Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

Jewish Education

Welcome to the Jewish Education page, a forum dedicated to the discussion of Jewish education, and issues related to communal affairs.


To participate in the debate, please type your comments in the reply box below.


1,015 Responses to “Jewish Education”

  1. Incognito said

    Glad to see this blog up and running again. Does anyone know how the Calderwood Open Day was received yesterday?

  2. Calderwood parent said

    Hopefully it was a great success. Let’s hope the discussion this time is not sidetracked by Gerry the Joiner and that Jezabel.
    Could I suggest that the debate about CJE is not just about what they teach as part of the Jewish curriculum but is probably more concerned with what has not been taught about other religions.
    Now that comparative religions are going to be taught, according to Dr Duffy, it is important that this is given support by the parents.
    I would like to know, given that there is a forthcoming AGM of CJE, if they will ask for nominations to their committee prior to this AGM. It is widely known that Michael Clerk is chucking it – so why have the parents not been notified that they are looking for a replacement?
    Would Karen Levy would call me a “peurile idiot” for suggesting that CJE should consult with their constituency – the parents.?
    That committee think that holding an AGM once a year is sufficient accountability. It isn’t. Quite simply they are taking the piss!

  3. another calderwood parent said

    I don’t think Karen was referring to you specifically, rather the tone that the blog had taken. Also whilst you may not have agreed with Gerry and Jezabel nor liked their comments, their opinion should be no less valued. Let’s not reduce this once again to petty squables.

    Calderwood parent how about applying for thejob? Do you actually know who is on the CJE? If I am right there is 6 Calderwood parents on the committee.

  4. notablogger said

    Fantastic! Only 1 post before someone gets personal. Calderwood Parent is clearly someone who thinks that by slagging people they are going to be “engaged in debate”. If you are so concerned about not getting sidetracked then perhaps you should not try picking on people who’s opinions are worth twice yours.

    The reason why this blog cannot be taken seriously as a place for discussion is because of stupid comments like yours. There are 120 kids at Calderwood and therefore at least 80 sets of Parents but only about 5 posting on this blog. Discussion? don’t make me laugh. Calderwood Parent is part of the problem, hiding behind anonymity. If you want to be taken seriously then reveal yourself.


  5. Gerry the Joiner said

    I’m not sure that Calderwood Parent is the kind of person I’d want on CJE.

    Working on the principle that even a blind dog can dig up a bone every so often, it seems that Calderwood Parent may have a point (albeit one I made on the original blog page). The structure and accountability of CJE has not been made clear and knowing that the AGMs of the last few years have not included discussion on the future of CJE I think it is time for CJE to write a “CJE for Dummies” and send it to all the parents in time for the AGM.

    I may be interested in joining, who do I ask for information? How do I seek nomination? When is the AGM?

  6. A Beitz said

    I think some people take the blog postings a bit seriously. It’s a blog. That means it’s a forum for all opinions and will inevitably have people who post content or in a manner with which you disagree. However I think with the various blogs on here whilst, of course, there are some postings which are a bit off the exercise is useful. I suspect many of us wouldn’t even agree as which ones are off. So far I’ve noted a general feeling on the education blog that people would like more info from CJE. On the Jim Murphy blog there has been general disappointment that his views were good deal less radical than a number of bloggers. Other matters are coming bup and the blogs are being read by substantially more than are posting.
    Don’t criticise the blog merely because you don’t like what is posted there. We are getting discussion which is open to all who can use a computer and have internet access and there hasn’t been a huge amount of that in this community before.

  7. Ollie Onlooker said

    You comment much better early in the morning Mr Beitz. At night time you lose it a little.
    You’ve got it right this time – and I have decided to forget about your views on IJV and applaud your previous comment.

  8. Gerry the Joiner said

    Mr Beitz, you are right as far as you go, however my criticism of this format is that it positively encourages people to be rude unnecessarily which actively discourages those allegedly watching from getting involved. GJEF is fooling itself if it actually thinks that the blog is working. Just because it gets lots of hits means nothing – I have several websites, on of which gets 10,000 hits per month which sound great until you realise that it is the same 200 or 300 looking several times a day.

    I feel entitled to criticise the blog because I and very few others are continually singled out for ‘off colour’ comments. Perhaps the posters think I can take it, which I can, but again and again I have said that each time this happens more people are turned off discussing anything on this blog. If I didn’t care I would keep the hell away. It is very clear that GJEF has a hidden agenda and I believe that they wish to control what gets discussed in this Community and how. It is curious that people who should not have access to private information from this blog know who is who despite so called anonymity.

    These discussions ARE serious. I am very concerned about my children’s education and their future here in Glasgow but CJE and others will not come on here because they know they will get hammered by a few morons and why should they? That is why I have asked for information to given to ALL parents through the normal route rather than here.

    This blog has become a club for precious few to have a go at each other and, as usual, nothing comes of it. Debate on subjects like this are worse than useless unless concrete action results.

  9. debbie said

    Gerry what is the CJE’s hidden agenda – to indoctrinate our children into Judaism? Apart from Michael Clark the CJE is made up of parents as far as I am aware so what do you possibly think they are trying to hide?

  10. jezabel said

    Today is thinking day at Calderwood and the parents would do well to do a bit more thinking before they make rude comments! I don’t know if the open day was a success i heard only a few prospective parents came.

  11. A Beitz said

    Gerry what is GJEF’s hidden agenda? I’d like to know. You say they want to control what is discussed and how. In fact is that they allow almost anything on the blog and you then complain about that Oh and generally anonymity is lost either because people either give clues or admit quite openly to others off blog who they are. Enjoy the blog and stop being paranoid.

  12. A Beitz said

    Couple of typos above but you knw what I mean!

  13. Gerry the Joiner said

    Paranoid? Who said I was paranoid and why do they want to know!

    I’m happy to discuss it guys, you know my phone number.

  14. Gerry the Joiner said

    I should explain myself a bit for the alleged watching thousands.

    When I speak to most of my friends, the vast majority of whom are parents of primary age kids (most at CL), they either do not look at the blog or did for a while but are now fed up with it exactly because they do not trust GJEF’s motives, are confused by the discrepancy in the headlines and are sickened at the way that “anything goes”.

    I have made my views known about what I regard as counter-productive policies on this blog both here in public and directly to the blog owners. I KNOW that something like this is what we need but I believe the lack of decorum has discouraged debate. I feel that whilst the blog format suits GJEF’s style it is not a sufficiently wide and inclusive one to produce concrete results.

    Not one for sitting on my hands and in the spirit of the blog’s stated objective of “the Community’s future”, I have created a Bulletin Board Forum as a place for each organisation to have their own wee bit to use as they please but all in one place. Whilst there are places for general discussion (as well as jokes etc) it is a Bulletin Board and not meant to replace this blog nor act as a competitor in any way. I have a specific plan in mind which, I hope, addresses all the disadvantages of the blog and may suit the likes of the Shuls, CJE Charities Youth Groups etc better. It is an experiment to see if the Community is ready for a general web based contact point. or will get you there.

  15. A Beitz said

    Admin. Remove that previous post. After all it’s not consistent with GJEF’s ” wish to control what gets discussed in this Community and how” if they allow links to sites over which they have no control to be promulgated.

  16. debbie said

    Gerry whilst I appreciatte the motive I don’t believe this is helpful.

    I am disturbed that you feel the need to speak on others behalf and again whist I understand your motives I think you would do better to encourage them to voice their own opinions and concerns regarding any of the issues raised here. One might say that the opinion you are expressing is not to be trusted as I don’t know who you are speaking for.

    I think it is time for us all to take responsibility, express our own ideas, thoughts and opinions and not rely on others to interpret for us.

  17. npn said

    Gerry-you are pathetic.You complain about others when you are doing exactly the same . You treat this blog as some sort of ego trip/joke and you want the punters to believe that your bulletins are in good faith.Also it is not lost on me that you are the only blogger to have been officially warned about the offensive nature of your comments.
    Some of us set this up to promote educated debate-no real boundaries-no particular bias ;you don’t have the emotional or itellectual maturity to deal with that but you do have sufficient conceit to think that your drivel is interesting to the readers ; let me tell you it may be funny for you and no doubt a little band of similar under-achievers but for the rest of us I suspect we’d be happy enough to see the back of you ;
    reasonable criticism/constructive exchanges are fine ,but your offerings are of little real consequence ,so why don’t you stop ridiculing yourself/boring the pants off the rest of us and just get on your bike ?

  18. SNP VOTER said

    I think NPN didn’t mean to post that, it’s a wee bit over the top and was possibly done on the spur of the moment without careful thought like an e mail I once got.

  19. npn said

    SNP VOTER-very funny !
    …..and no it certainly wasn’t knee-jerk.

  20. SNP VOTER said

    What the e mail you sent me wasn’t Knee jerk. You Boundah – Meet me at dawn pistols drawn!

  21. Gerry the Joiner said

    It’s true! I have moaned and complained (and made my mistakes and apologised TAKE NOTE NPN) and got upset but instead of simply walking away and never darkening your doorstep again I have put my money where my mouth is.

    I am not speaking for anyone else.

    I have offered a place on the Bulletin Board to GJEF which was politely refused and I fully appreciate why.

    I have stated many times the I applaud GJEF’s attempt to get things moving in the Community with the meetings although I disagree with what the blog has become.

    I am keen to offer something that this blog and GJEF does not want to and that is directed at EVERY organisation in the Community for them to have control of NOT ME.

    NPN. You are an idiot. You are an arrogant bully who believes that you have a monopoly on free speech. You have not read my post properly and have not looked at the BB properly. It is a completely different format to this one and is designed to do a different job to a different audience but that is so far beyond your comprehension that you can only be rude. Just remember that despite the pseudonyms we know who each other is and at some point we will all have to face each other. You do not know me, you have not said more than 10 words to me ever so how the hell do you know what motivates me and what I’m trying to do. Would you say that nonsense to my face? Would you stand up at a meeting and accuse others in the same way for trying to something for the Community as you yourself are?

    Some points for everyone to consider (in simple English for NPN to understand)

    The Bulletin Board is for others to post messages on, I will be one of 3 administrators

    each organisation that wants a forum on the Board will have editorial control over their part

    Users will have to register to post to the forums (an automatic email verification process) and can be anonymous

    It is to be as inclusive as possible with as many groups as want to having their section

    The board will only work if enough organisations join in and encourage their members to look in and register. If it works then I’ll be chuffed and be even more pleased to hand it on. If it fails then at least I had a go, it’s cost nothing but some time.

    As for getting on my bike, NPN, can I put you down for a substantial donation?

  22. Gerry the Joiner said

    My point about CJE (#8) was not that they have a hidden agenda but they are clearly reluctant to reply to comments on the blog because of concerns about being pilloried unreasonably. I think they are right to keep their counsel until their AGM when they can answer their critics in public.

    As for speaking for others, my point is that they won’t post here for fear of being attacked by people that they share a small community with. I am not speaking for them I am simply repeating anecdotal evidence. Take that as you want.

    I hope it will be soon and I will make every attempt to be there. I hope there is a huge turnout of parents with a good number prepared to get involved.

    A Beitz
    As ever I wilt in the face of your logic. This is their game and, therefore, their rules I must remember that in future. What are the rules, I seem to be unable to find any guidance on what is acceptable except from the example set by GJEF organisers themselves.

  23. Einstein said

    #8 10,000 hits per month is approx 330 per day. 200 or 300 bloggers, say 250 hitting, you say several times daily, which by definition is a minimum three times makes a daily total of at least 750. Are you quite sure you have the necessary qualifications to be an administrator?

  24. Ollie Onlooker said

    NPN is quite correct to comment as he did about Gerry.
    We have had to read countless times his ridiculous allegations that GJEF have “hidden agendas”. As far as I have read he does not have a shred of evidence for this rubbish.
    You would have thought that he might lie a little low given that he has been the ONLY person to have been officially warned for posting offensive and inflamatory comments, but not Gerry. Although he accuses the owners of this blog
    Instead he tries to tellus that he knows what people out there think about this blog. As if they would put their trust in a wally like Gerry.
    He thinks this blog is useless but then uses it to advertise his own venture. Does he have no principles?
    You obviously want people to take notice of you and no doubt you have some ideas about the community that you think you ought to share but you think it is sensible to attack the very forum that has given you a platform to spout your nonsense. Almost every one of your comments contains some sort of reference to your great past and present achievements. Well, I am not convinced.
    Rather than thinking up ” conspiracy plots” about the people who have organised these lectures and this blog why don’t you just come to their meetings and listen and learn something. Because Gerry you are not half as smart as you think you are.

  25. Gerry the Joiner said

    Einstein? Your username is as ironic as A Beitz’s!

    Websites do not get hits on a consistent basis. It varies by the day of the week and time of day. Some people will hit refresh like a lab rat looking for food whilst others will visit every so often each one is counted as a hit whilst the webcounter publishes unique hits. It is misleading to look at the stats that way, however as websites are rated by search engines on the hit rate and number of links, any hit is a good hit. BTW the people going to my sites are not bloggers they wear a different style of anorak!

    As for qualifications I have exactly the same level as the Blog’s Admin: none! Such is the joy of the internet, any fool can start a blog, website or forum. I started doing websites about 4 years ago as a way of making sure I was not getting ripped off by web designers and has become an exercise in Life Long Learning. Building the forum is a new challenge as I now need to learn about RDBMS, ah well, another piton hammered into the learning cliff!

    In the spirit of “Educational” in the blog’s title I looked up a dictionary meaning of the word ‘several’

    sev·er·al (sĕv’ər-əl, sĕv’rəl) pronunciation

    1. Being of a number more than two or three but not many: several miles away.
    2. Single; distinct: “Pshaw! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several times” (Laurence Sterne).
    3. Respectively different; various: They parted and went their several ways. See synonyms at distinct.
    4. Law. Relating separately to each party of a bond or note.

    pron. (used with a pl. verb)

    An indefinite but small number; some or a few: Several of the workers went home sick.

  26. Ben Avraham said

    As you can all imagine I am very tempted to weigh in at this juncture. However, I have promised Mrs Avraham that in future I will only say nice things on the blog. NPN, Beitzie and Ollie Onlooker you are doing a great job and have my full support.

  27. Gerry the Joiner said

    I’ve just had very long and constructive conversation with Admin and he has explained a few things about the blog and we’ve discussed how I managed to get the wrong impression about the agenda which I am now assured is not hidden at all however let me say this for the last time and make it 100% clear for anyone who may think it is open season on anyone who raises their head above the parapet. I am disgusted at the attitudes displayed by individuals on this blog. A stated objective of the blog is to engage more people in debate and this will not happen whilst the bullies hold sway. I’ve never been one to back down from bullies and I’m not starting now so fire away and further ruin the good work GJEF has done, have a go at my efforts if you will, however AT LEAST I AM DOING SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE.

    At no point have I rubbished the blog as an concept and I’m delighted that the meetings have been organised and have been vocal in my support but, and it is a big but, I have been extremely disappointed in the manner in which many users have been treated by others posting here. There has been a singular lack of constructive debate and the only controversy has been how insulting and abusive can individuals be and get away with it.

    Is it mature to call anyone “under-achiever” or accuses them of “emotional or itellectual maturity” [sic] or “pathetic” and then expect a mature and considered response. What we have now is bullying plain and simple. A group of buddies ganging up to hammer the ugly kid. Am I not allowed to repeat my friends’ concerns about this blog? Apparently not according to Ollie & Co’s rules. Ollie calls me a “wally”, and thinks that my views should be ignored because I made a mistake. Where is his condemnation for Npn who chooses not to apologise for insulting his guest? Yes, I got it wrong but I am mature enough to admit it, apologise and move on. Only the nasty, small minded bullies take endless pleasure out of casting up. What is the matter boys, am I to be your punch bag because there is no one else for you to pick on? Perhaps YOUR behaviour is the reason the playground is so empty.

    Now, perhaps we can get back to the subject in hand, the future of our Community

  28. Richard said

    Keeping to the subject
    I was told a couple of weeks ago that the CJE AGM is not too far away and that we should be speaking to our fellow Calderwood parents to encourage as many as possible to come along. The normal method of announcing the meeting is through letters home with the kids and I hope to hear something soon.

    I will be going in the hope that I get some questions answered despite the risk that I get voted on to the Committee by default.

    Re #1 I would also like to hear a fresh perspective on CL from a new parent after the open day

  29. Curious said

    Don’t be ridiculous Gerry. Your behaviour was shameful when you posted that comment. No one else stooped to that level. Also – it was you that attacked the organisers of these lectures and made up nonsense about hidden agendas. Ollie is right – and so was NPN. You ask for constructive debate whilst attacking the people who set this whole thing up. I think you should now be ignored.

  30. SBJ said

    Chalk up another one for the bullying. Gerry’s right you are a bunch of schoolyard bullies. His commetn was wrong but you dont care about the clarification so I suppose you agree with that Curious eh?

    I remember M green aka A machor who got banned. wonder what he’s calling himself today?

  31. pat the plumber said

    I am no relation of Gerry but liked the sound of the name.

    Can we please get back to discussing Jewish Education. I am led to believe that the CJE AGM will be announced soon and letters will arrive either in schoolbags or by snail mail. I hope all those interested enough in your children’s Jewish (and secular) education will come along and take a constructive part in the meeting.

    Richard, I am intrigued by your comments and would love to know what questions you would like answered by CJE. Myself I am looking to hear how other world religions will be taught at the school and the new reading scheme that was mentioned in the previous blog on the subject.

    Personally, I am very happy at the way the Kodesh and Ivrit teachers go about educating my children and the good things my children say about all their teachers so i am looking forward to hearing more of the role of CJE as the school looks forward to another new Head Teacher.

  32. Richard said

    The issue is not the quality of the teaching or the resources itself but rather where the curriculum comes from and how it has been developed over the years (or not, I don’t know). My problem is the lack of information from CJE about what it does and why. For example is there a centrally formulated curriculum for Kodesh followed by all Jewish schools or is it left to the teachers to develop their own. I know the school is or will be covering comparative religion (a very good thing) and how is that mirrored by the Jewish education part of the school.

    As regards the CJE Committee, I would like to know what they do, who they are accountable to and when and how they operate.

    Really I do not know enough about CJE and its operations (except the direct debits!) to know what questions to ask. If you dig through the rest of the Blog (especially the ‘welcome’ page) you’ll see lots of questions all of which I hope will be answered at the AGM. It is unfair to criticise until that information is available to be digested.

  33. Little John said

    #29 You are? We should care what you think because?

  34. A Beitz said

    I think Gerry should have thought a bit more before posting but equally some of the responses are over the top. Let’s now discuss Jewsh education rather than hidden agendas and alleged personality defects.
    Any views on the assemblies at Hutchie, Mearns Castle, Craigholme, etc which are for the Jewish kids since these also are part of the Jewsih education (or possible lack of it) in Glasgow?

  35. debbie said

    The problem with assemblies at the various schools is getting quality – as I have said at many a UJIA meeting in my opinion it is better not to provide rubbish which turns kids off in a big way, we need to provide quality not quantity and look to getting them along to youth groups, community events, etc.

  36. NLL said

    could we get some of the ‘youth’ to some of these meetings or set up some parallel meetings – via the youth forum or as part of this – maybe even a ‘youth’ blog?

  37. Richard said

    One of the points of the creation of the Bulletin Board was to provide a safe and controlled environment on the web where the youth groups (and anyone else for that matter) could have a place for discussion without parents worrying about inappropriate behaviour. Each part of the BB can have access controlled according to each groups desires without the hassle of having to set up and manage their own blog.

    It is also important for all the various organisations to have 1 central point of access so that once you’ve got into it you can see all the organisations’ forums laid out in front of you. I imagine if you will 1 forum for each JSoc under a Northern Region Section where announcements of meetings and discussion of whatever they fancy. A group of ‘student’ users is created so only they can get access to post but anyone can read.

    The GJEF blog is a great concept but the format has its limitations. Without verification of identities it is too easy for the ‘wrong’ sort of people to gain access. Despite the cat calls about the Board, please take a good look at it as it is a format that is very familiar to younger web users and is used by many schools for their own use.

    The best way to engage the yoof si through a medium they are intimate with and is available very conveniently. If it also puts access to other groups’ forums (shuls, students, etc etc) then is good for the future as well.

  38. Interested said

    Can you stop rambling on about your boring bulletin board? Every comment you submit is to advertise this thing – and I don’t think it’s the answer at all. The owners of this blog should start charging you for advertising or stop you doing this.
    By the way Mr Beitz the replies to Gerry were not in my opinion over the top. This was not the first time that Gerry should have thought before posting nonsense and I for one have had enough of it.
    Debby, you are right. It should be quality not quantity. What criteria are used before deciding who should be taking these assemblies and is the focus solely religious or do you encourage activities about Jewish identity in all its forms as well?

  39. Richard said

    So, Interested, what are you proposing? Anything at all? No, I thought not. NLL made a very good point about something similar to the blog but aim specifically at the youth, however I am concerned that if my children were to participate in a blog, which has very few controls, then I have little or no idea to who they are speaking. Blogs have their place but I believe that the BB format is better suited to less discussion orientated groups and those aimed at children and young adults where registration and validation of participants is required.

    If you find it the subject so boring why do you feel obliged to comment?

  40. Interested said

    Stop going on and on about your bulletin board. We are falling asleep

  41. Misunderstood said

    Interseted #38 it is UJIA who organises the assemblies. I know that they do have packages that they can use which covers both religeous themes and also Jewish identity. However the difficulty is not with the content but rather getting people to provide the assemblies. There are not that many people who want to do them, it is not at convenient time etc so they tend to use who is available rather than who may deliver high quality!!

  42. Community Member said

    I think we should look at Jewish education in a broader sense – it is not just about text books and the teaching of ritual.
    For instance has anyone read on page 12 of this week’s Jewish Chronicle about an excellent initiative by J Core – the Jewish Council for Racial Equality. Volunteers from this group spent the night at Parliament Square, in protest at the plight of refugee asylum seekers. The “sleep out” was part of a campaign by this group to raise awareness of destitution and to highlight that destitute asylum seekers have no home. Among the members who participated was Rabbi Jeremy Gordon of St Albans Masorti Synagogue. He commented…” Destitute asylum seekers are easy to ignore, but we do so at our peril. From our history and from our scripture we should recognise that this is a very Jewish issue.”

    In my opinion this is also Jewish education. We are too concerned with the ritual and not concerned enough about values in Jewish education. What kind of values do we want our children to grow up with?
    We need to redress the balance and in Glasgow we should devote time and energy to this.

  43. Debbie said

    How would you see this being done #42. “We need to redress the balance” “we should devote time and energy to this”. So what time and energy are you going to devote and how do “we” go about it?

    I am asking because I have no idea who you are and am interested to know if you put or will put your time and energy where your mouth is!!

    Also I do believe that Calderwood already encourages Jewish Values for example, giving to charity, visiting Jewish care, tackling environmental issues, as do many of the youth groups, UJIA etc.

  44. Community Member said

    Debby, you seem to always give the impression that you want to question everyone’s commitment before they have a right to observe and to comment.
    Well, I have a long record of communal involvement, and I am still involved comunally today – and no I am not prepared to tell you who I am because I think that the anonymity of this blog will help us get to the core issues more quickly.
    I am not specifically referring to any organisation and I accept that some of the things you say about Calderwood – charity etc are being done. We also have in Glasgow an excellent record of looking after our old and needy and this is the one area in our community with Jewish Care, Cosgrove and Newark that is a shining example.
    But there is a large gap in terms of what kind of values we teach our children as a community.
    It seems to me that the religious leadership is ONLY concerned with ritual and is not overly concerned about other matters. As a community when is the last time we had a major event or initiative to draw attention to some worthwhile cause that didn’t involve Jews or Israel?
    Do we as a community teach our children to care about minorities or asylum seekers like that Rabbi in St Albans?
    What are the values that Jewish people should have in today’s world?
    I will ask one more question – are we sufficiently concerned about general humanity or are we only focussed on our own lives as Jews, or Israel? Surely Jewish values should be to care about others as well.
    In my opinion, we as a community are not too bothered about others’ problems. We are too parochial in our concerns, efforts and attitudes.

  45. Debbie said

    #44 I am not questioning anyones commitment but if we all want to comment from our cosy armchairs who is going to do the work?

    Secondly as anonymity seems to be preferred I have no way of knowing who you are or what you do or what you contribute to this or any other community.

    Thirdly I can only comment for me and my family and I can certainly say that we are involved in supporting many organisations financially and with time both within and outwith the Jewish community. I think part of the problem is also that we are a shrinking community and therefore we need those who are involved in the community to stay involved. Simply there isn’t enough to go around.

  46. Community Member said

    I am not talking about individual families, but I am talking about the community education programmmes.
    The Jewish ethos of our community would be richer and more positive if we were more interested in the world around us.
    Do we as a community care about the hardships of others? I would suggest that we don’t because we the attitude is that these problems do not concern us?
    When was the last time we saw an initiative from our own community similar to the one by the Rabbi in St Albans? I cannot remember either.
    The fact that we are a reducing community is not an excuse for us retreating into our own little world.
    If we were able to put forward community education or youth education that connected with some of the isues that young people feel strongly about – then maybe, just maybe, not so many would be disaffected. And by doing it from a Jewish perspective our youth might actually want to be more involved.

  47. Debbie said

    What community education programmes are you referring to?

  48. Community Member said

    I am talking about educational programmes that should happen, but unfortunately do not.
    There has been a real void in teaching values to our children. What I believe, is that there is more to Jewish education than formal teaching about ritual and for too long there has been a lack of emphasis about Jewish ethics and morality etc.
    Too many of our community think that Jewish education is the remit of others and leave it all to religious leaders. And unfortunately that narrow definition is not nearly enough.
    We need to think about what values Judaism should have. And we need to think how we want to educate our children and youth and who we want to do that teaching.
    We also need to evaluate what diaspora communities’ relationships will be to Israel in the future. Will it be the same as now or will it change.?

  49. npn said

    I think this is an interesting path that Community Member is leading us down ; of course many would argue that if we embrace our ritual and stick broadly to Torah sourced values (I don’t mean being frum -I mean in the wider sense ) , then the ethos that Communitry Member seeks will follow ; some would suggest that we as a group/religion/race have a first class record when it comes to philanthropy or simply looking out for those less fortunate-although it would be fair to say that whilst Jewish Communities “give” financially and in more concrete forms ,they do tend to be selective.I have no statistics to support my proposition but if someone told me that 80 per cent of Jewish help went to only 5 per cent of potential recipients I would find that a believable statistic.
    As a community how important is it to teach our children well , and to have them look beyond the boundaries of their immediate jewish environment ? It might be a nice enough thought , but would it not be equally fair to suggest that we are busy enough dealing with our own needs ,particularly given that we cannot rely on others to help us ? Or maybe that Mazorti Rabbi is right and we need to strive to reach beyond our comfort zone ,which effectively means teaching our kids to be far more “global” in there outlook , or to put it another way less parochial.
    I’m not sure I have a definitive view .
    Shavuah Tov to all.

  50. Richard said

    #48 and #49 are extremely thought provoking. One of the most significant advantages of Calderwood is that the whole atmosphere of the school is imbued with Jewish ethics and morals. Teaching Kodesh, whilst good, does not give the children as good an emotional understanding as the wonderful community spirit that the school engenders. Is Community Member proposing something for those primary school age children not at Calderwood as well as a scheme for older kids? Surely it is a parental responsibility to teach ethics and morals as much by example as any other way but it can only be positive for there be some support and guidance that is not religiously motivated.

    Npn, please take this in the positive way it is meant. Are you suggesting encouraging our kids to look more globally with a Jewish perspective or in a more general way? Can you expand your thoughts?

  51. Aaron Seasearch said

    Community Member I have read everything you have had to say so far and found it very interesting. It would appear from reading extensively on this Blog site that GJEF have arranged a meeting on Thursday 26th April that should be right up your (communal) street.

    Sometime towards the end of April Rabbi Professor Naftali Rothenberg will visit Glasgow. His lecture will focus on how anyone involved in Jewish education – informal and formal – has a responsibility to promote good ethical and moral values towards minority groups, and how Judaism has a responsibility in the world today to promote this. Rabbi Rothenberg is the Orthodox Rabbi of Har Adar, a suburb of Jerusalem, and is senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. He is also chair of the Centre of Tolerance Education in Israel. He has specifically requested meetings with youth and students.

    So this meeting should give you and others food for thought.

  52. Community Member said

    I would like to expand on what I wrote earlier. I am proposing something for all children and youth whether they attend Calderwood or do not. It also is very relevant for secondary education and certainly for youth groups.
    The education programme that we need has to be wider than ritualistic values. To be honest our religious leadership in the past 25 years has failed. As individuals many of our Rabbis, both past and present are good people. But how often do you hear them preach general morality from their pulpits. Of course I am generalising – and I am sure there are exceptions – but in general our Rabbis are preoccupied with teaching ritual – because they believe that will be the answer to our problems. It is rare for them to touch on general morality without emphasising ritual.
    They have a part to play in a wider educational programme and it would be highly desirable if they could play an important part.
    But we need to think what kind of people we are and the values we have towards non- Jewish people. Far too many of our communiy are too insular in their outlook. Someone put forward the idea that we might be far too busy looking at our own needs to be interested in the plight of others. My answer to that is this. If we become overly concerned with ourselves we lose perspective and we need to let our children be confident about their own Jewish identity and then take the best of that to the wider world.
    I was delighted to see that Calderwood Lodge will teach comparative religions. My surprise was that this seems to be a new initiative and I am truly astonished that some people do not want our children to have knowledge about other peoples’ culture.
    Our youth groups also have a responsibility. It is a common complaint by many parents that their children are not interested in attending or mixing with other Jewish kids because they do not share that way of thinking. Maybe the youth groups need to have a wider educational programme. Maybe some of these children who do not want to identify at present would identify if there was a product or a way of thinking that they could relate to.
    Let’s widen our way of thinking. We live in the wider world – let’s be positive about our Jewish culture and heritage but care about those who are not so fortunate who are not Jewish.
    How we interact with the wider world is absolutely crucial.

  53. MB said

    Do you have any concrete ideas community member or is this just a theoretical position? My guess is that you have thought this out in a little more depth and would like to know what you are proposing.

  54. Community Member said

    This is not just theoretical. I have believed for a long time that anyone involved in education in this community – and I am talking about all kinds of education – including youth groups and students should be committed to a programme that makes it perfectly clear that they have an obligation to teach about the dangers of racism and an obligation to teach respect for all ethnic groups, nationalities, religions and minority groups.
    Anyone working within education within our community will have to confirm that they agree to this principle. That will include Rabbis, youth workers, teachers, chaplains. It should be adopted and agreed by all organisations that their employees – paid and voluntary – will follow these guidelines – and this will obviously include UJIA, the Synagogues, CJE , Chaplaincy Board etc. This would be part of their contract of employment.
    We should, as a community, introduce a programme en educational programme that covers all age groups that will teach about this subject.
    I will expand on this in due course.

  55. Community Member said

    Sorry- my 2nd last paragraph should read
    ” introduce an educational programme”

  56. Consolidator said

    The principles you would have our educators teach are self evident but how would you go about ensuring that this is done when there are so many diverse employers all with their own agendas? These employers may also need some education themselves not just to understand what the brief is but to be knowledgeable enough to monitor the progress of such initiatives. This sort of policy would need a community united in purpose and would demand radical changes. If I remember correctly, there was an earlier proposal to rationalize the community buildings, organizations and underlying structure to take account of the community we are at present and will be in 10 years time rather than what we once were. I forget who actually put forward the suggestion but it seemed worthy of further consideration and some such rearrangement may be necessary to create the conditions for your proposals to be more than just a theoretical position.

  57. MB said

    Let’s think about this. Why could there not be a not ” communal charter” set up soon that is a basic guide to principles which all communal organisations are urged to adopt. You do not need to wait 10 years before their is a complete overhaul of communal structure. In the short term some organisations would sign up – and this could be publicised. Soon it would be obvious which organisations had not signed up. And then the community could ask why?
    I think this would work. You do need a community united in purpose at the beginning. That is utopian. But you need to start somewhere. Maybe GJEF might undertake to start this initiative?
    What do others think?

  58. Consolidator said

    I am not in disagreement. I would point out that it was not suggested that we wait 10 years,rather we start now laying down the necessary conditions. It is important to look ahead to ensure that those conditions are appropriate.

  59. Little John said

    GJEF have done well organising a few meetings, I think reorganising glasgow’s jews is beyond they’re remit.

    All these groups already have such policies in place, is he (or she) suggesting that groups be foreced to sign up or face being ostracized or denied funding. Who sets this new policy and how are they chosen? How does affect groups that only teach jewish subjects like Luby?

    Creating a plan to consolidate buildings and groups is one thing but dictating their activities is doomed to failure.

  60. debbie said

    I think you lot need a reality check! Much of the type of education you are referring to is already being carried out at our youth groups and you are not going to dictate what our Rabbi’s teach.

  61. all committed out said

    There have already been cross communal meetings about consolidating educational and other activity in Glasgow – I attended one, and understand there had been previous meetings. There was a lot of good stuff discussed and many round the table were in general agreement about taking some first steps. Unfortunately before the ink was dry, one organisation scuppered all the plans by doing something that contradicted what had been agreed – so leaving others demoralised and frustrated.

    So good as some of the previous suggestions might be I’m really not sure how you force people to sign up, and what sanctions you have if groups or individuals don’t play.

    Debbie I agree much is already being done by existing youth groups – maybe we just need to support them better and not throw away what works well.

  62. Aaron Seasearch said

    Reality is that many of the organisations are voluntary and therefore you cannot force them to sign up to anything.

    I know that UJIA are trying really hard to support and work with existing groups and have already done training for youth leaders. I think this is a much more realistic way to move forward.

    One of the problems Glasgow Jewry will have to face in the future is a lack of youth leaders and we need to find ways of working with our youth leaders and not alienating them.

  63. Community Member said

    I note some interesting responses to my idea about an educational programme or charter as MB calls it that has a basic code of conduct for communal organisations regarding racism, respect for minorities etc.
    I am not surprised about some of the responses to this but I am disappointed.
    Little John is quite wrong. Firstly there are no current policies in place by any communal organisation I know and I would dearly love to know who they are if they exist because they are setting a very good example.
    It should not be such a controversial proposal that it causes such disquiet. Why on earth should there not be a code of principles for Jewish communal organisations when it exists in every other area of public life.
    Those who signed up would be applauded and the community could decide for themselves what support to give to those who refuse.
    We are only talking here about a basic charter about racism and respect for other minorities. This is hardly revolutionary material.
    Little John is obviously unsure about what this proposal actually is because the fact that one’s remit is to teach Judaism should not prevent that organisation having no tolerance for racism and prejudice. I would hope Lubavitch would have no problem with such a charter.
    Debby, if it was only true that our youth groups taught this kind of material then there would be no problem. They do not. Also please tell me what decent human being could have a problem agreeing to these principles – and many Rabbis are decent people – and I would suggest should have no problem with adopting this. Please tell me why they would.
    I would also suggest that there have been years of neglect in our community regarding youth groups. I would suggest that the current educational support system for these groups is poor. Part of this has arisen because there is only one organisation that is involved in this – UJIA – and this has actually resulted in a decrease in standards. I will expand on this at a later date.

  64. npn said

    At least five but no more than ten skeleton bullet points please for the fledgling charter ; happy to help you put meat (glatt of course) on the bones !

  65. Little John said

    Before I commented I spent 10 minutes looking at the youth groups websites and found that every one either had a policy or made clear references to tolerance of other minorities. All have links to fairtrade, protect Darfur and other non jewish campaigns. Every one says they express jewishness with global awareness – even those with a jewish religious centre. Why have you not checked?

    All employers must, by UK law, have policies on racism and equal opportunities and this already form part of employees contracts. Therefore all th communal bodies (’employee’ covers paid and voluntary) must have these policies. It is correct it is not revolutionary, it has been explicit in law for many years.

    Community member is right about 1 thing though, i do not understand why yet more policies are needed to cover the same issues. If a group does not have a policy then they should create one. Who are we to impose our views on them.

  66. A Beitz said

    I have never been that bothered about getting people to sign up to things since it’s what they do and not what they say that matters. I see companies who tick the boxes to get Investors In People accreditation when they treat their staff appallingly. Indeed some of these certificates do remind me of the man who carries a document with him certifying he is sane.
    However I do agree that too much of the religious teaching deals with ritual and not enough with ethics. Too often we forget the commandments between man and man are just as important, if not more, than those between man and God. Honours are given to monied people despite the fact their morality stinks. Shul boxes are occupied by struck off solicitors and their like. At the same time the man who marries out will not be called up in a number of orthodox shuls despite him having just been bereaved.
    Hopefully Rabbi Rothenberg will tip the balance a little when he speaks. We actually have a pretty strong set of ethical values in Judaism to live your daily life by. Unfortunately we lose sight of these when looking at the ritual minutiae.

  67. jezabel said

    How would you get everyone to sign up to the charter? You can’t just say here is a charter written by me and my mates from the blog. You would need to get the rep. council to approve it first.

  68. NLL said

    Surely the first step is to encourage more of our youngsters to join the various youth groups and move on to do the (very good) leadership courses they all run. Then they are more likely to be interested in the issues facing our local and global communities and go on to become involved in ‘adult’ groups/services/committees, Jewish & Non-Jewish.

    We should be supporting these groups both financially and with our time and doing everything to get more young people involved.

    We have a very proud tradition in Glasgow of providing many of the best national (and international) leaders and activists.

  69. Richard said

    The laws between man and man far outweigh those between man and God (IIRC) but nevertheless it is often the ritual that helps us concentrate on the ‘higher’ purpose like the footballist who crosses himself before entering the field of play or kisses the club’s emblem on his shirt. He is unlikely to be religious but still he performs that ritual.

    Many of Glasgow’s organisations (especially youth) are renowned for producing leaders and there are still (just) sufficient numbers of kids available to attend to maintain the diversity of outlook of these groups. Any proposal that requires these organisations to conform to a single standard of expression is morally reprehensible. Given that every organisation in our Community publishes their guiding principles any ‘Charter’ created by a small, unrepresentative group would be divisive and counter productive.

    I’m sure there is little argument that the Rep Council, in its current form at least, is not the ideal forum for such a discussion but it is the only one that is even remotely representative and no charter or policy could have any legitimacy without full involvement with, and agreement to, the discussion from EVERY group affiliated to the Jewish Community.

  70. Community Member said

    Some further interesting responses. Richard you do not understand the proposal. I am not forcing organisations to do anything and they do not have to conform to ” a single standard of expression”..I am proposing a minimum standard of acceptable behaviour and decency and I do not think this would be so difficult to achieve. If it is – it is a dreadful indictment on us. Jezabel – this has nothing to do with a Representative Council. You do not need everyone’s agreement to put forward something like this.
    I believe that some would sign up and some will not. Those who do – then great. Those that don’t may be asked to explain to the community why they have not.
    NLL – there is so much more to education in our youth groups than sending leaders on the kind of leadership courses that UJIA seem to be obsessed with. These courses in Glasgow have consistently dealt with marketing and presentation. But as far as I can ascertain not too much about the actual educational content the youth groups are delivering.. We have a paid youth leader in Glasgow. Who is his employer, what does he do and who checks that he does what he should be doing?
    I have commented that there is a problem in our community regarding the lack of an educational programme dealing with the teaching of respect for minorities, prejudice and ignorance of other cultures. Some people seem to think that everything is fine whereas I think it has been sadly remiss for years. I believe respect for others is a Jewish issue and we should think about a proper programme of education in this area.
    If we as a community do not understand these issues how will our children learn that racism is wrong and that we need to respect all human beings regardless of race, religion or nationality.
    We should not just look inward. We should have the confidence to look outwards.
    I will as NPN requested offer my views on what would be in any proposed charter.

  71. Richard said

    Can you give examples of the unacceptable behaviour that needs addressing?

    If a standard is created, it is pointless unless enforced. However as the definition of “decency” and “morality” differs wildly between secular and religious never mind between political left and right, the real debate is who has the Right to create and then attempt to impose such a “standard” without consensus.

  72. jezabel said

    I still don’t understand who writes the charter, GJEF? Is it possible for anyone to write a charter for the community?

  73. Interested said

    Jezabel….wakey wakey.
    What do you not understand?
    No one from GJEF has indicated that this charter would be written by them.
    Someone might have suggested that they could but that is not the same? Of course anyone can write something that they think would help the community. It is then up to the community to decide whether they agree with it.

    Can you please keep up.

  74. GD said

    “No one from GJEF has indicated that this charter would be written by them.”

    Oh yeah? Who is Community Member, npn, MB, Interested etc. They could be the GJEF for all we know.

  75. jezabel said

    Thank you interested i understand perfectly now!

  76. Ben Avraham said

    The proposed charter is an excellent initiative not because it will have a direct effect on community attitudes but because it is a statement of intent of the type of community we aspire to be. In itself the charter will not deal with racism; that can only be tackled by education and example. There is already a plethora of anti racist legislation in place in this country, but still racism is ubiquitous and possibly on the increase. There has already been one statement on this blog which had racist undertones. I am quite sure that it was not intentionally racist but arose out of lack of understanding and proper education. It is these sorts of attitudes that could and should be corrected. A few months ago a community dinner was arranged at which the speaker was a person of known extreme if not racist views. The dinner was eventually cancelled not by the intervention of leadership from the top. There is little leadership at the top. There are some very genuine, hardworking volunteers who do their best within their limited capabilities but that must never be confused with leadership. The dinner was cancelled because one, possibly two people had the sense to realise that not only was this wrong but that it would in the long term cause damage to the community. The damage would be twofold: our relationships with the greater community would be undermined and there would be damage to our own moral fibre. This was the case of one person having the vision and the will and the confidence to know right from wrong and being willing to lead a community from the bottom, from among the grass roots. There is talk of consulting with the Rep Council or other agencies within the community but that is consulting with anathema and failure.

  77. Interested said

    And you could be GJEF as well GD – but that is not important. Debate the issues please.

  78. Richard said

    Any of us (or all of us) not readily identified by name could be GJEF. This IS the issue – who is qualified to create such a charter, certainly not anyone I know, within this community or not. The fact that Ben Avraham considers it a fait a complis clearly demonstrates that now is the time for everyone to stand up and be counted. If one believes the ‘charter’ is truly a vehicle for global good then one must be seen to have the strength of one convictions and be publicly accountable in the same way many of us wish other groups would be.

