggested to the complainer that he should come on board to help he refused to do so.
    So I say to all you bloggers actions speak louder than words. If you think you can do better prove it.
    I’m TT myself but don’t see the harm in having a whiskey club if that brings people to synagogue. Mine in the US has such a club

    Link to YouTube Video (Hitler Finds Out About The Kiddush Club)

  245. Giffnock Congregant said

    Mr Washington you must be passed it. A Whisky Drinking Club taking place when the service has finished is one thing but a drinking session when the service is still progressing is certainly another. What’s more this club is not open to anyone in the congregation, only those accepted by Mr Gladstone and his friends.
    Our Rabbi has done nothing about this.Yes, he certainly is aware of it so lets hope there will be no denial this time.
    Raymond Strang is the chairman of the Shul and he has done nothing about this either. Monty Cowan at the last Shul Council Meeting did complain that this was unacceptable but he was overruled. Our Shul is now attracting headlines for being a Pub or a Distillery and we have only ourselves to blame.
    On the issue of Warren Bader I think that the Burial Society have behaved shockingly.
    I am really worried about what our Shul now stands for and who makes the decisions.
    Quite frankly, what is going on is scandalous.

  246. AS said

    I would just like to express my total disgust at the Burial Scociety decision to sack Warren Bader. It is not right.
    One of the Burial Society executive Alan Levy was also the main guy in the Sick Visitors Association. My memory tells me that there was aletter about this association a couple of years ago in the Jewish Telegraph. Can anyone fill me in on this because it could be helpful. If these guys have attacked one of the good guys like Warren we all have a responsibility to make sure they do not get away with it.

  247. West of Scotland Pub Darts League said

    Dear Mr Gladstone,

    I am pleased to confirm that the Giffnock Synagogue Distillery’s application to join our Saturday morning Darts League has been accepted.

    We will forward you a full fixture list in a couple of weeks but we have taken into account your preference to have home matches and we appreciate your offer of hospitality to other teams.

    We look forward to hearing from you when your pool table will be installed so that you can be entered into that competition as well.

    Can I remind you that scarves and hats, you called them Tallisim and Kipot, are not allowed to be worn during matches.

    I would be grateful if you could ensure that you install a wide screen colour TV in your premises before your first match against the Red Lion, so that spectators can enjoy live football at the same time.

    We appreciate your offer of special malts in lieu of membership fees but regretfully we cannot accept this as payment.

    We will forward the invoice to the Treasurer of the Synagogue next week.

    Kind Regards

    Jocky Wilson

  248. David Mercaza said

    We are advised that the decision to sack Warren Bader was taken by only 4 members of the Burial Society and that the others including the 17th. Century attired’ man of religion’ did not learn of the decision until the next day.
    The question that I ask the non advised is ‘if you were not consulted and did not agree with the decision are you not morally obliged to resign immediately?’ After all this must have been the most fundamentally important decision that each member of the Burial Society would have had to face in the last few years and no-one bothered to canvass you for your opinion,. If you choose not to resign then surely you are responsible as those making the decision, and such a show of weakness can only result in more public derision for you. Sounds like you are supporting a kind of dictatorship which does not benefit our community in any way.

  249. Singleton Of Auchroisk Single Malt Scotch Whisky said

    Hi Folks, just stumbled in on this fine banter that seems to be going on in this here room.

    So , I have been awandering, if as our Vice Chair , David Jackson says that the GHBS has financial considerations to make , and hence why they fired Warren, then surely we should be looking at the current Trustees of GHBS and wondering if they really have the financial accumen to deal with our money that we are all paying in , because believe it or not it is some amount of cash that rolls in once a year into those coffers! It’s so very bad that they[the executive of the GHBS] have to arrange the funerals too , even after visiting the Distillery!

    The figures are not that difficult to add up either!

    Are these guys competent? Has the whisky addled their brains?
    Are they worthy of running this establishment anymore?

    Is it not time that the Trustees of the Queenspark Chartible Trust took over the running of this charity? or is it just a case of combining both charities ,because that way you could pare down the overhead costs & get rid of of few people from the GHBS!

    Answers to the Jewish Telegraph or Chronicle , please

  250. Old Fettercairn said

    Hi, David Mercaza

    I very much doubt you would find any residue on the fingers of that 17th dressed centuary man, as you referred too , I am afraid.

    He has I am sure kept his paws very ‘clean’ on this manner! I am surprised that he hasn’t been nominated for the Best Actor award , either!

  251. enough already! said

    ok guys – don’t you think it’s time your puerile games should stop? I cannot imagine anyone cares about the kiddush club at Giffnock shul – it happens in many cities, and is a matter for the congregation – so if you are a member, go to the AGM and say your piece in the open,instead of preaching morality from the sidelines behind the mask of anonymity.

    who made you all guardians of our community morality? with your snide and vicious personal remarks against named individuals, yet you hide behind false names – perhaps any moral failings in the kiddush club are more than balanced by the lashon hara which you bloggers are indulging in – how dare you preach morality! I’m sure your self-righteousness is not backed up by Jewish values, or you would know the seriousness of the lashon hara which you are spreading without definite proof

    and as for the Burial Society – again, if you are members, go to the AGM and say your piece in the open, instead of blackening people’s names, when you cannot possibly have a monopoly of the truth

    this blog and GJEF promised so much at the beginning – how it was going to transform the community and how the Scottish Government was going to use GJEF as it’s channel to the community – yet apart from a few speaker events over the years, most people I know either don’t read the blog or despise its tone and inuendo

    grow up!

  252. The Story in Context said

    Unfortunately some people don’t understand what has so upset so many people. A good man who worked for this community lost his employment because of his links to Masorti.

    That to reasonable people with a moral conscience is not some puerile game – it is disgraceful and has stepped over a line. As the story unfolds the links between Giffnock Synagogue and their Rabbi and their in house drinking club have been looked into and the story is not pretty. In fact it is very ugly.
    Describing the pub as a Kiddish club is distorting the truth because a Kiddish takes place after the service and is open to all the congregation. This one is in the middle of the service and is only open by invitation.

    Comments described by the last poster as Loshen Hora seems a rather simplistic way of looking at things. The same argument was once used by the Lubavitch Rabbi to divert attention from the reality of his behaviour but as years have progressed he now seems almost saintly compared to Rabbi Rubin. As far as I’m aware Chaim Jacobs has never contributed to a community worker losing their job.

    The spotlight continues to heighten its focus. What can we deduce of Ephraim Borowski’s role as an executive officer of the Burial Society if they are found guilty of religious discrimination. His role as a representative of Scojec will surely be over. A famous description of Mr Borowski deduced that he was a giant amongst pygmies but a pygmie amongst giants.

    Finally, as we learn and investigate more, someone has asked about the role of the Sick Visitors Association and Alan Levy, a member of the Burial Society. As I’m told the issue involved letters to the press pointing out the Association was not a recognised charity and what had happened to significant sums of money raised over the years. No reply was forthcoming and I’m sure Mr Levy did everything in a most proper fashion but it would be very helpful if he would now like to explain what happened rather than remain silent.

    The story continues to unravel.

  253. A DOER not a TALKER said

    I should like to compliment Enough Alreadys post as I think it very accurately sums up what the blog has become, and highlights the cowardice of the bloggers hiding behind their anonymity.
    For the record I think the current executive of GNHC are one of the best we have had.
    If a few people want to have a drink AFTER the Kedusha then I for one have no issue with that. Its getting hard enough to get people to come at all without placing another hurdle in the way.
    If anything is divisive within our community its this blog and if the moderators have any genuine concern for the future of Glasgow Jewry, be they Orthodox, Reform or Masorti then shut it down now!

  254. Another Giffnock Congregant said

    The last post that has undoubtedly come from within the corridors of power at Giffnock Synagogue is the most pathetic post in years.
    This blog is not the issue. The Rabbi, the Burial Society and the Giffnock Pub are the topics for discussion.
    The Giffnock product is so tired and unappealing that the only way you can get people to turn up is to allow them to push off in the middle of the service and ply each other with malt whiskys. Stop the drinking and they might not want to come at all.
    I suggest that the current Giffnock executive – “one of the best we have had ” have a conversation with their Rabbi to ask him why the only attraction of turning up in the Shul on Shabbat is if you can get legless to dull the boredom and the pain. What a wonderful product our Shul is offering.
    The blog has highlighted whats going on in Giffnock and congratulations are due to Paul Edlin for talking to the press. Maybe the last poster would like to withdraw the Jewish Telegraph and the Jewish Chronicle from circulation as well. Mr Edlin is a vice-President of the Board of Deputies and his words mean something even if he is talking in a personal capacity.
    Where is Raymond Strang? What has the chairman of Giffnock Shul got to say about all of this?
    Its about time he had the courage to condemn what is happening in his own patch.

  255. Stephen said

    The Giffnock Shul AGM notices were sent out today by email. I wonder which part of the meeting will be devoted to the future of the Shul pub?

    In all likelihood the Chief Rabbi will be forced to put in place an inspection of what has been happening in my Shul.

    P.S Stephen is my real name and what happened to Warren Bader is the worst communal thing to have happened in years.

  256. reformer said

    The pub story is amusing-no more than that ; the Bader scandal is an entirely different matter-it stinks to high heaven ; those resposible are akin to jellyfish-no backbone and stricly non kosher.Can one of the giffnock members not ask Rubin what he thinks of the affair-or are you members who blog here also jellyfish ? Stop blogging-go ask -and report back ! Why the culture of fear ? Are the Taliban winning ?

  257. Don't Like the Giffnock Taliban said

    You are right Reformer but the pub story isn’t amusing. The fact is that it demonstrates that there are people involved in the Burial Society and Giffnock Shul who believe they can do whatever they want and to whoever they want.
    Why ask Rubin what he thinks – we know what he will think. He started the demonising of Bader and Masorti and he is culpable.
    If he was against what had happened he would have made it very clear why he wasn’t involved and why he disagreed. Instead he has said nothing.
    Let those who officially are on the Burial Society take the flak which they deserve and eventually one of them will squeal and let it be known who suggested what should be done to Warren Bader.
    Fundamentalism is alive and thriving through Giffnock Synagogue and the Burial Society.

  258. Don't like Don't Like the Giffnock Taliban said

    If Rabbis Bokov, Bergson, Jacobs Snr & Jnr, Bamberger & Rev Soudry were against what had happened they would have made it very clear why they weren’t involved and why they disagreed. Instead they too have said nothing.
    Using Don’t Like the Giffnock Taliban’s logic they too are also culpable.

  259. Don't Like the Giffnock Taliban said

    Rubbish 258. The only Rabbi to publicly denounce Bader and Masorti was Rabbi Rubin. The others as far as I’m aware have said nothing in public about it so they can’t be judged one way or another. Rubin has, and he is directly involved with the Burial Society so he is the one with dirty hands in all of this.
    We can’t let bigotry and religious discrimination win this time. Moderates have to fight against fundamentalism.

  260. The Coroner said

    If people think that the chap who dresses like a man from Polish landed gentry circa the 18th century is not involved,then they are very sadly mistaken!

    What you will not find on those hands is any residue from the gun that was used to fire Bader , FACT!

    You would have a difficult time proving it. However those people from the Executive of the GHBS who were not involved should resign with immediate effect and in protest at the very handling of this whole debacle`.

    To be allied, have your name assocaited with this kind of unilateral decision making by a few EXTREMISTS is worrying,it makes a mockery of the institution, for which it was created:

    TO TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT, WHETHER THEY ARE DECEASED OR NOT!

    Good people who are members of the GHBS, you need to attend the AGM,or write in to Dr Barry Cooper & complain.

    Mobilise now, dont lie down and let this happen! This could be you in the same situation!

  261. Tainted Love? said

    I have been watching with interest from the side lines how this blog and the scandal has developed.

    I have read the papers & spoken with friends about what has happened to this chap at the hands of a few megalomaniacs from the GHBS and am now more than convinced that those people who were not involved in the decision making process of relieving Warren of his duties,[which by the way he did with great care & sensitivity]should therefore resign . Can you really sleep at night? Doesn’t this worry you, that you are associated with these thugs?

    Why stay on?

    Why be sullied/tainted by this or have the scorn or face the derision of your peers & Glasgow Jewry,when you can simply leave the EXECUTIVE/COUNCIL of the GHBS as it currently stands.

    You then at least stand a chance at the AGM of being reelected and then carry on working on this very noble of charities afterwards.

    The time for courage and bold action is now. It is in your hands.

    Sieze the opportunity

  262. Not too complicated said

    Someone on this blog suggested that there was no connection between the Giffnock Shul Pub and the Burial Society. If that is the case why would one of the Pub regulars state on this blog that Warren Bader wouldn’t be welcome.
    Kind of gives the game away doesn’t it?

  263. emet said

    The Burial society are no doubt rewriting history and will come up with a load of reasons why they did what they did…..but we all know the real reasons ;the blog knows , the community knows and now the national Jewish media knows ;thick skinned or not , these cowards must be squirming now that their inadequacies are front page news-and let no one feel any pity for them , for they deserve this public humiliation. Contrast Warren Bader’s compassion and human touch in carrying out his duties(those unfortunate enough to have used him will support this ) , to the cowardly , discriminatory , and wicked ways of those responsible for his sacking . And also a word for Queens Park and Garnethill who continue to employ him and have been vocal in their support of him-I salute Messrs Edlin and Mendelsohn for that-at least they and colleagues know right from wrong.
    Cooper , Levy and Co.-hang your collective heads in shame and book early for Yom Kippur-you have a lot of repenting to do.

  264. D Day Approaching for the Giffnock Taliban. said

    What has Mendelsohn done to deserve praise? A Rep Council that are too scared to speak out when there is a dreadful wrong perpetrated in this community is a Rep Council that is useless. Edlin had the balls to speak up. Mendelsohn never will.

