Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

First Minister to Address the Jewish Community

Posted by Admin on May 5, 2010

We are delighted to announce that the First Minister, the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, will address the Glasgow Jewish Community on Tuesday 25th May 2010 at Mearns Castle High School Theatre at 8.00pm.

The title of his lecture will be: “Scotland’s Jewish Community”.

The First Minister has stated that he wishes to address the Glasgow Jewish Community directly at a public meeting, and he welcomes the opportunity to discuss recent press articles about antisemitism.

We are honoured that the First Minister has again agreed to talk directly to our entire community about issues that concern every one of us. Many will remember the excellent meeting in April 2008, when the First Minister spent an unprecedented amount of time taking questions from the audience, and we are again delighted that after his address he will allocate time for questions. Hearing from Mr Salmond in person about how the Scottish Government perceives the Jewish community in Scotland, and being able to ask him about areas of concern will be a unique opportunity for everyone.

The lecture will be open to all members of the community, and we anticipate a very high demand for tickets. There will be a £5 donation per person, which will help recover some of the costs. We hope that you can be with us on what we are sure will be a memorable occasion. To apply for tickets for the event, please use the Contact form on the website. (Please note that there will be no sale of tickets on the night; all tickets must be purchased in advance).

32 Responses to “First Minister to Address the Jewish Community”

  1. Giffnock Resident said

    Fantastic news. Well done GJEF.

  2. On Scojec's Mailing List said

    Like many people in the community I have just received two emails from community organisations.

    The first was from Scojec informing us that because of a lack of interest very few people were able to come to their workshop about the Government’s counter-terrorism programme this Sunday.

    The second was from GJEf announcing that they have again secured the Scottish First Minister to talk to the whole community. The style and tone is very obvious – Alex Salmond will talk to the whole community – everyone is invited. This is not an event behind closed doors only for the privileged and important.

    I don’t normally take sides in communal rivalries but the difference between the two emails is very stark and I can only congratulate GJEF for a major PR initiative. Whenever anyone writes them off they come back with something bigger and better. Is it not about time that their success was acknowledged by everyone.

  3. Student said

    You are right post no 2. It is quite special that Salmond will be addressing the community again. Last time he spent ages answering questions from the youth.
    Incidentally, what is wrong with the people who run Scojec? They have reorganised their seminar for 12.30 on Sunday 30th May – a Bank Holiday weekend. Only sad community anoraks will turn up on that day.

  4. Dr Michael Greenhill said

    I’m pleased that GJEF have the First Minister address the Jewish community.
    I do not support his party, but have no doubts as to his sincerely held political beliefs.
    It should be an interesting lecture.

  5. Impressed said

    Like Dr Greenhill I am also pleased that the First Minister will address the Jewish community.
    I heard him a couple of years ago and thought he was excellent and I am also not a supporter of the SNP.
    Unlike most politicians he did not tell us what we wanted to hear but rather he set out his own case and defended it.
    The First Minister returning to speak promises to be a real highlight in our communal calendar. It is quite something that GJEF have now pulled this off, not once, but twice.

  6. utiliterian said

    Well done to GJEF, for securing this ‘Informal’ formal chat for the community with the 1st Minister. You guys are always way ahead of the game in community matters, no wonder you get derided so often,by the so called’Ganza Machers’ of Glasgow Jewish society

  7. utiliterian said

    well done GJEF , a real coup by people who really care about the voice of Glasgow Jewry

  8. Public Servant said

    At today’s AGM of the Burial Society there are some fundamental questions that need to be answered. It would of course not be correct if the officers of that organisation were not to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth regarding recent events that culminated in the dismissal of Mr Bader.

    If my information is correct 5 members of that organisation will not only have to think up a reasonable defence on behalf of the Burial Society but they will also be seeking personal legal representation as they have had writs served on them on a personal basis as well.

    Any Glasgow lawyers looking for some work should turn up at the AGM today. The Five in question, Barry Cooper, Jeffrey Gladstone, Ephraim Borowski, Alan Levy and David Jackson should be very nervous indeed. It is one thing acting badly in the name of a public organisation but now that there are personal ramifications I am sure that will concentrate their focus on how to get out of the mess they have created.

    Some of the five hold other community responsibilities. Gentlemen, please consider this – if you end up at an employment tribunal – charged with religious discrimination – you are very likely to find your photographs on the front page of the Herald. That may not worry you ( it should ) but it will concern others who should now make it very clear to you that it is time to accept reality and tell you to behave properly. Those who are sitting on the fence – who actually do nothing but tell everyone that they disagree with what Gladstone and Borowski have done and that it was very stupid, now need to get tough. Have they told the Burial Society straight what is required? I suspect not.