    If there is no consultation with the community at large (which this blog does not constitute) then there cannot be consensus and therefore any charter/policy will be doomed to exist on the fringes until it is forgotten. Any attempt to take the moral high ground unilaterally, however laudable, cannot be successful.

    This would make a fantastic final meeting. It is both educational and directly affects the Community’s future.

  79. A Beitz said

    Sorry but I’m still sceptical. It could be like the IJV statement where any right thinking person would agree with the sentiments but they are so wide that they are meaningless. It’s what we do that matters. Do we visit the sick and the bereaved or assist those in need practically and/or financially. Do we welcome strangers into our land whether economic immigrants or asylum seekers? Do we exhibit respect to people and try not to humiliate them? Do we behave ethically at work and at leisure? These are the sort of things that matter and people signing statements that they will be anti racist etc will probably achieve little.

  80. Community Member said

    You seem to be implying A Beitz that responsibilty lies with every individual. Of course it does. However there is also communal responsibility. And this necessitates standing up for what is right – and giving direction to what is right and what is wrong – and to what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. A statement or charter with defining principles is not an end in itself. It is the beginning.

  81. A Beitz said

    Ben Avraham #76 made it clear that legislation doesn’t always solve the problem. In any case I’m inclined to agree with those questioning what goes into the charter. Either it’s the bleeding obvious eg tolerance, helping the less fortunate, etc or it gets into controversy depending upon individuals own values. If it’s agreed that no racist speakers will be permitted to speak by organisations then you have to define racist. Does it include Robert Kilroy-Silk or the whole Tory Party or the SNP or those who accept the Law of Return in Israel? Look at the amount of controversy the Human Rights Act engenders. The basic principles are non controversial but defining them certainly is.

  82. MB said

    Community member will no doubt tell us what he thinks should be in this charter but what’s your solution if you don’t agree with this attempt to state some clear guidelines. Let us look at one example for a start.
    It was unfortunately all too obvious that many people involved in UJIA either did not care about the issues concerning Kilroy’s invitation or did not even understand what the issues were. So perhaps some guidelines would have been useful for that organisation for starters?

  83. NLL said

    Community Member – I don’t know what your experience of the various youth leadership training courses is? I certainly haven’t detected a preoccupation with marketing and presentation. My sons have been involved with courses run by Macabbi, FZY, UJS and UJIA – they have learnt about child protection, educational content and methodology, bullying, team building, committee skills, interfaith dialogue, co-operation, responsibility on an individual and group level. They’ve developed a pride in their community and religion and so much much more + they’ve made, Jewish, friends the length and breadth of the country. The youth groups are running programmes of an impressively wide and varied nature – FZY are currently planning a session on sensory impairment.

    Those who become involved are more than half-way there to staying involved, in some capacity, as adults. My real concern is that a large proportion of our young people do not attend any of these groups. Maybe more attention needs to be paid to the marketing and presentation you were so scathing about!!

    Re the employment of a paid youth-worker. I believe the current encumbant is employed and line managed by UJIA. There are advantages with this arrangement as he can work across the various youth groups and is not tied to any one. Various youth groups have employed their own workers at various times – but funding is a big issue and most National organisations cannot support this given the small numbers involved here. I once dreamt of a team of youth workers, headed by a professionally qualified senior – I think that is no longer feasible?

  84. Ben Avraham said

    sensory what! Richard, get your dictionary out quick

  85. Amazed said

    What is it about people on this blog that have such a great desire to either praise their spouse for recent comments – or seem to think it is appropriate to tell us how wonderful their children are. Stop this nonsense.

  86. A Beitz said

    #85. And your contribution to this debate is …?

  87. npn said

    I only asked Community Member to produce a draft to give us food for thought-then I and anyone else can revise away to our collectice heart’s content-the point being that once CM produces something we can then see how much of a pipe dream it is or if infact concensus is just round the corner.I’m not worried about who would sign up-but I am curious to see if our assembled wit , intellect ,beligerence, and apathy can come up with something worthy of rolling out to the community at large for discussion at a sunday night meeting…..

    On youth groups ,my eldest has gone to Habonim a couple of times-she certainly enjoyed it but when I asked her about the Habonim stuff of my youth there wasn’t even a flicker of recognition i.e.Cupa (spelling?) ,zionism ,socialism ,judaism ! Iknow it is Dror/Habonim now but has it changed so much ?

    Maybe Community Member and I are living in an idealistic past.

  88. npn said

    CommunityMember-if there was a fixed charter and for example the Rep. Council/BoD supported it ,what would happen if Israel did something which some supported and others saw as say discriminatory-the existence of your charter might by definition require the Rep.Council/BoD to criticise Israel for behaving contrary to the new code-the reality of course being that Israel must play by different rules and as such , value judgements that are quite legitimate in the uk cannot be applied in the same way when looking at Israel ; for that reason I seek clarity-are you intending this code/charter to govern only those who subscribe or all jews (and by definition Israel ) ,and if only those who subscribe does it mean we must condemn others who break your code ?I might support your code but be unwilling to take issue with those who choose not to.

  89. Amazed said

    Oh no Mr Beitz, not you as well!

  90. NLL said

    Amazed – If you are speaking to me, I was not for one minute suggesting in this context that my children were wonderful – although of course they are. I merely mentioned they have participated in these groups and training courses to explain how I knew about what went on – otherwise you would rightly ask how I felt able to comment.

    Ben Avraham – sensory impairment; collective term for loss of ones hearing and/or sight.

  91. Confused said

    Can any one of these people committed to the new “peoples charter” please tell what you are on about. I have read this thread since community member started it and I haven’t got a clue what he/she is on about and what it has got to do with anything.

    If I am right what is being talked about are people’s ethics, morals etc and if everybody signed up to this mythical charter – would we be a better community? And who would check. Sorry y’all I’m with Mr Beitz who’s name is actually contrary to this charter – it’s about what you DO rather than what you write about.

    So come on CM put some meat on the bones and let us see what you are actually proposing because up till now all i am reading is waffle.

  92. Ben Avraham said

    NLL Oh, stupid me. Maybe the youth also speak poor socialese. A translation might help to attract them.

  93. MB said

    Why do people who cannot grasp the complexities of a subject on this blog not try and read and learn without trying to dismiss a subject as irrelevant or waffle.
    If you had a little more insight “confused” you would be aware that this is a debate about moral values in this community. Why do you need everyone to sign up immediately? Can some not set an example?
    Can I suggest that you re-read Ben Avraham’s summary of this issue – no 76 and then you might have a better understanding.
    Also, NLL , I think it is time that you stopped blaming those who do not attend youth groups and start thinking about the reasons. Also read NLL’s comments about the education at one group and you will realise that the educational content at some of these groups is not what you think it is. You seem to know who employs the youth worker. Well could you tell us what he does and who checks that he does what he should be doing? Finally, why do so few of the youth attend communal meetings like the one that Jim Murphy spoke at. They used to. Is it not part of the youth worker’s remit to get the youth to meetings such as this?

  94. Incognito said


    1. Tell me a Jewish organisation or group in Glasgow that doesn’t already stand up to this “charter” (that nobody has actually defined yet).
    2. The youth probably didn’t attend Jim Murphy’s meeting because it was during the time of their Intermediate/Standard Grade & Higher prelims.

  95. NLL said

    Ben Avraham – ‘poor socialese!!’ If people think they are going to sign up to some sort of charter espousing anti-discriminatory practice etc, you’ll find that terms like sensory impairment are established and accepted language – so you better get used to them.

    MB – I wasn’t blaming those who don’t attend the youth groups – the exact opposite. I was replying to the post from Community Member that said the leadership training seemed to focus on ‘marketing and presentation’ to the exclusion of the other issues that were being proposed by his charter. I suggested they already covered much of this, but maybe need to do more ‘marketing and presentation’ to attract those who are disaffected.

    I am not involved in the employment of the youth worker, but I’m sure if you ask someone from UJIA Renewal they will enlighten you.

    I totally agree about encouraging our youngsters to come to Community meetings and already suggested this in the blogg following the Jim Murphy meeting. 3 young people were present at that meeting – and they asked the most searching questions of the night with little support from the adults present.

  96. Richard said

    Youth attendance has always been a problem and was discussed previously on the blog. A combination of parental disinterest in politics, lack of involvement (historically) in youth movements and subject matter that appeals to an older demographic is to blame.

    It may be a mistake to try and lump everything together if we are to make inroads into the perceived apathy. The GJEF meetings have been a great focal point and the most interesting series of lectures for some time (albeit not yet directly relating to the Community’s future) and I’m looking forward to more, however 16-24 year olds in general are unlikely to be interested in moral/ethical debates.

    As NL says, our Youth Movements need support from those with kids. The kids need to be encouraged to go, the leaders need strong Va’ad leman (Parent Committees) to guide and support/fundraise and despite the huge differences in political and religious outlook there is the possibility of joint/combined meetings to overcome the lack of numbers available. JLGB, whilst not peer led, shows that youth groups can still be immensely popular and there is no reason why, with support, FZY, RSY, Habo, BA etc cannot be equally successful. A suitable model for Glasgow’s peculiar needs should be developed. A blog is not the right forum, it must be done face to face by those currently involved and aware of the issues and, I suggest, be ready in time for next September for the next academic session?

  97. Amazed said

    Our 16-24 year olds must be the only group in existence that are not interested in moral/ ethical debates. Whatever you are on Richard, can I please have some?

  98. Amazed said

    I forgot to add that Incognito and NLL are kidding themselves.
    The youth have not come to meetings in any numbers for years. And the students who are around in our community do not come either. It seems to me that there must be poor direction and leadership.

  99. NLL said

    Maybe there hasn’t been anything of sufficient interest to attract the 16 -24 yr olds for a while – although Richard I actually think morals/ethics etc is an area that may well appeal. You are right however about the lack of encouragement – particularly from parents. As has been discussed elsewhere, they are not a group over conspicuous for their communal involvement either. Whilst public transport in this area is so poor, parents need to be physically involved in getting their off-spring to events – even if they can’t quite bring themselves to attend.

    Also many meetings are on a Sunday night which clashes at least with FZY. I did suggest they arrange a couple of their meetings around the GJEF meetings, but whilst many of the 16/17/18 year old leaders were interested, they felt it wasn’t appropriate for the younger members.

    Rabbi Rothenberg has specifically asked to meet youths/students and arrangements are being made for this.

  100. amazed said


  101. Incognito said

    Brilliant “amazed” you know your way round a keyboard. Congratulations.
    Meanwhile I know of at least 16+ who would have gone to the Jim Murphy meeting except that they were studying for their Higher prelims so there!

  102. Richard said


    Fair enough, I don’t know that many 16-24yr olds! This is why those involved with that age group have to do the helping, I’m more aware of 6-8yr old’s interests.

    Incidentally, what are teh activity levels of the various groups, I know JLGB is strong and Habo is back on but what about the others? What can those of us with younger kids do to help?

    The fringe benefits of being a drugs dealer are many and varied but it does sound like you have a good supply already!!

  103. Community Member said

    The wording of a proposed community charter on the subject that has been discussed is posted below but I would like to comment first.

    I welcome comment about the actual wording but please do not tell me that we do not have a problem in our community, because the evidence suggests otherwise. If you disagree with a charter please tell me how you would tackle the problem. To do nothing as we have been doing for years would be wrong.

    If one of our foremost organisations – UJIA – who are certainly involved in activities and the funding of Jewish education – do not believe that it was totally unacceptable to invite Kilroy-Silk to speak at their annual dinner, and then tried to defend the indefensible – and when only one voice within this entire organisation would say openly that it was inappropriate and the invitation should be withdrawn – does that not imply that we as a community have a leadership problem.

    If that is the example sent to the youth of this community and youth workers remain silent and when the voices of students also are not heard when you would expect students to be in the forefront of protests does that not make you think?

    When the community remained silent for so long when one of its organisations was distributing material that could have been construed as racially inflamatory and when one of the founders of that organisation addressed a public meeting in Glasgow and made a speech that was certainly beyond reasonable expression – and that same individual remained on the executive of the Representative Council for months later, what does that tell you about prevailing values?

    And unfortunately, I could continue with more examples of what has gone wrong. Now is the time to wake up and start to deal with this problem. Some may wish to bury their heads in the sand but I would prefer that we as a community embark upon a proper programme of education.

    This proposed charter’s purpose is to establish a standard for public life in our community.

    Community Charter.

    1. From our history, and our culture and our religion we as a community should appreciate the dangers of racism and intolerance towards minority groups.

    2. We have an obligation as individuals and as a community to teach respect for all ethnic groups, nationalities, religions and minorities and we have an obligation to teach about the dangers of racism.

    3. We should have no tolerance for racism and prejudice and we have an obligation to raise awareness and concern for the plight of those suffering from this type of discrimination.

    4. We should be positive about our Jewish identity and appreciate that it is part of our ethics and morality as a Jewish community to care about those who are not so fortunate.

    5. We should encourage educational programmes in our community that will highlight these issues and we recognise that the ethos of our community will be richer and more positive if we care about the plight of others around us.

  104. Richard said

    As everyone expected, this ‘charter’ is as penetrating and revolutionary as white sliced bread. There is nothing to object to in essence but the ‘justification’ sounds for all the world as though Community Member simply objects to one minority group having the opposite view of the world and seeks to exclude them simply because he interprets their views in an extreme way.

    I certainly do not agree with the group in question nor did I support Kilroy-Silk’s attendance at the dinner and I voiced my misgivings privately to those running the event (as I’m sure many others did) but equally nor do I support the interference in freedom of expression that is implicit in a unilateral interpretation of the definitions of racism, decency, morality or similar nor the implied threat of exclusion that non compliance should you be deemed to have breached the ‘charter’.

    There are many problems facing our Community but this can only be addressed by a properly representative cross section of the Community with definitions and interpretations reached by consensus.

  105. Curious said

    Richard, for reasons obvious to everyone but you, don’t think your opinion matters that much on this subject. You disqualified yourself ages ago.

  106. Richard said

    How convenient, Curious. It appears that only those whose opinions coincide with yours are allowed to comment.

    As Interested says in #77 “Debate the issues please”.

  107. Curious said

    I think Community Member’s idea is worth pursuing. What harm can it do to have an educational programme about racism? Richard,your comments show that you do not understand the subject at all.

  108. Debbie said

    Community member all very nice but how do get the youth to come to events? I don’t actually think you have answered the question.

  109. A Beitz said

    On the Kilroy Silk thing it is fair to say that there was more than one UJIA person who expressed concern. I personally found that scenario ultimately to be encouraging. I believe quite a number of people expressed opposition to his invitation and it is fair to say that many more voted with their feet with regulars refusing to buy tickets. I do think there was a lack of leadership shown within the community in that the invite should have been condemned by those purporting to represent the community but the grass roots made it clear that they wouldn’t pay money to hear a fluent well known speaker when his views were anathema to decent people.

  110. MB said

    You surprise me Mr Beitz, because you are well aware that you were a lonely voice within UJIA who thought this invitation was deplorable.
    The sad reality is that the leadership of this organisation did not think there was anything wrong with this invitation and if they could have ignored the mounting dissent elsewhere no one other than you would have complained too loudly. A wonderful example of leadership to the youth and students of this community wasn’t it?

  111. Ben Avraham said

    I get very despondent when I hear the Richards of this world telling you how they made their objections in private. Where were they Bentzie when people like you needed them to stand up and be counted? Its amazing that so many of the community tell you how they were objecting in private yet at the time there was a painful and deafening silence.If events had taken a different turn, might not these same people have claimed to silently give their support elsewhere? In the past I have had many run ins with sections of the community and there were always those who sidled up to you and whispered from the side of their mouth that in their position they cannot speak openly but actually they supported your cause. I have never had anything but contempt for such people.

  112. Ben Avraham said

    sorry, beitzie, not bentzie

  113. A Beitz said

    I maintain my position that various people in UJIA expressed concern about the invite, MB. Whether they expressed their concerns publicly is a different matter.

  114. MB said

    The issue here is whether they would have done anything about this if the meeting had gone ahead. The answer is very
    Expressing concern is one thing , doing something about it is entirely different. They did not think it was that important did they?

  115. npn said

    Ben Avraham ,I would like to agree wholeheartedly with your post #111 , but in my position I couldn’t possibly be seen to be doing so ,so please disregard this e-mail in its entirety.

  116. Joy Wolfe said

    I am shocked by some of the vitriol pouring out of Community member
    He or she calls for a programme of education – but who sets the agenda and who is to say that Community Member’s views are right and everyone else is wrong.
    The Glasgow community has a proud record which only became sullied when a group of people chose to launch a vicious and unjustified attack on another internationally respected and effective group in ther community
    That is something Community Member chooses to drag up again.

    As for the proposed Community Charter, it is almost insulting in stating the obvious, such basic principles that the Rep council and every other reputable organisation and individual take for granted. Talk about re-nventing the wheel!!

    And just for the record the group that so obviously sticks in community member’s throat has earned universal international repect from some of the most respected and reputable organisations speaking on behalf of Israel and the Jewish community. Could this be a severe case of jealousy and sour grapes?

  117. A Beitz said

    Methinks that maybe we do need a charter if Joy Wolfe thinks that criticism of a group for racist stereotyping is motivated by “a severe case of jealousy and sour grapes”. I presume in attributing these motives to its critics she does realise that included amongst them were the President of The Glasgow Jewish Representative Council.

  118. Misinformed said

    What exactly is Joy Wolfe saying because I for one dont know who she is talking about.

  119. Richard said

    MB in post #114 says
    “The issue here is whether they would have done anything about this if the meeting had gone ahead. The answer is very
    Expressing concern is one thing , doing something about it is entirely different. They did not think it was that important did they?”

    Who are you to speak on behalf of other people? Enough thought it sufficiently important to object, and that got the job done. You insult everyone who voiced their opinion directly and chose not to go public, including A Beitz!

    I think I know which group you speak of, but not being a dedicated follower of political backbiting I need it spelled out for me as much because I’m “not as smart as I think I am”. Which Glaswegian group is espousing “racist stereotypes”.

  120. Room101 said

    Community Member sounds like Big Brother.

    Nobody elected you to be my conscience or my spokesperson.

  121. A Beitz said

    #It’s in the past and I don’t really think that group should become a major issue. The point is that groups can inadvertantly or otherwise spew out racist stereotyping nonsense. It is unfortunate however that Joy Wolfe chose to attack the Rep Council president in this way.

  122. Jezabel said

    In what way has Joy Wolfe attacked the rep council president?I must have missed that bit

  123. Richard said

    Community member’s entire focus seems to be on this group,
    “When the community remained silent for so long when one of its organisations was distributing material that could have been construed as racially inflamatory and when one of the founders of that organisation addressed a public meeting in Glasgow and made a speech that was certainly beyond reasonable expression – and that same individual remained on the executive of the Representative Council for months later,”

    If, for example, a member of a certain Left Wing group who happened to be on the Rep Council gave a speech that could have been construed by some as, perhaps, anti-Zionist and therefore potentially racist would this ‘charter’ be applied by the same people in the same way?

    No one can reasonably be against teaching the dangers of racism, however, it is the critical matter of the interpretation of the term AND WHO INTERPRETS IT that is the issue. It is clearly impossible for such a disparate group of individuals as the Glasgow Jewish Community to agree upon almost anything and whilst Community Member and friends can say their piece now, their ‘charter’ will remain a personal pledge by them and they can only lead by example and hope others follow.

  124. NLL said

    All the care organisations are registered with the Care Commission & the Local Authority and have their anti-discriminatory policy AND practice regulated and inspected. All charities are now registered with the Charities Commission and will be regulated accordingly. All UK citizens must obey the Law – of which there have been a number recently dealing with racism & sectarianism – what would this charter achieve that is not already covered by these mechanisms?

  125. Queen Esther said

    What Charter? I certainly haven’t passed one! I think I will ask my husband King Ahashveros whether he’s passed one without me knowing.Otherwise let’s see one.

  126. Haman said

    I have a very simple one to implement, Your Highness, if you could just sign here?

  127. Queen Esther said

    Hey you type very well for a man up a tree.

  128. Nigel Allon said

    #116 Now we know your agenda and who filled your head with nonsense. Pity you couldn’t have been honest from the beginning.

  129. Ben Avraham said

    Sorry Nigel, you’re got it completely wrong, she fills their head with nonsense.

  130. Curious said don’t get it do you.
    You are completely unqualified to judge on the community charter. You just don’t understand the issues and you probably never will.
    Also as others have told you, your opposition counted for nothing – and that’s if you ever really opposed Kilroy anyway. It is totally ridiculous for you to suggest that “you got the job done”. It had absolutely nothing to do with you at all. You are kidding no one.

  131. Jezabel said

    As it says in #40 Stop going on and on about Your community charter. We are falling asleep ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  132. Richard said

    You are partly correct. Thing is no one ‘gets’ it and more importantly no one apart from your buddies (who I suspect are mostly the same person) wants it!

    Stop flogging the horse, it was dead on its feet to start with.

  133. Curious said

    It is so obvious Jezabel that you support Richard’s nonsense every time on this blog. Wonder why?
    You can’t even think of your own lines.
    Yet again you tell us that you might have missed something. You are 100% right.
    Yet again Richard makes some ludicrous statement telling us what he has done and why we should be impressed that he ” got the job done”
    And as usual not a shred of evidence .
    Do us all a favour and both grow up and go away.

  134. Jezabel said

    # 133, That made me laugh! Pot calling the kettle black there Curious!If we were to”go away” you would be left in an empty blog talking to yourself!

  135. Little John said

    Evidence curios? The evidence is clear, you have nothing to say and nothing to add. You only pop up to be rude in a feeble and half hearted way.

    The debate is at an end and we all wait for the next silly subject to while away a wet evening.

  136. MB said

    Wrong again Jezabel -you make a habit of always getting it wrong don’t you!
    I suppose you think Joy Wolfe is part of GJEF as well.
    And now that you admit you are commenting as “we” then maybe you could answer how Richard ” got the job done” because he obviously can’t.

  137. Richard said

    “how Richard ” got the job done””?
    Please, read the posts properly rather than indulging in wishful thinking. At no point have I claimed that “I got the job done”.

    #119 reads

    “Enough thought it sufficiently important to object, and that got the job done.”

    How can that be interpreted as “Richard and Richard alone”? Your combined failed attempts at misrepresentation are the sign of a lack of cogent arguments.

    This is fun, I accept, but it is hardly discussion of Jewish Education. Curious, MB, Community Member and pals obviously have nothing to add but I’m sure the alleged watching dozens want to follow real debate rather than silly games. BTW I’m not anti-semantic, some of my best friends are words.

  138. Jezabel said

    MB If you could follow what being said you would notice I replied “we” to curious’s “both”. I don’t know who “joy wolfe” is, I’m told she is a journalist from Manchester. Why should i comment for my friend Richard he is more than capable of speaking for himself unlike your friend “Curious”

  139. A Beitz said

    #122. Read #117.

  140. debbie said

    So now that we are all bored with the community charter, let’s go back to something more interesting. When was/is the closing date for the head’s post and does anyone know if there was a good response?

  141. David S Links said

    How pathetic this blog site appears to me. People who use nom de plumes are not much better than the politicos and terrorists who wear masks at demos.

    Maybe we should have a competition to reveal the identities of this secret society. All entries can be collated and the best consensus calculated.

    As I have not been told is this forum a hideout for Peace Now? Two of the first three “Lectures” have a distinct air of Peace Now about them and although the topics and speakers may have some credibility what have they to do with the future of the Glasgow Jewish Community?

    We might as well discus healthy eating,
    global warming as well as they will affect our future. Lets discus real problems concerning our future,such as how our care organisations will be able to cope with our needs in old age if all our kids have left town.

    How will the school cope when the role eventually reaches the point that there are less than 50% jewish pupils.
    Might the council turn it into a Muslim School. After all the numbers might make it the sensible option politically in years to come. Does the community really benefit from the Jewish Education, when the pupils do not show in later life that they are anymore committed than the Cheder Generation.

  142. debbie said

    I can assure you it is not a hideout for peace now nor any other affiliation.

    The use of non de plumes is a personal choice and for some it allows them to post comments without having to be called pathetic or feel inferior to what appears to be somepolitical heavyweights who believe that there opinion is the only one that matters.

    Were you at the Jim Duffy lecture? He made it quite clear that East Renfrewshire will never make Calderwood into a Muslim school, the more likely scenario being a shared campus.

    So Mr Links why don’t you get the ball rolling and give us your vision of “how our care organisations will be able to cope with our needs in old age if all our kids have left town”.

  143. A Beitz said

    I presume David S Links is a pseudonym. Surely no one would be coming on giving such half baked views under his own name. The blog is “pathetic”. Why? A number of people are airing conflicting views using pseudonyms which normally the way on discussion sites. So sorry it doesn’t conform with his view as to how things should be done.
    Then we are told people people using pseudonyms are no better than terrorists or possibly even worse politicos. I’m glad Mr Links isn’t responsible for the justice system. “I plead guilty to using a pseudonym, my Lord.”
    “That will be a life sentence with a requirement to serve a minimum of 30 years”
    Jim Murphy “a distinct air of Peace Now”. You obviously weren’t there Mr Links. His views made the average Likudnik seem like a leftie.
    Shame when he finally came up with something slightly more sensible his earlier comments had left him lacking credibility.

  144. h said


  145. Hershie said

    Sorry, that was me, my finger slipped

  146. Itzhak said

    David Links – your comments are quite ridiculous. As far as I know you were neither at the Dr Duffy meeting – the most positive meeting about Calderwood Lodge for years – nor were you at the Jim Murphy meeting. If you had been you could talk from knowledge rather than from ignorance. To suggest that the Jim Murphy meeting had a distinct Peace Now air about it shows how badly informed you are. If you ask people in this comunity who are involved with Peace Now you would understand that Mr Murphy would not have been invited to give the lecture he did under the auspices of Peace Now. I was at the meeting and I can understand why.
    To talk about Calderwood becoming a Moslem school when I understand you were not at that meeting either is just nonsense. It is a non issue and if you had been there or had the slightest understanding of Calderwood and its future you would realise that it is ridiculous scaremongering to suggest that 50% of the school role would be Moslem.
    Maybe in your world Mr Links Jewish ethics have nothing to do with the future of this community. Not mine.
    As for people not using their own names being ” not much better than terrorists” please think of the implications of this statement and maybe you will be embarassed.
    I have not used my own name here because on a personal basis I know you as quite a nice guy – rather than create personal animosity it is better just to say – that the tone of your remarks about Calderwood and Moslems are to be blunt so shitty that it reflects very badly on you.

  147. past parent said

    David Links – if this is in fact the David Links I think you are….. what was the point of your post? Several weeks into these discussions, what are you trying achieve by raking up the Peace Now red herring again? Attacking the existence of this blog and the various meetings isn’t going to change things – they exist and are causing some amusement plus some serious discussion which somewhere down the line may lead to action being taken to preserve and develop what is great about our Community – if you don’t like it and don’t have anything constructive to say – but out.

  148. npn said

    jim murphy’s meeting must have left the peace-now -niks (whoever they are)in a state of mild depression-it was as right wing a meeting as a labour MP is ever likely to give-I am not commenting on this for any other reason than to suggest that david links was not there and is just on the the wind up…although i wonder if it was really david links who wrote that-i suspect not !

  149. Debbie said

    If someone has posted fraudulently then they are ruining the blog for everyone and I sincerely hope that is not the case. What purpose does it serve other than to discredit the entire community.

  150. Ben Avraham said

    I think the posting by David S Links is of enormous significance. Despite its banal introduction and covertly racist conclusion it demonstrates the increasing importance this blog is having in community affairs and discussion. The numbers posting may be limited at present but the numbers watching from all sections of the community are quite considerable and it is only a matter of time before they will have to join in or be sidelined. The days of decisions and discussion in camera are fast coming to an end. This medium is the present and indeed the future and I eagerly anticipate that others will soon follow in the footsteps of the intrepid David S Links.

  151. Richard said

    Get real Ben Avraham.

    First. What was “covertly racist” about David Links’ post? It seems you are simply indulging in wishful think that anyone who does not agree with you can be easily discredited by unfounded accusations. If you want to be taken seriously then substantiate your opinion by quoting and explaining.

    Second. This blog is not going to be the main discussion forum for the Community. It has the potential to be a place for interesting debate so long as the bloggers do not descend into petty name calling and gainsaying but it as long there is a total lack of accountability and remains anonymous it can never replace public meetings.

  152. Itzhak said

    To suggest that there might be a majority of Moslem pupils at Calderwood was ridiculous scaremongering.
    Given this and indeed Gerry’s previous offensive utterings it would seem that there are too many in our comunity with views that are by any decent standards unacceptable.
    It was not an unfounded accusation by Ben Avraham. And it is not just a question of ” right of centre views ” as you stated previously.
    It is a question of certain views which have no place in a decent society. Racism is unacceptable with no qualifications at all.
    If you don’t understand the distinction between right and wrong let us know and perhaps you could ask Gerry and David Links as well.

  153. Richard said

    Lets cut the nonsense on “racist content”.
    This is what David Links ACTUALLY said
    “How will the school cope when the role eventually reaches the point that there are less than 50% jewish pupils.
    Might the council turn it into a Muslim School. After all the numbers might make it the sensible option politically in years to come.”

    This is almost word for word a question asked at the Dr Duffy meeting yet I do not remember anyone jumping up and shouting “RACIST”. In fact Dr Duffy himself broached the subject but are you accusing him of “views that are by any decent standards unacceptable”? If YOU think that this question is racist or dubious in any way then YOU are the one with the problem. There are no “reds in the bed” and witchhunting went out of style in the 1950’s.

    Itzhak’s post is yet another example of unfounded accusations and unsupported argument. If you are picking up on what someone has said in their post then try using a bit of accuracy. Add into this the clutching of the personal insult straw demonstrates an unwillingness or inability to argue the issue.

  154. Smurf said

    I can’t quite see how Mr Links offerings could be viewed as racist, he is merely stating a point of view. Itzhak maybe I have missed something so perhaps you could enlighten me?

  155. Itzhak said

    Nonsense Richard.
    David Links posed the question using the words, ” might the council turn it into a Moslem school.
    He deliberately and mischievously attempted to stir and used the issue of Moslems to frighten people into thinking that this was a real issue for the school. And anyone who was at that meeting and listened knows perfectly well that it isn’t.
    To provoke and cause fear by using racial issues to incite is appalling and was quite rightly attacked by others.
    It was certainly grossly irresponsible and given that he was not at the meeting about Calderwood he was speaking with no foundation to his arguments.
    However your attempt to twist Dr Duffy’s words to fit your own conclusions is disgraceful. David Links and Gerry the Joiner, who I presume you know very well, both played the race card and should be ashamed of themselves.
    It is quite shocking that you have attempted to distort the words and their meaning of a decent man, who has transformed this school, in order to give credibilty to your argument.
    Richard – quite simply you don’t understand the difference between right and wrong.

  156. Smurf said

    Sorry I must not be nearly as intelligent as you Itzhak and I am with Richard on this one. Mr Links is merely stating a point of view and I really don’t see how this makes him racist. Perhaps Mr Links if he wishes to make comment on future meetings,should attend and that is where is absolutely in the wrong.

  157. Eggbert said

    Not to put to fine a point on it Itzhak.


  158. Richard said

    Your are the one inciting racial problems. The issue of Calderwoods future as a Jewish school has been assured but not necessarily in the existing buildings. There has been talk of a shared campus but not discussion of who it might be shared with. I for one would consider it very positive if the campus were to be shared with an equivalent Muslim school as the advantage of common dietary requirements would allow a shared kitchen for one.

    It is a racing certainty that at some point in the not too distant future that there will be too few Jewish children to justify a 100% separate Jewish school and East Ren knows this and is looking at the best method for preserving what we have. The Council also apppears to have no plans at the moment for a Muslim ethos school.

    OK. Now I have expanded on what what said by Dr Duffy (I assume you were not there from the garbage you have so far expounded)you can try to twist these words into the vile inflammatory racist bile you are so desperate to see.

  159. Interested said

    You must be proud of yourself Eggbert.
    Rather than deal with this issue and the deliberate use of the race card by David Links you choose to ignore the points raised by Itzhak.
    Like others I believe that this community has a problem when people like you bury your head in the sand.
    Support people like Richard/Gerry or David Links if you want but think very carefully about the impact of what you are doing.

  160. Ben Avraham said

    Let us not beat about the bush, Richard. Remember the late most unlamented Gerry the Joiner. Have you already forgotten how he had to make a public apology for a racist statement? Not only was his original statement unacceptable, his half hearted apology and explanation was an unmitigated disgrace. . It demonstrated that Gerry may well have lacked the education to understand where he had failed, not just himself, but the community at large. I would have liked to dismiss it as a bit of buffoonery, but unfortunately it is developing into very dangerous buffoonery. As an expert on what may or may not have racist overtones perhaps you would like to explain to the Glasgow Jewish community why the first statement by Gerry needed an apology and then why you think the so called explanation was acceptable. When you have done that and demonstrated a minimum of understanding, then maybe I will explain to you the dangers of postings such as #141. As for those baying in the background in support God help us all.

  161. Eggbert said

    Interested, I suppose it is all about how you interpret David S Links comments. It is possible (having read it a number of times now) to see it your way and equally possible to see it Richard’s way. I agree that racism in any form is abhorrent and like you would like to educate those in our community who display those overtones but unlike you I dont think this is a widespread problem. Two posts out of the hundreds so far put up on this blog site is concerning and should be dealt with in a rational manner. What makes you and Ben Avraham and Itzhak think it is a widespread problem?

  162. Interested said

    Eggbert, the first way to deal with racist remarks is to have zero tolerance for it and not make qualifications or exceptions, even if you think you are trying to be neutral. By tolerating these kind of things you allow it to grow and fester.
    Unfortunately, there are others in our community who believe that it is permissable to stereotype and play the race card.
    I don’t want to drag up old issues, but one of the main problems was the lack of action and will by far too many in the community and the establishment to state loudly and clearly that this kind of behaviour, now seen in print by Gerry and David Links with the support of Richard is totally unacceptable.
    I think the Rabbi coming to talk about Jewish ethics and attitudes to minorities will need to be here for a month, not an evening to explain why we should be loud and clear about these issues.

  163. Ben Avraham said

    Nowhere have I suggested that it is a widespread problem nor did I use the word racism. That would be to attack the individual who may or may not be a racist. I attacked his comments which were unnecessary,ill informed and inflammatory. Furthermore, I have no intention of standing back to see if the problem is indeed widespread before exposing an insidious ulcer in our midst.

  164. Richard said

    Ben Avraham how about you explain and justify yourself to those who YOU regard as your intellectual inferiors.

    Again and again you are unwilling or unable to discuss the issues of Jewish education. Those watching who you think will jump in to defend your untenable and ridiculous position are lonely voices. I am happy to debate issues with you however until you deign to grace us with your actual views any further discussion with you is pointless.

  165. Richard said

    I meant to add that it is notable that there is a consistency of arguing style with certain bloggers. Perhaps they are scared that unless they have someone to berate then they will cease to exist. I blog therefore I am?

  166. Little John said

    Did Gerry the Joiner have anything to apologise for? Nope just reread it and it was not racist and the apology was for making a facetious email that went wrong! I reckon he was making a decent poiint that IJV arent the only ones who feel unrepresented, not every arab or muslim or christian or palestinian is represented by their leaders. In fact at least we can say what we want without being physically attacked. its the silly sods who keep trasgging rubbish up every time they know they have nothing to add.

    Get on with your life BA, stop being boring.

  167. Ben Avraham said

    It looks as if Muswellhill’s schoolboy son has more understanding of right and wrong, racist incitement and stereotyping than you,
    Little John. As I have already said, God help us all.

  168. jezabel said

    This blog is like” groundhog day”. Can’t we have something new?

  169. Richard said

    Explain yourself, support your argument, offer some evidence. Simply restating a dubious opinion again and again is hardly debate is it? Then again your history on this blog is not one of argument, it is the attempted discrediting of others’ views by accusing them of being racist.

    You say, Ben Avraham, post #150
    “The numbers posting may be limited at present but the numbers watching from all sections of the community are quite considerable and it is only a matter of time before they will have to join in or be sidelined. ”

    The longer you bang on about irrelevances, the more likely you and this blog will become sidelined.

  170. Smurf said

    Ben Avraham (and one or two others who I suspect are all the same person)I have come to the conclusion that your only purpose is to wind up Richard and it is getting very boring!

  171. Einstein said

    Hi Jezebel. Remember Links’s comments “People who use nom de plumes are not much better than the politicos and terrorists who wear masks at demos”. He was including you. What do you think? I suspect he meant to say “noms de plume” but this is only an educational blog so who cares?

  172. Itzhak said

    Unfortunately, the problem is much more serious than just winding up Richard.
    Rather than just trying to sweep this issue out of the way or pretend like Richard that it does not exist why don’t you consider the matter more carefully, no 170.
    Because when this problem festers those who did nothing will have to examine their conscience.
    You might find it boring when David Links and Gerry with Richard’s support play the race card. I find it appalling. And like Ben Avraham I’m not going to let it go.
    Richard, as I have said before cannot see the distinction between right and wrong or acceptable and unacceptable.
    Most decent people will hopefully understand why this issue is important.
    Hopefully they will also one day be prepared to speak out as well. Because the more people understand that these issues need to be confronted and not ignored and deemed to be “boring” by people like you, the more likely we are to have a better community to bring up our children.
    I have one question to ask you and I include Eggbert in this as well.
    Do you still think it was acceptable for Gerry to have described a group like he did and do you think it was acceptable for David Links to have used the race card like he did and do you still think it is honourable for you to stand alongside Richard and think that it was acceptable to behave as they have done?
    I really hope that you will reconsider your position.

  173. Richard said

    Itzhak said
    “Richard, as I have said before cannot see the distinction between right and wrong or acceptable and unacceptable.”

    As with Ben Avraham you fail to explain WHY you think I cannot see the distinction. Either you cannot explain yourself which demonstrates your own lack of understanding or you are unwilling to which is means you have nothing to contribute.

    Debate requires an exchange and explanation of opinion. In common with Ben Avraham, Curious, Interested and a few select others Itzhak has no interest in debate and is trying to make this blog more of an irrelevance than they have already made it.

  174. jezabel said

    Einstein #171,I used to think we should all use our real names but i found out it made the attacks on you feel very personal, having said that i do know who a lot of these “nomes de plumes” a
    re. Unfortunatley the rude ones are just as rude in real life!

  175. Smurf said

    Itzhak I want YOU to explain in very simple terms why YOU feel this is such a festering problem, give me clear evidence and examples, not just the admitted error on Richard’s part. Also enlighten me as to how exactly Mr Link’s comments are using the race card. I am concerned that I may be missing something and I would like to FULLY understand as I do consider myself “a decent person”.

    Also I didn’t say the issue of racism was boring rather you winding Richard up was boring, there is a very clear distinction. On this occassion you have twisted my words to suit YOUR needs and I find that objectionable.

  176. Eggbert said

    Itzhak or Ben Avraham or Muswellhilldad or whatever you are calling yourself today, I consider myself a decent person but I along with Smurf clealy aren’t as intelligent as you.

    “You might find it boring when David Links and Gerry with Richard’s support play the race card. I find it appalling. And like Ben Avraham I’m not going to let it go.
    Richard, as I have said before cannot see the distinction between right and wrong or acceptable and unacceptable.
    Most decent people will hopefully understand why this issue is important.”

    “Do you still think it was acceptable for Gerry to have described a group like he did and do you think it was acceptable for David Links to have used the race card like he did and do you still think it is honourable for you to stand alongside Richard and think that it was acceptable to behave as they have done?”

    Give me some examples of what you mean and then maybe I can become one of the “most decent people”.

    Also I have clearly stated before that I do not support everything Richard has said but I do support his right to debate the issues.

    Depending on which way one interprets their and your previous comments will decide which side of the fence one falls into.

    However, as not everybody appointed you as their conscience let them decide “the distinction between right and wrong or acceptable and unacceptable.”

  177. Itzhak said

    Okay, let me give you another example. I am not a supporter of the Conservative Part or Mr Cameron,
    However the way he reacted today to sack one of his front bench after they had posted racist remarks on the Times website was correct.
    Mr Cameron stated today ” we should not tolerate racism in any walk of life”
    Now look at what Gerry said about Palestinians. Unfortunately,not everyone said that was outrageous as well.
    And when David Links stated that the day will come when Calderwood might not have a Jewish majority of children – he didn’t say that there would be a majority of non-Jewish children. He deliberately used the word “Moslems” There is no suggestion that his predicted scenario is a likely outcome. By using the word “Moslems” he deliberately attempted to frighten people and he deliberately attempted to cause fear and panic. That is what I mean by using the race card.
    And the difference between Mr Cameron’s leadership and our own communal leadership in reacting to this kind of offensive behaviour is stark. Mr Cameron reacted fast and made a decision that such behaviour was not acceptable. Our leadership, when faced with similar issues had to be dragged and cajoled and pressurised to act, and it took almost 12 months, and still they did not do enough.
    That is why some of us have again spoken out about the types of remarks made by Gerry and David Links, supported by Richard. It is, as I have said before, the difference between right and wrong and the difference between acceptable and unacceptable.
    I hope you understand the issues now.
    I again emphasise that I am not a supporter of David Cameron. However, today, he acted properly and wisely, and showed leadership.

  178. Irn-bru lover said

    Itzhak, what I take from your posting is that you are interpreting that in some way we should be frightened and in panic of our Moslem neighbours. That in itself smacks of racist undertones by YOU – perhaps you are reading far too much into his words and should think a little more before posting such inflamatory comments yourself.

    “Our leadership, when faced with similar issues had to be dragged and cajoled and pressurised to act, and it took almost 12 months, and still they did not do enough”. Can you expand on this as I have no idea what you are referring to?

  179. Ben Avraham said

    Irn-Bru Lover Are you thick or sick?

  180. Itzhak said

    Very smart irn bru – must have taken you ages to think that up. I hope you never come across racism. Your attempt to belittle this issue and accuse me of racist undertones without any foundation whatsoever is pathetic. You must be a very sad person that gets their kicks out of trying to cloud a serious issue.