    Saturday morning at the Taliban Distillery will be very interesting.
    Will Rabbi Rubin pretend that everything is still hunky dory or will he address the most serious problems that are facing him in his time as Giffnock Rabbi? Will he be up to the challenge of dealing with legitimate complaints concerning his actions, his attitudes and his vision to bring people back to Giffnock? Or will he dig himself into an even deeper hole and implicate his Shul in this frightful mess?

  265. Tainted Love? said

    Further to my post of yesterday, I ask you again readers of this blog, that if you know anyone or if you are friends with someone,that serves on the Executive of GHBS , who claims they were unaware or at best not advised that Warren , was to be dismissed with immediate effect, then urge them to stand down from serving on this committee!

    Only you can make this happen.

    You can also let this moment pass you by,and not do a thing, but there will come a time, in the not too distant future, when you will have to look in the mirror and say to yourself I missed an opportunity to do something of importance to my community.

    This is not just about a bloke losing his job, it’s way more profound than what appears to the naked eye!

    Write in to the JC;Jewish Telegraph & Board of Jewish Deputies.

    Have a good day.

  266. Giffnock Pub Regular said

    Can’t help myself inquiring whether ” 5 Bellies Gladstone ” will intoduce a Happy Hour for us Regulars.
    We could hold it at 10.30 and not bother going into the Shul at all.

  267. the Brass Necked Monkey said

    Maybe the reason that the Chairman of GNHC, Raymond Strang has been so quiet is that he is organising , an Alcoholics Anonymous group,at GNHC that they could convenue just after Modim!

    If Raymond Strang has not been able to get it together then here are web links and phone numbers!

    http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

    http://www.dryoutnow.com or phone : 0845 118 0019

    http://www.stopdrinking.org.uk/index.html

  268. A DOER not a TALKER said

    Brass Neck you want to get a life and a lesson in grammar!

  269. Elder Statesman said

    Where is all of this going to end up? Hopefully with the sacking of Borowski, Levy, Gladstone, Jackson and Cooper from community responsibility and the cut back in the power and influence of Rabbi Rubin to influence our lives in Glasgow.
    Something has happened to our community. The removal of Warren Bader has made people realise that the extremists have much too much power. It has made ordinary people angry and aware that the people running organisations like the Burial Society and for that matter Giffnock Shul are listening far too much to extremist positions and far too little to mainstream opinions.
    It has opened our eyes to the reality of a small clique who use Giffnock Shul as a private drinking tavern and the exclusivity of this worries me more than the absurdity and foolishness of a Rabbi allowing his congregants to have a bevvy while he is leading the service.
    How can anyone with any influence at Giffnock condone some members being allowed to participate and others told they are unwelcome?
    My guess is that this will continue to run because all of this is not normal communal politics. This is much more serious than that.
    The Burial Society for obvious reasons is important to many of us. The abuse of responsibility in allowing someone’s personal religious belief to end their employment is something that most people can’t stomach. Lets just acknowledge that Warren Bader was sacked because he wanted to start Masorti in Glasgow. That isn’t a crime and isn’t something terrible.
    Borowski, Levy, Gladstone, Cooper and Jackson have got to go. They have let us all down.

  270. H said

    I am so hacked off with what has happened to Warren Bader. Rubin is to blame. He is a coward as well as being a fundamentalist. He denies responsibility for what has happened with the Burial Society when everyone knows that he was either directly or indirectly involved. I have lost my respect for the Rabbi.

  271. Relieved but Frightened said

    It was good to see Raymond Strang’s photograph on the Front Page of the Jewish Telegraph this morning.I was really worried that he had gone missing because he has been so quiet about the allegations surrounding his Shul and his consent to allow an exclusive pub on the premises during services.

    I then looked at the picture again and I was surprised. I looked again and I was frightened. Raymond now has a black Kipah, exactly like Rabbi Moshe Rubin.I promise you he does – look at the picture in the paper. What is going on here? Will Raymond soon be measured up for a long black coat? It seems the influence of the Giffnock Taliban is spreading and ordinary people are in danger.

  272. Motel said

    What do you mean post 271 “Will Raymond soon be measured up for a long black coat?” I’m making it and it’s nearly ready and he’s got a shtreimel too. I don’t know if there is a precedent for a Giffnock chairman to wear chassidic garb some of the past chairmen don’t even wear a suit. I know this and it’s bad for my business. If only I was a rich man.

  273. The Taliban are Looking For You said

    Rabbi Bamberger tells it straight in this week’s Telegraph when he proclaims that Warren Bader ” cannot hold public office ” and his offence in being involved with Masorti ” is worse as it can be made to sound like authentic Judaism. ” Worse even than ” a Catholic missionary.”
    Now I could describe at length the multiple failings of Bamberger but it will be sufficient to state at this time that he is a dangerous and subversive influence on our Jewish community. His idea of morality and decency and education of children in proper schools are miles away from mine and I genuinely hope most of yours. He cares only about his fundamentalist view of the world and quite frankly Glasgow would have been better to have got shot of him years ago.

    Unfortunately, he has a spiritual home within Giffnock Shul and he has been tolerated when any mainstream community would have told him where to go. I do recall that he not too long ago took his Kollel out of certain Giffnock services which threatened the viability of getting a Minyan. I also recall that Rabbi Rubin asked us to understand their reasons and did not openly condemn the Glasgow Kollel.

    Contrast that attitude to the Kollel with Rabbi Rubin’s views on Masorti – divisive and a threat to our community no less and you will understand why more and more of our community can now find a common thread to the fundamentalist attitudes pouring through Giffnock Synagogue. The bottom line is Rabbi Rubin deep down sees the world in the same way as does Rabbi Bamberger. He may smile more, crack jokes and not be as openly dogmatic. However, he won’t have any profound ideological differences.

    Giffnock Shul is in trouble. We have seen in recent weeks with the attack on Masorti and the Rabbi’s connections to the Burial Society decision to dispense with Warren Bader what is going on. Thank you to Rabbi Bamberger for confirming in the Jewish Telegraph what we all knew. Your views are repugnant to me. However, I do understand what you are all about and I accept you are honest about where you stand.

    Lets hope that Masorti continues to offer an alternative to the fundamentalism of Rabbi Bamberger and Rabbi Rubin. Giffnock has been truly exposed in all of this and it is far from pretty.

  274. The Coroner said

    In one foul swoop Rabbi Bamburger, has just destroyed, years of Multi Faith work in the community!

    ArchBishop Conti’s seat is barely cold after the induction of Rabbi Bergson on sunday, and already Rabbi Bamburger is disparaging the Catholics.

    I would like to reiterate to Rabbi Bamburger,that Warren, was a member of the Reform Synagogue at the time of his employment with the GHBS.He is I read a member of Garnethill Hebrew Congregation.
    I am sure that Warren will wear with pride the badge you so kindly gave him of ”Worse even than a Catholic missionary”

  275. Shocked, Horrified and Appalled said

    I have just read Bamberger’s diatribe in today’s Telegraph. This shows a complete lack of knowledge and understanding as to what Masorti is about and is just scare moungering, but then one wouldn’t expect him to want to understand. That is where Orthodoxy and Masorti differ…..tolerance and understanding. They really must be frightened at GNHC. I am surprised he didn’t suggest that Masorti Jews also drink the blood of children. Masorti is a traditional form of Judaism and follows the same laws of Kashrut as other observant Jews. Does Bamberger really think that all members of GNHC and other so called orthodox Jews in Glasgow don’t eat pork and don’t drive to Shul on Shabbat? One really must feel more pity and saddness for the man than anger. He isn’t reasonable, rational or logical so there is no point in even wasting one’s breath on him or giving him a moments thought and I am sure the majority of thoughtful, considerate, tolerant decent people won’t.

  276. GNHC off license said

    Just a wee reminder to all the select members of the GNHC malt Whisky Drinking Club: Shabbat starts today at 5:59pm.

    Please ensure you have your ”CARRY IN’s ” prior to Shabbat starting. Hand them over to Jeffrey ‘5bellies’.

    Ensure that you have your name clearly marked on the bottle.

    Good Shabbat

    The Management- GNHC

  277. Lesley Welsh said

    The posts about Warren Bader, the Burial Society and Rabbi Rubin are becoming rather tedious.
    If Bader’s conduct is the reason for his no longer being used by a communal organisation then this is not a first.
    I am told that many years ago there was a bit of a stramash when David Barnett who was joint football coach at Calderwood Lodge became engaged to a non Jewish girl and was sacked leaving Tony Tankel as sole coach.
    At the time Barnett was told that he had set the wrong example to the Calderwood Boys.
    Perhaps Barnett and Tankel can verify this.

  278. THE REAL LESLIE WELCH said

    Although I died in 1980 and was buried in London and not in Glenduffhill I object to numpties like Lesley Welsh trying to immitate me. At least get one of my names right! I was “The Memory Man” and star of TV Radio and the Stage. If you cannot even remember my name I suppose your info re David Barnett may also be wrong, and an embarrassment to himself, his wife and family.

    Thats the problem with this blog, as it gives anonymous people the ability to get their rocks off by spouting gratuitous insults while pretending to educate the community. If Tankel and Barnett of GJEF who set up this blog were to stop using it for nastiness they might start to get a little respect rather than being labelled sad and timewasting buffoons

  279. Observer said

    Good luck to Warren Bader and his Masorti idea and am sorry to hear of his sacking from the burial society.

    I won’t be going to Masorti services as I am very happy with where I chose to pray but all the best to Warren and associates.

    If Masorti is successful and sustainable then so be it. Anything and everything that assists in embracing a Jewish community in decline is great and good news.

    As for the ‘drinking club’ that takes place within Giffnock Shul during services on a Saturday, words fail me especially when it is with the knowledge and therefore tacit approval of the Rabbi and committee. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    If people leave Giffnock or wherever then it is for Rabbi Rubin / Bamberger etc and there followers to ask themselves why rather than attacking others in whatever way they do.

    And for the record I am certainly NOT a teetotaller and am a very regular drinker!

  280. Lesley Welsh said

    I’ve never heard of you Leslie so please don’t insult me by assuming that we are the same person.
    I’ve checked my sources and what I posted is correct. Henry Tankel who is very involved with Cathcart Cemetery was chairman of the Education Board at the time and I’m told he signed the letter to Barnett.

  281. GNHC off license said

    *CLOSING DOWN SALE*FINAL ORDERS**CLOSING DOWN SALE*FINAL ORDERS*

    It is with much regret that due to our license being revoked by a Higher Authority, the GNHC- Select Malt Whisky Club will be holding it’s sale of distinguished, rare & exclusive collectors malts.

    *Too many offers * Buy 1 get 1 free*

    Ephriam, Nigel, Alan, Derek, Jeffrey ‘5 Bellies’ are truly saddened by this turn of events.

    Rest assured we are to re-brand & set up shop again , downstairs in the offices of the GHBS.

    Only Available to Selected Pre-Approved Members!
    No Riff Raff!

    *People predisposed to Fundamentalist thinking get first priority*

    Motel the Tailor, will be there to take orders for Black Coats & Shtreimels!

  282. Get lost Bamberger said

    Bamberger is an ignorant bigot

    The community would be much better off without him.

    The only surprise is that he is not on the executive of the Burial Society.

  283. Giffnock Shul Pub said

    Would all regulars please leave their seats 10 minutes earlier than usual today because given the publicity our pub has received this week there is so much to discuss. Any suspected informants will be dealt with by the pub committee very harshly as I am extremely cross that I have been exposed to public limelight.

    Jeffrey “5 Bellies” Gladstone
    Pub Chairman

  284. Confused of GNHC said

    Is this at the start of HafTorah ?

    Or should I wait a decent amount of time after to allow Jeffrey ‘5bellies’ Gladstone & Derek Livingston,to set up the gaff?

    Will the Reluctant Fundamentalist, Raymond be there today?

  285. Not that Happy with Giffnock Shul anymore said

    Did anyone read this article with this headline in the JC?

    ”David Cameron: I will banish extremists from Britain! Hate preachers will not reach these shores and campuses will be safe, says David Cameron”

    Would it not be an idea for DC to start at the Kollel at Giffnock Shul?

    Bamberger is a loathsome person. Has anyone shown the letter to Jim Murphy MP as we know he is a practising Catholic! I am sure many read & agreed with his article in the JC last week.

    How come Raymond Strang has not made any statement!

  286. the 'Inn of the 5 Bellies' said

    My wife & I were wondering if a deal was done by: A Levy, Jeffrey ‘5 Bellies’ Gladstone , Ephraim Borowski,David Jackson,Derek Livingston,N. Allon,I.Hyman with Mordechai Bamburger , to write that letter into the JT?

    At once shifting the focus of community & media attention from the GHBS and its unfair dismissal of Bader to those of the fundamentalist & repugnent letter that Mordechai Bamburger wrote?

    However all it really seems to have done is shown a definte link between Rabbi Rubin, Bamburger , the executive of the GHBS & the GHNC pub !