    I only post this as a public servant because it is your responsibility to do something about this as well. Good morning.

  9. B Cohen. said

    Can we please focus on a really positive community initiative – Alex Salmond’s forthcoming GJEF lecture. Salmond has agreed to talk to the whole community and this is a great opportunity that small or large communities do not get often. I will be there.

  10. Quiz Master said

    My question to Mr Salmond – Why do we need a Secretary of State for Scotland?

  11. Newton Mearns Shul Branch Labour Party said

    The Shul would like to nominate Jim Murphy to be leader of the Labour Party.

    Management Committee

  12. Out with the old and in with the new said

    ” We haven’t had a lot of notice and obviously all sorts of issues arise” said the archives’ director Harvey Kaplan – reported in this week’s Jewish Chronicle.

    I have always thought that this community is too obsessed with the past rather than genuinely embracing the future and I am afraid that Harvey has just confirmed it.

    Personally, I wish Masorti well even if I am a confirmed agnostic. The Archives should welcome new developments and initiatives – it will give them something to chronicle and keep them active in their old age. If the only concern of Harvey is the loss of storage space for material that has probably not been looked at in years then ( every pun intended) God help us. If an organisation with real people wants to use a room for meetings or services that should be welcomed. The Archives may enjoy the past rather than look forward to the future but lets hope wiser thoughts prevail.

  13. If Scojec present this evidence then the community need to be the Judge and the Jury. said

    Thank you GJEF for sending me the article from the Scotsman

    This article was shocking – Mark Gardner of the CST drew a parallel between what happened to the Jewish community in Buenos Aires that killed 86 Jews to the situation in Scotland and this is totally irresponsible.

    There is also no evidence whatsoever given to justify the claim that the terrorist attack at Glasgow airport in 2007 increased safety concerns among Jewish people in Scotland. The horrific attack at the airport was not an attack on Glasgow Jews, it was an attack on all Glaswegians, without any distinction.

    Those in our community who associated with this negative and sensational accout in the Scotsman have only harmed our community. Most Jews living here would not recognise the picture presented of Jewish life in this country.

    Regretably, Scojec’s fingerprints are all over this. I welcome the fact that Mr Salmond will address the community next Tuesday, 25th May on these issues – Mearns Castle High School 8pm.

    What are Scojec trying to do? – a few weeks ago the Jewish Chronicle also had a similar article by Martin Bright. This was also simplistic and inaccurate. Its time that an accurate perspective of Jewish life in Scotland was put forward that most people here can recognise. I really don’t understand why Scojec and their associates are determined to paint this negative picture which is far from the truth.

  14. Michael said

    Agreed. This article offers a distorted perspective on Jewish life in Scotland and is unwelcome.

  15. Harvey Kaplan Fan said

    Congratulations Harvey Kaplan. You were the only person quoted in the Scotsman who was sensible. You effectively demolished the arguments of Collins and Borowski and your cogent analysis stood out. You explained clearly the demographic changes and did not resort to false accusations concerning supposed increased antisemitism. You did the same in the Jewish Chronicle a few weeks back. The community needs your wit and wisdom and we would be much better with you running Scojec than the current crew.

  16. Out of his Comfort zone said

    GJEF should invite Harvey to present the next community lecture

    ” The Scots feel dominated by the English ”

    It would be interesting to discover Mr Kaplan’s research on this subject and when he expects to present his thesis. Stereotyping is not insightful analysis.

    With the greatest of respect Mr Kaplan, collecting some artifacts and old photographs and storing them in Garnethill and wheeling them out twice a year for assembled onlookers does not make you an expert.

  17. Another Fan of Harvey said

    Leave Harvey alone. When Borowski keeps making a mess of everything at least Harvey is there to record what happened so that future generations will know what happened. I guarantee that Harvey will be the last person to turn off the lights when its all over. He is a stalwart – a man with a good heart – and bloggers who are questioning his credentials should be ashamed of themselves. Harvey does great work. What do you do previous blogger to help our community?

  18. Out of His Comfort Zone said

    I suggest again that Harvey is not qualified to make sweeping assertions such as ” the Scots feel dominated by the English ”

    This kind of exaggeration makes matters much worse and Harvey should refrain from telling it to every pliant journalist that he is introduced to.

    Harvey has decided that he is also a demographic expert on the population flows of the Jewish Community.
    Evidence would be welcome – again I would like to see documented research rather than unsubstantiated loose generalisations.