  181. Ben Avraham said

    To expand on my knee jerk reaction and comment to Irn-bru. It is absurd to accuse someone of racism when they have quite clearly and openly opposed such an abomination at great length.I cannot believe that you really mean it, therefore you must have some ulterior motive for an illogical analysis.

  182. Irn-bru lover said

    Well Itzhak and Ben Avraham that is exactly how you reacted to Richard/Gerry – strange how people inerpret things ain’t it?

  183. Irn-bru lover said

    By the wat Itzhak I have encountered quite considerable anti-semitism which I believe would be considered as racism. I am not trying to belittle or cloud the issue. I believe fervently in zero tolerance and I am not certainly not sad. I have not resorted to name calling but am merely trying to understand your point of view.

    “Our leadership, when faced with similar issues had to be dragged and cajoled and pressurised to act, and it took almost 12 months, and still they did not do enough”. Can you expand on this as I have no idea what you are referring to?

    You didn’t answer.

  184. Richard said

    Your arguments are again spurious. Read David Link’s post and you will see he refers to when there are less than 50% Jewish children at the school. He then asks if the Council would consider making it into a Muslim School. This is a positive, pluralistic view that as the Muslim Community is growing that there may be a desire for mainstream Muslim parents in East Ren (or Glasgow for that matter) to have their own school like we currently have for Jewish kids. This is not racism by any normal decent person’s standards.

    Now we have the question of interpretation. For you to interpret those comments as racist or even inflammatory is ridiculous. It demonstrates that you have a problem with anyone who’s views do not conform with the current PC nonsense. YOU have the problem not David Links.

    In attacking the Rep Council for not dealing with “similar issues” you are attempting to take control of the Community’s morality and you have no place doing so.

    I am fed up with this fannying around. It is clear to me which group you, MB, Ben Avraham and COmmunity Member are referring to so I give you a choice, to quote Ben Avraham, put up or shut up. Tell us precisely what issues you are referring to, when it happened and which group you are meaning. Lets get this right out in the open and then we can start to deal with real issue. If you are not prepared to do this simple and honest thing then you are simply a muckraker like so many others.

  185. Itzhak said

    Richard, We have told you before that you are unqualified to judge on this issue given your support for Gerry’s racist remarks. You now support David Links and seem to want to be his spokesperson.
    Quite simply you are far too stupid to try and convince. You love making a big noise.
    You have no understanding about the issues involved.
    I suggest you sign up for a course with the Council for Racial Equality.
    To claim that David Links was making a positive pluralistic contribution is just nonsense.
    Irn Bru, you don’t get it do you. And I don’t think you want to. The issue of stereotyping and discriminating against people because of their race, religion or nationality first came to prominence in this blog because of Gerry’s remarks and Richard’s support for this and David Links who knew exactly what he was doing, when he used the race card.
    The issue of stereotyping and using material that could be construed as racial incitement goes back in this community to issues surrounding the Scottish Friends of Israel. There was widespread debate within the community at that time. Another debate about SFI is not necessary now.
    What is relevant though is to condemn unacceptable behaviour and again to understand right from wrong.
    That’s why Gerry/Richard/David cannot be allowed to excuse this and to dismiss all this as a witchhunt against them. It isn’t. It is simply a desire to see their kind of attitudes discarded into the trash can where they belong.
    I’m afraid if you don’t get it there is not much more that can be done

  186. Hyman Kaplan said

    Richard, I would suggest that you re-read David Links’ original post. He is clearly referring to a hypothetical scenario whereby Jewish pupils would become a minority in their own school. To ask whether the Council would, in those circumstances, consider making Calderwood a Muslim school is not a “positive, pluralistic” question, as you assert; rather, it is an attempt to play on people’s fears of Muslims.

    If you cannot understand how discourses about race are inscribed in the language we use, then I would suggest that you ought to read the cogent analysis of racism in chapter VI of the Macpherson Report.

  187. Irn-bru lover said

    Itzhak I know nothing of the issues surrounding the SFI. If there was widespread debate it certainly didn’t spread to me and wasn’t therefore as widespread as you believe. I have asked you repeatedly to enlighten me which you have not done and then to say and I quote “Irn Bru, you don’t get it do you. And I don’t think you want to” is in my books a little unfair.

  188. Itzhak said

    Irn Bru Lover if you think I have been unfair I regret that you have that impression.
    I think your posting about racist undertones in connection with my previous comments was out of order unless you made a mistake and had not properly read my comments.
    However, I hope you understand why some people are determined to speak out against ay instances of stereotyping etc.
    I hope, I really do, that you will help us. There can never be any excuse for this kind of unacceptable behaviour and Gerry and his friends must not be allowed to forget it.
    Otherwise as a community our morality is finished.

  189. Ben Avraham said

    Its not unfair, Irn-Bru. Its not important at this juncture whether you know about the racist issues surrounding SFI or even the inflammatory and evil allegory used on their site to attack another Zionist organisation. There have already been two glaring cases of racist remarks and streotyping on this site, glaring enough that any decent person would recognize them as such and react in an appropriate manner. You have given succour to the authors of these remarks and by so doing are at least as guilty and responsible as they are. We talk of educating our children,of the ethics and morality, of the understanding of truth and justice, that we will instil into them, of the brave new world that awaits. How can this be achieved when their are people like you, Irn-Bru who prevaricate and will not help eradicate this awful cancer before it spreads. These remarks are not for debate, nor should the perpetrators be treated with anything but scorn for they bring shame to our community.

  190. A Beitz said

    I don’t know what the person calling himself David S Links was trying to do in his peculiar post but if it was not an attempt to pander to the prejudices and fears of some then he should be more careful. After all the implication was that if Calderwood goes we’ll get a Moslem school. The two things are in no way linked and but the suggestion, whether intentionally racist or not was incorrect, and it of course to commit a racist act does not require intent.

  191. Richard said

    Phew, a veritable plethora of replies and barely a one giving an answer.

    There has been a worrying trend amongst the Left Wing to attempt to limit freedom of speech by refusing to engage in debate with anyone who’s views do agree with theirs and here we have several examples of the technique.

    Ithzhak, I’m not sure I care for the Tone of your personal attack Quote “Quite simply you are far too stupid to try and convince”. perhaps I am not quite as stupid as you think I am and YOU are not nearly as smart as you think YOU are?

    Quote “Another debate about SFI is not necessary now.”. If that is the case then why did you bring it back up again, and again, and again, and again.

    I am just as qualified as you to opine on this or any other subject and it should be noted that the owners of this blog have seen fit to accept my apology for how I expressed myself so unless you think you are better than them I suggest you give it up.

    Hyman Kaplan
    There rate of non Jewish children at Calderwood is currently about 25% (more in my daughters class) with the majority of those kids being Muslim. It is a given that the ratio of Jewish children at Calderwood will soon (within say 7 years) fall below 50%. There is only one reason and that is because there are not enough Jewish kids being born AND going to Calderwood. There are several solutions to this falling ratio. The first is to have more kids and convince more parents to choose to send to Calderwood, this however is unlikely to be enough to anything bar stave off the inevitable. What ER are considering (according to Dr Duffy) is a shared campus at a new location possibly in Newton Mearns but as yet no suggestion has been made as to who it might be shared with or what it might be called. Having chatted to a couple of the Muslim parents of my daughters classmates they have told me they’d love a Muslim equivalent of Calderwood and I see a great benefit (politically, logistically and economically) of Calderwood sharing with an equivalent Muslim School.

    As for the various comments made on this blog that the self proclaimed arbiters of decency keep raking up, get over it. There are a huge variety of opinions in this world and you do not have control over this blog, the opinions expressed on it or where the discussion goes.

  192. Richard said

    sorry I hit the submit button in error

    Lets be brutally honest for a second or 2. This blog is a fun timewaster that is better for the brain than playing solitaire during tea break, there are only about 15 people posting (most with several identities) and maybe 100 or so watching and is therefore unlikely to fulfil Ben Avraham’s prediction (#150“The numbers posting may be limited at present but the numbers watching from all sections of the community are quite considerable and it is only a matter of time before they will have to join in or be sidelined. ”).

    Let me shed some light on what this comment means. Unless Ben Avraham is Admin or one of the GJEF Committee then he should not be privy to the confidential information that we all give when posting (eg email address and IP address – this one uniquely identifies where you are posting from). If BA is part of the GJEF structure then, if he is being honest, he should identify himself as such, if he is not part of GJEF then how does he know how many people are watching (actually no-one knows, one can only see the hits but each time you ‘refresh’ or change page it counts as a ‘hit’) and what section of the Community they are from.

    There is a small issue of freedom of speech which several of the bloggers are apparently keen to suppress. It is pathetic to use accusations of racism (the left wing’s bogeyman) as the sole method of attacking someone’s views. Not one of the “Stone ‘im” crowd is actually bringing anything to this ‘debate’ or any other for that matter.

    Why this obsession with SFI?
    Why the obsession with the Rep Council?

    If you want to pick that fight then get your own blog, the GJEF Committee have made it clear that they are NOT Peace Now, they are NOT political and only want to engage in debate on the subject of Jewish education …… unless I’m wrong about that as well?

  193. Little man said

    I thought the purpose of this blog was to stimulate debate. No wonder there are so few people posting, they are all terrified. The site has been hijacked by a few political heavyweights. Doesn’t the opinion of the little man count?

  194. Calderwood Parent said

    Richard – wrong on another subject as well.
    Your percentage figure relating to non-Jewish children at Calderwood currently that you have posted is complete nonsense.

    Look at Dr Duffy’s figures. He knows more than you.

    You are now harming the interests of Calderwood by posting erroneous figures. Please stop it.

    By the way – although it is not my particular issue your shocking comments on this blog disqualify you from being an appropriate judge about racist issues. You may not like that, but tough.

    I would suggest that you stop posting for a while.

  195. jezabel said

    More than 25% of children in Primary one are not jewish FACT

  196. Richard said

    Calderwood Parent
    Look at my figures below – I may have miscalculated slightly but the true figure and the statistical tendency is more shocking. As for doing more harm than good, it seems you wish to either squash discussion of uncomfortable facts or you are burying your head in the sand.

    I note that along with som amny other bloggers you deny and accuse but do not offer any substantiation for your argument.


    Out of 149 children, I am told that 30 are not Jewish (defined as not having a Jewish mother, with no distinction drawn between orthodox, reform, liberal, secular). That makes the correct proportion on non Jewish kids 20%. In a statistically small sample (ie only 150) the addition of very few in either direction has a big effect on the percentage figures.

    If we look at the trend you can see that the lower down the school you go the higher the proportion is. I do not have precise figures for every class but where P4 has 3 out of 25 (12%) and P1 has 8 out of 22 (36%) and P3 I believe has over 40% and P2 over 15% you can see there is a strong trend towards a large minority of non Jewish children within the next 2 or 3 years. Look 7 years down the line and if the trend continues there will be less than 50% Jewish children at the school. I cannot and would not draw any distinction on the denomination of the non Jewish children as it is irrelevant and a distraction to the facts.

    These figures do not make comfortable reading, I realise but unless ‘Calderwood Parent’ or anyone else has access to precise official figures and can correct me (substantiated only please) then perhaps we have categorical evidence of the extent of the problem and must stop being in denial.

    Again I quote Ben Avraham (possibly the only useful thing he has said) “put up or shut up”

  197. Richard said

    I should add that I have not included the Nursery as it is far too complex to calculate but if one takes the median figures for P1 to P4 one can expect about 20-22 kids with 5-7 non jewish (21:6 = 28.57%). The birth rate for the last 4 years is fairly steady but low (about 14 -18 births IIRC). The better the School becomes academically the more attractive it becomes to local and non Jewish parents so although the rate becomes increasingly worse we can be confident in the continued existence of the school (because the school role remains healthy) and our involvement as parents will ensure the Jewish ethos and the Community ‘feel’.

    I am not happy about the figures but short of siring a whole new generation there is little that can be done but make sure we are planning using accurate information considered dispassionately and without bias.

  198. Calderwood Parent said

    You are not only stupid but dangerous.

    You stated earlier today that 25% of Calderwood children are non-Jewish. You were wrong.
    I am not interested in discussing figures with someone who posts incorrect numbers.
    You are harming Calderwood by posting eroneous figures.

    You have verbal incontinence.
    Apologise for your mistake.

  199. ??????? said

    You are harming Calderwood by being rude to other bloggers. If you are posting in the name of Calderwood Parent then I would expect a degree of courtesy.

    “What is relevant though is to condemn unacceptable behaviour and again to understand right from wrong” was posted not by you but is just as relevant. There is no need to call anyone stupid or dangerous, it is unacceptable BEHAVIOUR and is wrong!

    If you think that a handful of people posting on this site with views differing from yours is going to be the downfall of Calderwood then you need to look a little deeper to find the real issues. One of which is that our little club can sometimes be a little clique and doesn’t always like people who choose to be a little different or express an opinion which doesn’t fit with the cosy view we have of ourselves.

  200. Homer said

    Calderwood Parent, why are you not interested in discussimg figures.
    What makes you so sure that Richard’s figures are wrong if you cant offer what you think are the correct figures.
    Please provide proof that Richard’s numbers are wrong.
    He cannot be harming Calderwood by giving accurate numbers which he appears to be doing in #196 & #197.
    You on the other hand are harming Calderwood by purporting to be a Calderwood Parent and being abusive without any proof or foundation.

  201. Moshe said

    So Rabbi Richard, because my partner is non Jewish, my young son whom I would like to send to Calderwood when he is old enough will swell the non Jewish statistics.

  202. Bart said

    So Moshe that makes a difference, because………………..?

  203. ??????? said

    Richard can you clarify how the kids are classified. Is the child of a mother who has reformed to Judaism through the reform synagogue counted as being Jewish for example? And also who has decided on these classifications? You or Calderwood Jewish Education or someone else? I am asking because I want us all to be clear what we are discussing.

  204. Marge said

    What point are you making ??????.

    If you choose to send your child to Calderwood for the Jewish ethos then that’s good enough for me.

  205. ??????? said

    Marge I agree 100% no argument.

  206. Richard said

    Personally (and I cannot speak for anyone else) I am delighted that any parent, Jewish or not, likes Calderwood enough to consider sending their child. It is an excellent school and your boy will, undoubtably be made very welcome.

    I have no desire to debate ‘who is a Jew’ here and now. The figures are based on the child’s mother’s religion so far as the originator of the raw data can be sure. I am sure there will some discrepancies as the figures are arrived at independent of the school (who I suspect do not/should not make any distinction between the pupils), however we are looking at trends here.

    If the mother is Jewish either born, converted, reform, liberal, orthodox, whatever, then the child is also Jewish for the purposes of these figures. I have applied this filter to simplify the calculation and I must stress that in no way am I saying Jewish is better or worse or making any negative comment about children with Jewish fathers. One has to draw a line and this rather arbitrary one which is definately applied by the Orthodox and also I think by Reform is as good as any. I intend no offence or upset and hope that everyone realises that these figures are presented in good faith to illustrate a point.

    As far as ‘Community Member’ is concerned, if the figures are correct then what fear does he have of the truth and if they are wrong then let him show us HIS data and see where it differs.

    Please let me re-iterate. By keeping the school role healthy with a strong Jewish ethos and Community feel with continuation of Dr Duffy’s fine work, we guarantee the continued existence of our Jewish School. It does not matter where it is or if the campus is shared or with whom or if there is less than 50% Jewish children, the fact it still exists is enough.

  207. ??????? said

    Thanks Richard for clarifying.

    I too am of the opinion that if a parent chooses Calderwood for its Jewish ethos then that is good enough.

    The debate (for want of a better word) has gone full circle and againcomes back to how do we ensure that as many children as possible choose Calderwood over and above any other.

  208. jezabel said

    In todays Jewish telegraph there is an advert for the calderwood jewish education AGM on 22nd March 2007 at 7.30 at the school. See you there folks!

  209. Calderwood parent said

    Obvious point of information Homer, Marge and ??????.
    Yet again Richard has misled this blog.
    I will not apologise for stating that he has verbal incontinence because he has and if you scroll through this blog and previous ones you will realise that he constantly has got it wrong – not once or twice but several.
    And as for your asking him to explain his statistics. Get real. Everyone knows that they are supplied to him by Jezabel and these were discredited previously.
    Between them they claimed that there were 25% non Jewish children at Calderwood. They got it wrong as this is rubbish. They set themselves up as experts but they are not.
    I have no problem with the fact that there are non-Jewish kids at the school. In fact I welcome it. What I do have a problem with is people who produce erroneous facts and rather than apologise and keep quiet think they should be respected as some sort of expert.
    So I repeat the charge – he is stupid and dangerous. Stupid because he keeps getting it wrong and dangerous because he posted remarks on this blog which were unacceptable.

  210. ??????? said

    Calderwood parent if you are so sure Richard is wrong you must have the correct information, can you please share it?

  211. Observer said

    It is obvious that Richard has now been thoroughly discredited so let’s move on.
    Some are suggesting that the person named “David S Links” might be someone other than him.
    I have known David S Links for many years and I can confirm that he has a track record of spouting this junk.

  212. Richard said

    The figure of 25% (24.71% to be precise) is the median figure and is mathematically correct however it does not give the full picture thus the correction.

    I challenge Calderwood Parent, or Observer or anyone else to come up with any information that disputes my findings. All the information needed is in the public domain.

  213. jezabel said

    #209, I can confirm Richards figures are correct and yes I am an expert on this subject.

  214. Lisa said

    Ah but Calderwood Parent he can substantiate his figures but all you have done is rubbish them without putting up any of your own because I suspect you have none to give. In fact you dont actually say very much at all except to have a go at Richard all the time. Were you also Jack, Curious etc.? So here’s a challenge for you – Lets see the real figures and back them up with facts> Oh and by the way at leat 1 class in CL has a 31.25% non Jewish population and I can back that one up.

  215. Hyman Kaplan said

    Jezabel, you claim to be an “expert on this subject”. May I ask what are your qualifications? I trust that you are a Chartered Statistician who is an accredited member of the Royal Statistical Society.

  216. Calderwood Parent said

    I know the correct figures. Your figure is rubbish and I have independent figures to prove it. As I have said before you cannot take one class in isolation.
    But the onus is on you to prove your figures,which you cannot do – other than from the back page of the Jewish Telegraph, Chaim Jacobs or heresay and gossip. Hardly indepth research is it?
    Jezabel you are not an expert – you think you are but that is different from the reality.
    Your figure is not subject to any completed census by Calderwood parents or any scrutiny from the local authority.
    Lisa may be taken in by this but not all of us.
    Richard can keep making a lot of noise but as Observer said he is discredited on a number of accounts.

  217. Moshe said

    Richard, I am delighted to learn that when the time comes my son will be made welcome at Calderwood. Of that I never had any doubt and I did not need you to state the obvious. I asked whether my son would swell the non- Jewish statistics. You, the great and expert debater and master of all blogs, they tell me, avoided dealing with my problem. You never answered the question. Dont tell me you don’t decide who is Jewish becase if that is so, why are you out there counting the Jewish kids at the school. You used matrilineal statistics ( it appears now, made up nonsense) while people like me and my partner who are desperate to be included are kept at arms length. Have you any idea how much distress you cause with your bombastic verbiage?

  218. jezabel said

    Calderwood parent, If you know the figures what are they?I know my figures are correct as i can name the entire school roll and i know every child in the school.The local authority dont know which children are jewish only which parents are interested in the jewish ethos.
    I will be at the CJE AGM any of you can talk to me there, Let’s see how many of you bother to turn up! I suspect you are not really interested in jewish education just arguing for the sake of it.

  219. Maggie said

    Calderwood Parent you are so keen to discredit others.

    You tell us you know the truth yet produce NOTHING.

    No my dear friend the ONUS is on YOU to supply and back up YOUR figures.

    I am not sure Richard and Jezebel have the figures exactly right but at least they have supplied something and they may not be too far off the mark.

    You on the other hand have contributed Hee Haw except to discredit them. So I repeat Lisa’s challenge put up some FACTS of your own.


    Your child and all children who wish to come to CL for the Jewish ethos are always most welcome no matter what background they have and what’s more they could not have a better primary school to attend

  220. Calderwood Parent said

    Jezabel – have you asked CJE if you can have a stand at their AGM? Bet they will be junping over themselves ?
    You have no proper census of the school roll so I repeat your figures are based on Chaim Jacobs, Jewish Telegraph, heresay and gossip.
    Thankfully the world has moved on and we rely on a more accurate counting of figures nowadays.
    I do know the figures. The onus is not for me to supply and back up anything. I am just telling you that Jezabel and Richard have again put up a kite. And whist Maggie, Lisa etc may hope that it will keep up in the air – it in reality has crashed to the ground.
    Their figures are wrong. And Moshe is quite right – who are they to decide who is Jewish and who is not.?

    One more point. My experience tells me that people who are real experts in a subject don’t have to tell anyone that they are knowledgeable. They know it. And so do we.

  221. Observer said

    Can we move on and forget about Richard and Jezabel. They don’t get it. And never will.
    What do people think about that Rabbi interfering in the cash for honours affair to support Lord Levy?

  222. Moshe said

    Maggie, I am amazed. You know that at best Richard and Jezebel’s figures are innacurate and by your use of the word ‘may’ also accept that it is possible they are nonsense. Just because they have made up something you are happy. It reminds me of the time several bookkeepers were applying for a job. They were asked “what is 2+2”. The one who got the job replied “5”. He was nearest.
    My use of the word ‘several’also reminds me of a previous blog when I felt compelled to correct Richard’s appalling mathematics. I defined ‘several’ as meaning at least three. To prove me wrong he quoted his trusty dictionary which defined ‘several’ as ‘more than two or three’. His understanding of simple words is questionable.
    He is also so obtuse that he did not understand that I was being generous, for every unit over three, on that occasion, would have made his figures look even worse.
    This is the person whose figures you would trust? Don’t you think our childrens’ future is worth just a little more?

  223. jezabel said

    220, “a stand at their AGM” Its not a trade fair! I’m right and your wrong,get over it.
    Observer,Interesting question but what has it got to do with this thread which is called jewish education? it seems you don’t observe very much!!

  224. Richard said

    I have figures for each year. They show a distinct trend of reducing Jewish proprtion. This is backed up by the reducing number of births over the last [at least] 8 years. To deny the trend is simply childish.

    I have not set the criteria, I have used a set of criteria generally accepted as correct by the overwhelming majority of Jewish Authorities. It was arbitrary and I have stated so. I am happy to debate ‘who is a jew’ but not here under “Jewish Education” as it is a side issue and not relevant to Calderwood. As for “being generous”, that demonstrates an inability to understand the mathematics. These figures speak for themselves and are very easily verifiable, they are absolute and calculated in the interests of truth and forward planning based on fact rather than wishful thinking.

    Your can disclaim, posture, bluff and shout all you like but until you publish alternative figures that can be as easily verified as mine then you are wasting your breath.

    We still await an explanation from Calderwood Parent (who seesm to think he owns this blog) as to why these figures are dangerous. Is he trying to scaremonger or is he simply voering the fact that he is lying about his own ‘independent’ figures

  225. Maggie said

    Moshe at no point have Richard and Jezabel said that your child would not be welcome at Calderwood and I quote “Personally (and I cannot speak for anyone else) I am delighted that any parent, Jewish or not, likes Calderwood enough to consider sending their child. It is an excellent school” posted in #206 so don’t jump on the band wagon of Richard bashing under false pretences.

  226. Mr Burns said

    Exactly why should anybody believe you Calderwood Parent.

    You have, as Maggie says, contributed nothing to prove and I quote from your earlier posting #220 “I do know the figures. The onus is not for me to supply and back up anything.”

    Personally I dont care what the figures are only that my children are geeting a good all round education both secular and Jewish, that’s why I chose Calderwood.

    Why did you choose it?

  227. Hyman Kaplan said

    Richard, I note that you have conceded that your “findings” are based on arbitrary criteria. In light of this, I presume that you will refrain from making any further claims as to their accuracy and reliability.

  228. Moshe said

    Richard, where on earth did you learn the technique of using ten words when one would have done? I’ll put the question in simple terms that even you will understand. Do you, not the man in the grey beard, not some nameless authority in cyberspace, but you, Richard the blogger, include my son in your Jewish statistics. I don’t want some nauseating meaningless garbage coming back at me, I want to know if you will welcome my son at calderwood as a Jew.

  229. Mr Burns said

    Moshe, Richard does not make the decisions about who attends Calderwood, why should it matter to you if Richard welcomes him or not?

  230. Moshe said

    It matters because Richard who does not wish to discuss ‘who is a Jew’ is going to great effort to count them. He uses
    “a set of criteria generally accepted as correct by the overwhelming majority of Jewish Authorities.” Which authorities? By that I don’t want only their names, I want the written sources by which he justifies his claims. I am suggesting that Richard is opening his big mouth, and every time Richard opens his big mouth, some fool speaks and someone somewhere gets hurt.

  231. Richard said

    Just because you say it, does not make it so!

    The criteria for what defines a Jewish child is a the most commonly accepted one.

    Unless you have evidence to refute my calculation then I suggest you keep quiet. Proof speak volumes and without it any assertion you make is without any validity.

    What you have to fear from the truth, perhaps you think we should kkep quiet and continue planning using completely bogus information?

    For the last time I will state this so even Calderwood Parent. Moshe and Hyman Kaplan cannot misunderstand or misinterpret. My calculations are simple, clear, unequivacle, repeatable and are easily confirmed as true. Any one can claim to have other information but unless they open up to public scrutiny they can only be considered rabble rousing troublemakers.

    There is a continual inability of a certain type of blogger like Calderwood Parent, Community Member, Ben Avraham and many others (most of whom are certainly the same sad individual) to fail to back up their claims with fact. Why should anyone listen to their pleadings and protestations when they’re only interest is to insult and misdirect.

    Answer the questions that have been put to you or enough with the haranging.

  232. Krusty The Clown said


    Do you consider your son to be a Jew?

    Will he go to Calderwood for the Jewish ethos?

    If the answer to both the above is yes, then it doesn’t matter what Richard or anyone else thinks, whether he counts in the Jew or non Jew statistics, because Calderwood will be happy to have him on the school roll and so will i and everyone else (and I include Richard in that)too – as per his previous quote in post #206 “Personally (and I cannot speak for anyone else) I am delighted that any parent, Jewish or not, likes Calderwood enough to consider sending their child. It is an excellent school and your boy will, undoubtably be made very welcome.”

  233. Voyeur said

    I have taken great interest in watching the development of some of the arguments but always Richard interferes and drags them down to the lowest level. Is it not possible for admin to set up a Richard free site where intelligent discussion would take place undisturbed. Richard could still carry on at great length on this or some designated site and you could all take turns to press a submit button so he would think he was being listened to.

  234. Curious said

    Kirsty your name is very appropriate – because to want to quote Richard makes you a clown in itself.
    Ignore him – he’s discredited and voyeur is right – find him his own channel with Jezabel and they can produce ridiculous statistics all they want and live happily ever after. And we can get on with sensible discussion.

  235. Krusty The Clown said

    Firstly Curious you cant spell so you clearly didn’t go to Calderwood.

    Secondly, I addressed my questions to Moshe not you.

    Thirdly, I may be a clown but if you bothered to actually read what I wrote, I actually wasn’t defending Richard merely pointing it out to Moshe that if he answered yes to the 2 questions then it wouldn’t matter a damn what Richard or Jezabel or even you thought of his child’s Jewish or otherwise status because EVERYONE would be happy to see him at Calderwood, wouldn’t they?

    Fourthly, grow up and let’s move this debate on because all you want to do is have a go at Richard and Jezabel and anyone else that doesn’t follow what you think. So who’s the clown now?

  236. Little John said

    Richard is the only person here offering facts. He has trounced Commuity Members bullshit and now has calderwood parent and wee pals on the ropes.

    Moshie. Your son is not Jewish. You cannot have your cake and eat it. Deal with it.

  237. Itchy the mouse said

    Moshe your son will be welcome at Calderwood regardless, that should be enough.

  238. Calderwood Parent said

    Another reason why we should disregard the erroneous figures supplied by Jezabel and Richard.

    On the previous education blog which anyone can still access Jezabel let it be known how much she cares about Calderwood.

    No 246. ” Calderwood is doomed…My kids will have left by then so I don’t care”

    Isn’t that brilliantly constructive?
    Does that not make you think that those who rush to their defence when we question the objectivity and reliability of their postings and continually find them wanting are almost as daft as these two?

    Their statistics are wrong. They are not based on proper academic research.

    Krusty, Maggie, Lisa and whoever else can believe these figures if they want to – Little John can think that Richard’s smart but who are they convincing. Np one.

    Are CJE clamouring to get hold of Jezabel and Richard’s incorrect figures? No
    Are the School Board rushing to find out? No
    Are the local authority saying that they need help from Jezabel and Richard? No

    And now we have to read even more nonsense. ” The local authority do not know who is Jewish” according to Jezabel today.
    So now we must believe that the staff in the school,only employees after all, don’t know either. Only two people know – Jezabel and Richard! And only there statistics are reliable.

    Anyone who believes this must believe in fairies at the bottom of their garden. It’s just nonsense.

    Let’s move this discussion on – and forget about the discredited duo.

  239. Hyman Kaplan said

    Richard, the point at issue is the validity of your methodology.
    You claim that your research meets the standards of scientific rigour yet, as you have acknowledged, your methods are based on arbitrary criteria. In light of this, how can one have any degree of confidence in the reliability of your empirical data?
    If it is the case, as you assert, that your findings are “easily confirmed as true”, then I trust that you will submit your research for peer review by independent statisticians who are genuine experts in the field of Jewish demography.

  240. Community Member said

    Since I last commented and discussed the necessity of dealing with a community problem and having a proper programme of education in place to teach about the dangers of stereotyping etc and correct unacceptable behaviour we have seen unfortunately another example of the problem.

    I would suggest that David Links and Richard, are two who need an intensive course and all those who claimed to not understand what the problem is should enroll immediately.

    There will be no charge for this course. I cannot prejudge how long will be required to correct this problem. We are dealing with attitudes and behaviour that require education and we have to teach the basics about having respect for others’ – minorities, religions and nationalities.

    we also have to teach why it is unacceptable to behave in a crude and unacceptable manner. It is also imperative to inform how one recognises these problems so that they do not get worse. We should all be aware that ignorance or denial of this problem is no excuse.

    I will inform shortly how one applies for this course. Normally one would have expected such education to be supplied by our communal leadership but unfortunately some of them also require special assistance to overcome their problems.

    I will keep you up to date.
    Thank you

  241. jezabel said

    239,You know nothing about the field of jewish demogaphy find me one of your experts and i will talk to them.
    Calderwood parent, you can mock all you like the school and staff not answerable to you.

  242. jezabel said

    240,Here comes the community charter again.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  243. Itchy the mouse said

    Community Memeber you suggest s programme to

    “correct unacceptable behaviour”

    “teach why it is unacceptable to behave in a crude and unacceptable manner”

    “We are dealing with attitudes and behaviour that require education and we have to teach the basics about having respect for others”

    Don’t make me laugh, you’ll be first in the queue with Jezabel and Richard then?

  244. Diva said

    And while you are at it perhaps the course can include how to extracate oneself from up one’s own a**e for Community Member

  245. Zebbedee said

    Community member just read 232 and 235 and go away.

    Your are really boring us all now.

    And now its time for bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  246. Nanny said

    Community Parent
    You have been a very naughty boy. It is MY job to tell little boys how to behave, and you are behaving very badly indeed.

  247. Calderwood Parent said

    It is so obvious Jezabel that you type before you think.
    Re read what you wrote in number 241.
    I Suggest that it is not ony your counting that you need to improve.

    Your figures are nonsense – let’s repeat it again for everyone to read –
    They are compiled without any proper census or credited research techniques with any academic standing – but rather from Chaim Jacobs, the Jewish Telegraph, heresay and gossip.

    You and Richard are discredited.

  248. Richard said

    The figures are taken from verifiable, public sources. Community member’s claims to have alternative information is clearly untrue or he would have posted it. He has not a leg to stand on and has to resort to lies.

    Community Member, you are perilously close to libel with your statements. Be very, very careful with what you are saying as you are making very serious allegations and are putting the publishers of this blog at risk.

    All the figures I have posted are correct and I am happy to make them available to anyone who contacts me privately. You know who I am and how to contact me Community Parent, if you contact me I will explain every facet of the data collection process, the calulation and the foundation for my findings. I have not lowered myself to your level, however, I should remind you that I have 2 University degrees both of which included statistics as a major subject.

    Your witchhunt have changed the nature of this very public debate.

  249. Ben Avraham said

    Comment removed by Admin

  250. jezabel said

    Calderwood parent, You should try reading, thinking and not typing at all as you clearly have nothing to say.I will be at the AGM tell me my figures are nonsense to my face,I dont need help from chaim jacobs or the JT in this matter.Where are your figures and how were they calculated?

  251. Richard said

    In #248 I mentioned Community Member when it should have read Calderwood Parent. They are one and the same person on a personal campaign of some kind.

    I have suffered false accusations, insults and abuse from this person all unwarranted. When asked to substantiate his claims he has ALWAYS failed to do so.

    The data has been requested by various official school related bodies within the last 12 months.
    Calderwood Parent has yet to provide ANY data that conflicts with mine
    Calderwood Parent has yet to explain why this data may be “dangerous”
    Calderwood Parent has yet to justify any of his claims
    Calderwood Parent calls the figures “incorrect” but has not presented any factual evidence.

    I leave it to those watching to draw their own conclusions.

    Those reading this blog

  252. A Beitz said

    My methodology tells me there’s quite a lot of Jewish children and quite a lot of non Jewish children at Calderwood. I don’t really give a toss about the exact percentage or methodology of working it out but it seems to be between 30% and 40%. I can’t be arsed with the bickering about it however.
    Talking of education however for those of us who get the JC this week’s story about the guy who is due out of prison in the summer and attends Stanmore shul does leave you with a dilemna. I never want to exclude anyone but feel in this case the guy committed such a gross breach of trust(he sexually abused two barmitzvah boys he was teaching) that he is a risk and he has to accept the consequences of his actions. He not being excluded from housing but merely from going to shul having carried out acts which are gross breaches of Jewish law. The nature of the acts is secondary to the fact that he poses a risk and I would exclude him. Realistically he can’t be accompanied everywhere when he comes to shul and it would be an unfair imposition upon the shul to expect that. It is my understanding that paedophiles urges remain with them and accordingly he will remain a risk. It’s not a happy situation but I would hate to think of young families in Stanmore having concerns and not going to shul because of this man being there.

  253. A Beitz said

    I meant the non Jewish element is between 30% and 40%

  254. David S Links said

    For the avoidance of doubt I am not and will never be a racist. I do not play cards and did not play the race card. Because I mentioned the M word does not make me a racist. I talked about Muslims being an ever increasing part of the school roll and looked ahead to what might happen in the future. The Muslims have to be welcomed and those who send their children there obviously see Calderwood as both a good school educationally as well as a haven of tolerance which their kids may not enjoy elsewhere.

    I would be interested to find out whether you younger parents think that the school has been a total success or otherwise. Over the forty or so years of the school why did people send their children to Calderwood and what good did it do.

    I myself was unable to be sent there as it was not yet an option. I was born in 1946 and as the war had just ended there were so many of us born in that bulge year. I remember being at primary school in the early 1950’s in a class of 53 with one teacher. I was of the Cheder generation going there on Sunday mornings as well as three weekday evenings from 5pm till 6.30pm. I travelled to and fro on tramcars and latterly by bus on my own, car runs had not yet become fashionable. ( I might add for the record that I walked to nursery school on my own from the age of three, and it was acceptable). I furthered my Jewish education at the Hebrew College for three years after Bar Mitzvah on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Through out my Cheder years I also learnt Ivrit from a succession of Israeli students living in Glasgow at the time. The advent of Calderwood was hailed as the great panacea and would offer children to possibility to include their Jewish studies into the 9-4 school day.

    How do we measure if the experiment has worked. Do we quantify those who attended C.L. versus those who did not and see if there is a trend re intermarriage. Do we compare those who have lost their way in our community. I certainly know from first hand experience that there is greater Synagogue attendance from non Calderwood children. On a Jewish holiday such as Pesach or Shavuot Calderwood closes and the children and their parents with a few exceptions look upon it as a holiday. The children who are kept off secular schools are invariably the ones to be found in Shul.

    In this context I see this as a failing of Calderwood. I remember that in 1960 the roll of Hutchesons Boys Grammer was 960 and that 120 were Jewish. I suspect that 95% did not go to school on Jewish holidays but the 95% all went to shul. That percentage has dropped ever since. I know that some will say that this equates with the non attendance in Shuls of Calderwood pupils, but it does beg the question why do you send your kids to Calderwood in the first place.

    Our community is decreasing in size year on year partly through intermarriage and partly through children going to English universities and not returning. This is a problem that requires our attention as members of the community, what happens in Israel and our governments attitude is a different matter and should not be the main focus of GJEF and its quest to solve the communities problems as it appears to be.

    I hope these comments long as they are stimulate discussion away from some of the pettiness which has crept int the blog of late.

  255. Community Member said

    So many applications for the course already.
    I don’t know if I can take so many in one class.
    I knew there was a lot of need but the evident demand is exceptional.

    Richard, very interested to know what I have written that could have possibly been inaccurate or untrue.
    Please tell us all.

  256. Community Member said

    Richard you are very silly indeed.
    You keep getting people mixed up – I have no idea which course you can go on for that?

  257. Moses said

    Reading through the blog, I’ve checked Richard’s figures against those published and double checked his calculations, and I find they are clearly correct.

    Will the decenters please display their own figures and workings for to us to compare?

    Sits back and awaits.


  258. jezabel said

    Interesting blog Mr Links, My children are in shul every holiday and shabbat but looking around the shul i don’t think it makes any difference which school the kids are at,those families that are shul attenders will be there no matter which school there children go to.Having kids at calderwood makes life easier because they are off anyway. Hat off [or on!] to the brave few teenagers that take time off from their studies to come i can only hope my kids will do the at that age.

  259. Calderwood Parent said

    Let’s clarify some issues.
    Richard and Jezabel’s statistics ate not valid. They have not been asked, nor have they undertaken any census of Calderwood parents.
    They have no authority to count the numbers as they are doing.
    Who gave them the right to decide who is Jewish and who is not in Calderwood?
    They are not qualified to do this and as Moshe stated earlier they are trying to decide who is a Jew because they keep trying to count the numbers.
    I will state once more – and now also for the benefit of Mr Beitz- who tells us that the figure is 30-40% of non Jewish children at Calderwood, Richard and Jezabel and your figure Mr Beitz is complete nonsense.
    My point is that the figures are not important – they have no validity – and it is a dangerous game to be posting incorrect numbers. And the reason I won’t give you the correct numbers – which are obtainable if you know who to ask – AND NO THIS IS NOT RICHARD OR JEZABEL – is that I am not prepared to give these counting games any validity by posting the numbers in a public forum.
    And as for Mr Links. To suggest that the success of Calderwood Lodge can be judged on Shul attendance or on intermarriage this is complete nonsense.
    My children attend Calderwood for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it is because it is a very good school – a tribute to Dr Duffy who turned the school around very quickly.
    I believe that the school helps my children forge their Jewish identity.
    I believe my Jewish identity is strong. I also reject completely that Shul attendance is an important part of that identity – because it does nothing for me at all. I will and do encourage my children’s Jewish identity and I will do this in the way that my wife and I think is correct.
    What I find really ridiculous is when people like David Links and many like him try and tell the rest of us that Shul attendance is so important.
    Mr Links you go to Shul if you want to.Enjoy it. It is your right to do so. But when you start judging the rest of us by your criteria for Jewish identification, quite simply I think you are a plonker.
    You prey if you want to – but don’t tell me to do the same or judge me because I don’t want to. your simplistic analysis only proves that you have swum so far out of your depth in discussing Jewish identity that you are drowning.

  260. Debbie said

    Ben Avraham you are an arsehole, clear enough for you

  261. Debbie said

    Let me apoogise to the other bloggers, for that childish submission

  262. 0905 said

    Mr Links please do not feel that you have to justify yourself to a bunch of bully boys. I for one would be delighted to move away from the pettiness which you so rightly comment on. That seems rather impossible to do when there it would appear that there are only a few opinions that matters.

  263. A Beitz said

    Calderwood Parent I don’t give a toss what the figures are or who if anyone is exactly right. Let’s move on. David S Links does ask some interesting questions this time round. I think one of the main ways Calderwood can be deemed a success is the number of national youth leaders who have gone there with Glasgow providing leadership which is out of all proportion to its numbers. However the school cannot overide parental negativity which sees attendance at the school as an end in itself which may (from the disinterested parents point of view) require corrective education to knock any positive ideas out about Jewish religious observance.

  264. Richard said

    Calderwood Member has not been asked for his opinion, however he did ask me to justify my statement on the number of Jewish children at the school so I obliged. He didn’t like the answer and so continues to throw his toys out of the pram.

    I stated an opinion and backed it up with fact. No one, particularly Calderwood Parent, has provided even the slightest shred of evidence that my figures are wrong (except A Beitz who’s figures are even worse from CP’s point of view).

    Calderwood Parent, you claim to have a ‘proper’ source. State your source, publish even the overall figure or be consigned to irrelevancy. “Debate” does not mean he who shouts loudest it correct.

    I challenge you to:
    State YOUR source
    Publish figures
    Explain why yours are correct
    Explain why knowing the truth of the matter is “dangerous”
    Explain WHY figures “have no validity” (apart from MY reasons of course)

    I have made no claim of expert status. I have a slight claim of statistical training but calculating averages is Arithmetic ‘O’ Grade level in any case. If anything I am guilty of stating the bleeding obvious.

    It is pathetic to decline to publish to prevent giving ‘validity’ to others’ figures, there was no controversy about these figures until you got obsessed about calling me names and attempting in vain to discredit me and Jezabel. Anyone with eyes can see that our birth rate is falling, kids are leaving Glasgow and not returning to raise families and that the marrying-outrate is growing. It is not a surprise to anyone but you that the proportion of jewish kids at the school is falling.

    You have become a sad, obsessed individual who’s only purpose on this blog is to attack and abuse your [former] friends. I am saddened and disappointed.

  265. jezabel said

    #252,This is a tricky one for the Stanmore community, If it were here i couldn’t see him attending for long, every time he left his seat parents would follow him to see where he was going. would any Rabbi give him an aliyah?