  287. Giffnock member said

    To all those of you (or is this just one person using various different names?) who have been writing day after day after day about the Giffnock Shul ‘pub’: What is wrong with you?
    I’m wondering what is it that would cause you to feel you must spout vitriolic and toxic comments over something as petty as the fact that a small minority of members choose to leave the service early to have a whiskey?
    Who actually cares? This is hardly a major offence against the Shul – Or is this just sour grapes because for some reason you have never been included?
    As for dragging the name of our chairman into this. I am very saddened that you have chosen to bad mouth him repeatedly over this. Raymond has been a fantastic chairman for the Shul over the past two years, working tirelessly to achieve many positive changes so it is repugnant that you try to pull him down over this.
    What a shame that a great idea for a blog designed to ‘educate’ the Jewish people of Glasgow has now merely turned into a cess-pit of playground style mud slinging

  288. reformer said

    I admire Rabbi Bamberger for entering the debate – good for him even if I disagree with him ; I do not think his letter was offensive to catholics per se ;
    The pub is a non story-it is of no consequence .But the BADER AFFAIR is a disgrace-where are the good people of the orthodox community-why do you do nothing-are you as cowardly as the office bearers of the Burial soclety ? Forget the pub , forget the letter from a non mainstream source and deal with the big issue.
    It wouldn’t happen in Reform. We have and live by a moral code-made easier because we do not base our belief on hypocracy and fiction ; and before you all freak here is a simple question-how many of you park round the corner from shul when you go……

  289. Giffnock Lady Member said

    Reformer needs to understand that this is not the point for juvenile point scoring because the issues are far too important.
    The decision to remove Warren because of his association with Masorti was very wrong. The link between the Burial Society , Rabbi Rubin and Rabbi Bamberger has been drawn by many others but the fact is that Giffnock Shul is the common denominator in the fundamentalist thread that runs through all of this.
    The Pub story has grown because the Shul chairman and Shul Rabbi consent to its existence and it has exposed the hypocracy of those who attend because it is is socially more acceptable to drink at the Giffnock pub rather than down the road at the Orchard Park. Some of the Burial Society including their lawyer regularly drink at the Giffnock Shul Pub.

    Raymond Strang might have been a good chairman for Giffnock but now that this crisis has developed he has to do something. The Shul is caught up with the Burial Society whether he likes it or not and it is time he stood up and said as chairman what he thinks about both his Rabbi’s attack on Masorti and the removal of Bader by the Burial Society.

  290. Lost Cause said

    Recognising that they have been condemned communally for being bigoted and intolerant the Burial Society have been looking around I hear for a PR Officer to try and mitigate the damage.
    Hearing about another opportunity to attach himself to yet another discredited bunch of losers it is alleged that a certain David Links was the only candidate to volunteer his services. Unconfirmed reports point out that the executive of the Burial Society declined his offer pointing out to Links that no matter how deep a hole they currently find themselves in things could never be that bad that they would have to turn to him for help.

  291. badder and badder said

    It’s interesting to note the obvious enjoyment experienced as members of the Reform seize the opportunity to moralise on this tawdry affair. Even good old Emet, a misnomer if ever, has come charging in.
    So where did it all begin? Maybe Bader’s unlikely journey to martyrdom began not at Glenduffhill, nor at the Giffnock pub but at Emet’s very own local up the Ayr Road, the Reform Synagogue. Is it possible that Bader departed company with Emet’s Synagogue after differences with Rabbi Nancy? Is it true that to understand the motives for starting a Glasgow Masorti we need to have these questions answered and any discussion of theological differences is a red herring.
    Perhaps a few answers will make us realise that nobody’s hands are clean least of all the professional mischief makers whose not so deft touch can be detected keeping the issue live.

  292. Sort it Now said

    Sometimes people are really thick. Warren Bader’s religious journey is completely irrelevant. If he has had differences with Rabbi Nancy he isn’t the first and won’t be the last that is for sure.
    Masorti is a growing movement that is attracting support because it offers a type of Judaism that many can relate to better than the alternatives. If Rabbi Rubin had accepted that he and his Shul and his Burial Society would not be in the huge mess that they are mired in presently.
    Bader won’t be the martyr for Masorti. He will more than likely be the guy that makes it happen here.

    The Burial Society’s day of judgement won’t be too far away, Borowski, Gladstone, Levy, Jackson, Cooper and their religious advisor Rabbi Rubin had better wise up to what will happen pretty soon. Their good (?)reputations ( those that had them in the first place) will be shredded by the time they admit that they got this wrong, misused the community’s trust, and dragged a fine institution into the gutter. Its time their lawyer, Sheriff Derek Livingston told them to get this sorted quickly because the longer it runs the more painful it will be. Admit you messed up, apologise to everyone, from the pulpit and in a statement to the community, pay out compensation to Warren Bader and then we can all move on and elect a new and better executive to organise our funerals.

  293. Newton Mearns Member said

    Our Shul also has a Whisky Club. Surprised this has not emerged before now. It takes place most Shabbat mornings between Shacharit and the Torah reading. The Rabbi gives a two minute talk then makes a quick Shabbat Kiddush. The best of malt is then served along with soft drinks cakes and crisps etc. The whole break lasts 10 minutes. The invitees are limited to all who are in Shul. Children and Ladies are most welcome. Mr Bader would be welcome however if he canvassed support for our members to go to Masorti and anyone in his situation would be most likely to so he would be turfed out. Are you bloggers comfortable with the scenario if you had a competitor of your firm on your premises in a position to befriend influence or steal your customers.

    I can see that the Burial people were tolerant wth Bader whle he was just someone who was a member of reform. However when he suddenly wishes to head up a new religious body which is fundamentally different to our ways that was a step too far. It was easy to stop his deal as he was not an employee. Each Masorti community makes up their own rule book, as to whether there is mixed seating, whether women wear kippot whether it may be ok to drive on Shabbat etc etc. Thats fine for them but do not expect an orthodox body such as the Hebrew Burial Society to allow a person with an non orthodox agenda to be involved with their people at a time when they can be very vulnerable.

  294. another reform member said

    Whilst it is not nice to loose one’s livelyhood Warren Bader should have known this was forthcoming from this lot that comprise the Hebrew Burial Society who seem to be a law unto themselves and who do not have the brass neck to stand up and say what they think to your face. But I am really surprised at the amount of people voicing their opinions about it when hardly a word was said when they banned the reform rabbi from Glenduff hill, no valid reason given, in my opinion this was more of an issue that should have been discussed by the jewish media and people in more depth as it has left many reform members who pass away being forced to have an orthodox rabbi who they do not know officiate at their funeral instead of the rabbi that they have grown to respect and admire.

  295. Campaign to Out Bigots said

    Stop writing this drivel please.
    Firstly, your whisky club is different from Giffnock’s. Theirs happens while a service is going on and only selected members are invited.
    There is no suggestion that Warren Bader solicited members anywhere so this allegation is just rubbish. Given his hours, his duties and his responsibilities a tribunal will more likely than not find in Bader’s favour.
    Your suggestion that Bader would have taken advantage of people when they are vulnerable at a bereavement is offensive as it is widely known how good he was at his job. You are a bigoted pratt for even suggesting that this might have happened. If you are a member of the Burial Society then I hope he sues you and the widespread publicity that will follow will open people’s eyes to the fact that the Burial Society is stuffed full of ignorant bigots like you.

  296. Another Newton Mearns member said

    It is true we also have a whisky club!
    That should be our biggest problem in the community.
    Bloggers on here are misinformed and are adding 2 and 2 together and getting 5.
    The reason the Burial Society terminated the “arrangement” with Bader was not based on his affiliation to Masorti but on something completely different.
    The truth will come out in the end.

  297. Laptis Magna said

    Post293

    I do think that its great to have a wee break between Shacharit and the Torah reading. Nice touch it is too. Masorti & Orthodox communities throughout the world more than likely do the same thing!

    However, I must say that it is more than slighltly naive of you to suggest that Bader would exploit the bereaved in that way! He has been with Queenspark cemetery for 5yrs, did he ever solicit members for GNS/GRS then? Absolutely NOT!

    In all the times he was at Glenduffhill or Cathcart I never saw him handing out flyers.

    You have to remember that Bader, never ever sought the position at the GHBS, he was urged by the incumbent executive to accept, as they had no applicants for the vacancy!

    He was and still is ENTITLED to some clarification as to why he was dismissed without any reason given.

    Gut Wock

  298. It Does Not Add Up. said

    I have just come home from a most enjoyable dinner party but hearing the conversation around the table concerning the disgraceful removal of Warren Bader from the Burial Society has prompted me to finally speak out. All the people present were in total agreement that this community has reached a definitive moment of crisis and that we all have a responsibility to support Warren and make sure that the bigots who did this are exposed for what they are and what they have done.

    Much of the discussion centred around Rabbi Moshe Rubin’s involvement in what happened. We have all heard the denials from his camp. We have all heard that he did not make the decision but it quite simply does not add up. Who more than anyone attacked the Massorti Shabbaton? Who attacked those that chose to attend a Jewish religious event as splitting this community? Who said it was divisive that some people chose to express their Jewish faith in a slightly different way that Shabbat?

    Who created the atmosphere here that allowed Masorti to be seen as something dreadful? Who, a few days before the decision to remove Warren Bader was made, cold shouldered him at a funeral? Who chose to blank his messages and emails prior to that funeral; when Warren was doing what he did well, professionally organising this community’s funerals?

    Who subsequently has said nothing to criticise the decision to remove him? Who this Shabbat morning didn’t give a sermon to criticise Bamberger’s declaration that Warren Badder was “worse than Catholic missionaries?” Who couldn’t condemn Bamberger for effectively trying to demonise Warren Bader and turn a community against him? Who won’t speak up in defence of someone that he knew did good work and condemn those that grotesquely suggest that Warren Bader would have taken advantage of people when at their lowest to tell them about his preference for Masorti?

    Lets have enough of the line that Rabbi Rubin is innocent. It does not add up. Open your eyes and look at the evidence.

    I have listened and talked to many about this in the last 10 days and I have come to my conclusions. Rabbi Rubin I suggest thinks long and hard about this – will he collude with the demonisation and character assasination of someone who did wonderful work ? If he reflects properly he will realise that enough is enough and he has a moral responsibility to speak out. I’m not holding my breath but I would be pleasantly surprised if he now albeit very very late decides to do the right thing.

    I’m sure these comments will anger quite a number but my dinner companions know tonight who has done nothing wrong and who deserves our total support. We will give Warren our support. You should too.

  299. Well Said said

    I agree with every word of the last post

  300. Realist said

    Would CAMPAIGNER TO OUT BIGOTS get it into his thick head. You cannot have a tribunal as WB was not employed was not under contract and had no rights. His fault entirely. All of that does not alter the fact that he is an extremely decent man with many qualities. He would not have wished to attract anyone to GNS as he was unhappy there.

    Mr Bader is certainly more comfortable in the orthodox world but has decided to opt for the nearest compromise for family reasons. As the prime mover in establishing a Masorti Synagogue he will need to recruit congregants. As there are no Masorti congregations in Glasgow he will need to attract people from the Orthodox or Reform.

    If Mr Bader worked in a Kosher Restaurant as the Mashgiach(supervisor) but decided to open a Kasher Style but treif restaurant in his spare time would the Kashrut commission be right to dispense with him even though he was a nice man? Of course they would

    Obviously neither of these bodies (orthodox and reform) want to lose members. Balancing the books is hard and another breakaway movement will make life harder for existing Shuls to survive. Of course we live in a free society and one cannot object to competition. However as the Burial Society is one hundred percent orthodox why would they wish to utilise the services of a competitor. Warren I am sure is smart enough to understand all of this. There is certainly a scenario here where the man in question is not only a member of a different form of Judiasm but is their leading light in Glasgow and is attempting to set up shop. Would all the smart Alecs on this blog employ a guy (even a so called treasure)if they were setting up in competition

    And the person who suggested that Rabbi Nancy is barred from Glenduffhill is mistaken.She is most welcome. Nobody is barred from the cemetry. She is unable to lead services there as she is unable to lead a service in any Orthodox establishment on the planet. Anything else would be hypocritical. If an orthodox born Jew who may now be a member of a Reform Shul and is a member of the Burial Society dies and wishes to be be buried in an Orthdox Cemetry the funeral service cannot be a Reform service. Lets be fair there has to be a mark that if you leave the club you cannot expect to re-invent the rules to suit yourself. There has to be some encouragement to our children to explain that if you marry out you will lose some privilleges. Do not say “not a problem lets become Masorti its fantastic you can make up your own rules”.If the family wish a Reform service I am sure such a service could be conducted elsewhere with the internment then taking place in Glenduffhill. That would be a fair compromise. The orthodox community also deserve consideration in their own establishments.

  301. Well Said said said

    I agree with every word of the last post

  302. at last, some sense said

    well said, Realist – just about sums up the case!

  303. Astonished said

    I’m astonished at how many people have rallied to support the Masorti position – where were any of these people and their inclusive, egalitarian views when the Reform Rabbi was insulted and abused ? Rank hypocracy of the highest order !

    Once there is an apology to Rabbi Morris forthcoming and a return to the previous position whereby she could officiate at funerals, I’ll be happy to consider support of Warren and the Masorti – but not before.

  304. another reform member said

    In reply to the realist’s comments which I appreciate but just answer one thing IF YOU CAN, why after 20 years or so have reform rabbi’s suddenly been banned from taking services at Glenduffhill when it was quite permissable for such a long number of years without question and also why should the departed have to hold a service elsewhere when being allowed to be interned there.

  305. Not too Bright is Realist said

    Realist must think he is the Burial Society Lawyer, possibly he even is. He also thinks he knows Warren Bader well. From what he writes he certainly knows nothing about him or Masorti and is an obvious recruit for the Giffnock Taliban when they come calling. Bigoted fundamentalism is your motto. The notion that Warren Bader was setting up in competition to the Burial Society is just so stupid that its not worth bothering about other than to say I hope Derek Livingston, the Burial Society lawyer, is a lot better at arguing their defence than you are.
    You have though confirmed what so many others have argued on here – the decision of the Burial Society was taken as an Orthodox decision – and therefore they would have consulted with their Rabbi – and therefore the suggestion that somehow Rabbi rubin has had nothing to do with all of this is simply tosh.