  19. Harvey Kaplan Fan said

    What’s going on here? – all this attention focussed on Harvey. All he did was support the real boss of the Archives – Ken Collins. Blaming Harvey is like attacking a school janitor if you are unhappy with the educational policy of a school.
    Unfortunately, Harvey has probably been hung from a coat hook for the last 48 hours because in effect he junked Borowski and Collins argument that claims the falling Jewish population is down to antisemitism. Harvey said it wasn’t so leave him alone.

  20. Anonymous said

    I asked 2 friends yesterday if they would like to come to hear Alex Salmond tomorrow night. Both of them told me that they would like to go but won’t because of public criticism of communal figures on this blog and that the organisation hosting Mr Salmond is GJEF.

    One of them I have now persuaded to change her mind. Surely our community is bigger than boycotting national politicians because we don’t like a communal organisation?

    The First Minister is giving of his own time to speak to the GLASGOW JEWISH COMMUNITY. It would be disgraceful if he was snubbed because of a community blog. I appeal to all people in Glasgow and to anyone who considers themself to be a community leader to rise above this pettiness. Mr Salmond is the elected First Minister of the country where we live. This is not about whether we like or do not like SNP politics. It is about listening to and having a conversation with a politician who is prepared to talk to us directly.

    Those who won’t go for partisan communal reasons will regret it. If you are the chairman or vice chairman or treasurer of a Shul or another community organisation you have an obligation to be there. I hope you do attend.

    I do not like blogs and will not post again in a hurry but I feel this point needs to be made.

  21. Giffnock Congregant said

    Thank you anonymous. I wasn’t going to go but you are right and I will go now.

  22. #1 fan said

    Well done to the GJEF geezers, for arranging an informative , candid and at times humerous discussion last night. I wasn’t a fan of the First Minister but do find his style and honesty reassuring.

    Altogether an informative evening.

  23. Beachgrove Gardner said

    Poor Mark Gardner. It would seem that he must have been enjoying the company of the WIZO ladies so much that during his address he started talking nonsense.

    Let me explain

    ” I don’t feel as positive when I come back to Glasgow anymore. Political activists here have a wierd affinity to the Palestinians but they are in a minority”

    What does that mean Mark?

    ” In terms of outright antisemitism it’s pretty similar ( in Scotland) to the rest of the UK ”

    As you know very well Mark, the figures are nothing like the same so why come up north and attempt to exaggerate the threat?

    You should have come to Glasgow a couple of days earlier and the First Minister would have helped you understand the situation a little better.
    Your attempts Mark, coupled with Leah Granet’s desperate attempts to frighten people by taking individual incidents and blowing them way out of context does not help the Scottish Jewish community at all.

  24. Gardner Question Time said

    I think it would be beneficial if Mark Gardner could explain why he wishes to increase the fear factor of Scottish Jewry in relation to antisemitism.
    In Scotland, antisemitism is thankfully not a growing problem. The Community is not under siege and the fact that you “don’t feel positive when coming back to Glasgow” is not because there is a big problem here as you seem to be suggesting.
    I am not sure who has the most to lose by this lamentable partnership – you for choosing Scojec as your partner or Scojec in choosing the CST.

  25. Rose Garden said

    I heard Leah Granat and I’m worried. Her arguments were embarrasing.Her attempt to humiliate the First Minister at a public event does not hold her organistion in good light.Can she and her people not look at the big picture for once?

  26. Gardner's Choice said

    Quite frankly Leah Granet’s contribution was embarassing. The First Minister obviously knew of the case that she raised about the teacher and her crass attempt to hold him to rebuke him failed miserably. The First Minister explained that the conduct of the teacher in the Highlands was awful but it did not indicate that the teaching profession as a whole shared these sentiments. Scojec exist to lobby government – if Mrs Granet is the scojec representative to government then anyone thinking that her view represents the community must wonder what on earth we as a community are playing at?

    Incidentally, where were all the other invisible scojec members when the First Minister took the trouble to speak to our community?

  27. Gardner's World said

    Where were Philip and Eddie? The dynamic duo who still claim to represent this community ( even though everyone else knows their organisation is defunct ) believed they were snubbing GJEF by not being there. Actually they were snubbing the First Minister of the country where they live. Very impressive indeed.
    Who funds these people ?

  28. Karen said

    Who cares who funds the Rep Council. Much more important is who funds Scojec?

  29. Tefillin Man said

    If I had not seen this I would not believe it. This was sent out this morning by Lubavitch Scotland. Aside from sending out right wing political propaganda ( I never realised Lubavitch in Glasgow would get involved in this ) we can only express regret and pray for forgiveness – Tefillin would have solved everything.