  266. Calderwood Parent said

    Mr Beitz, if you don’t give a toss what figures are right don’t post incorrect figures like Richard and Jezabel. People who don’t know the right figures should have the commonsense to shut up rather than pretend to have knowledge.

    Richard, I cannot be bothered discussing this issue with you anymore. it is a waste of time. On every subject that has come up on this blog you are loud and opinionated. And when you are challenged you don’t like it. Well bad luck.
    If you didn’t shout your mouth off it would not happen.
    Finally, let me tell you that I have never been part of your social circle so you do not know who I am.
    And I do not thankfully have friends who posted the shocking statements you did on the blog previously. And what’s more GJEF can accept your apology if they want – that’s up to them – but I don’t because your apology on this blog was a disgrace.

  267. Controversial said

    Comment Removed by Admin

  268. Past Parent said

    I asked a past pupil, who is a member of the Calderwood group on Facebook (an online social networking service for students, which has recently been extended to schools) to see what other past pupils thought of their time at the school. There have only been a dozen or so responses so far – all from people in their late teens/early twenties. Some obviously had a better time than others – but that is likely to be true of every school. One or two don’t think there is a place for faith schools in a multicultural world and its a shame they aren’t convinced of the benefit.

    What I found most interesting was quite a few comments about how important they felt the school was and a perceived lack of support from some sections of the Community. Also interesting was those who treated the question seriously and took the time to think of something constructive to say were almost all the children of people who are active in some capacity or another within the Community………..

    When there have been more & a wider variety of responses, I’ll draw up a synopsis of the comments.

  269. 1509 said

    #259 You state “And the reason I won’t give you the correct numbers – which are obtainable if you know who to ask”

    Who do I ask?

    How come you appear to be privy to information which may be data protected?

  270. David S Links said

    Calderwood Parent Please use this blog with some responsibility. Suggesting someone is a plonker as they have ideas that conflict with your own is in fact an admition of being a plonker yourself. And by the way C.P. was your spelling of “Pray” PREY a Fruedian slip or was it just bad spelling

  271. A Beitz said

    Is it not time some people on this blog started to utilise their education by behaving themselves. The personal insults are tedious and often ruin what would otherwise be a good point. I would suggest that anyone who wants to throw out personal insults should think several times and then if he or she considers it necessary do so using his or her proper name. Otherwise the post should be deleted. It should be possible to disagree without name calling and personal insults. Unless of course those doing it really want to kill this blog. Maybe that is their aim.

  272. A Beitz said

    Third sentence “using” should be “uses”.

  273. Ned Flanders said

    Couldn’t agree with the previous 3 postings more. Well said Messrs Beitz & Links. Let’s all be sensible and make this blog worthy of reading by the whole community.

  274. Ben Avraham said

    Comment removed by Admin

  275. Doh said

    Oh so now Ben Avraham your wonderful powers of deduction mean that you can surmise that because the word “a**e” is used in both postings, it must be the same person.

    My how (a) perceptive you are and (b) how wrong you are because it wasn’t the same person.

    Nevertheless, I can’t fault your powers of deduction and look forward to some more healthy debate and lets not get personal after all it’s such a waste of effort.

  276. Calderwood Parent said

    In the new spitit of friendliness and reconciliation Mr Links could I suggest that you check up how to spell Freud and admission – before commenting on others’ typing mistakes.
    I hope you all have a very pleasant day and I can’t wait to read your interesting postings.

  277. Ben Avraham said

    No, Doh,there is a thread, a use of language and syntax,that runs through these blogs and in many cases its not rocket science to know when people are posting under new personas. In Diva’s case it was pathetically obvious. Contrition is now the order of the day. All debates have their rules and parameters. Contraversial stepped over the line by a mile so you will understand if I say there is no value in debating with them as they are completely devoid of integrity and a sense of humour. I would like to say it has been a pleasure talking to them but once again I prefer talking to my garden gnome At least I don’t get nonsense back. Farewell.

  278. Little man said

    “All debates have their rules and parameters. Contraversial stepped over the line by a mile so you will understand if I say there is no value in debating with them as they are completely devoid of integrity and a sense of humour”.

    One set of rules for you and a different one for everyone else it seems.

  279. Garden Gnome said

    Dont tell Ben Avraham but I just don’t listen to anything he has to say.I’d rather talk to the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

  280. David S Links said

    Calderwood Parent. Touche. And in this continuing period of enlightenment I will say sorry.
    This ecumenical enlightenment and co-operation also stretched to Rep Council President Dr. Kenneth E. Collins attending the Old Firm match yesterday as a guest. I am sure he would have been impressed by the choice of songs by the Rangers fans who even managed to invite the Pope to indulge in things they know only to well are prohibited to him.
    As a new friend could I remind you that spirit is spelt with an r. Finally as a friend you can drop the Mr and call me by my first name. Would I then be allowed to call you Calderwood

  281. Joker said

    Just popped in after a long absence and I’m pleased to hear that we’re all growed up so do we think we could have a stab at defining “who’s a Jew” and why? Moshe (above somewhere) made a very relevant point, is it enough to only have a Jewish father or does marrying out forever exclude you. I’d leave the school out of this as we all know that actual religious descent is irrelevant there but then what do I know, I’m just a joker?

  282. Calderwood Parent said

    Okay Mr Links or as you prefer David. I guess I should have known how to spell spirit.
    I would love to know what the “S” stands for in the middle of your name.
    Is it for “sweetie”?

  283. David S Links said

    One is Jewish if your mother is Jewish,end of story. The simple reasoning behind this is that the mother is always known as she is the one who carries and gives birth. To be certain of proving who the father is may be possible through DNA testing nowadays but that of course was not an option in biblical days.

  284. Interested said

    That’s a very good explanation David, but given that we can now prove who the father’s are, can the Jewish religion move forward and accept that children who only have a Jewish father are counted as full members of the club too? Do the reform or liberals accept these children described previously as “Jewish”?

  285. Debbie said

    I think that is a question for the Chief Rabbi!

  286. David S Links said

    Firstly you cannot realistically ask people to have DNA tests to prove parenthood as this would increase the divorce rate. Secondly Jewish Law never changes. How many Dayanim (Judges) does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: None Dayanim don’t change anything.
    As for your question re- Reform and Liberal I do not know but have no reason to think they would differ from Orthodox in this matter. They have a much easier conversion track although I have no idea as to the status of children of a person who converts but suspect that they if under a certain age may be involved in the conversion process.

    The position in Israel is complicated as there they only have Orthodox conversion. It is also tied up with the Law of Return and they have a definition of a Jew as being accepted if one grandparent was Jewish. Consult who have cosiderable information online.

  287. Past Parent said

    We could get into a complex halachic and philosophical debate about ‘who is a Jew’, which might be an interesting topic in it’s own right, but I’m not sure it takes us very far in the context of looking at the future of our Community. In fact I suspect it might be quite divisive as certain people will have rather entrenched views and others will likely get hurt.

    Entry to Calderwood is not dependent on passing a ‘Jewishness’ test – thank goodness – unlike some of the London & Manchester schools where they even insist on a certain level of frumkite. I’m not aware that any of our care organisations or youth groups make any distinction – although there are obviously some which align themselves to particular ends of the spectrum. Someone said previously that willingness to buy into a Jewish ethos was what was important and I agree with that. I think its particularly important in a small community to be inclusive as we cannot afford to push people away – what do other people think?

  288. Nemo said

    Sorry David #283 but that used to be the case. With modern implant tecniques where the ovum may be donated, it is possible for neither biological parent to be Jewish which makes a complete nonsense of the whole thing. So you see it is not end of story. I also have the feeling that this unbending definition of status by the mother is relatively recent. If you look into the torah you will notice that the men were sourcing wives, and many of them, from all over the place. Although this was probably to satisfy their unquenchable sexual appetites there was a beneficial side effect in that it did no harm to the gene pool. Probably the most famous case was Ruth, the Moabite princess who married Boaz. Ruth’s illustrious descendant was King David and I believe Moshiach when he eventually gets here will be of the Davidic line. So you see, David (Links not King), when we all jump out of our graves hopefully with all our bits and pieces intact and march off to Jerusalem behind the Messiah, it will be a descendant of a Moabite princess whom we will be following.
    My understanding of the mother emphasis on Jewish acceptance as a mainstay and unnegotiable tenet of orthodox Judaism was that it was a humanitarian decision by the rabbonim in Eastern Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was a humanitarian decision to cope with the circumstances of the times. The Jewish shtetles were constantly being raided and the young girls raped. Many of these girls became pregnant and the status of the resulting children uncertain. By such declarations the children not only were Jewish, but they also became a responsibility of the whole community.It’s a great pity that such common sense and understanding is lacking in contemporary Dayanim. As for Dayanim changing things they can change anything they want if it suits them. They stick bits of rope round towns which somehow enables them to carry on Shabbat. They incorporate keys into their belts on Shabbat and pretend they arnn’t carrying anything. The problem with that little wheeze is that should they lose their keys, not only will they be locked out of their houses but their trousers will fall down. Yet they cannot solve the problem of agunat. If they were the ones who were chained instead of the women, they would soon resolve the problem.

    Debbie, why on earth would you ask the chief Rabbi anything. He is representative of a minority of British Jews and has let them down badly. He was originally brought in by the then power brokers in the commumnity such as Stanley Kalms on the premise that he would be a reforming Chief Rabbi bringing the United Synagogue into the modern age. On every major issue he has baulked at the last moment and failed to deliver. He may sound good and certainly goes down well as our representative in the non Jewish world. While I’m at it Chiefy and all the other orthodox Rabbonim have their Rebbes, usually in Isael to whom they look for advice, especially on the big decisions. So when the Chief makes a pronouncement maybe some fershtinking little Rebbe tucked away in Meir Shearim has made the decision. As a corollary to that thought, perhaps the shuls when they are engaging rabbis should insist on interviewing the candidates’ rebbes that the congregations will know with whom they are actually dealing

  289. David S Links said

    Nemo, Some of your points are sensible and valid. I can confirm that the change from male paternity to female maternity being the accepted way of confirming Jewish lineage came during the Roman times. Many Jewish woman were enslaved and gave birth having a Roman as the father of their children. I must take you to task though for your remark re “Fershtinking Rabbis I think that you are showing positive signs of bigotry. I doubt that any Rabbi connected to our community is liable to have a Rebbe in Mea Shearim where the Neturei Karta are based. I do not think you can suggest the lack of personal hygine of people you have not encountered just because you do not like a particular group.It is just like saying all Rangers fans stink.

  290. Veritas said

    David, Oh, to be an authority. If you are quoting from the five books it is a lot of fairy tales. I know I use it as a reference, but then I talk a lot of nonsense. As for being a bigot, of course I am, but that doesn’t make me wrong. You will probably be astonished to learn that I have many close and not so dear relatives in Meir Shearim and they make the Naturei Kartei look like a bunch of pinko lefties (sorry David, I know that you are an open minded democrat despite your neurotic aversion to pinko lefties aka Shalom Achshav). There are some choice members of NK in North Manchester but I have not seen any great exodus of dossim from there, so why on earth should Meir Shearim be any different. Are you getting confused with the Highland Clearances?

  291. Nemo said

    Blast, I pressed too quick, that’s another pseudonym lost forever.

  292. Bob said

    I suggest that David Links should read ” The God Delusion ” by Richard Dawkins before he is much older.
    All those who propound the virtues of going to Shul on this blog – may find it a life-changing work.

  293. Moshe said

    I am intrigued about the argument whether it was in Roman times or later that the switch came in Jewish lineage from father to mother. The claim is that the overriding criterion was humanitarianism. This is just philisophical semantics. I want to be part of the community,the school that my son attends, the PTA, whatever it takes, not just a country member but a full rights, paid up member with my partner and (circumcised) son. After I read #236 posted by Little John where he said ” Your son is not Jewish. You cannot have your cake and eat it. Deal with it.” I stopped for breath. I waited for all the bloggers who would welcome my son to calderwood commenting on such an inhumane reaction. What did I get? Silence.Not just any old silence but an evocative silence that state d volumes. Not a peep from one of you. Maybe Little John knows you all better than you know yourselves.

  294. Darwin said

    I suggest David read it during the sermon. A useful way of passing the time.

  295. Darwin said

    #294 refers to #292

  296. Debbie said

    Moshe who do you want your son to be accepted by? The other parents I think will be happy to have your son, the teaching staff will be happy to have your son, the CJE will be happy to have your son attending Calderwood for the Jewish ethos. The PTA will be happy to have your support.

  297. Past Parent said

    Moshe, I also talked about inclusiveness amongst the wider communal organisations, but if you what you are hinting at is for your son to be accepted by the Orthodox religious bodies, shuls etc and he doesn’t meet their criteria, there is not an awful lot you can do about it. It’s a private club and makes its own, well published, rules. If you were a lawyer you couldn’t practice as an accountant – even though you might have some of the qualifications and a similar background.

  298. Moshe said

    Past Parent I met my partner while studying down South. It was some years ago on a UJS Israel Tour. Her father is halachically Jewish, her mother was brought up Anglican. She has always considered herself Jewish and led a Jewish life. As our relationship developed we did not consider the future problems, just our happiness together. For many reasons I am trying to persuade her to come north. Our son will be counted among the non-Jewish total. It seems incongruous that he who has 75% Jewish genes will be welcomed to enjoy the Jewish ethos only, but others with less genetic right have no problem

  299. A Beitz said

    Moshe if your wife has always considered herself Jewish maybe she should look at conversion. Whether Reform or Orthodox it won’t be easy and require as much comittment (maybe more) from you as from her but there are many who I know, both Orthodox and Reform who have done this. Hopefully she would get a slightly less cynical view by the London Beth Din since she has a background and indeed under older rules, as mentioned earlier on this blog, would have been Jewish. Worth speaking to a sympathetic rabbi. I appreciate you may already have been through all this and if so I apologise.

  300. MIlchadick said

    Moshe, what difference does it make if your son is counted as one of the Jewish or non-Jewish at school. He will be accepted FULLY by one and all there and can live as Jewish a life as you want him, and he wants himself, to.

    With regard to the Orthodox shuls, unfortunately they have their own memmbership criteria just like any “private club” so unless you go through an orthodox conversion as Mr Beitz has suggested then you will just have to accept their entry qualifications.

    I wish you good luck and hope you come and join us in this great city.

  301. NLL said

    Moshe – I hope you & your family do come to Glasgow and swell the numbers of our wonderful Community, our school and any of the various other organisations and/or groups that are of interest or assistance to you all. I hope you wont require any of the Care Organisations, but they are here along with many vibrant cultural & social oportunities. And that’s just the Jewish stuff – I hope you also find things to interest you in our Scottish culture – our education system that means automatic entry into some of the best secondary schools in the country without your children having to sacrifice their last year at primary to sitting entrance exams, magnificent countryside within 1/2 hours travel in any direction – a busy city centre with all the necessary amenities and some of the best shopping in Europe. Add to that a more than decent standard of living (despite some scary house prices) – what are you waiting for??????

  302. Little John said

    I too was surprised at the collective silence as I was being deliberately brutal to see if I got flamed like others have for far less.

    Considering yourself Jewish is not a qualification. I could consider myself a mechanic, I certainly have the skills and the experience, but if I made such a claim in a job application I would get into trouble and rightly so. People are obsessed with qualification and Jews are worse than most. All organised religions are about controlling the masses and Judaism is also about keeping itself separate as a method of control. Independent religious thought is a contradiction in terms.

    Be your own person and do what makes you happy but forget about full acceptance unless you wish to subject yourself to others’ petty rules.

  303. NLL said

    Maybe I should have added that despite being a wee bit further away from the epicentre, the rules for joining the Orthodox ‘club’ are the same here as elsewhere. What we possibly do benefit from is a bit less of an alignment to the rules of that club enabling some of our facilities and organisation to be more cross communal.

  304. David S Links said

    The Jewish Press both local and national talk of the row between the Vice President of the Board of Deputies Glasgow’s Brian Edlin and the GJEF organistion.

    It would appear to me the leaders of GJEF have been pulling the wool over its supporters eyes and being a tad disingenious. As I stated before, the first meeting re Calderwood was the “Loss Leader” You are well into Israeli politics now and the Peace Now activists are in full swing. We do not need thses people taking over. Just remember that in Israel Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) is the equivilant in influence as the GREENS or THE MONSTER RAVING LOONY PARTY are here.

    The Glasgow Peace Now group have disguised themselves and think that by choosing another hat they can exert some influence. We as a community should be supportive of Israel in every way possible and not seen by the non jewish world to be squabbling among ourselves. Only those with a Knesset vote and having served in the Zavah Haganah Le Yisrael have earned the right to be taken seriously, the rest and I include myself are only armchair Zionists. You can pontificate as much as you wish you are doing more harm than good

  305. A Beitz said

    Ok, ok David S Links you’ve got me bang to rights. I have never been a Peace Now member, I have been involved in arranging a meeting at which the Calderwood head spoke. I have also helped arrange a meeting at which Jim Murphy gave us a talk about Israel at which some of the more right wing members of Likud would have agreed with every word. Then I admit I helped arrange a meeting with Mona Siddiqui a Moslem professor whose views are entirely unknown to me. I’ve also been involved in arranging a meeting at which a Rabbi who lives on the West Bank is going to speak on Jewish ethics. And then of course having posted some pretty critical stuff about IJV and their claims to represent the community I very biasedly invited Paul Edlin of the Board of Deputies and Brian Klug of IJV to take part in a discussion in which both sides could put forward their own point of view.
    So you can see from the facts above how right David S Links is. It’s all a Peace Now front. Oh and the Holocaust never happened either.

  306. Nemo said

    What on earth is DSL on about now? It is obvious that the early postings under the David S Links nom de plume were not penned by the brightest star in the firmament but this is crass stupidity. Everyone may express their views quite freely on this blog and if DSL had not had his pathological problem, he would have noticed that the discussion on the IJV declaration posted more comments anti than pro. Hardly the result one would have expected from a secret society. David S Links could have been blocked by the webmaster at any time, but he hasn’t. Your latest posting, DSL, is unpleasant and has all the hallmarks of a disturbed mind. I think you deserve our pity and would suggest you consider some sort of counselling.

  307. Moshe said

    I read today’s Jewish Chronicle and know that you have important things to discuss. Tomorrow morning I am taking my son for the first time to a shul in North London and will think of you all and the trouble you have gone to, to give me your advice and comfort. Shabbat Shalom to you all.

  308. Peace Now Supporter said

    I have attended many of the Peace Now meetings in this comunity over the past 25 years. And I do not recall seeing David Links at any of these meetings, certainly not for about 10 years.
    I would suggest that this organisation – Peace Now – have actually done a great deal of good for this community. I would not agree with all that they said. But they did make people in Glasgow realise that there are different opinions in Israel – and that these opinions are legitimate and part of the debate. They have also spoken out about issues that were important that unfortunately our communal leadership would not have had the courage to discuss.
    I think Mr Links should stop talking such nonsense. I have never known him to show much understanding of Israeli issues. And part of the problem David is that you are not as well informed as you think you are.
    You don’t really even understand the rubbish you used to pass around from Scottish Friends of Israel. Because if you did you would not have done it. You were obviously a fellow traveller of that crowd who caused so much damage to the community and Israel’s name through their website and their crass letters to the Herald.
    And I will also bet that David Links won’t be there to hear Mona Siddiqui next week. Because he would rather condemn these GJEF meetings without turning up. At least Peace now over the years, whether you agree with them or not, have not hidden away but have had the courage to stand up and say unpopular things when they believed it was important to do so. They have received personal vilification for bringing some people to our community. But Mr Links they have never hidden.
    I know some of the people in GJEF and they are not Peace Now.
    Mr Links I think you should be quiet.

  309. Joker said

    Peace Now Supporter
    Peace Now …. “have actually done a great deal of good for this community”? Where are the buildings, the youth groups, the support organisations etc? PN may have doe a good job of putting their political view across and engendering debate but to stretch that to “a great deal of good” is a bit much.

    “They have also spoken out about issues that were important that unfortunately our communal leadership would not have had the courage to discuss.”? It was not the Leaders’ place to “speak out” about these subjects as that would have been inappropriate.

    “he would rather condemn these GJEF meetings”? Hmm It seems clear he supports the of the meetings but is of the opinion they are mostly PN fronts- it’s a point of view held by some but not what I would call condemnation.

    “that crowd who caused so much damage to the community and Israel’s name through their website and their crass letters to the Herald”? Are YOU one of those who believes that all Jews should voice the same opinion in public but that it should YOURS alone? Perhaps we are better served by proper public debate than you understand.

    “They have received personal vilification”. That, it seems to me at least, to be that main point of this blog. Have a go, be rude and be anonymous and everything is absolutely fine. With support like yours, Peace Now is in trouble.

    We can accept that GJEF is NOT a Peace Now ‘front’, however that will probably change if the next series of meetings are as Israel Politically centred. I’m looking forward to more locally interesting meetings and hopefully fewer nonsense posts from jokers like me.

  310. PN groupie said

    I have flirted with PN over the years but being involved with other committees have proved a poor supporter. Like other PN supporters in the community I have been on committees that have built and cared for buildings, I have been on parents committees, and I have spent much time supporting youth groups.In each occasion I have been involved in a committee appropriate to the task. You, Joker, are obviously a one trick pony and your trick , it is clear, is not sensible blogging.

  311. NLL said

    Joker – if someone who happens to be a Peace Now supporter gets involved in “the buildings, the youth groups, the support organisations etc?” of our Community that is, of course, admirable . If on the other hand someone attempted to (somehow) bring a Peace Now perspective to that involvement you and everyone else would shout them down for bringing politics into things – so I don’t understand what you are on about. To me Peace Now Supporter was talking about widening the debate on political (maybe also moral & ethical) issues – nothing more.

  312. Jacob said

    It came to me in a dream. Not just any old dream but one that even as it was occurring, I knew was to be memorable. I woke up in the middle of last night in a cold sweat for I knew I had cracked it.When I came to and gathered my thoughts from what had been a remarkable revelation – possibly, nay probably, from on high – I realised that I had been chosen to tell you all the truth; when you think about it, the oh so obvious truth. This blog is a fiendish Peace Now plot, no more no less just a cynical manipulative PN plot. Furthermore, and of this there is no doubt, their secret weapon is -You’ll never believe it -but it must be true – it is now so obviously true – their secret weapon is – David S Links. Think about it – is anybody really that paranoid? Is it possible that people actually function and survive from one day to the next harbouring the delusions and nonsense that have been invested in this tragi-comic character? The only possible explanation for the creation of this piece of journalistic genius is to make the character so awful, so illogical so crass that any rational person would immediately contrast him to PN and realise where the truth lay. I think Peace Now you have proved your point and its time to put your creation to bed and give us all some real peace.

  313. Joker said

    There are lots of people helping out in all sorts of ways in our Community and none seek to bring attention to their political views so why did Peace Now Supporter want to?

    Peace Now as a groups are political, full stop end of story. That is fine and dandy but has nothing to with PN doing great works for our Community. I speak of the group not the individuals. Perhaps NLL did not see my last comment and thinks I support the GJEF/PN conspiracy? As yet I don’t but more of teh Israel political centric meetings under “Our Community’s Future” banner and everyone will perhaps reconsider.

    As for widening the debate? That is not what the blog is about, that at least, is patently clear.

  314. perplexed said

    What exactly are you saying Joker. Are you saying there is only room in this community for people like you. Are you saying there is no room for political thought, there is no room for philosophical intercourse, there is no room for discussion of truth and justice because if you are, you are trapped in a very insular and boring little existance.

  315. D Slinks said

    Actually I think PN have done some fine work for the community by reminding the community that there is the Israel right or wrong position is untenable and that not everything Israel does, no matter how much we may love it, is justifiable. It was also well ahead of its time in arguing for a 2 state solution and that the occupation was morally and physically demeaning Israel.
    However there seems to be a suggestion that because some of those involved in GJEF are members of PN that everything they do in the community is with PN hat on. Bit McCarthyite this attempt to find PN in everything.

  316. D Slinks said

    Take out “there is ” in the second line of #315.

  317. NLL said

    I’m joining perplexed –

    Whither we feel Peace Now have brought a different dimension to political discussions in our community or not, please can we agree GJEF have nothing to do with Peace Now?

    – Some of the people involved with GJEF have also had some involvement with Peace Now
    – Some of the people involved with GJEF might vote SNP
    – Some of the people involved with GJEF are going bald
    – Some of the people involved with GJEF are men
    – Some of the people involved with GJEF are left handed.

    All of these statements are equally true but irrelevant, so can we please move on?

  318. Golfer said

    Mr Links could maybe tell us why he allegedly stormed out of a recent meeting of Bonnyton Golf Club?

  319. A Beitz said

    1 It didn’t suit him down to a a tee
    2 He felt he was with the wrong club
    3 He didn’t feel they were acting in a fairway
    4 There had been a balls up
    5 It was a bit rough
    6 It was a swingers club
    7 He doesn’t like Links courses

  320. Jack said

    Maybe David Links likes giving out criticism but cannot take it when its directed towards him?

  321. Joker said

    I care not a jot of the politics of the individuals on the GJEF committee, it is an irrelevance – that was my point but my original post was misread.

    PN has done it’s job well in putting forward an alternative view but that is not what I call “doing good for the Community”. Just my opinion.

    No wonder you are perplexed, Perplexed, you have not read the posts properly, where did I mention anything about what I do or want to do or claim I have done? I can assure you that I often don;t want to be like me so why would I want to inflict that on anyone else.

  322. Joker said

    I meant to add

    One could argue that SFI has done an equally good job of bringing an alternative political view to the debate but I don’t see many people on this bog arguing that SFI have done “lots of good for the Community”.

    Frankly I think both sides are way too extreme for my tastes, so who represents me?

  323. Lola said

    Joker, you must be joking. Anyone with some sensitivity or commonsense would realise that there is a huge difference between SFI , who didn’t bring an alternative political viewpoint to this community but instead distributed and published material that could have been construed as racial incitement, and Peace Now who represent the views of a significant number of Israelis.
    You must be at it, so we will do as you suggest and not take you seriously.

  324. npn said

    David Links-I have never been a member of , or a supporter of PN ; what gives you the right to say I have ,just because I am a member of a group that promotes discussion on Community issues ? Do you think I would have endorsed a West Bank Rabbi to speak at GJEF if I was PN ? Would I have asked the BOD to speak contrary to IJV if I wanted to promote their mindset ? Would I have blogged on this site to say that Melanie Philips beat IJV hands down on their TV debate ?
    Your logic is similar to me saying that as a Celtic Supporter ,you must be a member of the Sons Of Donegal Sopporters Club ,and an IRA sympathiser . You really are on shaky ground !
    Go on apologise if you have the courage/moral integrity……………….or do I record that you quite wrongly called me disingenious and part of a cover up , and raise it with you when I next see you ,which I most certainly will?
    I look forward to your response…….

  325. Joker said

    You can choose to take my commetns at face value or you can try to ignore them but to deny that SFI have an equally extremem viewpoint as PN is just silly. There are plenty of Israelis who support them or is it that one can only express support for left wing organisations now? Is ‘racist’ the new ‘facist’.

    If you think that SFI are racist then say so don’t pussy foot around.

    For the record I support neither, I sit on the fence and give both sides target practice.

  326. Emil Grunzweig said

    Why do you insist on defending the political legitimacy of an organisation which has expressed publicly its support for the avowedly racist policies of the Yisrael Beiteinu party?

  327. perplexed said

    Joker, on the one hand you say you often wouldn’t like to be like yourself #321, yet #326 you obviously wish to be taken at face value. How can we do that when you dont like what you see?

  328. Joker said

    Emil Grunzweig sounds old and needs bifocals. In post 325 I say “For the record I support neither” meaning neither PN nor SFI. Is that 100% clear now? I simply stated the bleeding obvious that SFI has as much legitimacy in the UK as PN and both viewpoints have huge support in Israel or are the other 4 bloggers in deep denial as well as deep cover?

    I’m a complex guy, what can I say?

    Still at least I’m perplexing rather than perplexed, mind you if you were ‘Curious’ you’d be in real trouble.

  329. Lola said

    Tell us joker why you believe that people who distributed and published offensive material that could have been construed as racial incitement should be given legitimacy? (SFI)
    Do you want us to take you seriously or are you just being a joker?
    You seem to have a very strange moral compass.
    Ah, now I get it. You are the same joker who thinks it is honourable to have a posting removed for its offensive nature (see Paul Edlin blog)
    You can’t be taken seriously – surely your intellect is greater than you are suggesting?

  330. Nemo said

    Well Joker, its crunch time. You tell us that PN take up an extreme position. What is their position? What is extreme about it? Tell us a bit about their manifesto or are you as I suspect just hot air. Take as long as you like. Go get a book and swot it up. At least you’ll come back more educated than you are at present.

  331. Penguin said

    Crunch time? are you coming over for dinner? Yum
    If you are so smart little fishy nemo dude why don’t YOU tell the silly Jokerman what the manifesto says or are you chicken?

    Waaaak Wak wak wak wak wak!

  332. Yiddishe Mama said

    Who mentioned chicken and fish. I’m right up for a little fress.

  333. Emil Grunzweig said

    Joker, I would suggest that you re-read my original comments as I did not state that you “supported” SFI; rather, I specifically questioned your defence of the political legitimacy of an organisation which has published racially inflammatory material on its website, and expressed publicly its support for the racist policies of the Yisrael Beiteinu party.
    I trust that you will now do me the courtesy of answering, in a serious manner, the criticism of your attempt to whitewash an extremist group.

  334. Joker said

    Whitewash? Are you allowed to say that these days?

    It is simply opinion that SFI has published “racially inflammatory material”. By who’s standard are you measuring such an accusation? They are as politically legitimate as any other extreme political viewpoint. If you deny them the right to say their piece in public you must also deny Socialist Workers Party and similar. Who are you to deny anyone freedom of speech?

    I am standing up for freedom of speech. Rather than discussing the facts, you simply want to avoid an awkward debate.

  335. Emil Grunzweig said

    Joker, the charge of publishing racially inflammatory material is a matter of established fact, which has been in the public domain for several years.
    I would refer you, in particular, to the text of Dr Collins’ Presidential address to the Representative Council on Monday 20th September 2004.
    In his address to the Delegate Meeting of the Council, Dr Collins outlined the Council’s concerns in relation to the activities of Scottish Friends of Israel. According to Dr Collins, the key issues included “such things as unattributed statements on the website which could be construed as racial stereotyping, what was coming over as a strident tone in their letters and public pronouncements and their uncritical, and sometimes inaccurate, use of secondary material.”
    Dr Collins then called for the “removal of all the unattributed statements about Palestinians which are damaging from at least two aspects. Firstly, they are at best inaccurate and at worst racist and secondly they risk damaging not just the community but the potential for any good work that SFI might do in promoting Israel’s case.” (My emphasis)
    Furthermore, I would also refer you to the Home Office Working Paper, “Racially Inflammatory Material on the Internet”, which sets out the legal framework in relation to incitement to racial hatred.
    No one has sought to deny SFI’s right to freedom of speech; rather, they have been held to account in public for the consequences of their actions.
    Finally, I note in passing that you have failed to adduce any evidence of Peace Now’s extremism. In light of your inability to substantiate your charges, I trust that will now withdraw your unfounded allegations.

  336. npn said

    This blog is about education and anything else interesting-but can we drop the Peace Now/SFI stuff-? It is worthy of a debate in its own right but only in a closed room ,and only between those intent on re-opening old wounds-the vast majority I’m sure are simply not interested in it anymore !
    Who agrees ?

  337. Joker said

    I alleged nothing. It is my opinion that each side can be considered to be towards the extreme ends of the Israel Political spectrum but many would seek to make PN at the centre which it is not.

    being held to account is a Good Thing. To simply berate and accuse and fail to debate is not.

  338. fedup said

    Hey big mouthed Joker, you were asked why you consider PN to be at the extreme end of the Israeli political spectrum. You cannot answer. You are just hot air.You give all that crap about debating. You dont know the meaning of the word. You remind me of another blogger earlier on who got himself into trouble because of his loud mouth.He’s obviously gone off to play with the little boys who are easier prey for a cyber bully.Maybe you should join him.

  339. bored to tears said

    I agree with Npn, this is not what the vast majority are interested in and quite frankly it has become rather dull. As can be seen by the number of posts, it is not what we mere mortals want to see debated here. Itis dredging up the same old issues and it is time to move on.

    Who is planning to attent the CJE AGM on Thursday?

  340. jezabel said

    339, I agree time to move on. Yes i will be there, Lets see if all those who claimed to be interested will turn up on the night!

  341. NLL said

    Just a wee comment

    Looking over the last 30 – 40 posts, there seems to be an unstated acceptance that Scottish Friends of Israel, hold a particular – possibly extreme, viewpoint with regards to Israeli politics? My beef, specific real and/or alleged incidents aside, is that I thought they were set up to represent the whole spectrum of views held by supporters of Israel in Scotland and to challenge biased comment in the Scottish media and other institutions – or have I got it wrong?

    We are back to questions that have come up frequently on the blog – who nominated them, who funds them, who devised their brief, who monitors it and how can this be influenced or changed?

  342. Martin said

    If you don’t want to debate a subject NPN and Bored to Tears then don’t bother – or come up with another viewpoint about something that might be interesting.
    Why should some stop discussing SFI and racial incitement if they choose to?
    I have actually quite enjoyed this subject.
    And it is certainly more interesting to me than the CJE AGM. After all everyone knows they have appointed a new chairman who isn’t currently a parent or on the committee already.
    Not exactly democracy in action is it?

  343. A Beitz said

    Martin. If you’re a donor to CJE no doubt you could stand as chairman. The same applies to anyone else. If you don’t like the nomination then get off your backside and stand yourself instead of moaning. There is of course nothing undemocratic about the Chair not being a Calderwood parent anyway. As I understand it the guy running for it is knowledgeable in educational matters both secular and religious, is a former chair of the school board and had 4 children attend the school. But if you think someone else would be better then go for it, Martin and anyone else who wants to moan.

  344. Martin said

    I do not believe A Beitz has understood my position.
    I am not that bothered who is the chairman of CJE but I do feel that to announce in advance that a candidate has been adopted by the current executive and is the new chairman of CJE – without a proper election is not very democratic.
    Did CJE ask for nominations from the parents and indicate that the position of chairman was about to become vacant.
    I don’t think so. I don’t think they have told the parents in advance that the position of chairman of CJE will be available.
    Are you defending this MR Beitz?

  345. A Beitz said

    #Martin I have absolutely nothing to do with CJE. You may have some justified criticisms of their processes. Generally at any AGM it is open for members of the organisation to stand. It is equally not uncommon for the Exec of an organisation to recommend a successor and it arguably would be irresponsible not to have someone available to take the reigns. These are merely general observations. I would repeat however that the best way of making the organisation represent your aspirations for kodesh at Calderwood is to stand for office. Who knows, you might be able to contribute something.

  346. Yiddishe mama said

    Well I’ve had my wee fress and now i feel able to contribute something to the CJE debate.

    My understanding is that the current chairman is still in post until the agm on thursday 22nd at 7.30pm (i think) in the school hall.

    Just like other organisations – Bonnyton Golf Club springs to mind – Nominations for Chairman will be put forward at the agm. The current committee have seen fit to nominate a candidate who appears known to Martin and old Beitzy. Anyone else can nominate whomsoever they choose at the agm and then all subscribers(ie those who have children at the schhol and are at the agm) wii have a chance to vote in the candidate they want.

    This is what we in Scotland called democracy. So Martin and Mr Beitz, to sum up the new chairman has not yet been elected but will be on Thursday 22nd March.

  347. Martin said

    You are dodging the issue Mr Beitz.
    Of course at an AGM it is open for people to stand but in most organisations that wish to conduct their affairs in an open and responsible way there would be proper notification of a vacancy.
    As CJE have not told parents in advance that the chairman is standing down the chances of a proper election process is much reduced. Of course the current committee can and should look for a successor but why have they not publicised that there will be a vacancy for chair?
    The only conclusion that one can draw
    is that they do not want another candidate.
    If this committee wish to conduct their activities as if they were some secret society they deserve much of the criticism that comes their way.
    They don’t seem to believe that they are actually only in office to represent the parents of children at Calderwood.
    No wonder that there is such apathy and disinterest in their activities.
    As long as they don’t interfere too much with how most of the children lead their lives they are tolerated.
    Wouldn’t it be better if they actually managed to foster some enthusiasm for what they are responsible for?
    Or is that too much to ask/

  348. David S Links said

    David S Links is a tad displeased that others are using his name and filing reports in his name. Dirty dealing. I will not be bothering to file any more reports. I will not be rising to any bait re golf clubs or BGC and should anyone need any info regarding that subject they may contact me personally.

  349. A Beitz said

    Martin, at any AGM there will be the possibility of electing a new chair whether or not the old one is standing down. So go along and elect one. As Ms Mama says it’s called democracy.BTW to that lady less of the “old”. Otherwise I will be demanding admin take action over such a scurrilous comment.
    Agree with you that CJE’s PR is poor. I think, from the time my kids were at the school, they do a good job. However they certainly hide their light under a bushel. As I said before they could learn a lot from Ricky Zinger.

  350. D Slinks said

    #348. In which postings has someone used your name? It might explain things. Let admin know the numbers and maybe he or she can deal.

  351. Martin said

    Tell me another organisation Mr Beitz that does not inform its members or constituents in advance when the chair is leaving office?
    If you think that’s democracy, I’m surprised!

  352. Yiddishe Mama said


    If you would care to check the letter you and Joker and Jezabel received in the post dated 12th March from CJE, it clearly stated that there would be an election of office bearers (item 6) thus giving you and anybody else clear indication that if you wished to stand for any office post, including that of chairman, then you would be able to do so.

    I am sure that there are many organisations where the chair has announced that he/she is demitting office at the agm without prior notice, but I grant you that it would have been preferable but not unconstitutional.

    Anyway, you and Mr Beitz knew in advance of the chair’s decision to stand down, so I am confident others did too. Also as I stated in post 346 nobody has been elected as the new chair yet; it will be done on Thursday 22nd giving all members and subscribers a chance to either stand or vote or indeed both.

  353. Moshe said

    Well, I went to shul. I know that logically with my lifestyle and circumstances I should have gone to the Liberal or Reform. My natural radar took me to the Orthodox. It’s sometime since I was last there and yet I was home. As soon as I walked in, in the middle of the leining, and they called out the fourth aliyah, I knew where I was. Its almost Shabbat Hagodol and Pesach. I know the tunes, they are part of me, and I want my son to feel the same way and sing the same psalm and the same tune as they open the Ark. Maybe he’ll learn the four questions. A lot of the Hagodah is in Aramaic, the language of the street. So long ago, the Rabbis knew to talk to the people in their idiom. What happened? Where are they now? I left before Kiddush. I knew some of my contempories who were there and wasn’t ready for explanations, besides which, junior had had enough.

  354. Moshe said

    sorry, 2nd last line should be ‘contemporaries’

  355. Non believer said

    I have read this blog for weeks and finally have decided to comment.

    The latest post by Moshe has finally made me speak out.
    On this blog, lots of you think religion is important. Good luck to you if you need this in your life.

    I personally think that religion is a waste of time. I’m not judging many of you who obviously enjoy it – I enjoy sport and the arts – but I have decided to speak out for those who think religion is an evil in today’s world.

    Someone posted on this blog – that it was a shame that there were not many children in Shul at Purim and that it would be better if more kids turned up on a Saturday or Jewish holiday. And Calderwood parents who didn’t send their kids to Shul were particularly lamented. Well I think it is better if the kids don’t go to take part in this superstitious baloney.
    How many of you Shul goers read the English translation of your prayers?
    And if there is a God what kind of God are you praying to?
    How do you explain the disasters that seem to happen in this world?
    Where is God when children perish from famine and disease or die from drowning?
    Personally, I do not believe there is a God. If you believe in God, I presume you believe that he or she must be a good God. Otherwise there is no point in having a God at all. Well if God is good why are there so many bad things happening.
    Simple answer – I believe – he’s not there. It’s nonsense.
    The only religions that are still gaining recruits are by and large those that give hope to people who live in abject poverty or despair. In affluent societies religion is declining – because people don’t need it.
    I have no problem with people wanting to have a Jewish culture or identity. It’s like belonging to a sports club. And if they turn up in Synagogue twice a year it’s like turning up for the AGM or the EGM.
    But don’t kid yourself on shulgoers that most of the people believe there is any other point to it. Because, there isn’t. And if kids go to Calderwood – and most of the parents accept that a little knowledge of religious practise won’t do too much harm – then accept that the majority don’t want to do more.
    And I can guarantee you that if Calderwood decided that there should be more religion at the school the parents would either withdraw their children altogether or complain loudly that this is not what they want.
    And please don’t come back and tell me that we don’t understand God’s ways of working and we have to have faith etc. This is piffle!
    And one last point. Most of our children will marry out or our grandchildren will. Is that so terrible? Not really. everyone has the right to make their own choices in life. And marrying in is no guarantee of happiness. In many ways marrying out is progress.
    And I know another blogger quoted from Richard Dawkins’ book but I’m going to as well to finish.
    Matt Ridley wrote in his review –
    ” Oh, it’s so refreshing, after being told all your life that it is virtuous to be full of faith, spirit and superstition, to read such a resounding trumpet blast for truth instead. It feels like coming up for air.”
    Well now that I’ve finally come on to the blog I feel the same. Too many on this blog have written or implied that religious education or attending Shul is good. Well I don’t!
    And may your God go with you, as the late Dave Allan used to say.

  356. florence said

    Non believer why bother even reading the blog if you have no desire to be connected in any way to Judaism and do not believe in religeon?

    Have you spoken to every Calderwood parent so that you are an authority on what we ALL want for our children?

    Your opinion may be that you wouldn’t care if your children married out, that’s fine but please don’t make sweeping generalisations. It makes you look like a fool.

  357. Real Calderwood Parent said

    I was at the CJE AGM last night. Excluding committee members (present and future) and school employees/reps etc there were only 3 or 4 Calderwood Parents there. Even if you add in every Calderwood parent committee’d or not there were only 13. What’s more only 3 people asked questions.

    It was my first CJE AGM and whilst no AGM is inherently fun, it was informative and gave the opportunity to ask questions (and insist on an answer).

    CJE has the responsibility to provide language and religious education for our children at CL and no one can complain that they are doing a bad job or that they cannot access information about CJE and then simply not appear at the AGM to make their views known. I’ve complained about lack of accountabililty, openness and information but I went last night and got my answers. Where were all the others?