  306. Realist said

    The answer to Reform Member is that a member of the the Reform who is Hallachicly Jewish(Orthodox) and a member of the HBS can obviously be buried in an orthodox cemetry. Only an orthodox service can take place there.

    I am not sure if a Hallachicly born man who has since become a Reform Rabbi can perform an Orthodox burial service for one of his flock as did previous Reform Rabbis, although it would seem certain that Nancy would be prohibited as she is female. Even orthodox females cannot conduct services so this is not anything against Reform just women!!

  307. Happy to Wait Until we get an answer said

    Isn’t it astonishing given the accusations made against Rabbi Rubin, that not one member of the Giffnock Shul Executive has been prepared to defend their Minister. Of course they might have come to the same conclusion as the majority of our community who are not obsessed with religious fundamentalism, that his credibility has been greatly undermined.

    Nevertheless I would have thought that the Shul chairman would have attempted to at least explain where the Shul stood on all of these charges. Raymond Strang ought to speak up. After all its not every day that the behaviour of their Rabbi is examined in such detail on a public forum, and specific charges ought to be answered.
    5 Bellies Gladstone and his fellow Executive Members on the Burial Society must be hoping that this will all go away soon. Raymond and his Rabbi will be praying for that too. However, I have news for them – it won’t unless they tell the community what we have a right to know.

  308. Realist said

    Happy to Wait will have a long time to wait methinks. Why would anyone wish to reply when you abuse your right to post on this blog. You and some of your co-bloggers cannot be serious about the situation and are obviously just on a day trip for fun. You are supposedly taking part in a serious debate but all you do is describe your fellow community members as idiot,or five bellies. If you wish to discuss the future of our community might I suggest you go as far away from Glasgow as possible.

    You are neither welcome nor to be taken seriously. You have no repect for the Rabbis of the community and as you are so unhappy might I suggest going somewhere you will be happy.

  309. another reform member said

    In response to Realist. At last someone has came out with the reason for the change of Reform rabbi’s officiating at Glendufhill, it is the fact that the Rabbi is female. We thought this all along but as I said no one would confirm it as you just have. Do you realise according to the law of the land this is discrimination of the highest degree. Oh and by the way you dont need to explain what hallachicly means I know.
    I dont think I will be contributing anymore to this discussion as it does not seem as though all will come to a satisfactory conclusion I can only wish Warren Bader well in his quest.
    I can only finish with the pun – “Avraham would be turning in his grave” at the rubbish that is thrown around about who is a Jew, just remember the Torah was given for all to accept. Better the person who accepts the Torah of his own free will, and I believe you still read the book of Ruth in your orthodox shuls or will you be throwning that out shortly because of Ruth’s gender?

  310. Lost Cause said

    Realist is a Bigot. The Burial Society are bigots and Giffnock Shul has lots of bigots as well, some of whom regularly attend the Shul Pub. Newton Mearns Shul also has at least one bigot, someone badly afflicted.
    Why has this community got so many people that are intolerant and have no real appreciation that the world has moved on and their bigoted, discriminatory, fundamentalist views are unacceptable?
    If Warren Bader can actually establish Masorti in Glasgow he will not only have offered something that is good in itself, he will have won a battle against the forces of darkness and repression in Glasgow. I support him and wish him well. Anyone who wants to see nasty intolerant bigots put in their place will hope he succeeds.

  311. Calderwood Parent said

    A few weeks ago my daughter came back from school with a Masorti flyer. I was surprised especially when I heard rumours that the Head teacher was against it and the school council bullied her into sending them out. Now this row has blown up I realise what it was about. I am furious. I want the school council to care about my daughters education and not to get mixed up in communal politics.

  312. Another Calderwood Parent said

    Not quite correct Calderwood Parent. It was Tony Tankel that well known rebel without a cause who put pressure on the head teacher and insisted that this flyer had to go out.
    Tankel is a pal of Warren Bader’s – he was at Bader’s dinner party (see post 298) on Saturday night – where a sad group spent all evening talking about Bader, Masorti, Giffnock Shul and Rabbi Rubin and the Burial Society.
    Tankel would like to set the agenda for most organisations but has no chance of being elected to any position of responsibility in Giffnock Shul or the Burial society because he has too many enemies there.
    He has manoeuvred himself into the position of chairman of Calderwood Parent Council and has his banned football coach colleague David Barnett alongside him on the committee.
    Are you happy and are Calderwood parents in general happy that these two clowns who are responsible for some of the most vitriolic and disrespectful posts on this blog are attempting to highjack the school for their own ends.
    Let’s move on from all this Bader nonsense to something really important that affects not our children but future generations of Jewish children in Glasgow.
    Do other Calderwood parents like me really care?

  313. A DOER not a TALKER said

    I am also a parent of a child at Calderwood and totally agree with your sentiments.
    There is a common denominator. One person who sits on the Calderwood Council, promoter of Masorti and a founder member of this blog. This person uses this medium to infuriate the Jewish community, without a care for the truth, or for the people or organisations within our community that do such valuable work.

  314. Closer to the Truth said

    How utterly pathetic that those on the defensive about their bigoted views ( the Burial Society and their cronies within the Giffnock establishment ) have decided to bring Calderwood Lodge into the story. Do so if you wish but it won’t get you anywhere. It may come as a shock to you but I would have thought that the Head Teacher of Calderwood is perfectly capable of speaking for herself rather than someone giving her view for her.( Maybe that is another role you have assumed – speaking for others but not asking their opinion )
    Again, you would need to ask him personally but I don’t think Tony Tankel would ever want any position within Giffnock Shul or for that matter the Burial Society. I also know that Tony Tankel is not behind the promotion of Masorti in Glasgow and that is fact because he has told me this. Whether, one day he joins or not, that will be his personal choice but creating alternative synagogues in Glasgow is certainly not his bag.
    If he believes that Bader was treated very badly by the Burial Society and Rabbi Rubin that would certainly not be exceptional because any right minded person would. If he was at Warren Bader’s house for dinner so what. I wasn’t there and obviously you were not either so how would you know what was discussed that evening and who was present?
    Any Parent who wants to discuss any issue concerning Calderwood knows full well that they can approach any member of the Parent Council so my guess is that the Calderwood Parents posting here are fakes. Is it one of the members of the Giffnock Pub who has had too much to drink? – Dreaming up that you have children at Calderwood and thinking that by attacking others and drawing other communal organisations into this fight might deflect attention away from your actions won’t work.

  315. Laptis Magna said

    Post 312

    What the difference does it make if the Tankel’s were at the Bader’s on saturday night! Get over yourselves!

    Why would this be anymore sinister than Susan & Jeffrey Bradman, Rabbi & Rebbetzen Rubin, the Borowski’s, Nigel Allon & David Link’s getting togther at the flat of Marsha & Jeffrey ‘5 Bellies’ Gladstone for a soiree’? Which we know does happen! I wonder what the conversation is like over that table? Think it’s all Rambam? I doubt it!

    How come it’s okey to get flyers in my child’s schoolcase from Lubavich , but not from Masorti or Reform?

    Why is it okey for Mendal Jacobs to use the Newark Bus to fetch people to attend his shul in the park? Who covers for the insurance whilst these children are in the bus?

    How come the ‘Shul in the Park’ doesnt contribute financially to the upkeep of the the facilities at Burnfield?

    Why is it that they dont pay rent for the use of the space to Newark Care? Is the Shul really a service to the residents?

  316. Realist said

    Another Reform Member, lets agree to disagree. I do think that you are a tad unfair to expect the Orthodox world to change 55 centuries of operating with only male Rabbis. Religious apathy is rampant within most churches and synagogues in this country.

    If Reform or Masorti were the panacea they would be more successful. Any time I have beeen to a Bar Mitzvah there have not been too many congregants present apart from those who were at the simcha. I dont think that the Reform have too many turn out for the Shalosh Regalim despite Calderwood being closed. Its not any better or worse at Giffnock, Clarkston, or the Mearns so why change to Reform.

    The fact that much of the service is in English does not appear to help recruit new faces either. Many orthodox complain they do not understand whats going on.

    At least Orthodox services use a common language worldwide. A Reform service in a Spanish Shul will no doubt be in Spanish! I do not think that the law of the land has jurisdiction in a shul so do not expect to see any skirts in the puipit in Giffnock any day soon! Are men in the Reform expected to get pregnant .(only joking)

  317. Stop Talking and Do Something said

    A Doer not a Talker thinks that the community anger about the Burial Society, Giffnock Shul’s Pub, Rabbi Rubin and so on is all down to one person controlling the agenda.
    No doubt the weather, the Kollel, Lubavitch, the holes in our roads, the economy, obesity are all down to the same individual.
    Grow up and debate the issues rather than hide.
    Whoever you are, you have told us that you Do know what goes on in Giffnock Shul, so answer the allegations made against your Shul and your Rabbi and stop telling us what a brilliant job is being done when the evidence suggests strongly that there are problems.

  318. another reform member said

    To the Realist, l had to reply to say that after a hard days work you gave me a laugh about us men becoming pregnant. Can you imagine trying to organise shacharit, and we all turn up late with the excuse we have morning sickness. I would agree with you that that is a NO NO. As for regulars at bar/bat mitzvah’s as you know we do not have such a large shul and the regulars have the courtesy to leave the seats vacant for the visitors rather than have them piled up standing at the back. I agree about Shalosh Regalim and as you say all shuls seem to have the same problem. Although how do you know how many attend our shul on these days, are you sneaking in joining us or are you spying from outside. If it is the latter watch our elite security team dont catch you and drag you in.
    You say the orthodox dont understand our services, I would have you know that all who have came over from the orthodox say it is the first time in their lives that they have understood what the service is all about. You must admit that a lot of orthodox speak and read hebrew but dont have a clue what it means at least with ours it is there in Hebrew and English and through time you could go to Spain or where ever and you would know by following the service what it is all about.
    Anyway my friend you are welcome to our shul at anytime and if you let the caretaker know who you are, although we dont have a pub on the premises we will rustle you up a fine whisky and if you introduce yourself as the “Realist” we might make it a double.
    Must go and catch up on my paper work.
    P.S. No more of your funny jokes about us men, I am too busy to reply.
    Shalom.

  319. The Philosoper said

    I was advised to take a look at the community blog by someone who follows it fervently and now that I have digested the contents of recent posts I feel the need to coment. So much as been posted that I think it would be helpful to revisit some of the points raised.

    Lets look at the issues.

    1. There are obviously some people who take great exception to some of the comments raised on this blog. The very existence of this blog, or what or who it represents is challenged, and I have noticed repeated calls for it to be shut down. Some object strongly to the fact that postings can be anonymous. It seems to me that if GJEF own the website then it is their call to decide the rules. We may not like the rules of this game but we either go along with them or we don’t play. If we don’t like blogs, or particularly this one then we should not participate. It is obviously futile to call for its closure because only GJEF will decide if and when that happens. This is the GJEF blog and my advice to those who don’t like it is either live with it, use it for your enjoyment and your objective but stop boring the pants off us all by arguing that it ought to change and it is rather nasty. My guess is that more people probably log on when they hear someone is getting a rough time rather than when everyone is in agreement. This blog has been on the go for over 3 years so more people must like it than they are prepared to admit. Personally speaking, I think it is mostly rather good and has freshened up communal debate. Very often it is possible to find out what is going on in Glasgow by reading this blog.

    2. The Hebrew Burial Society. Many have speculated that the Burial Society decision to remove Mr Bader was because of his associations towards Masorti Judaism and have claimed that this is bigoted and religious discrimination. Others have argued that Orthodox Judaism can in effect do whatever they want within their own domain. One particular comment that really irked me was the one that suggested we couldn’t expect the Orthodox to have done anything less than what they did as if this should be accepted as the norm. Surely Orthodox Judaism should have the highest standards, not the lowest? However, what I find particularly sad about this is that if an organisation does have reasons to end someone’s employment or contract or association is there not a correct way of doing things? The absense, as it would appear, of any proper consultation or discussion is unforgiveable and it does not reflect well on the people who made this decision. Their management skills are truly awful and I would agree that our community burial society needs better custodians.

    3. Giffnock Shul has been drawn into this affair because of their own failings. Obviously several members of the Burial Society have a high profile within the Synagogue but the absense of good advice to the Shul Rabbi right at the beginning of the Masorti era allowed Giffnock to be caught up in the contoversy rather than be observers from the outside. I suppose it is all down to leadership and what that is about. Is it the job of a Shul executive to whisper to their Rabbi that his comments are likely to add fuel to the fire or should they just allow him to throw petrol on the flames which will only make matters worse? I would suggest that the better path would be to advise the Rabbi that sometimes he might be wrong. That takes bravery and leadership from the committee. The froth around the so called Haphtorah club is an embarassment that the Shul can do without. I really don’t believe that anyone really cares too much what some Shul members do in their spare time, or what and when they drink. It has though exposed the fact that some people sitting in judgement of others and running communal affairs may have questions to answer about their own conduct and the image that they may seek to put forward of being sincere Shul fellows has been badly dented.

    4. Rabbi Rubin has not come out of all of this in a good light at all. In fact he has been exposed and the fact that no one officially in his Shul has come to defence has left him rather isolated. His comments have been publicised in both local and national Jewish newspapers and of course on this blog. It is his right to remain silent and portraying an image that he is above all of these arguments. Somehow, the image of a Rabbi being above all this contoversy and not prepared to discuss it outwith his own terms or territory is far removed from the communal reality. Rabbi Rubin has given Masorti more oxygen than they could ever have bought or dreamed of. If the United Synagogue are genuinely worried about the threat Masorti might be to them in Glasgow, then the best thing they could do would be to ask Rabbi Rubin to step back from confrontation, take the current criticism of his position on this seriously, and try to reconstruct his image.

    I offer all of the above observations without personal abuse or hostility.