    Good grief – what nonsense

    From: []
    Sent: 02 June 2010 09:42
    Subject: The real Story in Gaza Observe Mitzvah of Tefillin and Mezuzah NOW

    For the story of what happened outside Gaza
    Click here: YouTube – Keeping Lies Afloat

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe always urged Jews to observe the Mitzvah of Tefillin and Mezuzah for their own sake, and also because of the spiritual protective powers which radiates from these Mitzvot i.e. good health, safety and long life.

    Especially in times of trouble and when there is illness in the family we Jews always have our Tefillin and Mezuzot checked to make sure no letters have faded or are missing, and make special efforts to observe these mitzvot.

    The protective powers from these Mitzvot can be shared not only by ourselves and families but help protect all Jews worldwide especially in Israel. Read links below for more information.

    If you need further assistance please contact us in Glasgow or contact your local chabad Lubavitch rabbi.

    Kol toov

    Rabbi & Mrs Chaim Jacobs

  30. Liberal Jew said

    Excellent article by Rabbi Pete Tobias about the Israeli actions against the ship heading for Gaza

  31. Not Stanley said

    The Gaza flotilla attack shows how far Israel has Declined

    by David Grossman, Israeli novelist and author of See Under: Love

    No explanation can justify or whitewash the crime that was committed, and no excuse can explain away the stupid actions of the government and the army. Israel did not send its soldiers to kill civilians in cold blood; this is the last thing it wanted. Yet, a small Turkish organisation, fanatical in its religious views and radically hostile to Israel, recruited to its cause several hundred seekers of peace and justice, and managed to lure Israel into a trap, because it knew how Israel would react, knew how Israel is destined and compelled, like a puppet on a string, to react the way it did.

    How insecure, confused and panicky a country must be, to act as Israel acted! With a combination of excessive military force, and a fatal failure to anticipate the intensity of the reaction of those aboard the ship, it killed and wounded civilians, and did so – as if it were a band of pirates – outside its territorial waters. This assessment does not imply agreement with the motives, overt or hidden, and often malicious, of some participants in the Gaza flotilla. Not all its people are peace-loving humanitarians, and the declarations of some of them regarding the destruction of the state of Israel are criminal. But these facts are simply not relevant at the moment: such opinions do not deserve the death penalty.

    Israel’s actions are but the natural continuation of the shameful, ongoing closure of Gaza, which in turn is the perpetuation of the heavy-handed and condescending approach of the Israeli government, which is prepared to embitter the lives of a million and a half innocent people in the Gaza Strip, in order to obtain the release of one imprisoned soldier, precious and beloved though he may be; and this closure is the all-too-natural consequence of a clumsy and calcified policy, which again and again resorts by default to the use of massive and exaggerated force, at every decisive juncture, where wisdom and sensitivity and creative thinking are called for instead.

    And somehow, all these calamities – including Monday’s deadly events – seem to be part of a larger corruptive process afflicting Israel. One has the sense that a sullied and bloated political system, fearfully aware of the steaming mess produced over the years by its own actions and malfunctions, and despairing of the possibility to undo the endless tangle it has wrought, becomes ever more inflexible in the face of pressing and complicated challenges, losing in the process the qualities that once typified Israel and its leadership – freshness, originality, creativity.

    The closure of Gaza has failed. It has failed for four years now. What this means is that it is not merely immoral, but also impractical, and indeed worsens the entire situation, as we are reminded at this very hour, and also harms the vital interests of Israel. The crimes of the leaders of Hamas, who have held the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit captive for four years without once allowing the Red Cross to visit him, and who fired thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli towns and villages, are acts that must be firmly dealt with, utilising the various legal means available to a sovereign state. The ongoing siege of a civilian population is not one of them.

    I would like to believe that the shock of Monday’s frantic actions will lead to a re-evaluation of the whole idea of the closure, at last freeing the Palestinians from their suffering, and cleansing Israel of its moral stain. But our experience in this tragic region teaches that the opposite will occur: the mechanisms of violent response, the cycles of vengeance and hatred, Monday began a new round, whose magnitude cannot yet be foreseen.

    Above all, this insane operation shows how far Israel has declined. There is no need to overstate this claim. Anyone with eyes to see understands and feels it. Already there are those here who seek to spin the natural and justified sense of Israeli guilt into a strident assertion that the whole world is to blame. Our shame, however, will be harder to live with.

    ==June 1, 2010

  32. Admin said

    Comments are now closed. Please see the latest news item regarding SCoJeC’s politicisation of the debate about the level of antisemitism in Scotland.

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