    I wish the new Chairman and Committee member, and the returning members the best for the next 12 months and I certainly will not be shy in offering help as and when I can. I hope more will do the same.

  358. Past parent said

    Even after all the discussion, moaning etc – that sort of turnout is really disappointing. No wonder those involved in the various communal bodies are at their wits end trying to get new people involved and make their organisations meet the Communities needs (& expectations)

    Too many people are happy to criticise, but seem to forget other people have given up their time and energy to run things on their behalf. I bet they would also be the first to complain if the services made available by these organisations began to disappear.

  359. Rincewind said

    It’s the same old story.

    Those who can, do. Those who can’t, bitch.

    People forget that you can always help a bit, stuffing envelopes or setting up dinners or doing a phone roound. More Indians, fewer Chiefs.

  360. Non believer said

    I said I didn’t believe in God Florence. I did not say that I was against Jewish culture, history or tradition. I am for it.
    The Jews are a nation – the people who are part of that nation may have a religion in common if they wish to practise. Many don’t. We also have a cultural and historical identity. Think how many people in Israel go to the beach on Yom Kippur.
    Religious identity isn’t that important. Thankfully many agree with me. Your Shuls are empty!
    And what’s more they are not going to fill up again. And let’s not have any more nonsense that this is a shame because it isn’t!

  361. Yiddishe mama said

    Non believer in your opinion it is not a shame, that’s fine but don’t tell me it is nonsense to think otherwise. What is the point of having history, tradition or culture if we don’t retain some of our religeous identity along with it. We will just be like any other washed up, diluted religeon.

  362. Non believer said

    And that’s my point Yiddishe Mama.
    I play golf but I don’t keep going on to people that they should do the same. I don’t tell them that their kids should play golf when they are off school and I don’t keep crying like you lot if my golf club isn’t busy all the time.
    So why should you lot think it is right to judge us non believers. Your hobby is religion. Enjoy it if you want to but don’t tell the rest of us what to do.
    If you like going to Shul on a Saturday , good luck to you. I can think of many better more healthy things to do.

  363. NLL said

    Ok non believer, no one can make you believe, but if you take out the religion completely, Judisim will become so watered down that the culture and tradition will disappear – then what?

    It’s not a brilliant example, however; you might enjoy playing golf – but if you don’t join others to see the rules are adhered to, perpetuate the traditions and keep the club going, it would wither away. In a couple of generations, when all the golf courses are built over and there is no one left to pass on the traditions of golf, wont it be a shame? Or will you and your descendants be just as happy to play dominoes and follow those traditions?

    Shabbat Shalom

  364. Non believer said

    NLL, you are if I have got it right,
    trying to argue that some religious belief keeps the whole thing going.
    And without it we would disappear.

    I don’t think you are right. Why should religious belief be the fundamental glue that keeps it together? AS I wrote before the Jews are a nation and for many there happens to be a religion in common. But not for all.
    Think again about Israel. Why do so many Israelis not practise or want anything to do with religion? Does it make them feel any less a part of the Jewish nation because they don’t believe in religion?
    No it doesn’t.
    Those who like the ritual etc always tell us that this is the key part of our Jewish identity. Well not for me it isn’t. If you like this kind of thing, good luck to you. But its not for me and once again I say it loud and clear. Why do you feel you have to justify your hobby as being so important? It is not as important as you think.
    Another question for you all.
    Where was God during the holocaust?
    Where was he during the Tsunami?
    Where was he when natural disaster upon natural disaster has happened.?
    Answer: nowhere because he does not exist.
    Good night.

  365. Shul Lover said

    Morning Shul-goers. What a lovely Sunny morning to walk to Shul.
    That non-believer is guilty of blasphemy.
    I will read in my prayer book (Siddur) this morning of all the appropriate punishments suitable. These comments about G-d are just outrageous

    Shabbat Shalom

  366. Florence said

    NATURAL DISASTER – nothing to do with G-d. The holocaust was a man made disaster and it is not G-d’s responsibility to stop.

    Also nobody said that because it is important to some it has to be important to you.

    I ask again why are you so bothered if some people enjoy the religeous side of Judaism? If you really don’t care why argue about it?

  367. Another non-believer said

    Florence don’t be so ridiculous.
    What is the point of believing in your God if he can’t do anything about natural disasters?
    If he’s powerless to do anything what’s the point in having a God.
    And if he can’t intervene to stop the massacre of children in the Holocaust then he’s not only powerless, he’s not even a good God?
    It’s time in our community the non-religious redrew the picture.

  368. Yiddishe Mama said

    Non Believer & Another Non Believer

    It’s such a futile debate. Some believe some don’t. You dont harm me I dont harm you. We agree to differ – end of argument.

  369. Nemo said

    Yiddishe mama, that’s what arguement is about, its natural and healthy. If everyone believed the same thing or conversely everyone disbelieved there would be no argument and we’d all be bored to tears and boring. You sound like perfect material for the Rep Council; they’re desperate for people like you. No argument, no disagreement, all toe the party line and all coalesce into a most forgettable mire of anathema ( unless you’re good at telling porkies in which case you are sent to the BOD).

  370. Ever Perplexed said

    Shul lover #365, what’s the punishment for desecrating the Sabbath day by posting on the blog?

  371. Non-believer said


  372. Past parent said

    Is anyone awake out there? I can’t believe the discussion about the CJE AGM has fizzled out with so little comment. There haven’t even been any lame excuses as to why so many people stayed away……

  373. Non-believer said

    We’ve moved on past parent. We are now debating the non existence of God.
    Can you keep up please!

  374. Nemo said

    Florence #366,I’m shocked. You can’t blithely pass off the holocaust as some man made disaster, nothing to do with God. Are you saying that the God of our Torah, of our forefathers, was quietly looking on while the chimneys were being stoked with Jewish bodies. You may, of course, be right but if that would be our God then count me out. I prefer to believe that were there a Jewish God somewhere between Sinai and Aushwitz, he died.

  375. Arnie said

    Come on past parent – we can’t discuss CJE any longer, can we?

  376. Past parent said

    Well we’ve been discussing – on & off – the quality and quantity of Jewish education in Glasgow and it’s central role in preserving and possibly enhancing our Community. There seemed to be quite a lot of people with quite strong views – but maybe in fact it was only 3 people under different pseudonyms? Maybe they were the same 3 who went to the CJE AGM and they have had all their questions answered and are completely satisfied that the committee represents their views and there will be no more griping about how CJE conducts it’s business???

  377. Scotland Supporter said

    Nemo, whilst I agree with your comments about Yiddishe Mama about debate being healthy, I think she was trying to say that there can be no end game to the argument about whether one believes in God or not because there is no real middle ground here. If you like shul that’s fine and if you dont that’s equally fine because religion is about personal belief no body is more right than anyone else on this subject and both factions (the believers and the non believers can make equally valid arguments for and against their choice so they will just be arguing for the sake of it and as the Monty Python team would say, “Is the 5 minute argument or the full half hour?”

  378. Bernie said

    Do you believe in God, Scotland Supporter.?
    If you do can you tell us why?

  379. Scotland Supporter said

    Exactly why do you want to know Bernie, its actually none of your busines whether I do or dont but I do believe in Scotland (in football terms)

  380. A Beitz said

    Don’t forget about the Mona Siddiqui meeting tonight at Giffnock Reception area at 8pm. Whatever your views this should be something completely different.

  381. Nemo said

    Sorry Scotland supporter, you cant dismiss Bernie quite so easily. You stated there are valid argumdents for and against. So lets start with for. What are the arguments for, and of course I only ask for the valid ones.

  382. Rincewind said

    We can and should discuss CJE further. I was there but whether I was a parent, committee member or hanger on is for everyone not care about.

    The few questions that were asked were decent enough and I’m glad that proper answers were given. One of the most important questions was about what proportion of Calderwood Parents pay the CJE contribution. That was met with a flat, unequivocal “No” from the Chair. I was surprised at the vehemence of the response given that noone was asking for numbers but clearly Michael Clerk felt it was a matter of privacy/confidentiality but I was disappointed at his flat refusal to discuss the matter. One can deduce the approximate figure but I’m not sure it is entirely relevant.

    Once the Committee realsied that those asking the questions were not on the attack, they opened up and clear and hhonest answers were given and I am satisfied for now that CJE is in good hands. I will continue to express interest indoivually to the Committee and I urge others to do the same.

  383. Dory said

    Back to the God question now …..

    Akin to Ben Avraham you will only accept “valid” arguments. It must be on YOUR terms? Why are only YOUR views valid?

    Why should we care if God exists. We have no control over it, cannot prove it either way so why stress about it. Organized religion is the problem. Believe, don’t believe or be indecisive, it’s up to you but dont tell me that there is only 1 true way to righteousness. I don’t need an imaginary friend to tell me how to live or stories of a bogey man hiding behind doors watching me to scare me into behaving in a certain way but many do. Some are weak or simple minded, some are simply bloody minded some are gullible but most are honest people who welcome the structure and comfort that religion brings and perhaps if they are really honest the actual existence of god is secondary.

  384. Nemo said

    Dory, I’m not sure what you’re on about. Go back and read the postings carefully. It is Scotland supporter #377 who said there were ‘valid’ arguments. Where did I claim or suggest that I had a monopoly on valid views? I agree with much of what you say butI am curious. Therefore if there is a claim that valid views exist in support of God I want to know what they are. Maybe you are not interested in hearing other peoples ‘valid’ arguments but then that’s your problem.

  385. Scotland Supporter said

    Sorry Nemo I am too busy basking in the after glory of a stupendous home win for Scotland over Georgia on Saturday and for a change Scotland got some good luck with a last minute winner – so maybe there is a God after all! I guess we will know for sure if we beat Italy on Wednesday and go on to qualify for Euro 2008.How’s that for a valid argument. Altogether now “If you hear the noise of the Tartan Army boys we’ll be coming down the road”.

  386. Giffnock Shul Member said

    I refer to a letter on page 5 of the Giffnock Shul Pesach magazine. The author writes ” In other congregations the names of the departed are read out every Shabbat but there is not the same expectation that an aliyah will be given. To paraphase Eli Wiesel, we need to consider the living as well as the dead.” The bereaved are living, they are acutely aware of life through pain, memory and thoughts of the future of the most intense form, without their loved ones. To have an aliyah is to embrace life with one’s congregation. What better lesson to teach our young than to show them that those in pain are put first.

  387. New Giffnock member said

    My understanding of the problem is that there are so many people with yahrzeit each week that few others get the chance of an Aliya. There has to be a balance of new/younger members getting aliyot and mourners. Welcoming new members and encouraging the younger one is also a lesson to be taught

    Um, Nemo

    “#381 Nemo Says:

    Sorry Scotland supporter, you cant dismiss Bernie quite so easily. You stated there are valid argumdents for and against. So lets start with for. What are the arguments for, and of course I only ask for the valid ones.”

    Dory makes a good point, you however miss it like England missed every goal scoring opportunity. Are you SURE Ben Avraham is dead?

  388. Nemo said

    That’s right. I asked for Scotland supporters arguments, not your incoherent ramblings. This ‘um’ bit gives me a feeling of deja vu. If you’re a friend of the last ‘ummer’ he claimed to be an expert blogger along with all his other world shattering unrecognised and unappreciated talents. Have a word with him, he’ll tell you its not just bad form to congratulate yorself under another pseudonym, it is in fact the height of ignorance.
    By the way, ‘um’, I’ll save you the trouble of loking up ‘deja vu’

    deja vu, n. an illusion of having experienced before something that is really being experienced for the first time

  389. Deja Soul said

    Suggestion for another insightful meeting that is perhaps more relevant

    “Talking to yourself – the future of the Community”.

    cf #129 & #129.

    nemo, n, an imaginary character. A clownfish who is smothered by his overprotective father, unsuccessfully.

  390. Deja Soul said

    3rd line – typo.

    cf #128 & #129

  391. Nemo said

    You really are a joker. You fail to appreciate the difference between humour and naivete. Just carry on living up to your well earned reputation. As for definition of ‘nemo’ I am sure, and of course saddened, that your knowlege of cartoon characters is unsurpassed so I won’t comment. I prefer the latin translation.

  392. Unaffiliated said

    Does anyone know who wrote the letter to the Giffnock Shul magazine?

  393. ruth said

    #392,Yes, It is signed!

  394. Unaffiliated said

    Ruth, given that I am not a member of Giffnock – not everyone is – I have not got a copy of the bulletin – I presume you will have no problem in now telling me who signed the letter.
    If you won’t can anyone else?
    Thank you

  395. ruth said

    Unaffiliated, Copies of the the shul magazine are available at the shul office then you can read the whole letter, take a membership form and sell your chometz all at the time! Giffnock shul welcome new members!

  396. Giffnock Shul Member said

    The letter was written by Phillipa Sneader.

  397. Deja Soul said

    I have young children therefore I spend more time ‘experiencing’ cartoons than reading latin, I leave that to those old enough to grow up with latin as a possible mother tongue.

    I’m not a joker, however this is an opportunity to repeat one I was told last Sunday. “How many bloggers does it take to change the Community? None, bloggers never manage to change anything!”

  398. Nemo said

    You so disappoint me. You cant even tell a joke; as the say “its the way you tell them”. As far as Latin goes, you dont need to be old or a classics scholar to know what ‘nemo’ means, just educated. The most famous Scottish motto is ‘nemo me impune lacessit’ translated into Scots as “Wha daur meddle wi me? ” Another interesting Latin phrase which certainly is apposite to the occasion is “Bene, cum Latine nescias, nolo manus meas in te maculare”. If you take time off from watching cartoons, you may learn something.

  399. Deja Soul said

    I would so hate to raise your expectations, besides my current favourite phrase is “Non omnes qui habemt citharam sunt citharoedi”, which does appear to “suit you, Sir” if I may stray from the world of cartoons for a moment.

  400. Nemo said

    —–and not all who call themselves joker can tell jokes

  401. Deja Soul said

    – and I would have chosen the Oromo meaning of ‘Nemo’ but perhaps you are right, and are more a nobody rather than “The Man”.

  402. Nemo said

    Oh so slow. Perhaps Seneca, philosopher and adviser to Nero ( I mean Nero the Roman emperor and not another of your cartoon characters)was thinking of you in particular when he said “Diligentia maximum etiam mediocris ingeni subsidium.”

  403. Nemo said

    I’ll save you the trouble of e-mailing your educated friends. It means “It even helps stupid people to try hard”

  404. Stanley Baxter said

    Nemo & Deja

    I prefer “awayyegoratwaofyouandbileyerheid” parliamo glesca or lets move on chaps.

    With apologies to the real stanley

  405. Ousgemattered said

    oops typo error

    last line should read – parliamoglesga for “lets move on chaps”

  406. scooby doo said

    Wots with all this latin?
    I’m glad a new head has been appointed at calderwood so quickly.has anyone met her Yet?For those of you who don’t get Calderwood lodge newsletter she is Christine Haughney deputy head at thornlibank primary.Thornliebank primary has a good reputation so i have high hopes she will do a good job at Calderwood.

  407. Calderwood Parent said

    Suppose it would be too much to expect Richard and Jezabel to apologise to readers of this blog by posting wrong statistics about the numbers of non-Jewish children at Calderwood. They kept telling us it was 25% and it isn’t.
    They were so sure – and told us that they were experts in this field and they are out by more than 5%.
    I am quite happy to have more non-Jewish kids at the school as I have posted before. The important thing is that it remains a good school.

    Maybe those two self-appointed experts will refrain from spouting nonsense on this blog:

    P.S. Figures have been released by East Renfrewshire.

  408. Fandango said

    Calderwood parent are you really that petty?

  409. Jezabel said

    I was right, Calderwood parent go back and read my posts again i said primary 1 had 25% non jewish children and in fact another non jewish boy is starting soon.In Richards post it gave the figure as 20% which is right.
    At the AGM which i was at [where were you?] Dr Duffy said another 6 children were interested in coming to the school none of whom were jewish.I didnt say all the non-jewish children were muslim so they would not all come under eastrenfrewshires” ethnic minority backgrounds” number.It is you who are spouting nonsense you couldnt even be bothered to turn up to the AGM

  410. Richard said

    Calderwood Parent has been exposed as a charlatan and a fraud and a liar. You have made claim to have other information and have resolutely failed to ‘ante up’. I stated in post #196 that whilst the median figure was 25% the overall average was 20%. I was not willing to be precise to 2 decimal places as it seemed silly to do so. I must inject a note of caution, however, given that ERC has not defined its meaning of “ethnic background”, if it means non-jewish AND non-christian (ie muslim, hindu, etc) then the overall non-jewish proportion will be higher perhaps only by a few percent.

    Now we hear from Dr Duffy (at the CJE AGM – were you there? You damn well should have been given all your posturing) that our wonderful school is so attractive that ANOTHER 6 children are possibly coming soon. Add in the new-start in P1 this would make the overall number 157 (remember the newsletter’s report is necessarily several months out of date) of which 36 would be non Jewish. One bit of simple arithmetic and we can see that the overall percentage of non-jewish children would then be 23% (22.93% for the pedantic).

    Now I think we have settled this argument with a clear introduction of officially confirmed fact and that should be the very last we hear from the foolish and misinformed “Calderwood Parent” on this subject.

    I hear from an unimpeachable source, late of employ in East Ren and 100% qualified to judge, that Thornliebank Primary is a fantastic school and that any Deputy Head from there will do us proud. I am delighted to hear that we have got someone who can build on an excellent foundation.

  411. Calderwood Parent said

    Nonsense Jezabel.

    N0 191 – Richard – “the role of non-Jewish children at Calderwood is currently about 25%”

    No 212 – Richard – “the figure of 25% (24.71%) to be precise is mathematically correct”

    No 213 – Jezabel -” I am an expert on this subject and I can confirm Richard’s figures are correct.”

    You posted erroneous figures on this blog and you can’t even admit that you got it wrong. I have no intention of discussing this any more with you. I just wanted to point out to anyone reading that you are not experts and you got it wrong.

  412. Another Calderwood Parent said

    Would Calderwood parent please refrain from winding Richard up. To be blunt he is not worth the trouble. I was at the AGM – my choice – it’s not compulsory – and for some reason Richard was not brave enough to stand for election even though he told us on this blog that he would. So let’s leave the discussion where it is. As far as I can see and read people have differeing opinions – no one can claim to be an expert – and the figure is totally unimportant anyway.
    I’m off to look at the Mona Siddiqui discusssion – at least someone there might actually be an expert – and to be honest it is more interesting than this debate. If we look at the world around us, rather than being preoccupied with counting irrelevant statistics I would have thought that would benefit everyone. We should have an interest in the world around us not just counting figures on our own doorsteps.

  413. Richard said

    I have just been reminded that 5 Jewish children are leaving the school as well the 6 or 7 non jewish joining (as mentioned above). Its getting complicated but staring into my crystal ball (no comments about the other one, thanks) there will be 152 children in the school of whom 36 are non-jewish therefore the average would be, in that case, 23.68%.

    # 191 – yes I did say “about 25%”, however I corrected that and explained that I had quoted the median figure rather than the overall average. There is a subtle difference in usage between average and median.

    #212 – the MEDIAN figure [of the averages taken class by class] is 25% (24.71%) to be precise. Stop quoting me out of context it is pathetic.

    Now, given that you have spat the dummy out yet again and are insistant on trying to disprove the indisputable can you please explain why you regard discussion of these figures to be “dangerous”. Is it that you are unwilling to allow the school to plan for the future, are you upset because you are not regarded as the font of all knowledge on the school? Whilst I don’t care what you think I believe that you owe the watching ones an explanation.

    It REALLY does not matter if the figure is 20% or 25% because, in actual numbers of children, we are only talking about 7 or 8 and that can change in a few weeks or months in either direction. Our school is on the up and up with a great foundation and a great future with ERC behind our Jewish Ethos School for the foreseeable future regardless of Jewish numbers. This is very positive and the examination of the minutiae of 1 statistic ceases to have much relevance in teh day to running of the school.

    For the very last time, Calderwood Parent, explain your accusations of “dangerous”, offer your own figures or just shut the hell up and let the blog actually discuss Jewish Education.

    As for “Another Calderwood Parent” – After hearing what the committee does and knowing that a certain Dr Spilg was standing to fill the 1 remaining committee place, I chose not to stand against him as he will be far better in the job than I. Along with a few others, I have offered to assist the Committee in a few ancillary functions and will hear if I’m need in due course. Are you willing to help out or are you full of the same substance as “Calderwood Parent”.

  414. Jezabel said

    For those still following this debate “the Independent” newspaper recently wrote an article on Birminghams jewish School King David. It stated that 35% of the pupils are jewish 50% are Muslim and 15% are other demoninations. The school is highly successful and much sought after, so I’m not worried by the stats in the least.
    The figures for calderwood are interesting but not crucial to the well being of the school

  415. Yet Calderwood Parent said

    Calderwood Parent, I agree with Another Calderwood Parent you are bang out of order for raising this subject again.
    No one other than you is interested in what these two jokers have to say on this subject. Why should we?
    They hold no official position and have a personal interest but as far as I am aware no mandate from anyone to poke around and gather titbits of information.
    Now let it go please and don’t encourage this again. If Richard thinks I am going to waste my five minutes of indulgence reading his excrutiatingly longwinded explanation, he can think again.
    I have now two minutes left and like you I’m off to read athe Mona Siddiqui stuff. I’d rather read what Jonathan Freedland has to say than this drivel. Good night

  416. Yet Another Calderwood Parent said

    Sorry, I missed out ” another” in my name. I really am tired. Once again good night.

  417. Jezabel said

    If you think Richard post is “longwinded” you are really going to enjoy the Mona Siddiqui debate!!!

  418. Involved Calderwood Parent said

    All these Calderwood Parents who would have thought there were so many and they all sound the same. Me, I’m the real thing.

  419. Calderwood Parent said

    I really do promise that this is my last word on this – it might be interesting to Jezabel but it bores me and all of you I’m sure silly.
    The reason Richard didn’t stand against the other candidate – apparently – Dr Spilg – is that he would have got well and truly trounced.
    It would have been like the Eurovision.
    Richard – non points!

    I promise I won’t bring up the subject again. Bye – Im chucking this part of the blog as well.

  420. Richard said

    Think what you like, mate, but how would you know who would have voted for whom. YOU WERE NOT THERE!

    bye bye CP enjoy the ‘love-in’ next door.

  421. Jezabel said

    I would have voted for Richard because i was there! I think they would have expanded the commitee by one.

  422. Anonymous said

    I was there and Richard may have got your vote and 1 other – but that would have been it Jezabel. He can console himself though – he would have done better than you – you would possibly only have got 1.

  423. A Beitz said

    Children, children. Stop it. No need for this sort of nonsense. Many of those asking the 4 questions will behave in a more mature manner than some involved in the last 15 posts.

  424. Jezabel said

    422, I was not standing and have very confidence in Ed Spilg, how can you say how everyone would vote? are you saying its rigged?

  425. Richard said

    I’ve said it before and say it again. This blog had the opportunity to be a great boon to the Community but because of the consistently negative and abusive comments be slung left right and centre, it has become pointless and irrelevant.

  426. Emet said

    Richard -the only thing pointless and irrelevant on this blog is you ; why don’t you , and your multiple personas ,and your fan club of one , go and plague another blog-might I point you in the direction of your own (failed) web initiative (total hits 8) ; goodbye Richard , with your delusions of adequacy , for you are truly the weakest link.

  427. Richard said

    I thank you, Emet, for proving my point. Yet another example of nothing to add, nothing positive to say. You must be very proud.

  428. Reality Check said

    I have just spent the last two evenings enjoying Seder nights with my family.
    I have looked at this blog from time to time – never feeling the need to comment myself until now.
    What has prompted my change of mind is this. At the Seder the conversation got round to the recent lecture held with Mona Siddiqui and Tony Klug.
    We have a large family and two or three of us were at this meeting. It was an exceptionally interesting event and very thought provoking.
    During our conversation someone asked who had organised the meeting in question and when told that it was a new group within the community – GJEF – they commented that they had heard from people who know what is going on that this is a cover group for another organisation and that they will cause trouble. When I asked who had told them this I was told that it had come from sources close to the Rep Council and others very involved in communal work.
    Our conversation developed and I replied like this. Hopefully I was able to persuade others that this is complete nonsense.
    As far as I have been able to work out this new group have held 3 meetings so far and have another 3 in the near future. I have attended all 3 so far.
    The first one was about Calderwood Lodge. It was a large meeting and the speaker Jim Duffy, the headteacher. The school received more profile as a result of this event and no one I spoke to had anything to say that wasn’t positive.

    I’m sorry but I can’t work it out. How can a meeting about our Jewish primary school be part of a Peace Now? No other organisation in our city thought of organising this event so why don’t those who criticise think why they didn’t do it themselves.

    The next meeting was an opportunity for the MP Jim Murphy to explain British Government policy towards Israel. The content of Mr Murphy’s address has already been discussed on this blog but it’s worth repeating. This could never have been a Peace Now meeting. And yet again I raise the same question – If you don’t approve of GJEF why did they have to arrange this event? No one else bothered to.

    And then the 3rd meeting with Mona Siddiqui and Tony Klug. This was a discussion concerning local Moslem attitudes towards Israel and their relationship with the Jewish Community. This was a very significant educational meeting – tell me the last time a communal organisation asked a member of the Moslem community to address our community.

    According to their publicity GJEF’s next speakers are Jonathan Freedland and an Orthodox Rabbi from Jerusalem.
    No doubt there are some sad characters out there who will tell you that this is the Peace Now agenda emerging. This is crazy. Apart from the fact that he is one of Britain’s foremost journalists this guy actually spoke at a Rep Council meeting a few years ago. So if he was Kosher then – I would love to know what’s changed. And the Rabbi is not exactly revolutionary stuff either.

    And then we here criticism of this blog. Of course there has been a lot of nonsense posted in this forum. And of course some people don’t like what they read. Is that not what blogs are all about. And before some blogger expert jumps in to tell me that it should be done this way or that way let me reply that no other group has ever started a blog for our community before so give GJEF credit for starting something new and innovative. I’m sure the guys behind this will listen to constructive comment and hopefully in time more people will enjoy using it to express their views. But just like me until now many people have read it with interest – some no doubt have been outraged and some embarrassed – but at least there can be some discussion.

    To those people who have carped about GJEF not really being about the Community’s Future, my response is quite clear. Tell me another organisation in our community that will have arranged up to 6 public meetings with interesting speakers in 5 months. In case you are not sure – the answer is no one else has done this for years. Is this not the future of this community?

    And to those in the Rep Council or any other members of the communal establishment who don’t like what is going on I would like to say this. Why don’t you thank these guys for putting on meetings that you have either been too lazy to do yourself or did not have the imagination or foresight to think of. They at least are doing something – the sniping that is heard – the snide comments that GJEF are up to something – does you no credit at all. If you don’t like what’s going on what are you doing to offer the community an alternative?

    So please let’s stop the stories about plots and fronts for other organisations.
    It is completely without foundation and it is not credible. I’m going to post this comment on all the discussion forums on this blog because I have no idea which people read most.
    And I am not one of the organisers of GJEF, nor am I a relative or being paid a fee for this. I just want them to continue with what they are trying to do with a lot more communal support.
    Thank you for your patience.

  429. Saddened said

    To Quote
    “Tell me another organisation in our community that will have arranged up to 6 public meetings with interesting speakers in 5 months. In case you are not sure – the answer is no one else has done this for years. Is this not the future of this community?”

    The future of this community is about what we will be like as a community in 5, 10 or 20 years time. Arranging meetings is a very good thing and these meetings have been met with interest, however they are not THE ‘future’. Certainly without these meetings and hopefully many more arranged by different groups on a variety of subjects the Community will stagnate further.

    Where is the genuine debate (not Community members nonsense about “charters” and “get rid of the Rep Council”) about where the Community is going? We need to start discussing combining Communal buildings and organisations, planning properly and professionally for the next 20+ years. This blog, however, is NOT the place to discuss it as it is too prone to agitation, it a discussion to be had face to face, in public then left to mature before action starts to be taken but first and foremost it requires egos to be left at the door. I suspect that for this reason above all others that we will face disillusionment, apathy and a sad decline to nothingness because those who are on the Rep Council will take too long to come to the dicsussion table and those who hate the Rep Council are intent solely on destroying out of spite or ego. Like it or not the Rep Council is the closest thing we have to a public discussion forum and if you REALLY want to discuss the “Future of our Community” then it has far less to do with Muslims’ views of us/Israel or the Governments views on Israel than how we keep involvement levels up, how we keep people engaged in Judaism and the Community etc.

    Short answer. No, GJEF is not the “future of the Community”, organising a few, good, meetings is not the “future of the Community”, getting everyone (and not just a few on a blog) talking, face to face, about where we want the Community to be in a generation’s time.

  430. Mr D said

    I would be interested to learn from saddened exactly what public discussion has been instigated and about what subject by the Representative Council in the last 20 years.
    I cannot but despair that you believe the Rep council is the nearest we have to a public discussion forum. It is this kind of attitude that prevents new ideas and new methods from being introduced and keeps the same old system in place.
    “Reality Check” will I am sure comment for himself but I guess the point he was making is that the level of activity instigated by GJEF that hopefully will prompt debate is worthy of our support.

  431. Derek Livingston said

    As one of those involved in GJEF I have been amazed and disillusioned by some the smears which are going round the community about this organisation. Yes, some of us have been involved in Peace Now but equally others would run a mile. We do not claim to be the future of the community (see 429) but neither are we, as I have heard, the rump of Peace Now, the Glasgow branch of IJV or anything similar. We are simply 5 Jewish guys who are all active in some way or another in the community and consider that it is time that the community looked at various issues affecting it not from a reactive point of view but from taking the initiative. All of us intend being around in this community in 30 years time and want to see a community that is dealing with the issues facing it rather than attempting to brush them under the carpet. Calderwood Lodge, Jewish ethics, speaking for the Jewish community about Israel and the survival or otherwise of communal organisations come into this. There has been little opportunity for discussion about the community in the past and, whilst there are plenty of things on this blog I don’t like, the important thing is people have an opportunity to say what they think without having to go through the sometimes tortuous committee structure which exists simply to have their views silenced. We are trying to facilitate discussion and contemplation about where this community is going but clearly have frightened certain people who for their own reasons choose to rubbish us with ad hominems.

  432. Saddened said

    Mr D
    The fact that the Rep Council has not arranged meeting nor been an actual place for discussion for many many years does change the fact that it remains the ‘natural’ place for these discussions to take place. In theory they should be the facilitators of the discussion and it was this I was referring to. Many believe that we either need to massively reform the Rep Council in format (much more than is being proposed), deed and thought or replace it with something more in keeping with where we are now. The problem is that to get involved in the RC is to be doomed to several years of near deathlike boredom (or fruitless arguing) until you get into a position of power and can get reforming whereas the alternative is to unilaterally set up a competing organisation and wrest the position of “One True Voice” from the cold dead hands of the RC. Neither fills me with much desire to get involved.

  433. Mr D said

    You seem confused ” saddened”.
    Are you always so mixed up or is it just the Rep Council that does this to you?

  434. Interested said

    Was anyone in Giffnock Shul yesterday and did they hear what Rabbi Rubin said in his sermon about this blog and what he said about Calderwood Lodge?

  435. Shul Member said

    He suggested that we should all educate our children at Calderwood but didn’t really explain why he won’t!

  436. Bookworm said

    I see that the GJEF Five are at again. Agitating for the sake of it.

  437. Walter said

    So it seems

  438. Slurpy said

    Bookworm I don’t understand your posting can you explain it

  439. Non believer said

    Why should give no more attention to what a Rabbi says about education than a butcher, baker or a candle-stick maker.

  440. Non believer said

    Sorry first word should read “we” not “why”

  441. Nemo said

    Non Believer, that is as ridiculous a statement as has appeared on this site, and there have been many. Whether you believe or dont believe is completely irrelevent, a Rabbi’s main function is to teach. He (she) should stand or fall by his ability to carry out his duties. You are entitled to argue against his teachings and if he fails to convince you, you may walk away, but to deny him out of hand his right is shameful.

  442. Matza Man said

    Bookworm, can you please me what you mean by #436 as I am very confused by what you have written.

  443. Matza Man said

    please insert “tell” after “please” oops typing error in last posting – must be all the matza

  444. Socialist Worker said


    It is a travesty of Justice in this day and age when people can be treated in such a manner without recourse to their inalienable Human Rights. Why has Jack McConnell not made his position clear on this matter.


  445. Non believer said

    Nemo, please relax. A Rabbi’s main function is to teach Torah. Most of the Jewish community living in this country I would suggest believe that there are many other factors than Torah to consider when they have to choose a school for their children.
    The Rabbis can try and influence – good luck to them if anyone wants to listen – but I don’t believe they are an authority on education –
    I am not suggesting that they don’t have the right to try – where did you think that one up from? – but hopefully not too many will be listening.

  446. Perplexed said

    What has this got to do with being a socialist worker? As usual I don’t think whoever wrote 444 knows what they are talking about. Problem is they think they do.

  447. Nemo said

    Non Believer, why not just apologise and say you got it wrong. You attacked a good Rabbi for no particular reason. As a non believer where did you get the right to speak on behalf of most of the Jewish Community? Exactly what poll did you consult and what soundings did you take to make such an assertion? Many Rabbis are not authorities on education and some may well be. The Rabbi in question may or may not be. I certainly know that he has had much experience with youth ( who hold him in high regard) and it may be that long experience gives him that right. I don’t know and I certainly only speak fom my own experience. Perhaps you know more of the experience and relevant courses he has or has not taken.

  448. Non believer said

    Nemo this is ridiculous. I did not attack any one Rabbi so I have nothing to apologise for.
    I did not claim to speak for most of the Jewish community. And I don’t need any poll to prove it. I’ll state it again and maybe this time you will stop and read before hitting the keyboard. Most Jewish people in our community and elsewhere do not decide where to educate their children on the basis of Torah. Now Nemo tell me that I’m wrong. Or tell me why Rabbis should in your opinion be listened to when we choose schools for our children.
    Maybe this time you will actually answer the relevant points rather than trying to turn this into a discussion about specific personalities.

  449. Nemo said

    Non believer, Lets take it slowly point by point lest you attempt to muddy the waters.
    ” Most of the Jewish community living in this country I would suggest believe that there are many other factors than Torah to consider when they have to choose a school for their children” Your statement or have I got it wrong?
    This statement may look credible on the surface but how do you back it up? How many of the possible third of a million UK Jews did you poll to support this statement? Was it an acceptable statistical proportion and what question did you ask. How did you interpret the results? What percentage of the UK Community are Haredi, and what percentage would call themselves modern orthodox? You have the right to speak for yourself and only yourself until others indicate otherwise.

  450. Non believer said

    Nemo – You don’t need a poll to know that most members of the Jewish community would not think that Torah education is the most important factor in choosing a school.
    Stop waffling and tell me I’m wrong!

  451. Nemo said

    This is sad. You make unsubstantiated assertions that you think sound good and want to be told what a clever little boy you are. Well, you’re not a clever little boy, in fact you’re being quite silly because you’re making unsubstantiated statements, and squirm as you like,they are meaningless. As it happens, it is not impossible that the majority of the Jewish Community ( I presume you mean UK wise) would think that Torah education is the most important factor in choosing a school.

  452. Non believer said

    If you believe this you must be in need of large doses of medication.
    I’m off to bed – you are spouting nonsense.
    Good night.

  453. Socialist nonWorker said

    Nemo is agitating for the sake of it. Non believer stated an opinion and dose not deserve to be bullied by you. This is exactly why so few people post here. Nemo is part of what is wrong with this Community. There is either a pile of slowcoaches claiming to lead us or a bunch of argumentative idiots picking fights in empty rooms. No wonder so many people are apathetic!

  454. Fandango said

    I wasn’t at Giffnock so did not hear what Rabbi Rubin said. However I don’t believe he has the right to comment on Calderwood when he won’t send his children there. I also don’t believe he should be the school chaplain for the same reason. That doesn’t mean that I don’t respect his decision on where to educate his own children just his right to comment on where others choose to educate theirs.

  455. Chutzpahdik said

    Totally support Fandango. Rabbi Rubin should not be school chaplain if he is not prepared to send his children there or even consider it now that there is no longer a Kollel school. Rumour has it that he wants Giffnock shul to employ somebody specifically to teach his sons!

  456. Non believer said

    Nemo, what makes you think I am male.
    Unfortunately, in Judaism – women are still today denied rights that they take for granted in every other aspect of their lives. And if they came across such discrimination they would surely fight against it. In case they are seen as a temptation to men they are forced to sit either upstairs or hidden behind a partition in Orthodox synagogues- their hair must be covered etc etc. If we read or hear of the Taliban or the Iranians doing this sort of thing it is scorned and ridiculed and attacked as barbaric. But in Judaism we seem to put up with this. Why?

  457. Giffnock Shul Member said

    If the congregation value their Rabbi – as I do and I think Rabbi Rubin – is hugely popular – then it is up to the Shul to decide whether it is appropriate to help in his children’s education.
    But Chutzpahdik you are out of order for floating this ” rumour” in the way that you have done. In fact you are the kind of person that gives blogs a bad name –
    The chaplaincy of the school is a matter for Calderwood. Do you have a child at the school?

  458. Nemo said

    #453 Past your bedtime, sonny. Change your name as often as you like, but you still manage to drag the debate down to the level of the gutter.

  459. Fandango said

    non believer have you thought that the reason women sit separately from men in shul is because men are easily distracted and in order to fully concentrate on “praying” women are seated separately. What rights exactly are Jewish women denied?

    Giffnock Shul Member Rabbi Rubin may be a hughely popular shul Rabbi and you rightly comment that it is the shuls place to decide on wither to help him with the education of his children I do however believe that if there is a cost to be incurred then the membership should be consulted. Why should the membership incur the cost of employing a teacher when there is an excellent school which would more than meet the demands? The chaplaincy of the school is a matter for Calderwood – what do you mean by that – East Renfrewshire, the head teacher, the CJE or the parents. Why should the parents have a chaplain who chooses not to send his own children there? You can’t preach what you don’t practice.

  460. Fandango said

    May I also say I am a Rabbi Rubin admirer and this should not turn into a Rabbi bashing session. But there is acertain hypocrisy which detracts from the other excellent work that he does.

  461. Nemo said

    I think it would be good for the Rabbi’s children and for the rest of the community if his children were to be educated at Calderwood. They lose a lot by being separated from their Jewish peer group and I am sure the School would accommodate any particular problems that might occur. I am a little bit wary when it is suggested that by not sending them to Calderwood he loses the right to be Chaplain or to comment on education. Does this mean that a teacher in the private sector such as Hutcheson’s would be criticised for sending his (her) children to be educated in the public sector, or vice-versa and would be under pressure to conform?

  462. Fandango said

    Nemo I am not suggesting that Rabbi Rubin does not have a right to comment on education but I do think that by choosing not to send his own children to Calderwood, that his chaplancy of Calderwood will be taken a lot less seriously. This is especially so where his opinion and guidance may be sought. Given that there is only one Jewish school which could and would accomodate his and other Rabbi’s children, the analogy with Hutchie is flawed as there are many other schools that teacher could choose. The argument goes back to how come the school is good enough for our children but not for his?

  463. Fisherman said

    How are you so sure you know who anyone is, Nemo, or do you ahve access to privleidged information?

    I would counsel against spreading rumours, it can get you into all sorts of trouble. Fact remains that Parents have the right to educate their children as they see fit within the confines of the Law and anhone accusing the Rabbis of breaking UK Law had better have the facts with which to defend themselves.

    My information is that Rabbis Rubin is investigating employing a teacher to home school his children and that he is providing the funding either personally or by seeking private support. I understand that this person will have extra time (possibly half the working week) to work within the Community and that this is what GNHC is discussing. This information may be out of date or incomplete, but one thing is certain and that is that Rabbi Rubin is under no obligation to send his kids to CL in the same way that we are not. Like it or lump it.

  464. Interested said

    Fisherman, you seem to know so much so please enlighten us.
    If one employs a teacher to home school children is it acceptable to only do this 50% of the time.( you wrote – “possibly half the working week”). If a teacher would be available to work elsewhere for the other half of the working week would this be an acceptable arrangement in UK law?
    Please tell us Mr Fisherman as you seem to be so well informed.
    You also seem to think you are a legal expert as well –
    Somehow, I don’t think Rabbi Rubin will be too impressed with your decision to discuss his domestic arrangements on a public blog.
    If I was you I would concentrate on catching fish.

  465. Fisherman said

    Rabbi Rubin is not impressed with this blog and I am not the first nor probably the last to discuss this matter. You seem to be under the misapprehension that I have discussed this with Rabbi Rubin – I have not nor have I said that I had.

    You and your buddies (nemo for one) are intent on deliberately misunderstanding what is written here. Why don’t you ‘enlighten’ us Mr Interested, why might it be against the law? I’m not a lawyer but you seem to think you know more than I for some inexplicable reason.

    It is the last refuge of the agitator to try and discredit opinion by demanding evidence of ‘authority’ or ‘expertise’. You, Nemo and you little gang are rabble rousers of the lowest order and I feel no need to justify myself to either of you. I recommend you get a grip of yourself, urgently, before you become an even more isolated minority.

  466. Fisherman said

    “If a teacher would be available to work elsewhere for the other half of the working week would this be an acceptable arrangement in UK law?”

    One phrase for you to contemplate whilst you compose your snappy retort, ‘Interested’: Job Share.

  467. Interested said

    You don’t get it Fisherman do you – You decide to discuss Rabbi Rubin’s personal arrangements on this blog in more detail than anyone else – and then you have a go at this very same blog because you are criticised for doing so.

    Job share: – There is no problem with your supposed teacher having another job as well. But my question to you that you have not answered is whether it is acceptable to only teach children 50% of the time – or do you think you have inside knowledge and know who will be teaching the children whilst your job share teacher goes and works elsewhere.

    Please don’t bother answering the question,fisherman, it was rhetorical.