  320. Edwin Lucas said

    I find the whole saga regarding Warren Bader distasteful and oh so sad. We are alienating our brethern Jews and doing so in a manner which the non Jews must be delighted about.

    The BNP and other religions often not Jewish friendly, must be over the moon about the internal Jewish discord. The Chief Rabbi of the United Synagogue movement which according to last weeks Jewish Chronicle does not even represent 50% of the community keeps missing the point. He and the orthodox movement should be welcoming Jewish involvement and whilst he would not want Jewish people to practice anything else other than orthodox Judaism, he should be finding ways in a real push to integrate our diminishing community. In London there are Masorti, Reform and Liberal congregations and many of them. If these communities cannot live in harmony despite the Stanmore accord what hope is there for Glasgow’s community. In Glasgow there is only Orthodox, Reform and now a small Masorti following. The community is getting smaller and joined up thinking is key. It appears that the Chief Rabbi is more interested in inter faith discussion as opposed to inter Jewish discussion.

    I hope that this disastrous story going on in Glasgow is solved through arbitration and discussion. If this story reaches the Scottish National press which I am amazed it has not, Glasgow Jewry will be the laughing stock of the local community scene and rightly so. Peace must come to the fore and quickly. Rabbi Rubin as said above has the ability to lead and this is an opportunity for him to be seen as a leader and not a follower.

    Long live common sense and lets pray this shabbat for common sense and sort out this saga.

    Edwin R Lucas

  321. Moses said

    I hear that the Giffnock Shul AGM is this coming week. Will the chairman set the path ahead for his Synagogue and face up to the challenges of declining numbers and growing disinterest in what the Shul and their Rabbi is offering the community or will he berate this blog which will no doubt go down well on the night but will for sure be a missed opportunity to take on board some constructive criticism.
    Big week for you Raymond. Hope you are up to it?

  322. Giffnock Lady Member said

    I thought Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, Masorti Rabbi of New London Synagogue countered Rabbi Bamberger’s arguments quite beautifully in the Jewish Telegraph 19.3.10. The reality is that most of our community are far closer to Rabbi Gordon’s way of thinking than we are to the shadow of fundamentalism that threatens our moderate traditions.

    I repeat what I wrote on Friday 12th March -comment 289

    “The link between the Burial Society , Rabbi Rubin and Rabbi Bamberger has been drawn by many others but the fact is that Giffnock Shul is the common denominator in the fundamentalist thread that runs through all of this.”

    We have heard no condemnation of Rabbi Bamberger from anyone in authority at Giffnock regarding his justification of the sacking of Warren Bader.

    My advice to the fundamentalists is very simple. We don’t accept your approach is the right approach and moderates among us will not put up with it anymore.

  323. the Scottish Assassin said

    There is a vicious rumour spreading around the Shtels of Giffnock, Clarkston & Newton Mearns;

    that Jeffrey ‘5 Bellies’ Gladstone, Ephraim Borowski, Barry ‘ Hi Noon’ Cooper and others from the GNHC pub are having to training as burials officers , so as to take over from Jack Auther who is unable to work due to ill health!

    Can anyone verify this , please?

    One wonders if they realize that drinking is not allowed on the job! There is no HafTorah club allowed on the job, none of those fancy malt whisky’s allowed, unless its I suppose its renumeration in kind, paid for by the fee paying members of GHBS.

    If it is true, then , I have to say that one would not want to choose to expire this week if you’re a member of GHBS.

  324. Situations Vacant said

    Gladstone and Borowski (Funerals) Ltd

    Anyone requesting a burial please contact Rabbi Rubin at Giffnock Synagogue. No one with any connections whatsoever to Masorti or Reform should apply. Rabbi Rubin’s decision is always final.

    If you are applying for a vacancy as a gravedigger or as a Funeral Director please also comply with guidelines above.

    We are proud of our service to the community and to fundamentalism.
    We’re here when you need us – talk first to Gladstone and Borowski.

  325. BBC Radio Scotland Listener said

    Could someone please point out to BBC Radio Scotland that one of the aforementioned funeral directors, namely Ephraim Borowski, is entirely unsuitable to be presenting Thought for Today on Good Morning Scotland. Mr Borowski is part of a Burial Society executive that has discriminated against Warren Bader because of his individual religious preferences. That cannot be reconciled with a message delivered about Pessach and religious freedom. Ephraim Borowski it would appear cannot see how his actions are diametrically opposed to his BBC words but that should not prevent someone from informing the BBC that it is unacceptable to use Borowski. He should hang his head in shame rather than offer supposed words of wisdom to others.

    http://www.scojec.org/misc/tftd/2010/10iii22_the_taste_of_freedom.pdf

  326. Community Member said

    I would like to draw your attention to the latest pamphlet produced by Ephraim Borowski and Kenneth Collins.

    Their latest wheeze to publicise all the “good work” that they do on behalf of our community again exaggerates antisemitism in Scotland. They state that ” recently there has been a significant increase, much of it associated with events in the Middle East” and in Scotland ” until recently antisemitism has hardly featured.” We can only speculate why they consistently exaggerate.

    Their previous work about antisemitism got Borowski and Collins into deep trouble and in order to avoid very costly legal ramifications hundreds of copies of their book had to be pulped.

    The fact that their latest work has been published by a renowned far right think tank in Israel, Dore Gold’s Institute of Global Affairs, is hardly surprising. No respected academic institute would have touched it.

    Borowski and Collins have again made serious errors in discussing the issue of antisemitism in Scotland. Their argument is not supported by substantiated academic research and one can only wonder who funded this latest poor effort.

    http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=4&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=623&PID=0&IID=3516&TTL=Scotland%27s_Jews:_Community_and_Political_Challenges

  327. Genuine Question said

    Why is Borowski at the heart of so much that is wrong in our community?

  328. Respondent said

    You mean

    Burial Society Executive
    Giffnock Shul ( including in-house pub)
    Scojec

    Anything else?

  329. Giffnock Taliban AGM said

    If you are near Giffnock Shul tonight then please be careful because the Taliban AGM will be taking place. Will the Taliban retreat or will they respond to public criticism with more edicts?

    Free Drinks for the Privileged, courtesy of the Shul Pub. Otherwise please contact Jeffrey Gladstone to set up personal slates.

  330. orange wednesday @ GNHC said

    In tonights exciting installment of the Giffnock Shul AGM:

    Will Raymond resign?

    Will Nigel get his dream achievement at be elected to the lofty heights of GNHC executive and sort the mess out?

    Will Rabbi Rubin be called to account?

    Will the HafTorah club have time called?

    Will Jeffrey ‘5 Bellies’ Gladstone apologize for the shame he has brought to GNHC?

    For this and so much more tune in to the Giffnock Shul AGM

  331. Giffnock Member said

    Raymond Strang was lauded as a hero for attacking this blog last night at the Giffnock AGM. Such a shame that Raymond didn’t think that Rabbi Rubin’s unacceptable attack on Masorti and those who had organised a Shabbaton was more important of comment than having a go at people who are giving their opinion about current matters at Giffnock.
    It has been said that a Shul often gets a Rabbi that they deserve – Giffnock currently is evidence of this – even more so they at present have a chairman that they deserve too.

  332. Licensee said

    Last orders Gentlemen.

    Tomorrow morning will be the last opportunity to indulge in your favourite weekend passtime – a good old drinking session down at the Giffnock Shul Pub..

    As you are aware malts are not allowed during Pessach so we have entered into a commercial agreement with the Orchard Park in order that any drinking on their premises can be charged to your Shul Account. This has been sanctionned officially (similar to the rules on selling Chometz)

    5 Bellies has been instructed to cancel the darts matches during the religious festival.

    By Order of the Board of Management.
    Giffnock Synagogue (LANDLORD).

  333. this is getting tedious said

    Don’t you think all this is getting tedious? What is being achieved by probably 2-3 bloggers (in different guises) constantly carping on and on? The only way to achieve anything is to complain as a member of an organisation – otherwise, it’s just so much hot air – get over it! if Giffnock shul members want a kiddush club, let them have it! who cares? there’s worse things happen in the world.

  334. Pub Regulars said

    We regulars at the Shul Pub have asked Rabbi Rubin to empty the contents of our Shul seats and sell our Chometz. ( bottles of malt). We are very concerned that our Chometz (liquor) should be returned to us straight after the festival. We are also very concered that by entering into this public agreement we are telling everyone we store our carry-ins. If anyone is caught (other than Rabbi Rubin) wading through our seat boxes you will be brought before the Pub Disciplinary committee chaired by Jeffry 5 Bellies Gladstone.

    Signed

    Ephraim Borowski
    Nigel Allon
    Derek Livingston
    Jeffrey Gladstone

    Shul Chametz Sale – Form supplied on Giffnock Website.
    Pesach 5770 30th March 2010 to 6th April 2010
    Jewish law prohibits the use or legal possession of any Chametz, leaven of any kind, on Passover. In order to be certain that all Chametz has been removed from our possession, Jewish tradition requires us to sell our remaining Chametz to a non-Jew. This Chametz, then, becomes the property of the non-Jew for the duration of Passover and should be set aside in a place in one’s home that will be unused during Passover.
    For your convenience we have prepared this form which will enable the sale of chametz in accordance with the guidelines of Halacha, Jewish Law.

    Please note that all chametz sold this year is redeemable for congregants in Glasgow from 09.30PM on Tuesday April 6th. For any other areas please check with your local rabbi.

  335. Giffnock Resident said

    I now understand why there are several articulated lorries parked outside the Shul. They must be removing the pub supplies for Passover.

  336. this is getting tedious said

    boring boring boring boring get a life!

  337. Pub Goer said

    If they remove the contents of my seat it won’t be a pretty site. I’m warning you 5 Bellies, don’t touch what doesn’t belong to you. If you had behaved properly as regards Warren Bader and the Burial Society hadn’t been so stupid there would not be this focus on where we have a dram on Shabbat. Give him what he deserves and then we can get back to normal. Incidentally if Raymond the chairman had any bottle, no pun intended, he would tell you to sort it quick as well.

  338. Ruth said

    My child was sent a Children’s Magazine for Pesach by Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue.
    Rabbi Rubin often expresses sadness that their are not more children at his Shul.
    I would like the Rabbi and the Shul Executive to please consider the following. The magazine was in black and white and was unattractive and unappealing. If this is Giffnock’s marketing campaign aimed at children then they are wasting their time moaning that numbers at Giffnock are falling and that there is so much disinterest. I have honestly never seen such a dreadful looking children’s magazine in my life.
    If you are on the Shul Executive I urge you to look at a copy and you will then realise I am right.
    Giffnock has been attacked relentlessly on this blog in recent weeks. I hear on the grapevine that Raymond Strang was applauded for his attack on the blog.
    Mr Strang and his new executive should start thinking seriously. The magazine is stopping until the Shul can find someone else to take it over. Can I please respectfully suggest that this is the responsibility of the Rabbi. Why is he not doing it?

  339. Community Member said

    This Passover we should reflect on the plight of Britain’s asylum seekers
    wrote Edie Friedman in a Pessach message. The Glasgow community will remember her exceptional presentation to our youth at the special event run by GJEF and UJIA and Scottish Government Minister, Fergus Ewing.

    For those celebrating the Seder tomorrow night her article is well worth looking at –

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/27/principle-refuge-passover-asylum-seekers

  340. Londoner said

    When this blog was started up I applauded it. It was fresh and meant there was a voice for the disaffected and for opinions which might not normally been heard.I went to London shortly after it started but had high hopes.
    Unfortunately certain people have ruined it. Instead of using the right to blog anonymously responsibly they have instead used it as a forum for numerous unjustified attacks on people rather than their ideas but most reprehensibly doing so whilst using multi pseudonyms. So instead of the blog being something where ideas could be exchanged in a reasonable manner it became soething on which I believe two of the founding members of GJEF abused their positions to post using all sorts of anonymous usernames and on which at any time if there were ten names who had posted around nine of them came from the same two people.
    The cowardliness of certain of those posting on the blog could be seen by the fact that on the face of it there was apparently not one single person who had posted critical posts about the shul at the AGM. That incidentally GJEF is a meeting held annually at which people are electedand comments can be made regarding the running of the organisation. From what I have seen that is an alien concept to the five of you.
    In turn instead of the blog becoming a respected alternative forum for opinion in Glasgow it is now intensly disliked by machors and ordinary members of the community alike.
    Yes the blog attracts viewers but then again so do car crashes. In neither case are they to be encouraged.
    The alternative forum has been killed by some of those responsible for setting it up.

  341. Armchir Analyst said

    I agree in principle with Londoner #340 above. The blog started out as a forum for alternative as well as right of reply mainstream viewpoints on subjects of political importance.

    I’m sorry to say that it has recently degenerated into a boring juvenile chop shop recently. Hopefully it’ll come back again as a serious forum for dissent and comment on things that really matter. Until then, I’m outta here.

  342. Wilfred Speirs said

    The fame of Giffnock Shul must be spreading. Londoner seems to know so much about the AGM, who was critical or not critical, who was elected or not elected, that they must have come to Glasgow just for the occasion. Unless of course Londoner is a hypocrite. I would guess that Londoner was actually at the AGM and has posted on this blog using a pseudonym.
    My further guess is that Londoner was elected to the Shul Executive at the AGM and this is probably not the first time that members of the Giffnock Executive have posted comments. Nothing wrong with that but their claims of moral righteousness are not quite so credible.
    I would advise Londoner to answer the criticisms of Giffnock Synagogue and the charge that Rabbi Rubin was involved in the removal of Warren Bader from the Burial Society and his unwarranted attack on Masorti Judaism. Criticism if properly answered and dealt with is much more likely to divert attention to somewhere else than attacking this forum or those responsible for it.

  343. Londoner said

    Wrong again Mr Tankel. I’m not on the shul executive and never have been. And who are you to complain about using a pseudonym? Is that not what you keep doing but yours are multifarious.

  344. Wilfred Speirs said

    Wrong Londoner. I am thankfully not Mr Tankel. He is old and ugly enough to be responsible for his own actions. I, on the other hand, am proud of what I wrote about you. Mr Tankel would be proud of it too if he had written it, but he didn’t.
    I didn’t say you were on the Shul Executive. It was my guess that you might be.

  345. A male Giffnock Member said

    I can no longer hold my silence. I have been reading this blog for the past few months initially for amusement but more recently feel totally disgusted at the childish way that those who are doing a good job in the community are being berated by anonomous unecessary comments. I am a member of GNHC and whilst not a regular shul goer am apalled at the manner in which our chairman Raymond Strang has been treated of late. Raymond is totally committed to the cause and anyone seeking to demean his chairmanship should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves….you know who you all are…..its time that you all grow up and congratulate Raymond in the way he has conducted himself throughout.

  346. Gaun yersel, Londoner! said

    At last, some sensible comment on how juvenile but vicious this blog has become! Why didn’t the 2 bloggers who have been posting under all these pseudonyms for months attend the Giffnock AGM and have their say? Could it be for the same reason they were willing to criticise the Rep Council all these months (or SCOJEC), but not willing to attend meetings and criticise out loud? or stand for office to replace the officebearers and try to achieve better themselves?

    How can you seriously advocate morality on the part of our communal leaders yet employ tactics yourselves of inuendo, twisted half-truths, jibes on people’s appearance etc. Nobody is all bad, yet for years the 2 of you (maybe it’s 3, to be fair) never have a good word to say about any efforts of any communal leader. Go take a look at your own actions and your own failings!

  347. Another Male Giffnock Member said

    Happy Pesach.
    I have been reading all of this as well and on balance I think most of the criticisms are valid. I don’t think Raymond Strang has been attacked personally, but he has been asked questions about the Shul.
    What’s wrong with that?
    I have not been on before either so in 1 evening thats 2 new people. No one can prove how many bloggers are on so lets just get on with it.

  348. Londoner said

    So where were you #347 on the night of the AGM of the shul? And looking at the style fo posting I don’t believe for one moment this is your first posting here. The first point of your last sentence is correct. It is that which has meant this blog has lost any credibility. If for example 450 names have posted that should be 450 people rather than probably about 10.

  349. Simon said

    Where were you on the night of the Shul AGM asks Londoner? This is not exactly on a par with where were you when Kennedy was shot or when Diana died in a car crash or when Sadat was assasinated or when Rabin was shot. Attending the Giffnock AGM is not high up the priority list for most of us. Get a life Londoner.

  350. Gaun yersel, Londoner! said

    well, attending the AGM SHOULD have been a priority for any member who blogged continually about what they didn’t like! have the courage of your convictions (all 2 of you)

  351. Londoner said

    No #349. As well as being cowardly you are also anti democratic failing ot use the democratic process but instead hiding behind baseless speculation, half truths and lies all under the cover of multi pseudonyms.

    Meantime I look forward to the GJEF AGM. Or are they one of the few Jewish organisations in Glasgow who are not accountable at least once a year?

  352. JC On Line Reader said

    From tomorrow’s JC – Sorry Mr Strang but I have posted this anonymously.

    Glasgow leader hits back at bloggers By Stephanie Brickman, April 1, 2010
    The chairman of Glasgow’s Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue has launched a contemptuous attack on bloggers who have accused shul leaders of complicity in the sacking of Masorti man Warren Bader by Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society.

    Giffnock and Newlands minister Rabbi Moshe Rubin and the shul management have come under intense and anonymous criticism over the departure of Mr Bader, a key personality in the newly launched Masorti Scotland. Those posting on a blog run by Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum have also ridiculed Giffnock and Newlands leaders for their appearance and clothes.

    Addressing the shul’s annual meeting, Raymond Strang alleged: “The blog was set up by cowards for cowards to post inaccuracies on the community from the comfort of their armchairs.

    “I would be more than happy to answer questions on Giffnock shul and Giffnock congregants but I insist on knowing who I am talking to.” His comments were applauded by the 50 members who attended.

    Speaking afterwards, Mr Strang called for stricter control of the blog to filter out malicious postings. “There’s a lot of unrest about this blog. It’s defamatory and divisive, really quite shocking,” he claimed. He had declined an invitation to respond on the blog to the anonymous criticisms.

    Mr Strang also told the meeting that a discounted membership drive for post bar- and batmitzvah teens had been successfully introduced. The shul’s accounts showed a small surplus for the financial year.

    Education forum chair Tony Tankelfound it “regrettable” that Mr Strang “has sought to deflect attention from serious questions that have been raised about the shul and its rabbi. The blog exists to allow proper discussion of communal issues, and the fact is that the issues currently surrounding Giffnock have attracted massive interest.

    “The right to post anonymously is an accepted convention and we take the view that it is more important to address the points at issue than question the identity of those that post comments.”

    He stressed that the blog was moderated, and postings were removed if it was felt that an author had gone too far.

  353. Friend of the Blog said

    Raymond has always struck me as a decent chap but I think on this occasion he has called it wrongly. I would like to ask him to answer the following questions.

    1. What is divisive about the blog? Is it not better that bad judgement is exposed than hidden ? Only those with something to hide need to worry.

    2. What is defamatory? Can we not appreciate some amusing comment about public figures?

    3. What is quite shocking? I have heard that sources close to Giffnock were upset about comments concerning attire?
    Is that comment accurate Raymond or is it false?

    4. You might believe that this blog was set up by cowards for cowards to post inaccuracies. You are trying to do a good job Raymond and most people would not work as hard for Giffnock as you do. Criticism though is part and parcel of communal life. Get over it. Serious allegations have been made against your Shul and your Rabbi that ought to be answered. This issue has now reached a national newspaper. When are you going to answer the questions properly?

  354. who makes the rules? said

    353 – it’s very nice to have a blog if you want to and be anonymous if you want to, however, who decides that bloggers have a God-given right to have their questions answered by public figures? Public figures, of course, have a responsibility, but it is to their members, and the place to question them is at meetings of these organisations.

  355. Someone else said

    Are you not posting anonymously 354?
    What makes you think that you are better than the rest of us?

  356. Londoner said

    #354 simply points out that there is no God given right to get an answer to questions posed by anonymous people and the place to question is at meetings of the organisations concerned.#355 somehow translates that to #354 thinking s/he is better than the rest. A conclusion which the posting simply does not bear.
    I’m still awating a reply regarding when GJEF’s AGM will be and why the disaffected blogger(s) didn’t attend the Giffnock Shul AGM to put his/their points instead of carping away anonymously. Mr Tankel claims there are ” serious questions that have been raised about the shul and its rabbi”. So why did he not turn up to ask them?

  357. who makes the rules? said

    And THAT’s exactly what’s wrong with this blog! Lack of respect for opposing opinions – jumping down people’s throats- insulting those with opposing opinions. Yet it was ever thus on this blog – puts me in mind of the Herald blog in its heyday!

  358. Friend of the Blog said

    GJEF decide the rules of this blog. It belongs to them. Live with it or get lost and go somewhere else.
    I actually think that the blog has added something to our communal life.
    Of course sometimes it can go on the wrong path but by and large it has opened up discussion and debate and everyone knows that even if you dislike it or hate it you will look to see what is being said. From what I have observed there have not been many if any innocent victims of the blog.
    Those involved in communal life need to realise that they are accountable for what they do and what they say and that can only be for good. Of course a blog cannot and should not make decisions but if its existence makes some people in communal life behave better for fear of being exposed then I’m all for it.

  359. nick naddell said

    Ok here goes , I’ll use my real name and lets hope I am not on the wrong end of a whole lot of gratuitous abuse !
    I was a founder member of GJEF and I am proud of what it has achieved ; there have been many excellent speakers and the community has supported such events by turning out in strength for most events (but not all). Some other organizations have upped their offering re speakers/events , notably the Rep Council , and that is an indirect benefit , proving that competition is a good thing , as is challenge.

    I do not now have anything to do with the running of this blog or with the management of it-infact for months I was banned for using a swearword ! Nevertheless I think it is a useful tool and when not abused it gives a voice to our community which otherwise may be stifled .There have been a number of important issues discussed on this site and for our community to remain vibrant such discussion and analysis is essential .It is also the case that such discussion and analysis is not the sole property of the few brave souls who offer themselves up for communal position . That is not to deny these people their right to express an opinion either.

    The Blog
    Some have suggested that anonimity breeds rudeness and bullying etc-that is undeniably the case but it does not mean that issues raised anonymously and in a decent manner should be denied credibility. Raymond (see below) has suggested that only identified bloggers merit a response and as long as people are being rude to him I agree with that . (…and no I have not blogged any comment about him nor demanded that as Chairman of his Shul that he is held accountable etc) .His comments are not without merit albeit they do not sit well with the whole ethos of blogging. So with trepidation I have decided to drop all blognames and be myself .If others follow maybe we will see more intellect and less nonsense on these pages. Time will tell.
    I am certainly open to the suggestion-anyone care to follow ?

    The Bader Affair
    A man does a good job and seems to be universally liked and appreciated ; then he promotes Mazorti and then he loses his job . Yes he is a pal so I am not impartial . But come on who doesn’t think he was treated badly ? And if the clergy are our moral guide or are supposed to be then why the silence ? Is it unreasnoable for a concerned community to expect an opinion and clarity and honesty from the clergy ?

    The Pub
    I am jealous of the Pub being no stranger to John Barleycorn myself ; currently as a regular shul goer I am finding it all a bit flat . A wee bevvy might just be the answer . If GRS set up a pub I’ll go . Then we can have an interpub quiz with Giffnock…if they recognise us ! (joke).Seriously the whole pub thing is of no consequence and surely not worthy of further comment.

    Giffnock Shul
    As a nonmember my right to comment is not fettered but my right to demand answers is. Anyone though who has served on a shul board knows that no one really has any ability to call rabbis or other board members or congregants to account . Any call made to Raymond by “outraged of Newton Mearns ” to do something about the pub or the Rabbi etc is with respect completely wide of the mark-it does not work that way ; Also people blogging about Raymond and his choice of Kippah are really scraping the barrell!If bloggers want a response then they have to limit comments to those which are relevant and civil. Raymond is a decent fellow who works hard and having been on my shul’s board I know how tough it can be .Personally I think that he has been unfairly vilified on these pages .There are some who come on just to wind up and others who come on who are so one dimensional that they can only see black or white and no shades of grey.

    The Clergy
    In simple terms all of the clergy are fair game-reform , orthodox and mazori ; there seems to be a desire to shelter them from debate yet each week in shul,we sit and hear often controversial views in sermons ; just as an example if RR wants to attack mazorti he can but he must also be prepared to continue the debate if his members demand it from him .

    Conclusion
    Reform , Orthodox or Mazorti-…we are all limbs from the same body-lets keep it civil but keep the debate going……

    Enjoy your Matzah.

    NPN

  360. Anglo-Scot said

    Giffnock Synagogue, its chairman and its Rabbi are not the victims in this affair.
    Warren Bader is the real victim. Denounced by the Giffnock Rabbi for splitting the community because he wanted to bring Masorti Judaism to Glasgow he was accused of polarising the community because he organised a Masorti Shabbaton. He then loses his employment with the Burial Society and many make the connection( not just on the blog but widely across the whole community) that he was fired because of his personal religious preferences. Giffnock leaders are horrified that their Rabbi is accused of being involved and initiating an atmosphere communally which allowed others to think that Masorti was a dangerous revolutionary sect that would destroy Judaism.
    All the other stories are froth. Who posts what under what name is irrelevant. Bader is the real victim and the reputation of the Glasgow Jewish community is now attracting interest in the national Jewish press. Thankfully, Jewish people don’t lose their employment because of their religious beliefs too often nowadays. Is it not ironic and horrible that within our own community this can happen?
    If someone can lose his employment in Glasgow because he wishes to set up a Masorti Synagogue, anyone with any involvement communally would be taking a huge risk if they posted on here under their own name.

    Thank you.

  361. jim murphy fan cub said

    A Home for MASORTI SCOTLAND!

    It is with great excitement that the Organisers of MASORTI SCOTLAND annouce that we have secured an initial lease of a very beautiful,and large room at Garnethill Synagogue, named the ESTERSON Room, in which to hold our services. We will also have use of an office and share Kiddushium with the Garnethill congregation.

    This is truely a unique opportunity for Masorti Scotland to grasp and will allow our small but growing community to continue to progress.

    Garnethill congregation have kindly allowed us use of their Seifer Torah’s too, which will make planning our services more convenient.

    There are two cars parks available to use, and we will be updating our website with a downloadable map with directions to Garnethill.

    Should you be available to help with moving items currently stored in the room, or to help clean the chairs that we have purchased, we would welcome your assistance on Wednesday 7th April 10, any time from noon till eight pm.

    Please contact Warren on 07815731484 if you are able to devote some time.

    More detailed information to follow.

  362. Bob said

    Goodbye Reformer, hello Nick!

    It’s good to see some thoughtful comments here. You don’t necessarily have to reveal your given name, although as a member of GJEF, it would seem reasonable for you to identify yourself as such. All the same, you’re in no danger of receiving abuse. The abuse comes from the moderators, and it’s not in their interests to turn other GJEF members against the blog.

    There is here is not anonymity, as Tankel suggests GJEFs critics claim. Maybe this story will help put the problem in context:

    Rod is a member of the Newton Mearns Bridge Association (NMBA) but doesn’t like the other members or the way it’s run. His friend, Freddy, simply loathes bridge. Together they set up a blog for bridge players, and spend most of their days berating the club, abusing named members and excoriating the executive, using a wide variety of names.