  468. Outoftouch said

    I have been following the debate about Rabbi Rubin for a few days now. From my humble position it appears to have started from a sermon made around Pesach time which unfortunately not being a member of Giffnoch Shul I did not hear. My understanding is that he encouraged parents to send their children to Calderwood Lodge which I wholly support and had a go at this blog, which if I were him right now I would wholly support too. Surely those who submit comments realise that many people are reading but not posting and may be angered by what they read. I have no problem with Rabbi Rubin or indeed anybody else choosing how or where to teach their children – that is their personal choice and should be left at that. The only aspect of this I find interesting is the argument that because The Calderwood school chaplain chooses to educate his children outwith the school he represents he should not be chaplain anymore. I am unsure on this one because whilst I would love him to send his children to the school, he does do an excellent job as chaplain and I and my children would be sorry to see him go. He appears to be promoting the school on the one hand but exercising his right as an individual on the other so I suppose we will just have to go with the positive and concentrate on the good.

  469. Fisherman said

    Your selective reading is coming to fore, again
    I did not “decide” to discuss it, Fandango and Chutzpadik did (and several others, months ago), I was merely commenting that contrary to the nasty rumour it would appear that the good Rabbi is making what he believes to be appropriate teaching arrangements. Our involvement must necessarily cease once it is clear that Shul membership fees are not being used directly for non Shul business. On whether it is appropriate for his children, legal, or otherwise is not my business to discuss and I have not ever done so. Do you have a problem with that?

    Unfortunately there are those on the blog who have seen fit to attack the Rabbis’ private choices several times since January and again it has raised its ugly head. As I understand it there were few people in Shul to hear the sermon. I suspect you are in the majority of CL parents who support Rabbi Rubin’s position as school chaplain and the good work he does and it is nice to hear another reasonable (albeit slightly different) opinion. My concern is that as a Charedi Rabbi he could be perceived as less approachable by the secular/Reform parents and I believe that there is a place for the Reform Rabbi to do some Chaplaincy work at the school as well (if she and the shul wish it of course)

  470. saddened said

    I am saddened that this has again become a Rabbi bashing blog. The Rabbonim are doing a very good job in a diminshing community with much apathy and disinterest towards religious matters. This community cannot really afford to be so “nasty” towards each other. Surely the aim is to support and develop what is going on to try and ensure our children want to stay in Glasgow or have a positive Jewish up bringing that they will take with them forever.

  471. Platkemacher said

    I want to go to the next GJEF meeting which is on the 23rd April at 8.15 in NM but Yom Ha’atzmaut is on the same evening at 6.30pm in Giffnock and is bound to last more than 2 hours.

    Did no-one check to see if there was a clash? Perhaps if GJEF had checked with the Rep Council? Perhaps an Community notice board would be a good idea? Perhaps we can find a Joiner to knock one up?

  472. A Beitz said

    As far as I know before this meeting was arranged the situation was checked with GJRC who said there was no meeting on that night. It was subsequently discovered that, although YH is not until the following day, ENJOY and the ZF had booked the celebrations for that evening. Attempts were made by both parties to see if their function could be moved but without success. For that reason the GJEF starts at 6.15pm allowing people to go to both since usually 1.5 hours is enough for the YH shindig.

  473. A Beitz said

    Sorry the GJEF meet starts at 8.15pm.

  474. Past Parent said

    24 of our young people have just returned from a trip to Poland, organised by UJIA. Over 5 days they have had probably one of the most significant experiences of their lives. They have learnt about the places they visited and their Jewish heritage, they have grappled with the huge moral and ethical issues involved and have returned to this community deeply moved and determined to make a difference – both as a group and individually. The young leaders have who accompanied them have further developed their skills and the whole team deserve our profound thanks.

  475. Still A Parent said

    As one of the parents of the 24 who went to Poland, I must also congratulate UJIA on organising such a meaningful and thought provoking trip. It has definitely instilled my child with a new found enthusiasm for their Jewish heritage and bonded a real group feeling for all that participated. Possibly for the first time in my child’s life a real feeling of being part of the wider Jewish family has been discovered. Well done UJIA and well done all the youth who participated.

  476. A Beitz said

    474 and 475 raise issues relative to education. I suspect the 24 may have learned more over 5 days in Poland than in 5 years formal Jewish education. However, it is important that Holocaust education is a means to an end and not an end in itself. The Jewish religion and culture consist of so much more. However it is also vital that we never forget.
    My thanks and congratulations to all who made this such a important trip.

  477. Patrick said

    A Beitz makes an important point. Whilst the Jewish people need to remember the past – and educational trips like the one to Poland are very worthwhile, they also need to realise that their future is about how they now preserve Jewish life. The question to be answered is how does the Jewish community in Glasgow survive. All facets of that identity are equally important – culture, heritage, religion and so forth. Its up to individuals which part has meaning to them.

  478. A Beitz said

    Good article on Hatikvah today from Jeremy Rosen. He says

    “For as long as deep in the innermost heart

    A Jewish soul stirs

    It is towards the East and to Zion that the eye longingly looks.

    We have not yet lost our hope

    The hope of two thousand years

    To be a free nation in our land

    In the Land of Zion and Jerusalem.

    These are the English words of the Hatikvah (blame me for the translation). Originally a poem by Naftali Herz Imber published in 1886 and set to music by one Samuel Cohen (a bowdlerized version of Smetana’s Moldau) It became the official song of the Zionist movement in 1897 and, after several modifications, the National Anthem of the State of Israel. At this time of the year it is sung with added gusto as Israel celebrates its 59th birthday, another milestone in its fraught, insecure, yet miraculous, history.

    The Hatikvah is now de rigueur at most Jewish events, communal or personal. In England we have toasts at banquets at which some pompous toastmaster dressed in red hunting jacket with a gilded chain of counterfeit honour around his neck, bangs with his gavel and proclaims, ‘My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen.’ Or a press-ganged relative of the bride or bar mitzvah asks us to be ‘upstanding’ (Upstanding? Upended? Uptight? Where do they get these mock ceremonial archaisms from, I wonder–perhaps the Masons or even the Knights of the Round Table?) to drink the ‘Loyal Toast’ to the health of the Queen (and some rheumy eyed veterans add, ‘God Bless Her’). We raise our glasses and either drink or wait for the band to finish its perfunctory rendition of the English National Anthem.

    Then a semi-inebriated guest rises with difficulty, glass in hand, to toast the President and, or, together with, or in addition to, the State of Israel. Then, if there’s a band that knows its stuff, off it goes with a rendition of the Hatikva, during which about 5% actually sing the words, 5% stagger through half of them, 80% stand looking stupid as they pretend to mouth words they haven’t the faintest idea of, and another 10% stand or sit looking choleric either because they object on principle or simply because they resent having to interrupt their meal.

    One of the benefits of going to a Charedi simcha is that you are spared all of this rigmarole. But then the price you have to pay is listening to a whole lot more rabbis trying to speak above the chatter.

    Hatikva is not without its controversies. I have a cousin who when forced to sing it because of his public position, has difficulty with the phrase ‘to be a free nation’ because free (Chofshi) is also current Hebrew usage for ‘irreligious’, free of obligations. So he sings ‘To be a religious people (Am Dati) in our Land.’ Of course those pious whackos who cosy up to Ahamdinejad won’t sing it at all, on principle.

    I am very fond of it. It does pull on my emotions and recalls the momentous events in my young life when the whole question of the Jewish State hung in the balance and then opened up unimagined vistas and experiences. But, in truth, as the novelty has worn off, and perhaps as my cynicism has increased, the whole business of nationalism and flags and petty state paraphernalia has soured. Britain, Europe, and the rest of the world have come closer together and yet fragmented at the same time. The Balkans have split into endless mini-states, and just like Europe after the First World War each one puffs up its own supposed identity by marginalizing and alienating anyone else of different ethnic or religious background. Proud nationalism becomes divisive, ridiculous, and bloody. You may say that this is symptomatic of the British disease, and besides look at America with its National Pride and singing its anthem the drop of a hat or a fat lady. But there’s another issue here.

    I confess I can sympathize with an Arab Member of the Knesset who doesn’t like singing Hatikvah. Of course, I believe that if we are to have a state it should be a Jewish State. There are plenty enough Christian and Muslim and other denomination states around the world–why shouldn’t we have one too? But that doesn’t mean we cannot recognize that there are others living in the state of different religions and affiliation. How can one ask an Israeli Muslim or Christian to sing about having a Jewish soul? It doesn’t make sense.

    Here are two of the three verses of the British National Anthem.

    God save our gracious Queen

    Long live our noble Queen

    God save the Queen!

    Send her victorious

    Happy and glorious

    Long to reign over us

    God save the Queen!

    One realm of races four

    Blest more and ever more

    God save our land!

    Home of the brave and free

    Set in the silver sea

    True nurse of chivalry

    God save our land!

    Would I be happy to sing it if instead of describing us as ‘the nurse of chivalry’ it said the ‘nurse of Christianity’? Britain is a Christian State but it does not require its non-Christian citizens to sing about it. In truth, I don’t take the British National Anthem too seriously. After all, do I really believe Britain is the home of the Brave and the Free or that the Queen should always be victorious? Surely it depends! Besides, having heard the way crowds of hooligans at football matches boo and hiss the others anthems, I think they should all be scrapped!

    The sort of State that Israel is or aspires to be, does not depend on a Nineteenth Century poem. I really hope Israel continues to have other religions and denominations within its rich mix of citizenship, just as I hope it will continue to give preference to Jewish refugees. And, despite my religious commitment, I’d be uncomfortable with a state made up exclusively of Jewish fundamentalists. But if we insist on an anthem, let it be one that incorporates all its citizens. It’s not a text that is hallowed by religion or tradition. If it is inappropriate, let’s change it. It has been changed before.

    Shabbat Shalom

    And Happy Yom HaAtzmaut


    And before anyone gets worried about copyright his response to my request that we could use this was

    “Sure, you can even substitute the Anti Scottish version of God Save the Queen

    “Lord grant that Marshal Wade
    May by thy mighty aid
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush,
    And like a torrent rush,
    Rebellious Scots to crush.
    God save the Queen!”

    Shabbat Shalom


  479. Avi said

    Jeremy Rosen’s article touches on an important issue. Several years ago a book was written and published in Israel called “Every 6th Israeli”, edited by Alouph Hareven. It was published by the Van Leer Jerusalem Foundation. One of the fellows of that organisation – Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg is visiting Glasgow next week.

    This book dealt with relations between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority in Israel, who as the title indicates were one sixth of the population.

    One of the chapters was written by Saad Sarsour and looked at the problems of education in Israeli society and as Rabbi Rosen has discussed the issues surrounding the words of Hatikvah.

    I quote…

    ” Like any other country Israel too has values and symbols with which the citizens of the country are supposed to identify: a flag, an anthem, state insignia etc. The state also conducts social and national events which are supposed to heighten the citizen’s identification with the country, broaden and deepen his ties with it and lift national morale.”

    “The schools in Israel are supposed to arrange an encounter between their pupils and the symbols of the state at ceremonies, events, holidays and special days. The Arab school cannot ignore the existence of the country’s symbols. The Arab school in Israel does introduce its pupils to the symbols of the State of Israel but the Jewish national character of these symbols creates difficult educational problems, for these symbols do not mean the same for the Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of the country.”

    ” These symbols may speak to the Jewish child, they do not speak to the Arab child. What can Arab pupils think when they sing the words of Hatikvah. The State of Israel’s Independance Day and War of Independance do not symbolise for the Arab citizen and pupil his independance and liberation. It has connotations the very opposite of those it has for the Jewish citizen.”

    ” Therefore the Arab school has a problem. It cannot insist that its pupils express feelings they do not feel but on the other hand it is inconceivable that Independance Day would go by for the pupils in an Arab school , as citizens of the State of Israel, as any ordinary day;
    that would intensify their estrangement from the country instead of promoting their loyalty to it”

    I would like to think Rabbi Rothenberg may touch on some of these issues on Thursday evening.

  480. Not SNP but close said

    “Sure, you can even substitute the Anti Scottish version of God Save the Queen”

    It’s not the “anti Scottish” version it is verse 2 of the official anthem. I understand how that Arab MK feels, I will not sing “God Save the Queen” on the basis that it is the English national anthem not the British one, however given the relative histories (and my own pro-Israel bias) I see few problems with Hatikvah.

    I hope everyone who can, attends tonight’s celebration and those with sufficient stamina also attends the meeting.

  481. Barry said

    Can anyone tell me what the Council of Scottish Communities do?
    As far as I know this group is run by Ephraim Borowski but it seems to me that they have no input to make into the running of the Glasgow Jewish Community?
    Recently the Jewish Telegraph reported that this group had received from the Scottish Parliament a huge grant of about £25000 ( I think my figure is correct) for investment in small communities.
    What a scandalous waste of money. If the Jewish community are deserving of such funds it should be given for the provision of facilities to the youth and elderly. Not for this project.
    There should be an inquiry into this nonsense!

  482. Paul said

    The inquiry I would have is how Ephraim Borowski was nominated by a Jewish Chronicle poll to be the 74th most influential Jew in Britain.
    They must be taking the piss!

  483. A Beitz said

    #481. I am not in the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities but if you’re going to criticise what you have to say might be more impressive if you got their name right. As far as I know amongst their other activities they act as a lobby group for the community in the Scottish Parliament. They were mainly responsible for the passing of the legislation on gittim which will now make it much more difficult for someone to push through a divorce without giving a get where this is sought. They also do a lot of work in small communities such as Dundee, Aberdeen and Argyll and Bute bringing Jewish people together from these areas.If you want to know more look at their website.
    Stuff about the grant is nonsense not least since the comment is predicated on the theory that if SCOJEC didn’t get it the money would somehow be available for other parts of the Community. It is not ringfenced for the Jewish community.

  484. Barry said

    I don’t for one moment think that the money is ringfenced for the Jewish community but it is still far too much.
    Is it really worth the Scottish Executive giving £25,000 to help work in Jewish Communities like Dundee, Aberdeen, Argyll & Bute?
    It isn’t in my opinion. I would rather they had better hospitals and schools.
    Someone – in this Scojec – has obviously put forward a case for this money. But in my opinion, if people in the jewish community are going to put forward arguments to get money from local or central government at least we should ask for it where we really need it.
    Thanks Mr Beitz for pointing out their real name – that is why I asked.
    How many representative organisations do we as a community need. In my opinion we have far too many.
    Anyway, I’m going to look at their website and maybe I will be persuaded.

  485. Barry said

    Sorry Mr Beitz I’m still not that sure about what they actally do. Yes they talk a lot, and meet a lot, and spend a lot of time talking to politicians.
    They have under the news section of their website a story about how important their director Mr Borowski is?
    He must have written this.
    Do you think Mr Beitz that he is the 74th most influential British Jew?

  486. Basfordian said

    A Beitz may be justified in lauding the 74th most influential Jew (I must be the 73rd and nobody’s ever heard of me)for his efforts in lobbying with respect to the gittim enigma. However, it is scandalous that such methods have to be employed to right a grievous wrong in Orthodox Judaism. Innovative Rabbi’s who can come up with the brilliant wheeze of encircling areas of land with bits of string so they can carry copies of Richard Dawkin’s latest book on Shabbat could solve the problem at a stroke. But they do’t. They don’t because they are not affected, it is women who suffer. It is a cynical power game and those who have the power to bring about change have no incentive to so do. Last month the Knesset appointed new members to the religious council that decides matters of Halachah especially with regard to divorce. Of the twenty appointees, seventeen were from the ultra orthodox camp. These seventeen who now wield tremendous influence over Israeli domestic life, and ultimately on ours do not recognise the authority of the council on which they serve and do not use it for their own Halachic problems. This absurd situation is the height of cynicism. If Mr Borowski really had influence and cared about justice and equality, it is to these orthodox hypocrites that he would direct his energies. Instead he just papers over the cracks.

  487. To be said

    I have been meaning to have a look at this blog for ages… Some of the postings make Desperate Housewives seem tame, and a few brought a smile to my face, especially Barry who said

    “They have under the news section of their website a story about how important their director Mr Borowski is?
    He must have written this.”

    To get to my point (and probably thereby revealing to a few who I am) the Scot. Parl and Exec require participation and the SCJC performs this on behalf of the community. Any community/group etc that does not have some monitoring and input of the machinations of political development will fall behind other groups and communities that do.

    Cordially wishing everybody on this forum kindest regards.

  488. To be said

    correcting my terrible grammar from my last posting, I meant to say “that does”. (to anybody who noticed).

  489. Co-religionist said

    Your comments are right on the money however they really have nothing to do with Mr #74th and SCJC. These are criticisms that can be laid at the door of every organised religion (I use organised in it loosest sense). The hypocrisy you point out is one of the main reasons for Jewish apathy in the Diaspora and especially in Glasgow.

  490. Barry said

    I have now looked at SCOJEC website as well and I think this is incredibly funny.
    Ephraim Borowski is the Director of this organisation and under the news section he has written about himself, telling everyone out there how wonderful he is.
    If you are so wonderful Ephraim you must be totally gutted about coming in so low.
    I’m sorry but someone here is taking the piss.
    They have to be.
    Wonder what number Paul Edlin will turn up at. Now that would be even funnier.

  491. Emet said

    Went on to the Scojec website-can’t find any real gripe-from there I went to the JC site to see the entry on EB-I wonder if anymore Glaswegians will make the list -Gerry Sadowitz perhaps ?
    Anyway I noticed that on the panel making up the JC team for the poll ,was both an orthodox rabbi and a reform rabbi-what are the chances of that happening in Glasgow——and could the obvious answer to that question be why we are an insignificant backwater when it comes to the uk jewish community ?

  492. Or Not To Be said

    #487 Who are you kidding. Bet you check it every night. You must be upset every time you don’t get a mention. I’ve checked all the GJEF postings from its inception, adding up every name mentioned and you don’t rate. Even that villainous PE got more mentions than you. Gutted? I’d be joining Exit.

  493. To be said

    Laughing at ‘Or Not To Be’ (in a nice way), no, I don’t have the honour of being EJB himself – am another person entirely, although I do have a beard but that does not make us one!

    It was my first posting, so I won’t have any mentions on here. I’m a proud new parent, and haven’t so far felt any urge to post on here… until now!

    Still, am honoured that you took the time to respond, and to try to work out who I am based on all previous postings – wish I had the time to spend on such a valuable exercise just to come up with the conclusion you started out with!

  494. Ellie said

    If you are a new parent ” to be ” you should not have time to be posting on this blog.
    I would like to know what number Emet and A Beitz would have put in Ephraim Borowski.
    I would have put him in at 74,777 and that’s being generous!

  495. Emet said

    I am not qualified to say where he sits on “influence”-I find the whole concept of “most influential” totally flawed-it is also rather meaningless ; however if he got a mention then let him enjoy it-why not?
    I’m sure he doesn’t take it too seriously.
    Are SCOJEC taking part in this Ballon debate thing ? That would be a good way of letting them tell us what they do in a populist sort of way.

    EB does not figure much in my life and I bear him no ill will-I hope this discussion doesn’t become too personalised-I thought that at times comments made about particular Rabbonim were just plain rude and I hope we don’t degenerate into an insult blog again re.EB.

    As for new parent “to be” -mazel tov- and if you have a beard you are probably a male….are you Mendel?

  496. To be said

    I’m not Mendel, and I am amused 🙂

  497. A Beitz said

    Emet is absolutely right in all he says at #495 particularly about degenerating into an insult blog. By all means have a go at things and criticise but there is a limit and that was crossed by some over the rabbis albeit others staunchley defended them or expressed themselves more temperately.
    Now do you think Katie Price aka Jordan will finish above EB?

  498. Suspiciously quiet said

    Emet (#491) we are a backwater because we have 3,000 (or 5,000 depending on your source) people in our community and London has 300,000 and that difference has always been the case.

    The simplest explanation is often the right one.

    This blog has seldom got higher than a place to fling personal insults (cf Paul Edlin), perhaps in the absence of PE Ephriam is, unfairly, the next target. There seems to be precious little discussion without some bogeyman or other to take a pop at and that is a far more damning indictment of our Community.

  499. To be said

    I couldn’t make the hustings last night (but had wanted to go) – does anybody know what the SNP makes of faith schools?

  500. Incredulous said

    I have looked at this blog for the first time – and I have to say I like it.
    What’s wrong with aiming a few insults at targets that deserve them. It’s one of the purposes of a blog.
    Most of the people who have been discussed are communal figures with positions of communal responsibility so we are entitled to give our opinion. No one needs to listen or read but at least we can now have our say.
    Why is it unfair to discuss SCOJEC and Ephraim Borowski and Paul Edlin, suspiciously quiet.?
    I would also point out that I cannot see personal insults aimed at any Rabbi. There may have been breaches of confidentiality and that is a matter for the organisation where the leak emanated from but you can’t blame other bloggers for then commenting.
    By the way to get on to the JC list you must be nominated. Having just read the SCOJEC website my guess is that Borowski nominated himself.

  501. A Beitz said

    To Be. Would your surname be the same as the first name of a seventies group?

  502. To be said

    Hi A Beitz

    I don’t think theres a seventies group that has the same name as my first name, but as I only enjoyed the seventies for 5 years, I couldn’t rule that out! There are a few people on this board, I think, who know me personally.

    I can tell you that I’m not among the top 74 in the UK, in Glasgow, or even in my street. And there are only 40 houses on my street!

  503. To be said

    Oops, thats what happens when you dont read a post properly. My surname… The group’s first name… Yes, that is a distinct possibility. A group, including an especially famous (wayward?) individual with a skin pigmentation / odd shaped nose issue (not that I can talk)!

  504. Suspiciously quiet said

    I am Incredulous that you think that gratuitous insults are normal behaviour! Civilised people should behave themselves in public and this is a very public place.

    There has already been serious fall out over the attitudes and insults thrown here with friendships ruined and all manner of threats made. we are far too small a community for that kind of behaviour. Discussion of public figures is fine by me, they, after al, have put themselves in the public eye, however the nasty attitude is unbecoming and those who have been casting the stones have also found themselves to be targets (both on and offline) and have not liked it.

  505. To be said

    Mr Beitz, I have been thinking, have we been seen in Starbucks together, occasionally in the company of others? Does my car resemble a taller version of one you owned in the past?

    Had I realised I was going to give away my identity to soon, I would have made my postings much more entertaining.

  506. Chopped Liver said

    Numbers are not the main problem. A community can reduce in quantity but it does not imply that the quality should drop accordingly.
    The main problem in this community for years has been the inept leadership that has existed and this huge failure in leadership has resulted in either wong decisions being made or no decisions.
    The harsh reality is that too many people who make communal decisions in different spheres have been massively over promoted.
    As a community we seem to accept 2nd or 3rd rate when there are many talented people who could do much better. Most of these people would only get involved if they could make a difference and until the deadwood is cleared out of the way nothing will happen.
    Yes, there are good things going on but I don’t know how you get those who are sifling progress to be shifted out of the way?
    I left this community a few years ago – but of course I still have family and friends in Glasgow.
    Too many in this community and in other communities are only interested in what concerns their own lifes. They have no vision, no desire to learn more, and no interest in the bigger picture outside their little world.
    That is their choice. What happens though is these are the people who will jump up and down if the things that they take for granted in their community disappear.

  507. A Beitz said

    I don’t think you’ve sussed me To Be.
    One of the problems Chopped liver is that it is too easy to say that people have been overpromoted. Many of the people running the community are able but misdirected. Others are fairly useless and there because they don’t rock the boat. Some are fine. However in many ways there is an innate conservatism which holds the community back as well as a lot of people who like committee meetings resulting in some of those who have a life giving up in disgust about what they have to go through to take part in running things.
    Bearing in mind this is the education blog any views on ENJOY’s plan to set up a cheder system in Glasgow once again? I think it’s a great idea not least because it will give people who don’t send their kids to Calderwood a choice which isn’t Lubavitch or Yeshiva. If anyone wants to get in touch with them see the blurb below.


    ENJOY have been approached to once again explore the possibility of providing
    some form of Jewish education for our children, along the lines of a traditional cheder, but with more fun and encouragement than in older days. Discussions are well advanced and it is hoped that we will have the support of the community once we announce the next stage. We would like to hold a meeting with interested parents some time soon to get their views and ideas on how to give the children a Jewish education in the future. If you would like to register an interest in this, please contact of one the people below.

    There will other events later in the year, so keep your eye on the press for further details.

    Contacts: ENJOY email address

    Rabbi Rubin 0141 577 8251
    Alan Hecht 07764 291731
    Pamela Livingston 07803 746349
    Sydney Barmack 0141 633 3293

  508. Palwin 10 said

    Mr Beitz commented as follows:

    “Many of the people running the community are able but misdirected”

    “Others are fairly useless and there because they don’t rock the boat”

    “in many ways there is an innate conservatism which holds the community back ”

    If that does not fit into the category of ” massively over promoted ” then I am mystified A Beitz.

    Chopped Liver is spot on about the communal failings in our city and to quibble with a few words only deflects from the true problems facing us.

  509. Chopped Liver said

    It is not only Glasgow that has problems. Look at the results of the ridiculous JC list of Britain’s most influential Jews.
    What a wonderful message the JC has sent out to the wider world! What does this list say about our values as to what is important in the British Community?
    Does it matter if some of the names have brought discredit on to themselves and our community? It would appear not.
    And in 21st Century Britain – we are told that the most influential Jew is a Rabbi. This is total nonsense.

    The list is absurd – the idea of such a list is flawed. And the Jewish Chronicle is flawed with it.
    This newspaper put its own news creation on the front page and gave the whole subject excessive space. A newspaper’s remit is to tell its readership about what is happening in the world and then give its opinion. It is not to make up news stories.

    The JC has lost its credibility. The current editor should be replaced.
    When I used to live in Glasgow – I thought the Jewish Telegraph was a comic. It is. But the JC has become even worse.

  510. A Beitz said

    Anyone fancy trying a list of the 100 (or less) most influential Scottish Jews? To qualify those nominated would either have to live in Scotland or be Scottish. Maybe admin could do something. This would be a chance to nomimate people from Bob Dylan (has a house here) to Chaim Jacobs (or not) to Paul Edlin to Tony Tankel. Admin?

  511. Midge said

    Who cares about silly lists.
    Get a life Beitz!

  512. fizz said

    great Idea Beitz! Don’t stop there how about other lists? top 100 rich list,eligible bachelors, best rabbis, etc…We could vote on a premium rate phone line too!

  513. To be said

    I nominate… Ephraim 🙂
    Ok Ok, was just being annoying!

  514. A Beitz said

    I think one of the most positive influences in this community is Rev Ernest Levy. He is a kind non judgmental man who has been through unspeakable horrors but has come out of them with great dignity and humanity. This week he spoke to many of those who had been on the recent youth UJIA trip to Poland along with their relatives and friends and I believe it was a spellbinding moving evening. Some of those who went were non Jewish friends of the participants and they were horrified at what they heard whilst learning so much at the same time. He is a wonderful positive influence.

  515. crumpet said

    I was at the evening Mr Beitz and was literally moved to tears. We should all learn from Rev Levy and if I was voting he would get mine.

  516. Emet said

    There are quite a few unsung heroes in our midst-I am perfectly serious in saying that Ian Morrison for battling the odds for so long deserves a community gong-as do those who have funded Langside shul for so long ; love them or loath them I also firmly believe our jewish life would be poorer without the Lubavitch and finally the people behind gjef -not for the blog but for resisting the urge to out GERRY THE JOINER and boot him in the Albert Halls !
    Thank you.

  517. A Beitz said

    I would also add to that list Malcolm and Myra Livingstone who get on with things with no fuss but do great work in so many ways when it must be tempting to walk away.

  518. Past Parent said

    If we are nominating people who have made a positive contribution to our community – I would like to add Rabbi Rubin. He has perfected the art of making people feel included. I have seen him deal with some very sensitive family situations – bringing people together, when other Rabbonim might have encouraged a rift. He is supportive in times of crisis and always seems to know the right thing to say. He’s pragmatic and not as resistant to change, if it advances the cohesion of the Community, as his black coat might suggest.

  519. To be said

    Aharon Soudry gets a vote from us – he tries very hard and is so keen for more young families to join in at Garnethill

  520. Fantasyland said

    Can I respectfully (not) suggest that all those particpating in this fantasy game of nominating their preferred heros or heroines in Glasgow Jewry, switch blogs to Jonathan Freedland and listen to someone who has got something worthwhile to say. Then give your opinions if you think you have something to offer.

  521. Or Not To Be said

    #519 Who are the young families at Garnethill? The over nineties? Anyway, who is us, are you two or more people or just schitzophrenic. If the Garnethill Rev thinks that his shul is going to be filled with young people and really means it (not that there is a chance in a million) I suggest he start his campaign by resigning.

  522. A Beitz said

    Sorry Fantasyland but some of us are capable of multitasking by doing both. In fact my computer and my brain allow me to type, think and listen at the same time. I have heard every syllable that Jonathan Freedland has to utter and very impressive too. I also can think of my heros and heroines of Glasgow Jewry.

  523. Ford lover said

    #522 but can you walk and chew gum?

  524. Cantbelieveyouareserious said

    Evidence please Beitz that you are capable of multi-tasking.

  525. Groupie said

    My hero’s Beitz. He’s so versatile and can do so much at the same time, I nearly faint whenever he posts.

  526. A Beitz said

    I am watching St Mirren v Dunfermline(1-0 for the Pars), typing and ignoring my wife’s suggestions that there must be something better on TV. All at once.

  527. Mrs Beitz said

    Worrying thing is my husband has yet to learn the difference between true multi-tasking and focusing on something whilst pretending to pay attention to what is going on around him…………… what I was actually saying was “I can smell something burning!”

    Seriously, one doesn’t need to multi-task to participate in more than one area on the blogg – I find it quite interesting to have different discussions taking place on different topics.

  528. Gerry the Joiner said

    If there were a list for the those least likely to bring credit upon our Community then those like ‘Emet’ would be at the top.

    The only truth about ‘Emet’ is that he is a big reason why so few capable people now choose to stand up and be counted because they know that small minded people, like ‘Emet’ will whine and moan about their efforts but do nothing themselves.

  529. Nigel Allon said

    I’ve had time to think. Last Thursday I arrived at the Rothenberg meeting late due to a prior arrangement and was horrified when I walked in and found the audience consisted of the GJEF committee, their family, the speaker, the Chairperson and three others. I closed my eyes, thinking it was my imagination, but when I opened them realized that I had not gone mad, it was the Dati community in Glasgow that was mad. It took some investigation afterwards to find out exactly how this had come about. It appears that Rabbi Bokov and his Shul Chairperson, Michael Clerck, neither of whom has the intellectual ability to challenge a renowned intellectual and philosopher such as Rabbi Rothenberg and arranged a meeting as a spoiler. It is most unlikely to have been their original idea for A Soudry has been doing the rounds protesting that he was not responsible. The reverend doth protest too much methinks. And where was the Newton Mearns Rabbi, the Kollel, the restaurateur and all their merry band of followers. They are a disgrace. Rabbi Rothenberg could have been their greatest ally and exponent of the tenets of Orthodox Judaism. Who among this disreputable band asked the stranger in our midst where he was davening? Did even one offer him any form of home hospitality? Not one. Not one miserable orthodox Glaswegian gave a damn. This visit was known for months especially by the Glasgow Rabbonim and when they refuse to learn from and listen to the Israeli Rabbi who is most influential in deciding the core curriculum for every Israeli child including the children of charedi Rabbis there is something badly wrong.

  530. Rickeeeeee said

    Nigel, you say
    “Who among this disreputable band asked the stranger in our midst where he was davening? Did even one offer him any form of home hospitality? Not one. Not one miserable orthodox Glaswegian gave a damn.”

    Did Rabbi Rothenberg tell you all this or are you making assumptions or commenting on hearsay? Anyway, surely it is the responsibility of the meeting’s organiser to arrange hospitality. He was NOT a “stranger in our midst” he was an invited guest of GJEF and if no hospitality was provided then that is the failing of the Committee who were responsible for arranging invitations, if such were required.

    Why do you single out the Frum portion of the Community for your ire. It was, after all, a very busy week!

  531. Richard D said

    Nigel Allon Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 9:59 pm
    “….It appears that Rabbi Bokov and his Shul Chairperson, Michael Clerck, neither of whom has the intellectual ability to challenge a renowned intellectual and philosopher such as Rabbi Rothenberg….”

    You have gone too far with personal comments such as these and you should publicly apologise. It does our Community no favours when nasty, personal insults are made in such a public manner. You say “I’ve had time to think”, well perhaps you should have though a damn sight longer.

  532. Interested said

    Why don’t the two Richards who have just replied to Nigel stop and think for a moment and consider what was written.

    There was no unjustified personal insult – it is not incorrect to challenge the purpose of those who attempted to spoil a meeting. And Rabbi Rothenberg was a renowned intellectual and philosopher.

    So come on Richard – you surely have the intellect to deal with this issue properly and understand what was said and the implications for our community.

    Let’s stop asking for apologies and deal with the argument – nit picking does you no credit.

  533. Community Member said

    I nominate Nigel Allon for top prize in Mr Beitz’s gong show. He has again shown the courage to say what needed to be said.
    Well done Nigel

  534. Richard D said

    “Rabbi Bokov and his Shul Chairperson, Michael Clerck, neither of whom has the intellectual ability ”

    Not an unjustified or not personal. It is clearly both and you obviously agree with him. Shame on you, this is a public forum and such comments bring the entire Community into disrepute.

    As for discussing the “spoiling” of your meeting, that is a subject that I cannot comment on due to insufficient information. Nigel is welcome to his opinion on that and whther the Rothenberg meeting should have been better attended by the Dati section, I am not sure I disagree but it was inappropriate and unnecessary to make such personal insults. He should apologise without delay.

  535. Interested said

    I do agree with him. Why is the comment unjustified? Are you saying that they should have organised a meeting in competition with the visiting Rabbi? Are you claiming that the local Rabbi has the same depth of experience and learning that he should go ahead with his meeting even when he was asked not to?

  536. Richard D said

    No and I’m sure you are able to read my post and understand it as well. I have no information or opinion on whether Netherlee and Clarkston Shul should have held the meeting but to say that Rabbi Bokov and Michael Clerck are stupid (in other words) is uncalled for.

    If, as Nigel suggests, there were fewer than 20 people at your event then accusing N&C of spoiling your meeting may credit them with too much strength. It was, after all, your second meeting of the week and if only 15 or 20 saw fit to attend then the problem is either with the close proximity of 2 GJEF meetings in a week that also held Yom Ha’atzmaut or it lies with the subject matter having too little appeal.

    There are supposedly 5,000 Jews in Glasgow yet a total of only 50 attended these 2 meetings combined. That is hardly a fantastic turnout and speaks more about the Community’s apathy than any ones intellectual ability.

    My point remains that Nigel’s personal attack on Rabbi Bokov, Michale Clerck were uncalled for. If he only meant to compare ability as an educator then he deliberately did so in the most insulting way available to him which is par for the course but still OTT and worthy of an apology.

  537. Community Member said

    Point of information Richard – attendance at Jonathan Freedland was 100.
    There has been no unjustified personal attack. Netherlee and Clarkston were asked to move their meeting and they refused.

    Please deal with the issues raised in the original posting. They are serious and important and should not be used by you as an opportunity to ask for someone else to apologise because you are still bitter because you were forced to make a pubic apology for disgraceful behaviour.

  538. wanda said

    so the jonathan Freedland meeting got 100 people and the Rabbi Rothenberg meeting only got 20 do you think the other 4,000 members of the community were at Clarkston shul? Why cant we have two meetings on the same night and give people a choice?

  539. Emet said

    It has been brought to my attention that Gerry feels that my reference to the Albert Hall could incite others to commit acts of violence towards him ;I would like to discourage any such thoughts and wholeheartedly apologise to Gerry for any unintentional anxiety I may have caused him .

  540. Richard said

    Community Member is deliberately obtuse as usual.

    Both Nigel and I were referring to the Rothenberg meeting, however CM’s comment raises an interesting point. If both Yom Ha’atzmaut and the Freedland meeting were well attended despite the clash then the failure of GJEF to attract more than 20 people last Thursday was a case of too much of a good thing (too much in the 1 week), Community apathy, or an insufficiently attractive meeting. Perhaps it was a combination of all 3.

    As for accusing the Glasgow frummers of being rude to Rabbi Rothenberg, I note that Nigel has not yet told us where his information came from, the horse’s mouth or hearsay. We can assume from his silence on the matter that he is criticising the Rabbis because otherwise the fault lies with GJEF for organising things for their invited guest.

    There are a number of issues raised by Mr Allon’s post not least of which his unjustified rudeness and I note that Interested and Community Member choose to ignore all of them and try to muddy the waters with deliberate obfuscation. There is no-one here truly interested in debate as it is impossible to have a reasoned debate on any blog but I refuse to sit idly by whilst others are cyber bullied. I have been the victim of it and whilst the Blog owners seems happy to let it slide I am not. Attacks on Shul employees and volunteers are unacceptable in my view and Mr Allon, I’m sure, could have made his points (valid or otherwise) without the invective especially as he is not a member of the Shul in question.

  541. Emet said

    If an orthodox rabbi comes to town ,the other rabbonim know it and not one bothers to invite him to daven ,eat and discuss then that is a disgrace .If this fellow is a mainstream ,non controversial rabbi and the others knew in advance of his visit then their lack of rabbinic hospitality is beyond my comprehension.However maybe each one has a reason for not being available that day ?
    Maybe GJEF should have asked on of our local rabbonim to co-host the event -did anyone think of that ?

  542. Interested said

    Richard you have got it all wrong.
    Please tell us why Shul employees and Shul volunteers are not accountable for their actions.

    They are – just like everyone else.

    Not one word written by Nigel Allon is incorrect. And rather than deal with the issues raised in his comment – the lack of courtesy and hospitality shown to a visiting Rabbi as an example, you rant on about the rudeness shown by Nigel Allon. He was not rude at all – he only spoke the truth.

    You constantly nitpick and then claim you hare victim of bullying.

    The reality is that you either do not understand or do not want to understand the issues that Nigel Allon has put forward.

    The issue is not about numbers but the attempt to deliberately spoil another meeting. This was done by people who should know better. Maybe they will come forward to give their explanation because if I was them I would rather fight my own corner than rely on you and your friend Wanda.

  543. Community Member said

    Emet, my understanding is that GJEF asked at least two of our Rabbis to take an active part in their meeting. And as I understand it both declined.
    I also have information that it was quite clear that the Rabbonim had information in advance about this date – there was no doubt that they knew about Rabbi Rothenberg’s visit.

    The questions posed by Nigel Allon are valid and necessary.

    Why did the chairman and Rabbi of Clarkston Shul organise a meeting as a spoiler and why did none of Rabbi Bokov’s colleagues ask him to postpone his talk ?

    Given that our Rabbis are interested in Jewish education would they not have benefited from hearing someone of the calibre of Rabbi Rothenberg?

  544. Newton Mearns Member said

    Was my Rabbi at either of the two meetings last Thursday?

  545. A Beitz said

    I don’t believe the Netherlee Clarkston meeting was a spoiler. What I do think happened was that they arranged their meeting in ignorance of the GJEF one. I then think there was a lack of willingness by certain of their committee to move their meeting possibly due to other issues which were personal against GJEF. They were asked to do so and their response was more one of “won’t” rather than “can’t”. I believe however Rabbi Bokow may have had little say.
    I disassociate myself from comments about the intellectual ability of those involved. I would also point out that Rabbi Dovid Cohen the Jewish student chaplain arranged for a meal to take place involving Jewish, Moslem, Sikh, Hindu and Christian students at which Rabbi Rothenberg spoke to an appreciative audience and also ate. He also had a very successful visit to Calderwood Lodge and was much impressed with the school.

  546. Community Member said

    I was at last week’s meeting with Rabbi Rothenberg and I was embarrassed about how few people were there. As far as I am aware GJEF specifically brought an Orthodox Rabbi so that an Orthodox viewpoint could be heard and they actively pursued for months the best person to deliver this lecture. And he was one of the best.

    The fact that the Orthodox community did not engage or have interest in a speaker who had excellent credentials from an Orthodox perspective is something which the community in general and the Orthodox community should think about. Many in the Orthodox community despair that so few are interested in their kind of Judaism
    and almost always the inference given is that everyone else is apathetic and disinterested.

    Perhaps some people have come to the conclusion that Orthodox Judaism has become irrelevant to how they lead their daily lifes. Maybe some people from the non-orthodox camp perceive an Orthodox community that is unable or unwilling to interact with the world around them – open to new ideas and a willingness to be open to different strands of thinking.

    So the significance of bringing a Rabbi from Israel that is renowned for his work in reaching out to different sections of the Israeli public – Charedi, modern Orthodox, Secular and Arab seems to have been lost. This speaker from the Orthodox camp had the ability and the stature to give a very positive message from the Orthodox Community, relevant to today’s world. But the sad reality is that the very community who should have embraced this guy as an excellent ambassador for a positive Orthodox approach and rallied behind this opportunity, instead snubbed him. And no amount of window dressing will alter the fact that they did snub him. Why?

    I believe that Nigel Allon’s views are the accurate account of what happened in the run up to this meeting.

    The visit to Calderwood was successful as was the meeting with Jewish students. But this should not detract from the issues that have been raised by Nigel Allon.

    These issues are important – more important than pretending that everything is rosy and that it doesn’t really matter. This was an outstanding opportunity for the Orthodox community lost – and I am not surprised that some people are very upset about the blinkered attitudes that allowed this to happen.

    Like so many other issues that need to be addressed in this community many will no doubt try and sweep this one under the carpet, but Mr Allon got it 100% right and unlike others had the courage to say it.

  547. NLL said

    Community Member is free to believe whatever he/she chooses, but I am more inclined to believe the situation as described by one of the organisers of the event rather than observations of Mr Allon.
    I really think it is uncalled for to attack people’s personal abilities in this way – it is quite different from criticising someone’s actions.

    It was incredibly unfortunate that only a small group were there to hear Rabbi Rothenberg, and everyone else’s loss. I spent some time with him and was very impressed by his vision and understanding. He did say he was never put out when only a few people came to hear him speak.

    I do believe Rabbi Rubin was at the meeting with Rabbi Rothenberg and that he spent some time with him during the day, so can people stop generalising.