    One day, NMBA’s janitor is let go. No one except the executive is exactly sure why he this happened, but Rod is convinced that it’s because the janitor had been trying to set up a competing bridge association in Giffnock. After he posts his accusations, several commenters on the blog – Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael – back up these claims. However, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael are really just Rod and Freddy under more assumed names.

    Eventually, the incessant attacks on the NMBA get to Joseph, the chairman, and he launches an attack on the blog during the AGM. This is reported in the Bride Chronicle, which seeks a response from Rod. Rod goes on to explain that the attack on the blog was merely a diversion from the main issue, which was the removal of the janitor, although he doesn’t explain why he didn’t just turn up to put his accusations in person. Nor does he provide any evidence for his theory as to why the janitor was sacked.

    The article is published. Katherine turns up at the blog to reproduce the article quoting Rod. A little while later, Janet arrives at the blog to say that now that these allegations have reached a national paper, Joseph should start taking them seriously. But Janet and Katherine are actually just Rod again, using more names.

    Katherine quotes himself approvingly from the Giffnock Advertiser, saying, “The right to post anonymously is an accepted convention and we take the view that it is more important to address the points at issue than question the identity of those that post comments.” Rod, Katherine, Janet, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael are all in agreement on this point, and are completely bemused that nobody else takes them seriously.

  363. stop twisting the story said

    360 – don’t be so naive! WB didn’t simply lose ‘his job’ because he set up Masorti. He lost his job with an Orthodox organisation. And we only have your word for it that this was the reason. What did he expect them to do?

  364. who makes the rules? said

    Friend of the Blog says:

    ‘GJEF decide the rules of this blog. It belongs to them. Live with it or get lost and go somewhere else.’

    Usual encouraging posting! All views welcome. But if you have the WRONG view, you’ll be told to F off. It’s a very welcoming forum for communal discussion.

    not

  365. Bob said

    Tony Tankel says that who is behind the comments on this blog is not relevant. I think it’s very relevant that on a blog that claims to be an open forum for the community, the people who run GJEF are telling people who disagree with them to ” get lost”.

    Nick Naddell is naive if he thinks that there is no connection between the petty spitefulness that characterises the GJEF blog, and Tony Tankel’s eccentric conception of blog ” convention”. Naddell, Michael Samuel and David Barnett should be ashamed to be a part of such an enterprise, and I expect that if they took an interest in exactly who was posting what, they’d wash their hands of GJEF quickly.

    That would be a shame, because GJEF is a worthwhile enterprise, in principle anyway.

  366. democrat said

    I suggest a public meeting for GJEF to host. It would be an open meeting for Tankel and Stein to face the community and have the opportunity to explain themselves. This would be the mother of all meetings especially if Stein were dragged from the shadows where he has lurked for three years.

    They would start by explaining their unconventional blog rules which appear nowhere. Then Moderator Stein could face questions on individual postings (thousands) that he has passed, yet most moderators would reject out of hand.

    So Tankel and Stein, I am using the blog as you ask; to represent the grass roots against the cowardice and bullying of those with power and control. You frequently claim that that is you with your Scottish Executive and other dealings.

    It’s time to put up or shut up.

  367. Londoner said

    Bob has it got it to a tee. Tony expounds a fantasy, contacts the JC with it, fails to attend a meeting where he could have fantasised to those in the know about it and then demands an answer having failed to seek one at the right forum. Meantime he continues to lambast the democratically elected memebers of the community who, for all their faults at least are open for questioning and election whilst being under no democratic scrutiny himself.

    The posting at #360 is yet another piece of disingenuous posting. Anyone employed by a religious organisation who is the prime mover in setting up a non Orthodox group would clearly run a risk. I am not referring to WB’s sacking in particular since I have heard a number of theories about that which in the absence of confirmation remain speculation. Equally if you’re employed a community group you cannot openly come out with statements which may contrave their ethos. So if employed by UJIA or JNF it’s not a good idea to publicly have controversial views (to the left or right) about Israel nor if employed by one of the care organisations to publicly come out with views which might be regarded as contrary to their ethos. A teacher at Calderwood might be in difficulty if he/she spoke out against separate Jewish schooling. However the 99% of our community do not rely on communal jobs for their employment and in any event that does not justify the posting by few people under numerous pseudonyms.

    However Mr Tankel should consider whether his position with Calderwood Lodge is consistent with his constant postings on this blog. Rightly or worngly when communal bodies are asked for money they look at those in charge of the organisations in question and if they don’t like what they see that can adversely affect funding. And that fact does not justify anonymous blogging under a succession of names.

  368. Masorti supporter. said

    In the UK removing a person from their position of employment on the grounds of their religious orientation and beliefs is unlawful.
    If I was on the Burial Society that would concentrate my focus with an employment tribunal looming on the horizon. I would advise them to read the Supreme Court Judgement in relation to the recent case of JFS. Religious organisations are not exempt from civil law in this country.

  369. Bob said

    I have a question for David Barnett of GJEF.

    On this blog on 12th December, 2008, Mark Gardner of the CST explained his reasons for declining an invitation to a GJEF event. Mark suggested that the people who initiated that event might be the same people who were anonymously calling him a ‘chicken’ on the blog, confirming the correctness in his decision to decline.

    David Barnett took exception and defended GJEF by declaring that he had not been responsible for the childish comments, after which Gardner quickly backtracked.

    In fact, Gardner’s assumptions were correct: GJEF members who initiated the meeting were also responsible for the taunts on this blog.

    I would like to ask David Barnett if he was a willing party to this deception; or if, as seems far more likely, he was being duped. If the latter, doesn’t he think it a good idea to take more of an active interest in the running of the blog, before he inadvertently uses his own good name to defend GJEF from accurate criticism?

    I am an ANONymOUS bLOgGER AND i demAND ANSWERS!!!

  370. Voice Down South (of Giffnock station, slightly) said

    Masorti Supporter,

    I think you’re wrong on three counts. First of all, it can’t be illegal to remove someone from any position on account of their religious orientation – if Rabbi Rubin found himself drawn to Jews for Jesus, I don’t think he’d find grounds for an unfair dismissal suit. Second, Bader was already a member of the Reform Synagogue, which has pretty poor relations with the United Synagogue, so the accusation that he was let go for following his religious conscience is untenable.

    This is why his supporters are forced to claim that he’s been dismissed because he is actively setting up Masorti. Whilst I wouldn’t personally take such a decision for those reasons, it seems to me that the Burial Society would be well within its rights to not employ someone who was in the process of setting up a competitor organisation. But this is all idle speculation, as – third – the people who are claiming this do so without evidence.

    I wish Warren and Masorti every success, but he should ponder whether his supposed supporters are doing him any favours, by associating Masorti with their own personal vendettas and unsupported allegations. I have previously attended Masorti services, but I wouldn’t touch the Glasgow one with a bargepole.

  371. Masorti supporter said

    For the sake of those who subscribe to the Burial Society and the forthcoming increases in subscriptions that will follow after paying Warren Bader what he is due, I hope they have better legal advice than you offer.

  372. Giffnock Shul Goer said

    So why do I suspect that all those that feel wounded in this blog are now using the opportunity to name and shame with gay abandon to avoid answering the questions on their abuse of communal power and their small mindedness

    Londoner and Bob…. you seem to be most indignant.

    I suggest you must have taken some stick and you cannot now deal with it. Is it a bit close to the bone? Do you have form with the Bader case?
    Have you made baseless accusations against individuals and avoided the subjects needing addressed?
    I will not chose to name you now, because that would be lowering myself to your level and playing your silly games. However as an accountant and an optician I suggest you focus on what adds up or get your heads examined!

    Am I am member of GJEF? …. No. Do I support GJEF.. Not really…..but neither are you a londoner or a Robert as I wished you both good shabbos in shul today.

    Who could I be…. you decide!

  373. Explain yourself said

    #370 said wouldn’t touch Masorti in Glasgow with a bargepole. Can you give rational, legitimate reason why or is it because you are a member of Giffnock Shul and have aspirations of being the next chairman?

  374. simon said

    greetings from a visiting american!

    londoner, voice down south and bobs comments are a typical of the orthodox establishment and as sure as night follows day, when a conservative temple opened in the states, orthodox organizations and leaders would quickly denounce and bascially excommunication. only the success and strength of conservative judaism allowed us to coexist.

    i have no links to the people mentioned here on either side, but this follows an old patten and you can be *SURE* that the people criticizing and hounding masorti members are officers in the orthodox establishment

    incidently i love your blog. keep up the great work!!

    simon, washington/england

  375. Tel Aviv Occupant said

    Are all dissenting comments now stopped?

  376. Jerusalem Resident said

    Hopefully only from the mad rantings of headbangers. Its great to come across a blog where the majority of posts come from people who are sane rather than that crazy loony crowd who look and post on Harry’s Place. Most of them require professional help.

  377. simon said

    good riddance

  378. Right To Know said

    Is there an official tie up between Masorti and GJEF?

  379. Also Wish to Know said

    I would like an answer to this as well please.

  380. Fact not Fiction said

    There is no tie up between Masorti and GJEF. They are completely independent and members of GJEF are members of Orthodox Synagogues and the Reform Synagogue.
    However, GJEF did invite Rabbi Jeremy Gordon to visit Glasgow in January to talk about his vision of Masorti Judaism. GJEF support religious pluralism and have always advocated open debate and discussion
    and as far as I know would see no reasons why Masorti Judaism should not be open to the Glasgow Jewish community as well as Orthodox Judaism and Reform Judaism.
    Like the rest of us I’m sure they would deplore what has happened to Warren Bader as would any decent person.
    Official tie up with Masorti – no
    Religious pluralism – yes.

  381. Move it on said

    Can we move this discussion on. There will only be 15 people ( Burial Society executive)
    Rabbi Rubin and their respective families and pets who will defend what happened to Bader. Everyone and anyone will tell you that it was shocking and unacceptable.

    Have the Rep Council officially backed the Tory candidate to win in East REn?

  382. Community Member said

    Very interesting article by Seth Freedman about an Israeli bookstore chain and Israeli democracy..

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/14/israel-palestinian-territories

  383. Israel Supporter said

    Freedman should remember that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.

  384. Israeli said

    Is it a democracy if you are not Jewish?

  385. Poisonous said

    From the Magnes Zionist – Jerry Haber is the nom de plume of an Orthodox Jewish studies professor who divides his time between Israel and the US.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010
    Judge Goldstone Banned From His Grandson’s Bar Mitzvah

    http://themagneszionist.blogspot.com/2010/04/judge-goldstone-banned-from-his.html

    Words cannot express the sadness I felt in reading the post below – posted, I may add, by one of the great South African anti-apartheid and AIDS activists, Zackie Achmet.

    What has happened to our people? Why are we doomed every so often to follow mindlessly the latest false messiah, perverting thereby our sense of decency, morality, and our adherence to the ideals of Torah?

    As sad as I feel for Judge Goldstone and his family, I feel sadder for the “heresy” hunters and pusillanimous cowards who caved in to them.

    This is a dark day for the South African synagogue, South African Jewry – and all Jews. I wait for the liberal critics of Judge Goldstone to stand up and say, “Enough” to the persecution of him and his family.

    It is not clear from the article precisely what caused Judge Goldstone to decide to spare the family the uproar. Was the issue his attendance, or his receiving an honor (such as an aliyah)? There probably was no formal banning – just the insinuation that were he to attend, there would be a scene.

    What is clear is that the South African Zionist Federation and the craven figure who calls himself a rabbi are the villains.

    Here is the article.

    http://writingrights.org/2010/04/14/breaking-news-judge-richard-goldstone-banned-from-attending-his-grandsons-barmitzvah/

    Judge Goldstone has been banned by the South African Zionist Federation from attending his grandson’s bar mitzvah. The Chief Rabbi a neo-conservative who has betrayed the tolerant tradition of the late former Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris has blessed this travesty.

    Silencing critics of Israel’s war crimes is not enough; they have to infringe Goldstone’s equal right to practice his religion and his family life. Every decent person will sign a protest against this injustice. The tactics of the Israeli neo-fascists should not be allowed to dictate policy in South Africa. These were the people who supported apartheid and now they support the apartheid state of Israel.

    How many people would be prepared to join legal action in the Equality Court against the South African Zionist Federation?

    Zackie Achmat

    THE AFTER-SHOCKS of the Goldstone Commission into the Gaza conflict continue, this time reaching into the heart of a family simcha. Mr. Justice Richard Goldstone is effectively being barred from attending his grandson’s bar mitzvah, due to be held in Johannesburg early next month.

    Following negotiations between the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in Sandton, where the event is due to take place, an agreement has been reached with the family. As a result, Justice Goldstone will not be attending the synagogue service.

    Some of the role-players were tight-lipped. Avrom Krengel, chairman of the SAZF, said: “We understand there’s a barmitzvah boy involved – we’re very sensitive to the issues; at this stage there’s nothing further to say.” While Krengel said the SAZF had “interacted” on the matter with the chief rabbi, the Beth Din and others, his organisation was “coming across most forcefully because we represent Israel”.

    Rosh Beth Din Rabbi Moshe Kurtstag confirmed that the Beth Din had not been officially involved – though there had been “private talks” – and had not been asked by the synagogue to give a ruling on the matter. “But I know that there was a very strong feeling in the shul, a lot of anger (around the issue of Justice Goldstone attending).

    “I heard also that the SAZF wanted to organise a protest outside the shul – (there were) all kinds of plans. But I think reason prevailed.”

    Signalling his agreement with the turn of events, Rabbi Kurtstag said he believed Justice Goldstone had done “a tremendous disservice not only to Israel but to the Jewish world. His name is used by hostile elements in the world against Israel and this can increase anti-Semitic waves.

    “I understand that he is a judge, but he should have had the sense to understand that whatever he said wouldn’t be good and he should have just recused himself. People have got feelings about it, they believe he put Israel in danger and they wouldn’t like him to be getting honour (in synagogue).

    “I think (the agreement) was quite a sensible thing to avert all this unpleasantness.”

    Reached in Washington where he is currently based, Justice Goldstone was reluctant to comment save to say: “In the interests of my grandson, I’ve decided not to attend the ceremony at the synagogue.”

    Mr Justice Dennis Davis said that while he respected Justice Goldstone’s decision, he assumed that pressure had been brought to bear on the family. “If that assumption is correct, then it is outrageous because it seeks to place a ban on somebody participating in his grandson’s barmitzvah.

    “Have we now got to the point that because we don’t like what somebody says or does, we place a ‘cherem’ on them? What right do we have to do that? I would like to add that people who are gleeful about it must remember what Pastor Niemoller said: ‘Who will speak up for them when they are finally excommunicated for some misdemeanor?'”

    Retired president of the Constitutional Court, Mr Justice Arthur Chaskalson said it was “disgraceful” to put pressure on a grandfather not to attend his grandson’s barmitzvah.

    “If it is correct that this has the blessing of the leadership of the Jewish community in South Africa, it reflects on them rather than on Justice Goldstone. They should hang their heads in shame.”

    Posted by Jerry Haber at 9:53 PM

  386. interesting observation said

    This is taken from responsa from today, by the Rabbi David Golonkin, approved by Rabbi Chaim Weiner, who is the head of the European Masorti Beth Din. Seems to be slightly at odds with the ad the in JT.

    Riding to the Synagogue on Shabbat
    (OH 305:18)
    Question:
    There is no Masorti synagogue in Petach Tikvah where we reside and my wife will not attend an Orthodox synagogue since it makes her feel inferior. Is it permissible for us to ride to a Masorti synagogue in Hod Hasharon or Ramat Aviv in order to participate in the mitzvah of public prayer on Shabbat?

    Responsum:
    This question was asked in the United States as far back as 1933. In 1950, two responsa were published by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement in North America (Proceedings of the Rabbinical Assembly, Vol. 14 (1950), pp. 112-188). The majority ruled that a person who lives far away from a synagogue is allowed to ride to the synagogue and back on Shabbat on condition that he will make no stops on the way. The minority ruled that in general it is forbidden to ride to the synagogue on Shabbat except for emergency situations, in which the individual will have to decide for himself. The majority emphasized that ”the program that we propose, then, is not to be regarded as the full and complete regimen of Shabbat observance, valid for all Jews for all times and for all places. On the contrary, it is aimed to meet the particular situation that confronts us…” (ibid. p. 360). “It shall be understood that in their wisdom and in the light of the conditions prevailing in their respective communities, individual rabbis may find the easements here proposed unnecessary for the achievement of the larger goal herein envisaged” (ibid. p. 371).

    Therefore we have come to re-examine the lenient decision from the United States of 1950 in light of the conditions in Israel forty years later. It is clear that the reasons for that leniency do not apply. In those days most Jews in the United States worked on Shabbat, did not pray in general, did not know how to pray alone at home and lived at great distances from the nearest synagogue. Thus, prayer at the synagogue on Shabbat was the only remnant of their Shabbat observance. This is not the case in Israel today where almost no one works on Shabbat, where every Jew can open a siddur and pray if he so desires and where there is a synagogue in every neighborhood. We therefore agree with the minority that it is forbidden to ride to the synagogue on Shabbat.

    From a halakhic point of view, riding to the synagogue on Shabbat is forbidden for the following reasons:

    1. Kindling a fire is a biblical prohibition (Exodus 35:3) and turning the key in the ignition creates sparks.

    2. It is forbidden as a shevut or rabbinic prohibition lest the car break down and he be forced to fix it and then he may transgress both biblical and rabbinic prohibitions.

    3. It is forbidden to go more than 2,000 cubits outside of your own city on Shabbat (Eruvin 49b). Therefore, in this specific case it is forbidden to travel from Petah Tikvah to Hod Hasharon or Ramat Aviv.

    4. Any item, which may not be used on Shabbat is considered “muktzeh” and may therefore not be touched or carried. When one drives a car, one normally touches a wallet, money, a credit card and other forms of “muktzeh”. In addition, one frequently buys gas, which is also forbidden on Shabbat. It is therefore forbidden to drive on Shabbat, because it will lead to carrying and touching muktzeh.

    5. Another type of “shevut” is “uvdin d’hol” or weekday activities. In other words, Shabbat should not look and feel like a weekday. There is nothing more weekday-like than driving a car. Shevut is also an activity, which may lead to biblically forbidden labors. Driving may lead to biblical prohibitions such as carrying outside of the eruv, commercial and agricultural transport, writing, building, fishing and more. Thus even if driving were biblically permitted it would be forbidden because of shevut.

    6. Driving is also forbidden because of “lo pelug” which means that the rabbis do not usually decree partial prohibitions. This is because they were familiar with human nature. If we allow driving to the synagogue many people will think it is permissible to drive everywhere on Shabbat and indeed, that is what happened in the United States.

    7. Rabbi Moshe Sofer forbade inter-city train travel on Shabbat because of physical and mental stress. There is no question that driving a car entails physical and mental stress, which are not in keeping with the spirit of Shabbat.

    8. Public prayer is not a biblical requirement. It is either a rabbinic requirement or simply a recommended form of prayer and can therefore not push aside the biblical prohibition of starting a car on Shabbat.

    Furthermore, many rabbis have ruled that public prayer on Shabbat does not even push aside a shevut or rabbinic prohibition, so even if driving is only a rabbinic prohibition it would not be set aside for the sake of public prayer.

    9. The Masorti movement wishes to create kehillot (communities), not just synagogues. It is impossible to create a community when every family lives a great distance from every other family, and in order to create a community which observes the Shabbat together, its members must live in close proximity to each other.

    10. In light of the above, driving to the synagogue on Shabbat is a “mitzvah achieved through transgression: which is forbidden (Berakhot 47b and more).

    There are, however, three possible solutions to the question that was asked:

    1. Efforts should be renewed to found a Masorti synagogue in Petah Tikvah.

    2. Just because a mehitzah is not necessary does not mean that it is forbidden. We should not be as intolerant as those who refuse to pray in our synagogues. It is better to walk to an Orthodox synagogue on Shabbat than to drive to A Masorti synagogue.

    3. It is also possible to move near a Masorti synagogue. This may be an expensive or inconvenient solution, but Jews have traditionally made great sacrifices in order to observe mitzvot. If people move to another city for the sake of a good job or a good school, why shouldn’t they move for the sake of living near the kehillah of their choice?

    The appendix discusses the use of public transportation and bicycles on Shabbat. It suggests that it is permissible to hire a non-Jew to drive a Shabbat bus or taxi which will transport the elderly or the handicapped to the synagogue providing that the bus does not leave the city limits.

    Rabbi David Golinkin
    In favor: Rabbi Tuvia Friedman
    Rabbi Chaim Weiner

  387. Smileys People said

    Post 386, I have read the advert again in the JT and nowhere does it say that people should drive on Shabbat or Yom Tovium!

  388. who makes the rules? said

    And travelling to a Masorti service in Garnethill? The assumption will be that EVERYONE will be travelling. It’s one thing where this happens with an existing synagogue, but to found a synagogue not in walking distance from where Jews currently live is another thing.

  389. Prospective Masorti Member said

    Come on – its not exactly a hanging offence to drive somewhere on Shabbat. 99% of our community couldn’t care less about driving on a Saturday and why should we? What a brilliant advert Masorti Scotland. Garnethill will have more people in their Synagogue and that is what its all about. Having children running around is much preferable to becoming a boring old museum that gathers dust. Garnethill deserve great credit for realising that the future is more important than the past which is why I suspect they have given space to Masorti.

  390. who makes the rules? said

    I didn’t say travelling was a good or bad thing, but Masorti has to come down on one side or another. If they are against travelling on Shabbat, they have no business opening where this is obligatory for all worshippers!

    Don’t kid yourself! Garnethill is merely a stepping stone for Masorti, who will wash up again on the south side when the time is right, abandoning Garnethill to its fate.

  391. Prospective Masorti Member said

    Everything you have posted about Masorti is negative and sniping. Thankfully you don’t make the rules.
    You are a man of the past while Masorti is part of the future.

  392. who makes the rules? said

    There you go again, twisting and exaggerating!

    All I asked was whether Masorti permits travelling on Shabbat. If not, how is it appropriate to have services in the city centre where no congregants live? (and elderly people will face a 5 minute walk from the carpark and 2 flights of stairs). I haven’t said anything else at all about Masorti practice, have I?

    George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

  393. who makes the rules? said

    PS – PMM – if all postings which were ‘negative and sniping’ were banned, this blog would cease to exist!

  394. Prospective Masorti Member said

    Firstly, I have never posted on this blog before so please don’t tell me that I am twisting and exaggerating.
    You on the other hand have commented about Masorti several times and of course you defended the actions of the Burial Society by suggesting that what they did was quite reasonable. I read this blog but until now have not commented.
    As far as I’m aware Masorti are not hung up whether people drive to Synagogue on a Shabbat. It isn’t a big issue. You also have claimed that Masorti will move to the South side and have suggested that they will abandon Garnethill when it suits them. What gives you the right to make such allegations without concrete evidence to back them up?
    What is your problem with Masorti?
    What have they ever done to you?
    Why can’t you accept that some people might actually benefit from being part of a Massorti community and enjoy the experience.
    Incidentally it is possible to remember the past without being stuck in it and unable to look to a better future. As most of the Orthodox Shuls are failing why don’t you embrace something positive rather than snipe at it?

  395. who makes the rules? said

    Let’s just say it’s an educated guess that a Masorti shul in the city centre, with no on-site parking and lots of stairs, will not be a long-term solution. In addition, if Masorti is to grow, the room they have will not be big enough.

    What the Burial Society did is a matter for its members and there’s an AGM next month. THAT’s the place to influence their policy. Like any other organisation, if you don’t like what they are doing, get involved yourself and see if you can make a difference, instead of criticising from the comfort of this anonymous blog.

    Most of the posts on this blog are, to use your words, ‘negative and sniping’, so don’t point the finger at me.

  396. interesting observation said

    The reason I posted is to highlight something: that Masorti, as an organisation, follows Halakha (to their own definition), as opposed to Reform which is officially a non-Halakhic organisation. It seems to be that Masorti Scotland is also non-Halakhic, judging by the way they have set up their community, in which case I am confused as to what difference is between them and Reform, other than style of service, which, although is obviously something that people may prefer, isn’t that crucial.

    Everyone knows that people of all congregrations drive, but very few would celebrate it.

    Personally, I found the ad offensive – ‘Masorti, at Garnethill, purpose built in 1879’, as well as listing the synagogue as its address. The implication is obvious.

  397. Prospective Masorti Member said

    Suddenly “Who Makes the Rules” is an expert on the viability of Masorti. The arrogance of this individual has no boundaries. The Masorti room won’t be big enough in Garnethill, too many stairs, not enough parking. The list is endless. If anyone was to listen to you we would have given up anything progressive in our community years ago.
    You are the most conservative unimaginative person I have come across in years. I can only complain about the Burial Society at their AGM – what rubbish. I was allowed to campaign for the rights of Soviet Jewry when I didn’t live in Moscow.
    I don’t like Iranian theocracy but I don’t have to live in Tehran to say so.
    You are a thoroughly negative individual whose only concern would appear to be to preserve the past as much as you can. You are scared of change and frightened of progress.
    What exactly is your problem with Masorti?

  398. who makes the rules? said

    PPM Calm down! Enough with the personal insults already! That’s what brings this blog into disrepute. It’s possible to discuss and debate without the namecalling or the personal jibes.

    The list about the Masorti room isn’t ‘endless’ – again you exaggerate! Just 3 points that spring to mind.

    The parallel of Soviet Jewry campaigning is plain daft. At that time, there was no democratic, open process of changing the situation. That’s why it was worth campaigning externally. Similarly, there’s no way of influencing the Iranian policies from within.

    In Britain, you can complain all you like about what the Labour party is doing, but if you don’t use your vote, you’ve only yourself to blame. With GHBS, there is an obvious process for influencing matters or protesting, but going to an AGM. You should try that first before mumping on this blog.

    People can be Masorti if they like, it’s none of my business, but I just don’t see it as the great answer to our community’s decline. And I can’t see significant numbers of Glasgow Jews driving into town on a Saturday morning, parking a few blocks away, then climbing 2 flights of stairs to the Masorti Room – not on a regular basis, anyway.

    I’m not scared of change, but I don’t see this set up as sustainable.

  399. Prospective Masorti Member said

    Point of information – if you don’t like the Labour Party or their policies you do not need to go to the Party conference to register your protest or your unhappiness. You can vote for someone else or complain to your friends or colleagues. If you think the Burial Society executive are ignorant and have betrayed its ideals you also don’t have to attend their AGM either. You can protest in whatever way that suits you.
    You quoted Santanyana but you clearly do not understand the proper meaning of his words. We need to learn from the past not repeat the same mistakes.
    No one claimed that Masorti was the great answer to communal decline but at least acknowledge that there are people out there that are doing something and offering an alternative.
    All you want to do is mope and nitpick while I would rather applaud a new initiative. If people like the product and think that it does something for them then the venue will be irrelevant.

  400. Admin said

    Comments are now closed. Please see the latest posting on the main page, in which Nicholas Saphir, Chair of New Israel Fund UK, reflects on the campaign against human rights groups in Israel.

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