  548. npn said

    As but one organizer of GJEF , I would dearly like some feedback here-constructive please ! We invited a credible and renowned Orthodox Rabbi to speak and very few turn up to hear him.The local rabbonim are posted missing with one exception ,and weeks previously ,we ask two of the rabbonim if they want to co-host/chair and both decline ; on the evening we expect the orthodox/observant to turn out in force and they don’t. These are the facts.
    What went wrong-did we we misjudge the level of apathy in our city ?Is there another reason-was it just meeting overload given the events earlier in the week ? Was it an organized boycott on the back of the nonsensical hidden agenda claptrap ? I really don’t know but i would love to hear from those that the talk should have appealed to.
    I was pleased that our speaker/topic were such that there was no element of controversy and as such I expected greater community support.
    I was grateful that members of the rep council turned up and then deflated when the target audience didn’t show !
    Having said all that it was still an excellent meeting and a missed opportunity for the orthodox community to engage with one of the few rabbonim who can talk about halachic guidance and still sound completely relevant to our era. If ever mainstream jewry needs credible spokespersons then it is now and Rabbi Rothenberg certainly fitted that bill-and I say that as a non orthodox jew !
    Anyone out there care to respond-but please keep it civil and constructive .
    Incidentally this is not a gjef post-it is personal.

  549. Community Member said

    NLL is more inclined to believe what she wants to believe I’m afraid, not the reality of what happened last week with the visit of Rabbi Rothenberg.

    My information about events before and during his visit and the derisory attendance is an accurate appraisal – and that is why Nigel Allon was correct in what he said.
    NLL may wish to put a different gloss on the real reaction from the Orthodox Community, Why I don’t know?

    Perhaps NLL will actually consider what I wrote about the lack of involvement from the Orthodox community and explain why it happened and why this speaker was not embraced by the Orthodox community given his excellent credentials.

    As I wrote previously it does not help when people attempt to brush issues under the carpet.

    One final point. Nigel Allon had the courage to speak out when others would rather remain silent. He chose his words carefully.

    And he is correct. It is much better to face up to some of the problems in the community than pretend they do not exist.

  550. A Beitz said

    Community Member, unfortunately you and Nigel have to some extent confused supposition with fact. The personal insults do not assist in reinforcing some good points. There are a number of basic facts and after that it is how you interpret them
    1 Rabbi Rothenberg is a well respected Orthodox rabbi
    2 His visit to Glasgow was announced well inadvance although it was some time before the date was finalised
    3 GJEF were responsible for looking after him on the day of his talk in Glasgow
    4 Rabbi Dovid Cohen and Calderwood Lodge were delighted to have him as a speaker
    5 QP, Netherlee and Clarkston Shul arranged a meeting for the same night. The GJEF meeting was not in the communal diary.
    6 The shul were asked to change their meeting but refused.
    7The GJEF meeting was heavily advertised.
    8 Two Glasgow rabbonim were asked to chair the GJEF meeting. Both declined.
    9 Rabbi Rubin announced the GJEF meeting from the pulpit at Giffnock shul on the shabbat before the meeting (as well as also the the Freedland meeting)
    10 Rabbi Rubin attended the the Rothenberg meeting
    11 Rabbi Rubin spent an hour with the speaker that afternoon.
    12 No other rabbonim attended the meeting from the other shuls or the kollel.
    13 There was a non attendance by most of the more orthodox members of the community. In attendance however were the Rep Council Chair, sectretary and a former chair.
    14 There has been a campaign of disinformation re GJEF eg WIZO were told by Linda Davidson that we were left wing peace now types despite the fact this does not apply to some of our committee and does to others.

    The rest is commentary!

  551. Peace Now member said

    So Linda Davidson thinks Peace Now is left wing does she? What on earth does this argument between GJEF and others have to do with Peace Now?

    Some questions for you A Beitz.

    1. I presume you have officially complained to Wizo about her comments? Do you know if the rest of the ladies present when she made her comment had any objections and will this matter be raised again?

    2. Peace Now emanated from the mainstream of Israeli society. Do you think Linda Davidson is aware of this? Do you think she realises that someone no less eminent than Abba Eban was a good supporter of Shalom Achshav?

    Peace Now in Glasgow are very proud of what they have stood for in the Glasgow Jewish Community since 1982.
    We remain an independent organisation, we are not GJEF and we would not have given a platform to all of the speakers GJEF have invited to speak in the past few months.

    Please pass on our fondest regards to Linda Davidson.

  552. Community Member said

    Mr Beitz – your selection of facts regarding the visit of Rabbi Rothenberg has some material ommissions.

    1. Only 15 people attended the public meeting – Excluding the committee and their families there were 5 and that included the chairperson.

    Perhaps you could explain why the attendance in your opinion was so poor.

    2. The date of the meeting was confirmed at least six weeks prior to the event. E-mail correspondence with the Rabbis from Newton Mearns and Giffnock and the Reverend from Garnethill which had been copied to the Rabbi from Netherlee confirms that all of these individuals were aware of the visit of Rabbi Rothenberg.

    Perhaps you could tell us why then another meeting was arranged for the same night with one of these Rabbonim as the speaker? Why when this became apparent did none of this Rabbi’s colleagues persuade him that his meeting should be postponed?

    Perhaps you will, along with NLL , also tell us why the Orthodox community refused to engage with Rabbi Rothenberg and in fact snubbed him. As I wrote previously, no amount of window dressing will alter that fact.
    This would be a more constructive debate if you would comment on what actually happened, not what you would have liked to happen and didn’t!

  553. A Beitz said

    Community Member, I accept the 2 further facts stated by you as being accurate. After that you ask me for my views. My opinions are not facts and I am unclear why you seem to think that what I said is “window dressing” By all means interpret matters and speculate. but that doesn’t make what you say factual. I may at some later stage give my opinion but do not wish this blog to degenerate into a conversation between 2 people and unless a number of others join in will say nothing further on the matter on this blog.

  554. Community Member's mate said

    Mr Beitz, I will tell you why its window dressing. It is because there is a problem in this community that continues to fester and spread.
    You yourself pointed this out recently when you brought up Linda Davidson’s ridiculous comments at Wizo. Unfortunately her views are symptomatic of a wide section of this community,
    This meeting with Rothenberg was boycotted, spoiled and snubbed because of the same mindset. It has to be dealt with and acknowledged.

  555. Nigel Allon said

    I have had time to reflect on my earlier posting # 529. It was written not out of anger but out of shame that the community in which I and my children grew up could treat any visitor, never mind an orthodox Rabbi and esteemed academic in such an ignorant manner. I may have been blunt but rude, no. That will be the description reserved for those in this community who behaved as they did. More shameful are those who knew what was going on, knew it was wrong and did nothing. There are some who have since disassociated themselves from my remarks. I have nothing but praise and understanding for their position. To be able to view the world through rose coloured glasses, to refuse to recognise and to deal with issues that might cause dissent and possible discord is difficult though admirable and allows one to maintain relationships in all camps. For myself I have not the ability to contort my mind in such a manner and indeed the price of so doing is one I am not prepared to pay because it is too high.

  556. Pinky Shmeket said

    I lean towards Dawkins and Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg et al. I’m afraid that this has had a further secularising influence on my already tottering belief system,

    While there are a few rabbis like Twersky and Rothenberg whose intellect and counselling skills I really respect, I find the majority to be lightweights at best although I personally like Rabbi Rubin as a diplomatic and pleasant person. So, given this heretical background, I doubt that I’m best qualified to comment impartially on how a bunch of petty minded rabbis and their acolytes should or should not have acted upon the visit of a highly respected player to Glasgow. They’re a sorry bunch and I really don’t give a damn.

    Pinky Shmekelstein

  557. Unperturbed said

    Having followed the argument at arms length viz a viz the meeting organised by GJEF with Rabbi Rothenberg and the alternative meeting on the same night at Netherlee Clarkston & QP by Rabbi Bokow, I think it is very sad that such an online debate has had to take place. We are a small enough community without bickering over whether my meeting is better than yours and whether I planned mine before you did etc Surely to goodness it is not too much to ask that we all work together even if we don’t believe in the others views. What really saddens me, apart from the obvious low attendance at the GJEF meeting, is that a well respected member of the Israeli Rabbinate was not offered the hand of friendship by the very community he represents. In no way could I consider myself a religious Jew but i always thought Scots and in particular Glaswegians were hospitable but sadly on this occasion I think we have let ourselves and our community down.

    Incidentally, I have no idea how many attended Rabbi Bokow’s talk – could someone enlighten me.

    If his numbers were low too, then I would suggest that the reasons for the low turnout would be due to the fact that in the space of four days our small community had Yom Ha’Atzmaut and Jonathan Freedland on the Monday night – both of which I attended and both of which had a large audience and then 3 nights later a talk by two different Rabbis, that in my humble opinion would never have reached the audience figures of the Monday night even if they had been on separate days weeks apart because they would only have been of interest to a relatively small number of people. However, if as Community member has suggested that there were some sort of plot to “spoil” Rabbi Rothenberg’s meeting then that is scandalous and should be investigated. Personally I think it was an error of judgement rather than a malicious plan and we would do well as a community to avoid such own goals again.

    Now for the sake of my sanity could we please move this debate on to something else.

    Any suggestions?

  558. A Beitz said

    Nigel, as one of the contorted, I have little difficulty with several of your comments. However to criticise a person based upon his lack of intellect spoils what you have to say. Intellect is in the main something you are born with and you can therefore help it little more than you can help your skin colour or your sex.

  559. Community Member's mate said

    The reason that this debate needs to continue ” unperturbed ” is to allow the investigation to continue. Maybe someone from the Orthodox community will come forward and explain what happened. Maybe even the chairman or Rabbi of Clarkston Shul will also tellus why they would not alter their meeting when a distinguished Rabbi was visiting from Jerusalem.

    Mr Beitz, the meaning that you have construed from Nigel Allon’s comments is incorrect. Very few individuals have the intellectual ability to speak on a Jewish subject in competition with such a renowned intellectual and philosopher as Rabbi Rothenberg. That is what the chairman and Rabbi of Netherlee and Clarkston did, ignoring requests not to do so.

    That is quite different from the connotations you have put on his comments.
    Why don’t you answer some of the questions that have been put to you regarding the Orthodox community. Sometimes there are issues where one has to take a stand – it is not always possible to be a referee

  560. NLL said

    Nigel – I feel you need to reflect a bit further. You may not have thought you were being rude, but your comment is completely unacceptable. It is not intentionality which makes a comment or action discriminatory, but how it is received. Those who do not challenge such behaviour are complicit in perpetuating discrimination. It is ok to say that someone is not using there intellect to the best of their ability, or that you don’t agree with their views or actions – but totally unacceptable to attack their capacity. If you are calling on people to show respect to a visiting Rabbi, why can’t you show similar respect to a Community Rabbi?

    Apparently 40 – 50 people were there to hear Rabbi Bokow. The person who told me this would have liked to have heard Rabbi Rothenberg, but felt a loyalty to support his shul event, which is, of course, his prerogative.

  561. Community Member said

    I don’t agree NLL. Quite frankly I think your position is becoming ridiculous.
    We have a situation where Netherlee & Clarkston Shul arrange a meeting with their own Rabbi on the same night that an eminent Rabbi – an expert in education and philosophy – is visiting our city.

    Now this Shul’s chairman & Rabbi are asked to postpone their meeting but they refuse. Instead they go ahead with their own event.

    Now, NLL, please ask yourself which behaviour is unacceptable. Nigel Allon for pointing this out? For having the courage to speak out when others pretend that there is nothing wrong with snubbing a Rabbi from Israel, who is a genuine expert.

    Or is it the behaviour of the chairman and Rabbi of Netherlee & Clarkston Synagogue along with the other Rabbonim and the Orthodox Community who either did nothing to persuade Clarkston or were quite content to see a meeting arranged as a spoiler, that is unacceptable?

    I know which behaviour I think is reprehensible and discourteous. And in case you have any doubts – I don’t believe Nigel Allon was wrong to write what he did. I have written before as to the consequences for the Orthodox Community of being unable or unwilling to interact with the world around them.

    Please start dealing with the real issue. Nigel Allon is not the issue and I suspect you know this. So I await your answer with interest – Was it acceptable for Clarkston’s chairman and Rabbi to behave as they did and was it acceptable for Rabbi Rothenberg to have been shown such discourtesy during his visit to Glasgow?

  562. Sam Johnson said

    Brilliant NLL. If only Nigel Allon had had access to your dictionary to describe the gentlemen in question nobody would have understood a word and you would have had to deal with the issues.

  563. NLL said

    This is not a competition to see whose behaviour is worse. Just because I have pointed out that I think it is offensive to attack someone’s intelligence, doesn’t mean I don’t agree with some of the other points Nigel made – in fact this use of language has detracted from the issue.

    Finally could I suggest to Community Member that he might be better conserving his energy rather than attacking people who are broadly sympathetic.

  564. Community Member said

    So what points did Nigel Allon make that you agree with, because so far you have not told us any?

    Also, can I point out that if Rabbi Bokov got 50 when on an ordinary Shabbat morning he probably struggles to get 20 that only confirms what Mr Allon has been saying. This was a deliberate attempt by the Orthodox community to divert people away from Rabbi Rothenberg.
    Appaling is one word for it.
    Come on be brave NLL and Mr Beitz, tell us if you agree?

  565. Moving On said

    Well enough of this I’m bored now because all we have is nigel allon, community member, a beitz and nll all arguing and agreeing with each other let’s move this debate on and open it out to the rest of us mere mortals.

    Now that Mr Salmond and his party have taken the most seats in the election, how does the community feel the SNP will interact with our community?

    I think it would be a great idea if GJEF could somehow get a representative of the SNP to tell us. I know we have heard many times from Jim Murphy and Ken McIntosh but I dont ever recall a talk by an SNP politician except maybe at the Rep Council Hustings meetings.

    What do all you in cyberspace think?

    And on another topic, i see from back page of the JT this week that the Rep Council think they need to look at their structure to adapt to the needs of a smaller community. Well that’s progress but how are they going about it – by deciding themselves or engaging with the community they serve – maybe someone could enlighten me.

    Two topics which should give you all something to chew over and maybe even contribute to.

  566. Avraham said

    You move on if you want to ” Moving On”. I’m staying put and enjoying this .
    It’s the best debate that there’s been on this blog.
    The Orthodox community should explain themselves. Unless A Beitz or NLL is a Rabbi or a Shul chairman we are still waiting!

  567. Moving On said

    Avraham you enjoy all you want but there is only 4 people participating and thats not a debate thats a private conversation or a chat amongst friends!

  568. Avraham said

    You forgot Pinky Shmekelstein and as I have no idea who you are or Ben Johnson to name 3, or Emet, I think we already have doubled the numbers.
    Also, I, Avraham, am a person in my own right and I like this debate.

    So, I will stay where I am.

  569. Avraham said

    I forgot to ask you “Moving On” – Do you represent the Orthodox Community?

  570. NLL said

    More than happy to move on, as unless someone from Netherlee & Clarkston, or someone from the ‘orthodox community’ – whatever that is – says something here, or at very least to someone who is prepared to discuss it here – we can only deal in conjecture.

    I am disappointed however that no-one has else, apart from A Beitz, has joined me in condemning Nigel’s use of inappropriate language. If a man of Pakistani origin had committed murder and someone described him as a ‘black bastard’ I presume people would think it was ok to comment to the use of discriminatory language and wouldn’t assume that meant you were condoning the crime?

    I like the idea of getting a representative of the SNP to talk about how they think they will represent the interests of the Jewish Community in the new look Scottish Parliament. It might also be a good idea to get along someone from The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, as if they are lobbying on the Communities behalf people may have issues they would like to raise.

  571. wanda said

    Comment removed by Admin on grounds of inappropriate content.

  572. A Beitz said

    There’s something fishy about that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

  573. Community Member said

    I really can’t believe this kind of nonsense NLL.
    It would not be discriminatory language, it would be raci

    It is perfectly obvious that you believe that there was nothing wrong with the actions of the Rabbonim in arranging or supporting another meeting, when an eminent Rabbi was visiting from Israel. Nor it seems did anyone from the Orthodox community suggest to Rabbi Bokov and his chairman that this was unacceptable.

    We have not read one word from you indicating that this was unacceptable
    or should not have happened.

    That is very sad

  574. Community Member said

    Typing error – word at end of 2nd paragraph should be “racist”

  575. A Beitz said

    Community Member, you are just being plain obtuse.Recently on this blog you have posed questions which are based on suppositions or which are based on untrue premises. I am aware that at least one Rabbi suggested the Netherlee meeting was moved. You state as a fact that the Netherlee meeting was organised as a “spoiler”. You don’t know that and your arguments are not helped by this sort of stuff. FWIW I fully believe the shul should have moved their meeting once they realised what had happened ie there was a clash. I also believe that certain people in the community are determined to undermine GJEF due to a perception that it is a PN front. Apart from the fact the perception is plain untrue the attempt to do this suggests that these people have little interest in the future of the community but instead are determined to pursue their narrow sectional interests.There are however others who have not been to GJEF meetings who bear it no ill will.
    GJEF has generally been very successful. One meeting for a variety of reasons was particularly poorly attended. There are a number of factors to blame but it is time to move on. Folllowing my own advice I will not post further regarding that meeting.

  576. Sam Johnson said

    #570 That second paragraph by you was itself an inappropriate comparison. Your attack on his words seems to increase exponentially each time you post so what button was pressed?

  577. Community Member said

    I’m sorry Mr Beitz, but again you are wrong.
    1. No Rabbi as far as I’m aware made any move to get this meeting moved. If so please tell us which one and what happened.

    Nothing I have posed is based on any supposition or untrue premise. I really think you are avoiding the issue which is your choice – but remember it was you that took issue with Nigel Allon’s comments in the first place.

    This has nothing to do with numbers. It is about a recognition that there are problems in this community that need to be dealt with and confronted, not appeased. That will eventually determine whether GJEF are successful, not merely bums on seats.

  578. NLL said

    I have no factual information to contribute to the discussion of what various Rabonim did or did not do or say – so will not enter into discussion on the subject.

    Community member, those that know me, know that I am one of the last people to shy away from confronting issues. Your attitude is preventing good debate and putting people off contributing to this blogg and is damaging the good work of GJEF. The Jonanthan Freedland meeting was well attended and thought provoking – why is nobody posting about the issues he raised?

  579. Sam Johnson said

    NLL I think you are out of order again. To accuse a prolific contributer of putting people off just because you are not getting a free run with your opinions is a trifle petulant. You want to start a debate about Jonathan Freedland’s talk, get on with it. So far the only worthwhile contribution on Freedland has come from Community Member, the very one you are castigating.

  580. Michelle said

    Interesting post about the Rep Council Moving On – 565 -.
    It would appear that the Rep Council seem to think that they are like a heriditary monarchy – how else can one explain the elevation from nowhere of their nominee for treasurer. It would appear that family connections rather than proven communal ability is the order of the day.
    It seems to me that their reforms are too little and much too late.
    The Rep Council are irrelevant to the future of this community.

  581. Grumpy Old Woman said

    Yes, very interesting – especially that they are looking at their structure now. Maybe what gets said here does have an effect!!!

    Wonder if they will also look at their remit?

  582. Grumpy old Man said

    What kind of remit do you think they should have?
    As others have said they are irrelevant.

  583. Even Grumpier old Man said

    I think their remit should be to wind themselves up.
    They could say goodbye before they do so but they are so hopeless no one will notice when they have gone away for good.

  584. Fairplay said

    I have been a voyeur of your blog for some time and note that some of you are not shy of criticising the Rabbis for not sending their children to the Jewish School. By sending them they would not only obtain an excellent education for their children, give them an understanding of the world outside the charedi cloisters,they would strengthen the school for the next generation. However, what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. Shouldn’t those who seek secular office such as the Executive of the Representative Council be put under the same spotlight? Should they not also be asked whether they support Calderwood Lodge? If they don’t and that is their prerogative should they not make this clear to the Community before election and the reasons for their choice?

  585. A Beitz said

    Should they be? The idea of one body bringing together the various communal organisations and providing a voice for the community to outside bodies does not seem a bad one. The problem is that it seems mired in mediocrity with some of the people at the forefront having poor leadership skills. Additionally it is grossly unwieldy with an executive committee, an executive and a council as well as a load of Hon Life Presidents. It has often been grossly sycophantic to its own officers whilst at the same stifling dissent. Little is brought to the council or even the exec committee that is not already a fait accompli. The result of all of this has been that many delgates do not attend meetings and other groups are not affiliated seeing it as a time consuming irrelevance.
    However should there not be a place for a restructured Rep Council in Glasgow? No doubt if it considers it can justify its future existence it will tell us why at the forthcoming GJEF Balloon Debate of which more details later.

  586. A Beitz said

    Sorry, #584 was a response to #582 and not #583 which arrived as I was composing the masterpiece that is #584.

  587. To be said

    Its obvious that nobody wants to discuss the SNP, the impact of the SNP on Glasgow Jewry, or the impact on the SNP on Jewish education (except for me and Moving On). I don’t want to say anything negative about them, because I dont trust them and they might hunt me down, although I do like Stewart Maxwell so perhaps that isn’t fair. But I am nervous about the outlook for faith education under the SNP

  588. NLL said

    I expressed an interest in hearing from the SNP and also suggested inviting someone from The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities. If they are lobbying on our behalf in the Scottish Parliament, people may have issues they would like to raise.

  589. A Beitz said

    I’ll tell them who you are, To Be! Maybe GJEF should look at doing some sort of meeting re the SNP since there is clearly both interest and concern.

  590. Jill said

    My friend Michelle is on to something.
    I know that that at least one of the proposed new executive of Rep Council does not support Calderwood Lodge. That is their right but I partially agree with you Fairplay. If the Rep Council was important and had any value to the community and the people in executive positions had any real drive or ideas for the future of this community then some of their recent nominations for executive positions in the council would need to be challenged.
    But the reality is that they are a waste of time – have presided over decline – without any vision whatsoever.
    So the sad reality that some people think they are important because they hold office in this diminishing irrelevant club is not too important.

    I told Michelle that her claim that this club is a heridary monarchy is not quite accurate. At least the guy who she is talking about had a father who supported the school. Her reply was that there were more important things to talk about.

  591. Fairplay said

    Jill, exactly who are you talking about? It seems unlikely that someone with no interest in Calderwood Lodge would have the impudence to accept a post that some misguided people claim represents the Community. While you are at it, exactly who does he represent? What has been his input to the Community in the past couple of decades? Maybe his work elsewhere has been of such volume and importance that this glaring fault can be overlooked.

  592. A Beitz said

    Who are you talking about? I’m aware that both Philip Mendelson and Kenneth Collins sent their children to Calderwood and I think Eddie Isaacs did as well.

  593. To be said

    Thinking of changing my name to ‘uncomfortable in here’… why should people who choose not to send their children to calderwood, but still play an active role in the community, have to be named for their choice? Isnt it up to them if they have reasons for sending a child to another school? Do parents with some children at calderwood and some not forfeit any right to discuss jewish education or what is going on in the community?

  594. Interested said

    I think the issue here “to be ” is that some people who lecture others about communal involvement and have told others for years about their high level of communal participation,
    and boast about their past record that is almost 20 years out of date – should maybe reflect a bit more carefully in future before judging others.
    All parents have the right to choose which school to send their children to but the community is entitled surely to expect that those who purport to represent us should support the community’s Jewish primary school. If they don’t are they not indulging in heaps of hypocracy?
    Having said all this I believe that the person, who I think we are talking about, is ideal material for the Representative Council. They deserve each other.

  595. Or Not To Be said

    #543 You have a point, To Be. That, I suspect, is why they are questioning his active or more likely inactive role in the Community. I think I know who they are talking about and if my suspicion is correct then he has transmorphed from another planet. Anyone out there got any idea why his kids are not at Calderwood? I think its horses for courses and if he’s tried it and it didn’t work out, it is understandable.

  596. A Mensch said

    One doesnt have to send their children to Calderwood to have a voice in our community…. that’s like saying you have to be needy to discuss Jewish Care. Who cares what the Rep Council exec’s personal choices are, its more about what they offer the community they represent imho.

    I smell something much more sinister. How the heck do you get on the executive with no track record of working for the community in the past?

    Is this a case of a Reps for cash scandal….. perhaps the unmentioned individual decided to do a deal with Lord Mendelsohn or Isaacs (or whoever the treasurer is these days) to buy himself an influential role.

    Or alternatively… maybe it emanates from the little known right to hold heridatory rep council positions on the back of your forefathers

    Perhaps, these are outrageous accusations and I am out of touch with the realities of the highly democratic Exec’s electoral procedures these days. I certainly hope so for our communities sake!

  597. A Friend said

    This is getting out of hand. It’s all very well having a go at someone who deserves it – but the person who I believe you are writing about is a communal figure of immense stature – he is someone that has a record of communal involvement that is second to none – and moreover he is someone that this community needs.
    I cannot understand why it is an issue that he has had a little time out from communal affairs – after all 20 odd years is not very long is it?
    He has always struck me as someone who is brave enough to make important decisions and courageous enough to stand up and lead from the front.
    The problem is that I can’t think of any examples.
    I’m sure he watches this blog every night – in fact he told me that he does – so I hope he comes on here and tells us all what his vision is for the future of our community.

  598. I wish I knew what you were talking about said

    Need I say more

  599. To be said

    I suspect this person has done more than he is being given credit for in this blog.

    In any case, are people averse to new blood – new people to help lead the community? On one hand, people are saying too many old hands etc, but at the same time they are being sceptical of someone who isn’t already on the Rep Council.

    * And I promised my wife I wasn’t going to get involved with this board 🙂

    ** I think I have worked out who my friend is… I was momentarily dazzled by his shiny silver star. Have I got you?

  600. Michelle said

    What don’t you understand 598.?

  601. Fairplay said

    #597 I wondered who you were talking about but you gave it away. 20 years asleep, its Rip Van Winkle for treasurer.

  602. Amazed said

    ref #597…. some friend you are!

    Whilst supporting your beleaguered mate, you confirm that he has done nowt for 20 years, with the lame excuse that he has been too busy. Also you have no recollection of any examples to showcase his qualities. You also refer to him as a “communal figure of immense stature”.

    I can only then assume that based on his lack of worthwhile contribution over two decades, you are now implying that your mate is a fat, idle communal bloke. I think we got enough of them already, have we not:) Not exactly a ringing endorsement is it?

  603. Fairplay said

    I dont understand. A fat idle communal bloke who’s done nothing useful for twenty years, are you talking about Rip Van Winkle or possibly the previous unlamented encumbant?

  604. Interested said

    It is quite astonishing – everyone knows that the Rep Council for years have managed to elect Presidents that get worse and worse – ( I accept that Kenneth Collins was a massive improvement on his predecessor and only helped them out as part of the stop Borowski campaign ) but it now appears that this organisation are trying to elect even worse treasurers.From what I have read it would appear that the current nomination for treasurer of the Rep Council is just as misplaced and unsuitable as the current incumbent. And that is saying something.

  605. Who Cares said

    Who cares?

  606. A Beitz said

    #598 I think you’ve got me!
    Bit too much fattist comment here. The fact that someone may be well built does not disqualify them for communal office or indeed greater things. Fat bastards have made great leaders. I give you Churchill, Yeltsin, Soames(Rhodesia talks)and I am sure there are many others. Seriously lets not deal with peoples abilities on the basis of their size.

  607. To be said

    Surely by “immense stature” #597 was only referring so the respect this person commands

  608. Unperturbed said

    If the Rep Council and those that make it up are so “in the past” and “irrelevant” , why are you lot spending so much time posting about them and their executive members (who you appear not to have the guts to name but obviously know who you mean).

    Give the rest of us a break and change to a more healthy topic like the quality and quantity of those who turned up at the recent school board/parent forum meeting and the positive outcome of that meeting. Well done Ricky Zinger and Dr Duffy.

  609. Jeffrey said

    Unperturbed, can you not understand that we are not all interested in discussing Calderwood every week. That subject has been discussed continuously. If you don’t like this one, then why don’t you keep quiet and let us have fun.
    Also, can you wise up and realise that everyone is enjoying this who is posting – other than you – and part of the game is that no one has named the person concerned.
    I have not posted before – but I am certainly amused by this discussion about the Rep Council and their potential new executive.

    By your indignation – you must be one of the ” fat bastards” A Beitz is referring to. Are you?

  610. Unperturbed said


    Not only are you way off the mark regarding who or what I represent I also resent your and Mr Beitz’s language and I reiterate my main point.

    If you think the Rep Council and their executive are so irrelevant why are you spending so much effort talking about them. surely you are just perpetuating their importance and what’s more despite your protestation that this is your first post I doubt it!

  611. Who Cares said

    Yawn Yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  612. Michelle said

    I care. I think it is legitimate to discuss and question who and how someone is proposed for an executive position in The Rep Council. As the candidate for treasurer it would appear has done nothing for years – 20 seems the approximate figure – then I believe it is worthwhile debating this.
    The candidate’s “Friend” could not think of one example of inspired leadership.
    So why should such a person be one of our representatives?

  613. A Beitz said

    I am perturbed that Unperturbed is perturbed at my language.

  614. jack russell said

    There is too much bitching on this blog.people seem to be getting hot under the collar about some bloke just because of his pedigree.Why not give the guy a chance? instead of hounding him. I think he deserves a pat on the back for getting involved . if you have a bone to pick with someone say it to their face

  615. Hymie said

    #606 Beitzie, what’s all this Churchill stuff. My dad’s Zeidieg Mendel, may his dear soul rest in peace, was the first chassid miner in Scotland. After 1926, the name Churchill was never mentioned in our household again. From then and even to this very day he is referred to as “that fat bastard”. As for his son-in-law, Christopher Soames, I think by association he is deserving of the same nomenclature.

  616. Jeffrey said

    I am not in the least perturbed that Unperturbed doesn’t like my language when I suggested that A Beitz might have been referring to him.
    I think that this discussion is great fun and hopefully will continue.

  617. Who Cares said

    Yawn Yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  618. A Beitz said

    Hymie. Was Mendel a mine of information? Did he have to dig deep to make a living? I heard he called a spade a shovel. Did he see light at the end of the tunnel eventually?
    It is fair to say that Ariel Sharon has started to be regarded as great leader. It’s amazing what a coma can do to improve your image along with a government which makes all its predecessors seem like great statesmen.

  619. Golda. said

    I am a long time friend of the candidate in question.

    I told him that this position in the Rep Council was a step too far and he should not try and rise so high.

    I also told him that the Rep Council was insignificant and is a waste of time.

    Unfortunately, he refused to listen to my advice – he believes that one day the Presidency will be his – and he is very excited about it. He believes that he is ideally suited to lead this community.

    As a friend I can offer some candid advice that I would like to share with all of you, knowing that you all have his best interests at heart.
    Please withdraw your nomination and allow better qualified people to step forward.

    Was Mr Edlin pushed from behind, as he will no longer be treasurer and did my friend do the pushing?

  620. Hymie said

    Golda, my dear, the mind boggles. All of you out there just picture the incoming Treasurer (Rip Van Winkle to his nearest and dearest), hands on the backside of Edlin, staring at his waist with eyes popped out, huffing and puffing and pushing as hard as he can. His little cheeks would be bloated, scarlet red with picotee edges, steam coming from anywhere and everywhere, and not an inch would he move.

  621. Who Cares said

    Yawn Yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  622. To be said

    I’m amused that Jack Russell is talking about bones. I wonder if he has any buried in the garden?

    (before anyone takes that the wrong way, as some people on this board might do, its a reference to his name, not an insinuation that he has people buried in his garden, although he might, who can say?)

  623. Jeffrey said

    Hymie, your talents are wasted – what a wonderful picture you have described. I couldn’t stop smiling for ages.
    Such a shame that ” who cares” has now posted the same comment 3 times and is so pissed off that people actually are enjoying this.
    Jack Russell, “614” suggests that we give the candidate a chance. Why?

  624. To be said

    I agree – why not?

  625. Just seeing if I can change my name really easily because I am suspicious said

    And I can

  626. Jill said

    I will tell you why we can’t give the candidate a chance – a summary of what’s been said so far.

    1. He’s not up to it.
    2. He’s done nothing for 20 years – so is undeserving of the position.
    3. It would appear that he does not support important communal institutions so how can he purport to represent the community.
    4. No previous record of inspired leadership
    5. It would appear that he has been nominated without having a constituency organisation.

    Some would argue that makes him ideal material for the Rep Council given the stature of this organisation in the community.

    Er, that’s it !

  627. Who Cares said


  628. Winston said

    Never in the field of community conflict has so much been posted by so few to so few. “

  629. Thomas O'malley said

    Jill, You have really got your claws into him. is it personal? or because you wouldnt have a cat in hells chance of being voted on to anything yourself? I think he is the cats whiskers and purrfect for the job!

  630. B.A. said

    Thomas O’Malley believes that this person ” is the cats whiskers” and asks whether this is becoming personal. As I have read this with interest and amusement, perhaps it would help if Mr O’Malley could clarify what the candidate has done in the last 20 years for the community so we can consider his abilities more carefully. As he is ” purrfect” for the job then I presume this will be answered easily and quickly.

  631. colonel sanders said

    I think he is eggactly right for the job and is very plucky to take on communal work where others chicken out of getting involved!If he is the post i will be cock a hoop!His critics willbe left with egg on their faces.

  632. Who Cares said

    Yawn Yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  633. B.A. said

    Could Thomas O’malley and Colonel Sanders try and make it a little less obvious that they are the same person.
    It would also be enlightening if you could tell us why you think he is right for the job – when it appears to everyone else that he isn’t!

  634. Who cares Says said

    I’ve changed my mind – I’m really sorry that I have tried to demean this discussion.
    I would like to know more – so please keep this going.

  635. piscator said

    #631 Bet you are his partner. Nobody else would come forward with such brazen adulation. Not one reason can you give to justify your his nomination. I trust he is worth it.

  636. piscator said

    #635 remove “your”, 2nd line.

  637. Who Cares said

    Someone is impersonating me and I dont care at all. Yawn Yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  638. Who Cares Says Says said

    I wouldn’t do such a dastardly thing!

  639. LLB said

    Just come on the blog for the first time- because my friends told me about it.
    This blog has been criticised but I have to say that I have just spent a most enjoyable 30 minutes reading it.

    Many who have posted claim that there only a few who actively post comments, but I can assure you there are loads out there reading and I bet loving some of this.

    I’ll be back, but before I go I would like to correct Winston who posted earlier today.

    Regarding the current discussion – there has been lots of sense posted by more than a few – and hardly one critical comment about the proposed nominee for communal office has been misinformed, inaccurate or out of place – Not one argument has been properly rebutted.
    I think that says it all.

  640. To Be said

    Look how much hilarity I have missed, and in only 25 hours or so since I was last here. I would personally like to thank the unnamed potential rep council candidate for unknowingly being the source of so much humour.

  641. Winston said

    Ah but dear LLB I trust ye not. Methinks there are very few “new” people posting just a few people with several aliases.

    What’s more, has it ever occurred to you that “hardly one critical comment about the proposed nominee for communal office has been misinformed, inaccurate or out of place – Not one argument has been properly rebutted.” is because only those “few” in the know, know who (and what) you are talking about and that if they do know who, then they are all on your side because none of that person’s supporters either bother to read or are even less likely to post.

    I think this blog thread has become a little club for the half dozen or so people who are actually posting and not the srious community discussion it should be.

  642. LLB said

    I have to disagree Winston.

    I have spoken to several members of the proposed nominee’s inner and outer circle and I can assure you they are reading this – and enjoying both the humour and the validity of the argument.

    Moreover some of them have actively taken part and posted comments.

    So my learned friend, Winston, I suggest that you do not really know what you are talking about.

  643. Winston said

    Sorry LLB not only do I not believe you, I take umbrage at the tone of your e mail.

    I have spoken to several of my friends and they are so bored with this blog thread they have stopped contributing. so we will have to agree to disagree.

    So I repeat for your benefit

    “Never in the field of community conflict has so much been posted by so few to so few.”

  644. Well hacked off said

    At the risk of becoming a target I can assure you that the ‘unnamed person’ has been mentioned in the Jewish Telegraph as the candidate for Treasurer and named so anyone reading this bile can easily put 2 and 2 together.

    Funnily enough the supposed leader of GJEF fills every description of this candidate viz:

    He is tall (immense stature)
    He is heir to the Rep Council Presidency (at least 3 of his forebears have been on the Executive)
    He has done nothing of import in this Community for well over 20 years
    And the clincher – he is totaly unrepresentative of this Community.

  645. not someone new said

    totally true,Winston!

  646. Another Friend said

    This is all bang out of order. The candidate has had time out to think strategy for this community – and for 20 years he has been thinking very very hard about what he will do once he gets his feet under the table.
    So the fact that he has done nothing at all during this time – other than observe and pontificate should not be held against him. After all 20 years of letting others do the work isn’t too long, is it?

  647. Kneidel said

    Well Hacked Off

    Does GJEF have a “supposed leader”?

  648. To Be said

    Ok… its the same argument about the stories about Israel in the media over the years – a rumour becomes a story becomes a fact.

    Now its a “fact” that this person has done nothing at all in the community. That is despite the work that he has done, which for some reason is being discounted because it was not for the rep council.

    So it appears that people dont want anyone new to join the rep council, only experienced rep council people, but not the experienced rep council people who are currently on the rep council, as a favourite hobby is berating them. As well as berating new people. And also berating people who are not on the rep council. And people who post on here. And people who dont post on here, because their name appears on a list. Or doesnt…


  649. To be said

    I’m not getting at everybody on this board, only certain people/the underlying tone 🙂

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all happy and supportive.

  650. BenDover said

    I wish someone could let me into this little joke-who is our mystery person? ; more to the point I wasn’t aware of the five GJEF amigos having a leader nor of them having rep council credentials ,unless they are all going to get their Mums to stand and then claim hereditary rights .

  651. Or Not To Be said

    I’m with you, To Be. Why should he suffer these slings and arrows when he has done so much outwith the Rep Council. I’m a relative newcomer to Glasgow so I don’t know exactly what it is he has done. You obviously know so perhaps you could tell me because nobody else can and I am sure it would help his self esteem when he reads what you have to say.

  652. Bernard said

    I went to the local library this morning and I have come across an astonishing book which I would love to share with you all. It is a must read and I was so preoccupied with it that I arrived home very late indeed. It is obviously very relevant to the recent discussion on this blog.
    It is called – ” The Hidden Diary of a Wannabe Community Leader – age 35 plus”
    Monday April 2nd – Page 1
    ” I woke up this morning very very excited. I could not help noticing the permanent smile on my face. It was so obvious that I didn’t need to check. Today was a day that I have been waiting for all my life. It was so appropriate that the sun was shining and the birds were whistling in the background. It made me feel even better.
    Today, was Rep Council nomination day, and I was going to be proposed as treasurer – a very fine honour indeeed. I had been hand-picked to represent the Glasgow Jewish Community and I had been informed that my selection was as a result of my very fine talents being recognised.
    When the grandees from the Council had called be a couple of days prior to this great day, they requested that I meet them at a very secret location. We arranged to meet up as dusk arrived at Rouken Glen pond. I asked them what was expected of me as treasurer of the Council and they replied, “nothing”. I asked them what duties would be my personal responsibility and they replied, “nothing”. I understood immediately that I was therefore eminently qualified for the role as I had done no communal work of any substance whatsoever for 20 years! I couldn’t help but chuckle out loud as I have managed to keep that secret for such a long time.
    This day was going to be so very special. Every time I passed a mirror, I couldn’t stop myself looking and singing…” Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most special communal leader of them all”
    Everything about this Monday seemed magical. When I returned home , early evening, I was really hungry. I was very lucky – it was my favourite – creamy fish pie – and chocolate lollipops for dessert. I didn’t leave one tiny bit.
    I got dressed very carefully. I put on my smartest suit, took great care with my freshly ironed shirt and even chose a matching patterned tie. I thought my shoes were clean enough but just to be sure, I wiped them once more with my sleeve. They were shining. I was so excited though that I put my shoes on the wrong feet and almost fell down the stairs. Silly me!
    I said goodbye and skipped down the road to the venue for the nomination meeting. My heart was thumping with excitement and I rehearsed what I would say if I was called to address the meeting”

  653. Who Cares said

    Yawn Yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  654. To Be said

    I know its a fake: it says the sun was shining.

  655. Who cares said

    Sorry, I was working on remote. I love it..tell me the next page please.

  656. Who Cares said

    I am being impersonated again!

    I really really dont care about all the total drivel that this blog has become – a one person witch hunt – you should all be ashamed of yourselves. By all means have a go at the Rep Council or any other Communal body – even GJEF – but to constantly pillorise 1 person smacks of scapegoatism – something we Jews know full well about.

    The lot of you should just grow up and move this debate on.

    And for those of you who say it’s only a bit of fun just ask yourselves if you would like it all directed at you.

  657. A Beitz said

    #656. I think it was amusing but it’s gone on too long and too far and it’s time to move on.
    I went to hear the former Israeli ambassador last night. It was totally concidental to my interest that wine was being provided. He spoke excellent English for someone born in Manchester but appeared to have little knowledge of world affairs being unaware that Scott Brown had signed for Celtic.
    He did predict an all out Palestinian civil war in the near future and seemed to think a change of government is likely on the assumption Labour will elect a new leader who will pull the party out of the current coalition.
    It was a very pleasant UJIA event unlike a previous one I attended when I heard someone using bad language.

  658. Frank said

    #656 Dont be such a bore. Nobody is being pillorised. Somebody is being pilloried and I cant wait for more!

  659. Frank said

    #658 was directed at #656

  660. Kneidel said

    Well Frank it just shows how immature you really are.

    I agree with “Who Cares”, this whole topic has gone way past being even remotely funny.

    For the sake of GJEF’s reputation let’s PLEASE move this debate on to something else.

  661. Michelle said

    What’s this got to do with GJEF? I brought it up and its about the Rep Council and their new executive.

  662. Sweary person said

    # 657 Not referring to me Mr Beitz are you??
    If you are I said what you wanted to and am ******* pleased I did. If not then ignore this comment as I am being paranoid.

  663. Frank said

    I was Frank once upon a time and someone has pinched my name.
    And they didn’t even ask.
    I do though agree with the new Frank .

  664. Bertie said

    Just back from a long hard week. Catching up on the blog now. First thing I noticed was that Bernard’s hilarious posting at 1.30 pm was followed by ‘Who Cares’ 4 minutes later. Wish I was unemployed and could sit watching the blog all day just in case a posting came in. What took you 4 minutes ‘Who Cares’? Was it thinking up something memorable to post again?

  665. Old Flame said

    ref #661
    This blog is owned and run by, and represents GJEF and it’s members and EVERYTHING posted here is their responsibility whether or not the Famous Five wrote it themselves. (Read WordPress’s Terms of Service if you don’t believe me, section 2 to be precise).

    GJEF has allowed hateful, spiteful, personally abusive comments to unchallenged here, and it is now GJEF that has a questionable future not the Rep Council. GJEF has gone from ‘great idea’ to ‘community embarrasment’ in less than 5 months.

    Who is Admin accountable to? Who is actually running this blog and what is the motiviation of individuals who take such pleasure in the discomfiture of others.

    If GJEF Admin cannot or will not exercise their duty to ‘moderate’ comments made here (note: moderate – not censor) then perhaps is time for the others in the Famous 5 Time to say “not in my name” before there is yet more embarrasment and division in our very small Community.

  666. Interested said

    Old Flame you are talking nonsense.
    Tell us one ” hateful, spiteful, personally abusive comment” that has been posted on this blog.( please start with the recent debate about the Rep Council)

    What’s wrong with some humour. It’s the same old trick – damn the organisation when they are not accountable for what is written here unless it breaches some very clear rules.

    And as I am sure you know very well, nothing has been said here that is either untrue or personally abusive.

    So, what’s your problem?

  667. Old Flame said

    #666 Better the devil you know, eh Interested?

  668. Who Cares said


    Firstly, have you ever heard of a lunchbreak?

    Secondly Bernard’s “hilarious” posting was only hilarious because you weren’t the butt of it.

    Thirdly, this whole thread is way past being funny , it might have started out that way but now it’s just bile perpetuated by those infantile enough to be humoured at others expense.


    The reason it makes GJEF look bad is because they are “hosting” this site and some of the comments posted I suspect are the work of either them or their pals.

    I am no great admirer of the Rep Council and have been on their Executive in the past but I thought then and still think now that their time has passed and our community needs to change the way we think and look after ourselves. However i dont think the hounding of one individual makes anybody look good and the point has been made several times.

    So maybe I do care now!

  669. One of the 5 Amigos said

    Well I for one am not involved in this personal attack game and am supporting the comments of “Who Cares”, Kneidel and Winston.

    Enough is enough.

  670. Old Flame said

    Quote from WordPress’s Terms of Service.

    2. Responsibility of Contributors. If you operate a blog, comment on a blog, post material to the Website, post links on the Website, or otherwise make (or allow any third party to make) material available by means of the Website (any such material, “Content”), You are entirely responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, that Content. That is the case regardless of whether the Content in question constitutes text, graphics, an audio file, or computer software. By making Content available, you represent and warrant that: “……

    read the whole thing for yourself

    It’s clear enough to me and to any Lawyer who might wish to advise you that GJEF is wholly responsible for eveything posted here.

    I strongly susopects that none of the indivuals singled out for abuse here find any of it faintly amusing and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.

  671. Interested said

    But nothing said was untrue ” old flame”, was it? Please answer the question.

  672. Old Flame said

    The game is up, Interested! Once you have reached rock bottom the normal advice is to stop digging, however I have several shovels you can borrow.

    The evidence is there for all to see, however I will give you a starter for 10: The next Treasurer of the Rep Council (to be ratified, of course) has been involved in numerous communal endeavours which is something you would know had you also been involved over the last 20 years. Just because one does not seek publicity for one’s activities does not mean one is not active.

    It is clearly abusive to comment on someone’s appearance as justification for them not being suitable for communal office. It appears that you find such comments amusing, however this activity has compromised GJEF’s credibility and I can only applaud those members of the Famous Five who realise the seriousness of the situation.

  673. GJEF said


    We have been asked by Calderwood Lodge to place the following on the blog, which we are delighted to do

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP US ,to fulfil our DREAM not just ANY DREAM.—–We are asking the community to get behind us and vote for us to become JOSEPHS CHOIR .Eddie Binnie and the children need your vote,so——-GO GO GO GO to the website , GO GO GO GO to the audition room ,and then to choir rankings,put in Calderwood Lodge Primary ,and VOTE FOR US ..
    Thank You for being part of OUR DREAM .

  674. stickler4logic said

    Old Flame is absolutely right when he/she says
    “Just because one does not seek publicity for one’s activities does not mean one is not active.”
    However, given the criticism on this blog and the fact that the person in question is seeking a high profile position in the community that given past precedent, will lead to the highest office without further challenge, it is important that the endeavours and contributions by the candidate in the past are now made public. I have no doubt that you would not have posted without the facts to hand, so now is the time to reveal all. As for ‘Interested’,how do you ‘Old Flame’ know who ‘Interested’ is, what his/her involvement has or has not been and whether in fact it has been high profile or non publicity seeking involvement. Perhaps the candidate in question is not the only non publicity seeking community contributor.

  675. Old Flame said

    Hmmmm, logic
    Is it logical to criticise a prospective Treasurer on the basis of physical attributes? Or is someone not suitable only because various anonymous accusers untruthfully say he has done nothing for 20 years? No! The lies and half truths and personal insults posted here are the problem that should be discussed rather than silly attempts to get CV’s listed so as provide more ammunition for the bullies.

    If anyone posting or watching is serious about discussing the appropriateness of the candidate for Rep Council Treasurer then the place is at the meeting where the appointment is being made and not here where scurrulous accusation is repaeated twice and then considered fact.

    If you think the Rep Council is an anathema then why are you Interested in discussing who they have as Treasurer.

  676. Busy Elsewhere said

    #657 Couldn’t do two meetings at same time. However if the former Israeli ambaasader could only tell you that there may be all out Palestinian civil war and that there are circumstances where the Israeli Government may fall, then I missed nothing. These possibilities are discussed in most half decent British dailies. It is time for these functionaries to stop treating us provincials as morons.

  677. A Beitz said

    #676. He said there would be, not “may”. I had no impression of us being patronised by the gentleman, Yehuda Avner. Indeed it was good he was there since he is a well respected, able diplomat which is more than can be said for a number of envoys. He also made it unlike the present incumbent who failed to show for a Rep Council meeting and sent no replacement. The impression was one of complete chaos in Gaza with Israel trying to assist Abbas seeing secular Palestinian nationalism as considerably less of an evil than Islamic Palestinian nationalism.
    Several glasses of wine did help matters.

  678. Busy Elsewhere said

    Israel may well prefer the secular Abbas to Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh but Israel must bear much of the responsibility for the present circumstances. Israel was and legally is still the occupying power in Gaza and as such has legal responsibilities towards Gaza. By withdrawing in a unilateral action, Israel attempted to avoid its administrative responsibilities while still controlling all movement into and out of Gaza. Its citizens are in a massive prison, starved of funds and much of the basics that any decent society takes for granted. When Sharon withdrew, it was a one sided action. He did nothing to boost the PLO and the secularists, rather he left a vacuum which was filled by Hamas. Sharon did the right thing, the wrong way. Israel should have known better, for their was historical precedent to tell them what would happen. Barak did exactly the same thing in Lebanon. That also was a sudden and unilateral withdrawal. The power vacuum created in Southern Lebanon was filled by Hezbellah with dire consequences for Israel.

  679. Parents said

    Through our letter box this morning dropped a letter addressed to our son.
    Age 6.
    Inside was a very stale looking, very unattractive ice cream cone.
    This had been sent to us from Lubavitch.
    Apart from the morality of sending something directly addressed to our child, rather than as one should expect the parents, we are unhappy with the idea that it is acceptable to send food/sweets to children as most parents would we believe discourage their children from accepting sweets or gifts from strangers.

    We have no time for Lubavitch whatsoever and this kind of behaviour only reinforces our opinion not to have anything to do with them.

    What do other people think?

  680. To Be said

    And it arrived on Shabbat…

  681. A Beitz said

    Am I right in thinking that inside the cone was a piece of paper promoting the Shul In The Park for Wednesday? If so that perhaps puts it in context. However there appears to be little effort to differentiate between those who have no shul affiliation and those who do. In the case of the former it is arguably good outreach work. With the latter it is simply poaching.
    I agree also with the concerns expressed. I wouldn’t give a kid sweets without checking with the parents yet here we have unsolicited sweets arriving giving the parents no control.

  682. Past Parent said

    It MAY be one thing for Lubavitch to do outreach work amongst the disaffected and unaffiliated – but I really do object to them attempting to poach people who are members of existing shuls, especially through children.

  683. Ruth said

    I am thinking of taking my kids to my shul in the morning and shul in the park for the 6oclock “show”. I have to admit i’m curious to see what they have to offer.They must have a larger entertainment budget than the regular shuls.

  684. A Parent said

    I have no problem with Rabbi Mendel trying to encourage our children (and us ) to go to his shul for Shavuot. Personally i think it was a very clever marketing ploy. After all it clearly explains within the package that the Shul in the Park are promoting an ice cream bar at their Shavuot services. They are not forcing sweeets down our children’s throats nor are they poaching members from other shuls, all they are doing is encouraging children and their parents to try their brand of service in a novel manner. Whether we will go or not is our decision but it certainly made our daughter interested and there is no harm in that.

    So come on you doubters Lubavitch weren’t being naughty they were being clever.

  685. A Beitz said

    #684 if an unsolicited ice cream arrives addressed to your child then it seems to me if not forcing the sweets down their throats it’s certainly giving them sweets without parental permission. Also whatever their aims are the effect is of poaching members if kids who would go to another shul anyway go to The Shul In The Park.
    I don’t have a problem with them advertising their wares to the parents but consider the sending of sweets to be irresponsible and intrusive. Incidentally how did they get their mailing list? Has someone been breaching data protection rules? Do #679,683 and 684 have any Shul In The Park connection? Or any Lubavitch connection?

  686. Past Parent said

    It is indeed very clever marketing – we just have to assume that parents are relatively sophisticated and on the ball enough to stay one step ahead of the ‘pester power’ that this is designed to encourage. It would be great if children pestered their parents to go to shul simply because it is Shavout. Obviously the ice cream is a sweetener (pardon the pun) but how many parents will go to the services and not just drop their kids off and go and do something else.

    I wonder how many parents – particularly of Calderwood kids – will manage to arrange time off work over the chag? In these times of heightened cultural & religious awareness we should be supporting people to feel comfortable asking for time off for religious festivals.

  687. Pinky Shmekelstein said

    #678, everything you say about the situation in Gaza is correct. It’s the old colonial ‘divide and rule’ strategy. And Israel has much responsibility for the present situation.

    However there’s a twist here. One of the major warring factions in Gaza is committed to a Sharia Law state in all of Palestine. An unidentified number of ‘Mizrahi’ or ‘Sephardi’ Jews of North African origin will be allowed to remain as ‘honoured guests’ in this new Muslim all Palestine state.

    The future fate of the ‘Ashkenazi’ or ‘European’ Jews is not made clear by Hamas. Slaughter? Ethnic Cleansing? Both? Or what?
    Some analysts say that Hamas will never recognise Israel. It took Israel 40 years just to recognise the Palestinian people.

    Anybody got an idea that might resolve this terrible mess without a further ethnic cleansing by either side?

  688. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    There is no answer other than a two state solution and soon if not now. However, this possible scenario is looking less likely as time goes by. Israel already has incorporated much of the territories such that return is diffcult, if not impossible. The demography of the area is changing rapidly as the muslim population increases exponentially, not just on the West Bank and Gaza, but within Israel proper. Time is on the side of the Palestinians who only have to sit back and wait. In the meantime Israel may well destroy itself with corrupt government, a brutalised society and so called friends in the Diasporah who encourage her with unquestioned support. It is these ‘friends’ who will prove to be one of Israel’s greatest enemies in the long term; it is they who are culpable, for they should see from the outside just how vulnerable Israel’s long term position actually is. It is they who are the third danger, after the Palestinians and the Israeli far Right but by the time they are called to account it will be far too late.

  689. Gerry Atrick said

    The Palestinians also already have a corrupt government, a brutalised society and so-called friends in their diaspora who encourage them with unquestioned support.

    As with Israel, it is these ultra-nationalist and religious fundamentalist ‘friends’ who will be the Palestinians’ greatest enemy too. And depressingly there are far more of them in the Islamic camp, skewing the equation.

    One answer possibly lies in the (unlikely) near simultaneous arrival of two pragmatic leaders with the clout to deliver the painful compromise necessary for the creation of a Palestinian state.

  690. A Beitz said

    I think Gerry may well be right up to a point. After Oslo Arafat couldn’t bring himself psychologically to end some of the Palestinian dreams in return for an independent state and finality. Barak meantime was breaching the agreement fairly grossly with settlement expansion that exceeded anything done under the more fundamentalist Likud PM’s. Two pragmatic and trustworthy leaders need to come along but equally they have to be strong. My impression of Olmert is he is pragmatic but fails on the other two criteria and at the moment Abbas might well be the same. Haniyeh might pass muster on the second but fail one and three.
    What Israel could do however is ease restrictions in the West Bank since many of them have little to do with security and just cause aggro. Gaza is a mess and as has been said in retrospect unilateral withdrawal was a bad idea when the situation could have been utilised to obtain a bilateral agreement engendering goodwill and kudos on both sides and possibly therefore less chaos and hostility.

  691. KFC said

    If you have any doubt about the Palestinian’s wishes (or least those of the various factions’ leaders) then look at the civil war in Gaza and now the fighting up near Tripoli in a so called refugee camp. The Palestinian people are being used by those extreme Islamists who seems to want to take over the world.

    Israel is not nearly as much to blame for this situation as the Far Left would have us believe and this insistence on blame being assigned (by and to both sides) is preventing a 2 State solution.

    I believe that despite the groundswell of support for a 2 State Solution from both populations, parts of the Palestinian leadership have a clear vested interest in maintaining the status quo. I think we are looking at least a generation before proper dialogue can begin.

    Mind you by then we will all be flooded, frozen, boiled, burned, to a crisp, dehydrated or wiped out by a meteorite or horrible disease depending on which theory is in vogue this week.

  692. Gerry Atrick said

    So KFC,now it’s a ‘so called refugee camp’. Just what is a camp populated exclusively by refugees and their offspring since the ethnic cleansing of 1948 supposed to be called?

    Maybe KFC would become a warm caring sharing person if he was born into a camp such as this. I know that I wouldn’t.

    As for ‘parts of the Palestian leadership have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo’, KFC is out to lunch if he thinks that the deliberate government policy over three decades of seeding the territories with irredentist right-wing Jews by ALL parts of the Israeli leadership has not also been a major factor in the present situation.

    Israel will talk to anyone who will do business on Israel’s terms. This is not Jordan or Egypt revisited

  693. Wake up time said

    Isn’t it about time that Israel and indeed world Jewry woke up and accepted reality?
    Israel has been an occupying power since 1967. We have heard for 40 years that there is no one to hand this land back to. We hear continually that the fault lies with the Palestinians and if only they would accept that Israel is a peace loving nation that wants nothing more than to live side by side with their Palestinian neighbours, then everything would be fine.
    The trouble is that we have been told this nonsense now for 40 years.
    And it is no longer plausible.
    For years we were told that the Israeli occupation of Palestinians was a benign occupation – and many of us believed it. We chose to believe that a military occupation could be anything other than repressive.
    Of course there have been wrongs on both sides but if Israel and their friends don’t wake up very soon we are going to lose the lot.
    As Jonathan Freedland commented – our friends are in a car heading at full speed to the edge of a cliff – do we as so many in our community have done for years cheer them on and urge the driver to go faster and faster.
    Or would it not be better to tell the driver that it is time to change direction before it ends in disaster?

  694. Parent said

    I would rather my children had no Jewish education than were indoctrinated by the rubbish taught by Lubavitch.

  695. A Parent said

    Dear Parent

    Have you actually read what you have written.

    I do not follow the teachings of Lubavitch and am not a financial supporter of their organisation but have suppported events they have run in the past and may do so again in the future.

    I respect their right to follow their religious path as they would respect yours but what I cannot understand is the vitriol you have used in your comment. By all means don’t use what they have on offer but at least have the common courtesy to do so in a manner in which you yourself would expect.

    To answer A Beitz in 685

    I have never been to a Shul In The Park Service and the above will answer with regard to my non affiliation with Lubavitch.

    I do not agree that the sending of an ice cream cone in the post to my child is an act of “poaching”. It is merely a very clever marketing tool which I as a parent can choose to either let my child take up or not.Rabbi Mendel’s aim is to encourage our children and ourselves to participate in his Shavuot service. He is not forcing us to attend but is offering an alternative brand of service and promoting it in a novel way. Those I know who have attended their services have all been complemntary of the work he is doing there, indeed I have not heard of any negative comments but still I choose to go to my own shul.However, maybe other shuls should take note of what he is doing to encourage a larger congregation.

  696. emet said

    I have no issue with Lubavitch marketing ploys-any group that helps jews re-connect is to be applauded ; the Lubavitch are missionaries-their target are halachic jews who are essentially lost-those that don’t want to be found don’t need to accept the invitation . To fund their work they need donations and the best way of doing so is to turn to the local community-we’d all complain like mad if they didn’t offer us a shul , a restaurant or a cheder yet at the same time asked for our money !It is a statement of great stupidity to talk of “the rubbish taught ” by Lubavitch-they don’t write the rules-they merely encourage others to live by them.
    Let’s not get too precious about ice cream cones-I once got a tangerine in the post at xmas from a firm of surveyors ,beautifilly packaged and with a sticker of their logo rather then of jaffa -it made me laugh and as a marketing tool it worked well-the ice cream cones were in the same vein-good for Mendel-at least in common with Reform he embraces the 21st century-it’s the boys in black who prefer ghetto rules that worry me .

  697. Not a chance said

    Luby are not on my favourites for many reasons but this latest escapade seems to be simply an attempt to use pester power to get more people into their Shul. perhaps it has escaped Emet’s notice that we already have a surfeit of Shuls in this city and that rather than thanking them for the creation of yet another one ask why they see fit to introduce more divisions. Their ‘outreach’ work aka phoning people with Jewish names in the phone book is dubious at best and disingenuous at worst. As they run out of ‘lost’ jews they turn their attentions to easier targets.

    Mind you, not everything they do is bad adn whilst not a supporter neither do I hate them and Emet is spot on about the dyed in the wool (any colour so long as it’s black) attitude of many, more ‘mainstream’, Rabbis.

  698. Old Boy said

    If you dont like Luby “Not a Chance” what about Andy Pandy or Biil or Ben or Muffin the Mule or The Woodentops?

  699. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Emet, of course Lubavitch talk rubbish, that’s religion, the only fairy story written as a saga. However most of their nonsense is in Hebrew and as the majority of their punters havn’t a clue what they are saying or doing they may be forgiven. As for the Reform, most of the liturgy has been transalated so they know what they are saying.For them there is no excuse,they must all be barmy. Me,I’m nuts. I just wrap myself in my tallit and have a good schloff. As I age, I’m hedging my bets just in case the omnipotent fairy really does exist.

  700. A Beitz said

    “The Rebbe is moshiach”
    “The Rebbe still lives”
    “Dinosaurs are just an invention of scientists to make money”
    All quotes from Lubavitch personnel. It’s not even orthodox Judaism but a separate religion. It encourages slightly guilty Jews with deep pockets by implying or even saying that they can keep Judaism by proxy. It often provides a service for Jews where none exists but is on many occasions guilty of competing with existing facilities.
    In Glasgow it is nepotism at its worst. Did anyone see the jobs being done by Mendel and Tzirl advertised by the Lubavitch movement? It seems instead that a charity is employing on a hereditary basisas though it is a family business.
    Don’t get me wrong. Lubavitch do a great deal of good but so do the Mormons and they’re not Orthodox Judaism either.

  701. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Some years ago I was in Fort Lauderdale just before Chanukah. The place was swarming with Jews for Jesus on a proselytising campaign.
    I then drove down to Miami and was accosted by enormous roadside hoardings advertising Lubavitch. It struck me how much these groups had in common. Both worship a Messiah. Both believe he has lived and died. The former’s candidate for Messiah got his act together fairly quickly, while the Lubies are still hanging around waiting for their guy to get a move on. I regret to say it is 1-0 to the J4J.

  702. Emet said

    Has anyone seen the Times today-a half page advert by yet another protest group-this time “Architects and Planners for Justice for Palestine ” ,and the usual couple of hundred signatories. There is a pr battle out their that Israel and her supporters have lost !I’m not advocating 100% blind support-far from it -but the UK community needs to find an effective voice (of reason) to raise objections whenever valid to do so. Surely despite our differences within the community there is enough common ground for some organization to have a mandate to represent the overwhelming majority in supporting Israel in the media where approprite to do so ?

  703. NLL said

    Emet I totally agree.

    Problem seems to be that previous groups purporting to do this have either been set up by organisations with one or another political leaning and therefore go on to perpetuate a bias in that particular direction or if claiming to be ‘cross communal’ are not monitored and regulated by representatives from across the spectrum and therefore take on life of their own.

    The ‘other side’ – whoever they may be, have developed a brilliant, well funded, international PR machine – much like the one they always accused us of having, but which time and current ineptitude proves was a myth.

  704. A Beitz said

    Emet and NLL are right to some extent but although I’ve not seen today’s Times there is a major planning problem in Israel and it may be that this is the wrong one to get hot under the collar about. I don’t know the figures but basically planning seems to be almost invariably granted for what might be termed Jewish projects but the opposite applies if you’re an Arab in Arab village in Israel.

  705. Madness said

    Lubavitch are missionaries who try and indoctrinate others to believe in their simplified version of Judaism.
    Emet and A Parent are kidding themselves. I believe that Lubavitch’s version of Judaism is complete nonsense – all this obsession about Schneerson being the messiah. !
    Why would anyone want their children indoctrinated with this rubbish.
    And those of you that think, sending a stale dry, non -crispy old ice cream cone is good marketing – ask around and if you come across children old enough to think for themselves persuaded by this silly gimmick, then I suggest you start to worry.
    Why do you think they send it to young kids? Because no one old enough or sane enough would do anything other than toss it in the bin!

  706. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Madness #752 I agree that the Lubavitch variety of religion is nonsense. But why is their version any more nonsensical than any other? Tell me Madness, what makes sense. The enigma is that I sit in shul many a sunny Saturday wondering why I am there. Of course I’m a member of an exclusive club; it is a social occasion; it is tradition and I am part of a culture that has been around a long long time. I listen to the weekly sedra and more often than not am horrified at what I hear so I treat it as a rather gruesome fairy story. You are right about the obsession of Schneerson being a Messiah. Keep in mind that the last group to believe in one of our boys being a messiah, the Christians, were not a separate religion, just a sect within Judaism. I suspect there is little difference between Lubavitch as they are now and the position of the early Christians.

  707. Benedict the 17th said

    I’m also posting here to give qualified support to Lubavitch. Their variation of this old and sometimes gruesome fairy tale about the Chosen People is no dafter than any of the others, except where it’s off the charts dafter.

  708. Past Parent said

    I can explain and enjoy discussing many areas of Judisim with my non Jewish friends, especially those who accept organised religion as a concept – but when it comes to sending faxes to a dead Rabbi, I find that defies any explanation.

    Do remember also, the brand of Lubavitch we have in Glasgow is only the interpretation of one man.

  709. Emet said

    I’m taken aback at the anti -lubavitch sentiment here-are they seen as a threat mainstream eg Giffnock ,NM’s and Clarkston ? Is that the reason ?
    Question to the members of these shuls-your teenager child comes home and says “I’ve been thinking alot about this religion thing and do you know what-I’m going to join the lubavitch and try to live according to their guidance”
    Your other teenager arrives home that day and says “same for me , but I’m throwing my lot in with reform-I really like what they do.”
    How do you feel-is one worse for you than the other and if so which one ?
    Remember it is all hypothetical and please don’t be offensive !
    (Next week we can discuss the third child who comes home and says ..”meet my fiance ,Patrick Vincent Yassir bin Mohammed Wong.”)

  710. Past Parent said

    I would have thought the difference is that, as far as I can see, Reform don’t go actively seeking new members. Rather they leave the door open to people who either like their take on things or find themselves excluded from the “mainstream” and provide a version of Judisim that suits many people.

    Lubavitch on the other hand practice some fairly assertive outreach. They don’t seem content to let people practice in their own way, but feel a need to poach people from existing shuls and impose their interpretation of Jewish practice. They prey on people’s insecurities and seem to have developed a system whereby people part with money to alleviate their guilt. That doesn’t match with my understanding of Judisim

    A young women I know, who has married out, told me that a few years ago Mendal ‘found’ her and has been trying to get her to come to events/services etc. Unfortunately he wont call her by her married name and her husband is not invited, so surprisingly, she is not interested.

    I wish the ‘Orthodox’ community could develop some middle ground.

  711. Letter from Tel Aviv said

    I note with interest Emet’s comments about finding common interest within the British Jewish Community regarding supporting Israel.

    I would suggest that the best friendship that British Jewry can offer would be to tell the Israeli Government that 40 years of being an occupying power is completely unacceptable.

    Israel as a country needs to understand that the continuing occupation of millions of Palestinians will inevitably bring about the destruction of the country.

    Far too many excuses have been given for far too long to perpetuate this rule over another people and although there have been dreadful wrongs perpetuated by the Palestinians in this conflict it is time that Israel now said loudly and clearly that enough is enough.

    So, Emet, I would suggest that you think of ways for your community to make this position clear to the Israeli Government.
    You should also give thought to what kind of ideals you would like the children and youth in your community to have regarding Israel.
    There are many Israelis who think like I do and need your support. That should be your priority. The time has come to speak out.

  712. mrblog547 said

    It sad that in a community like glasgow which is so small and far away from any other vibrant Jewish community that people are still so small minded. People ask why no one is left in Glasgow and I have always maintained that it is because of the small minded lay leaders trying to lead this community. Instead of gettting on with the real issues at hand they are always being petty and trying to stop those who REALLY are making a difference. Let us ask ourselves why The Shul in Park is the only Shul growing while all others are dwindeling? let us ask ourselves why Lubavitch aproach is the one being adopted in over 50 percent of united Synagogue Shuls in the Uk? Perhaps those who employed the current lot of Rabbis could have been abit more opened minded? What have we got ourselves into now?
    I find it amazing that on this blog people can show their lack of knowledge and intelect. People pass comments on issues they know very little about.
    Let Glasgow wake up and realise we are miles away from any normal community. We have very little charisma and leadership in this community. All the organisation are shrinking and what are we doing about it?
    Bashing Chaim and Mendel that does not sound the right thing to do!
    Like it or not we all know they have shown Glasgow the young modern approaches and thats why they have survived and bringing even after 35 years !
    Lets remember something we all know the cooperate world flourishes beacause of competition it keeps everyone on there feet!
    Fact is there was one child at Shul in the park on Shavous and that was not a child that regulary goes to shul!
    So maybe the committees of the other shuls need to sit down with Mendel and get a real marketing plan together to bring in new members , lets face it, he seems to know wht hes doing, in the 8 years Mendel has been doing this he has built up the shul with over 75 members WHO WERE NOT MEMBERS OF ANY OTHER SHUL !
    people should get there facts straight before just spreading Lashan Hara so openly all over the internet!!!

  713. Emet said

    Welcome Mr Blog-I agree with you-I find it hard to understand why so many seem to be virulently anti Lubavitch-personally I can’t see me ever being a member of the Shul in the Park but I am happier to have them in our community than not. Anyone who says that they shouldn’t be competing with other shuls is dreaming-Why the heck should any shul be entitled to rest on its laurels ? I’m sure the Reform went througfh the same process 75 years ago when it first set up in Glasgow ; As Reform and Lubavitch grow and consolidate the others struggle and all we hear on this blog is that people don’t approve -they need to get real and either support their own shuls or let others get on with it.

  714. Who Cares Wins said

    I agree with both Emet and Mr Blog.

    All of us should wake up and smell the coffee. The shuls that try to encourage growth will be more likely to still be here in 10 years time and I am confident that the only 2 whose membership and attendance is growing are the Shul in the Park and the Reform and I dont see too many (or indeed any)of their leaders on the Executive of the Rep Council.

    Having said that shul isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and we must encourage all those who wish to be involved in whatever way in our community be it through attending communal events or fund raising or whatever to feel wanted and valued.

    We are shrinking in numbers but that doesn’t mean we should be any less of value. We need to remain vibrant and hope cwe can encourage more to settle or remain here.

  715. A Beitz said

    Still waiting for answer about the claims that the Rebbe was the Messiah and is still alive. This is propounded by a substantial proportion of Lubavitch adherents. Do the Lubie supporters accept this belief is mainstream in that group? If so how does it fit in with orthodox Judaism?
    Oh and is it acceptable that Glasgow Lubavitch is a family business only?
    That’s not lashen hora but serious criticism which needs answered.
    I’ll maybe tell you later about the Lubavitch vehicle, the disabled parking space and the slogan on that vehicle.

  716. Emet said

    As far as I know they are not pouring out of Crown Heights demanding to get a job in Glasgow-it may well be a family business but I suspect out of default rather than design. If enough people want to give then so be it .

  717. A Beitz said

    Actually, bearing in mind the God forsaken (inappropriate language here)places the shlichim go to Glasgow is probably one of the cushier places to sojourn. You may be right Emet that there would have been no other applicants for the job had it been advertised but since it wasn’t we can only speculate. Charitably funded organisations ought to go through proper employment practises.
    Part of the problem as well is that the emissaries take the view they have come at the behest of the Rebbe and they won’t be returning until he tells them.
    BTW did you hear about the security alert at the Rebbe’s grave? Someone issued a death threat against him.

  718. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    I’m perplexed (literally, not by name). All this talk about religion with respect to Lubavitch is bunkum. In Glasgow it is a business, no more, no less and good luck to them if they can get away with it. Little rent, probably no rates or reduced rates if it is a registered charity and persuade all the punters who want eternal salvation on the cheap (and easy) to pay for the table and chairs and – hey presto – you’ve got a restaurant instead of a nursery. Sorry about the kids but if you lot can’t be fruitful and multiply enough, stuff us that can. I think Emet should do a deal with Schneerson’s lot. Something like Jack Sprat and his wife. Mendel sources all those women married out and pitches for their souls. Then he passes on the out-married men whom he wouldn’t touch with a barge pole to Emet for a modest fee and between them they would clean up.

  719. mrblog547 said

    I am one of Lubi biggest supporters and also understand and admire the wonderful work that Chaim and Mendel do.
    Sadly you guys have big mouths and nothing to say!
    Good luck to both of you. But a word of advice putting the things you do on the Internet is very dangerous, its also almost amusing that out of 6,000 Jewish people you have two or three little palls who just sit and talk bad about people. You must really have miserable life’s, but don’t take that out on other good folk who dedicate there lives fully to helping other people.
    It also amazes me that however much you hate these people and this organisation how you both follow up so closely with what they are doing both locally and internationally. I know most people when they dislike someone or an organisation want to hear nothing about it !! NOT YOU !! – deep down you admire the good work and really are a silent supporter.
    I find that very amusing, but I just give you both a blessing that you both are able to find peace within yourselves, and wish you and your familles a Refuah Shlaima (im sure you know what that is) and very good luck in the future.
    But seriously if you are miserable don’t hurt other people its just not worth it!
    You will not be hearing from me any more since a blog like this which is titled JEWISH EDUCATION is far from it. Who knows how many generation will damaged and affected by the slanderous hatred spread on this blog.
    One last point, its also amazing how there is so much Lubi talk, im sure you guys know what the Gemara says on this blog.

    A good Rabbi is somebody that is not liked by everyone, because a Rabbi has to take a stance,

    In my whole life that i have lived in Glasgow i have come across very few people who disliked Chaim, Sora, and the family, there is hardly a family in the community whom have not at some point in time have not been touched by this unique family. funnily enough the few i have come across are from the more Religious side of the community, its as clear as gold to see that only stems from Jealousy,

    Its sad that this website although meant for the whole community, that a few of (the more religious) dislike Lubas open minded non judge mental and welcoming attitude towards all Jews, regardless of there backgrounds.

    lots of Love, to the Baitz and to Nachman,

    Maybe one day you will both be brave enough to make piece with yourselves, and call Chaim and have a shiur with him!!
    im sure he will have no problem having lichaims burger and a shiur with you, since he sincerely loves every Jew and understands what he was created for,

    A true Glasgow Lubi Supporter !

  720. a lurker said

    Several comments. First,of all, how can people pass judgement, you seem so ill- informed about Lubavitch, if you want to know more regarding Jewish History or Chasidic teachings check out Lubavitch is a worldwide group of chasidim just like the Ger, Satmar, Bels, Telshe and loads of others that practice Torah orthodoxy with added customs based on the Zohar, Chasidus, Rambam, Gemara and its commentaries and have had revered holy leaders just like most other groups do.Some members go on shlichis but the majority live in Orthodox communities with professional jobs. In Giffnock shul, like other mainstream Shuls that use Ashkenazi Siddur they say the prayer of belief in moshiach everyday in their 13 principles of faith which the Lubavitch dont have a custom to say! The Chofets Chaim (very not Lubavitch- waited with a packed case near his bed everyday in case Moshiach came and he had to relocate to Israel!)So Moshiach is far from a Lubi concept. It was known in the gemara that students of yeshivas over the ages would imagine and hope for their ravs to be moshiach as is the jewish law. Now the dinosaurs comment. There are many Lubavitch scientists (and a magazine B’oar Hatorah) and other frum scientist that do try to reconcile modern scientific theories of fossils with the Torah stories of creation, the flood..,with the idea that we dont understand exactly how long a day was of creation,(compared to our idea of day or how dif. the world was before the flood) so it would not be fair to say that Lubavitch do not belive in dinosaurs as a blanket statement.Even the big bang can fit into creation process as the first step after creation made the leap from nothing to something. Now, the comment of Mendel not dealing with the women’s Non-Jewish husband is rubbish if you know Mendel, which you obviously dont and are going on heresay, just ask the many Non-Jewish partners that have been through to his Shul, events, hospitality for various reasons..Mendel is completely non-judgemental and very tolerent and looks at intermarriage as only one tile in the mosaic of the persons life, just look how many people he is in close contact with that do have non-jewish partners. He would rather draw pople closer then turn them away and he knows how to adapt without changing the rules. Hey, how about an online Shul?!

  721. A Beitz said

    Good to hear from you Mr B and Mr/Ms L. I don’t agree with much of what you say but appreciate you posting at length with your defence of Lubavitch generally and Glasgow in particular.
    I have no intention of answering at length but a couple of points are germane.
    1 You haven’t answered about my Family Fortunes point.
    2 Believing that the Moshiach will come is, as A Lurker says, a tenet of Judaism. That is different to believing he has already come and allies Lubavitch to Christianity.
    3 As I said previously Lubavitch do a lot of good. As I also said so do the Mormons and many other religious and non religious groups. It doesn’t mean that their beliefs and methods are necessarily acceptable to orthodox Judaism.
    4 Don’t confuse other Chasidic groups with Lubavitch. I am unaware of any others who believe that the Messiah has come.

  722. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    #719 So you’re interested in education. Remember the cheder system in Glasgow? Not perfect but served the community well for many years. If it had survived, with modern educational tecniques it would have been adapted to present needs. Two factors killed it off. One obviously was Calderwood, whereby many parents decided no further Jewish education for their children was necessary. The other was Lubavitch (and the Kollel) which competed with the chedorim for pupils and by chipping away at the edges contributed to its demise. Their outreach efforts may be worthwhile but when they find ways of including the wives of men who have outmarried without them having first to jump through the most outrageous rings and obstacles, then I will reconsider my approach to them.

  723. Emet said

    Nachman-why should I pay the fee ? I should be paid for my efforts-otherwise your business proposal is of no interest to me !
    Tell you what though I’m enjoying all this discussion and it is certainly an eye opener-I had no idea that mainstream orthodoxy in Glasgow and Lubavitch are so polarised-I’m not even referring to belief/messianic stuff ,just the inability to live and let live !I find it quite ironic ,to find that they are at each others throats instead of having a go at progressive judaism as per years gone by . Looks like Rabbi Nancy is the net winner here !
    This blog is great !

  724. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Emet – in the short term you may be right but in the long term I think progressive Judaism is doomed. I refer to the national and international situation rather than Glasgow which is too small to be typical. There is little argument that at present traditional United Synagogue type Judaism is losing ground heavily. There are many reasons including intermarriage from which Progressive gains in many cases, low birth rate and increasing losses to Chassidic Judaism. However, as the centre diminishes there will be less pickings for both Progressive on the left and chassidism on the right. The Chassidic element due to its healthy birth rate and relatively low losses will continue to increase exponentially. With the demise of the centre, the right will find its way of life completely unsustainable. The jobs as paid Rabbis and teachers will disappear as will much of the financial support. I maintain that when the collapse comes, which will be in our lifetime and many choose to cut off their peyot (as did our great grandparents) the traditional centre will be revitalised by this phenomenon. I would be surprised if significant numbers make the jump straight to the Progressive sector. At that stage you will have to look to maintaining your numbers through internal means, that is each generation following the ways of their parents. You can tell us better than I can whether this is at all likely.

  725. Emet said

    Oh ‘man-I don’t think I can anwer that one-one observation though-I think you are misrepresenting the importance of proselytes to progressive jewry in the uk-by far the greatest scope for continuity is keeping those born in (just like the orthodox ) ,rather than attracting new members ;sure newcomers are welcome but planning for the future treats them as bonus cases-grassroots continuity means keeping the second generation and beyond ; I think GRS is pretty good at that ,but can’t speak for national trends.
    What you have now in GRS is a run of people born into GRS , say in the sixties , typically of parents one of whom is a reform convert ,and those people have married an orthodox spouse who in most cases grudingly or not has little option but to join GRS not necessarily for halachic reasons but to allow the whole of their family to worship in the same shul.
    Ironically if Orthodoxy was prepared to lend more recognition to Reform , Reform would be less of a threat to Orthodoxy because people would not be forced to choose between the two!
    As a ” happy where i am” sort of guy I do not need Lubavitch anymore than they need me but I believe that their presence is a good thing-anyone who has spent time in the states will be aware of their social welfare inner city projects-they are prepared to get their hands dirty where others won’t ; ok in glasgow that role is not required but nevertheless I believe they perform an important role and between them and Reform a great number of decent punters have been put back in touch with their identity which is good-full stop. I am more interested in universal jewish survival ,rather than flying the flag just for my brand alone amd on that basis Lubavitch get pass marks.

    Now as an aside…..great jewish books-anyone out there got any must reads (not the torah please Mr Blog) ?I’m reading Boychicks in the Hood for the second time-absolutely fascinating .

  726. Past Parent said

    I think the tide has already turned – mainstream United Synagogue type communities no longer wish to employ Lubavitch/Chassidic Rabbis preferring someone who is more ‘of this world’ maybe even University educated, who they perceive as more able to deal with the day to day issues facing them. I suspect the Rabbis and Community leaders being turned out by Yeshiva University in the States are more likely to fit the profile.

    Not surprisingly people find it very difficult to take the Jewish teachings of a Rabbi seriously when he belongs to a movement that has endowed messianic powers on the late Rabbi Shneerson. Psychiatrists will tell you that they are often called on to provide medical treatment for people who commune with dead and follow instructions communicated to them by voices – especially faxes from a graveside. Although I suppose this just adds fuel to the fire for those people who think all religion is mumbo jumbo!!!

  727. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Emet – very interesting. I think your argument that the Orthodox should show more recognition to Reform is well put. I think of the late Hugo Gryn and how effective he was as a Jewish voice. We were all proud or certainly should have been to be associated with him and his philosophy. It is to the eternal shame of the Orthodox that he was not given the official recognition in life and death that was his due.

    I have a confession. I am half way through ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ by Richard Dawkins. This is written in the form of a narrative tracing our evolutionary history right back to the protozoan combining with a bacterium to form a cell with a nucleus. This is certainly not Torah Min Hashamayim but important sort of reading especially for the Orthodox so they know what they are up against.

  728. a lurker said

    |Past parent- The head orginisation of those that represent and run Lubavitch (ask them) would never say that mashiach has come! They might wish it imminently and act like its around the corner ,but they all agree he isnt here until elijah comes, temple rebulit, world peace…They just think they know who it will be. It is their suitable candidate in mind that would fit miamonides list of criteria, being from house of David, actively involved in drawing jews closer to torah..That said, with the jewish concept of resurection, why cant moshiach come from the dead and then it can be moses or any other jewish hero? There is always supposed to be a possible Moshiach in every generation so that if that gen. is worthy, Moshiach would come. As far as faxes to graves, there is a concept in the Talmud, where people who needed advice in their daily struggles would do a sheilot Chalom and put a note under their pillow or in a Talmud and take their inspiration from their dreams or current learning and use that as advice to their specific struggles.Using a rightous person with more merits then you to help intervene in the heavens and act as a conduit is a jewish concept, likewhen youre on a plane and you cant see out, its dark, but you trust the pilot and his devices to find the way further then you. Souls without bodies can accomplish as well, why not, people pray at famous graves in israel all the time!And what about letters to G-d at the wall? Spirituality is not stuff that can be explained fully, at some point it is a leap of faith to belief as many have said correctly on this blog.

  729. A Beitz said

    On books, Emet, I found The Rebbe’s Army to be an interesting read. It is very sympathetic imo but equally a bit of an eyeopener regarding Lubavitch and what makes it tick.
    See To quote from the publishers’ blurb, “A behind-the-scenes study of the Brooklyn-based Lubavitcher Hasidim sect describes their evangelical efforts to transform the lives of fellow Jews and to make them more observant of their religion and profiles their late Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and his continuing influence on his followers.”
    Also recently enjoyed a book by Amy Levy called Reuben Sachs which is a bit of a satire on 19th century middle class London Jews. Many similarities now.
    Amos Oz’s autobiography is well worth a read as is the Jacob’s Gift by Johnathan Freedland which is a tremendous read about various generations of the author’s family with the communist uncle, the uncle who was a British civil servant in Palestine and was regarded by the Brits as Jewish and the Jews as British and his shomer shabbat mother’s family including her rabbinic father who abandoned the family and his mother who is an atheist as well as being shomer shabbat.

  730. Sammy said

    I have a question.
    I would like A Lurker to tell me who they think is a candidate for Moshiach from this generation.
    Interesting concept?

  731. Emet said

    Mr Lurker-that is an interesting insight and I can see where people can buy in to it-although it needs a strong leap of faith to fully commit.Gjef have run some meetings-maybe the organisers could see if there was any desire in the community to have a talk on the growth of Hassidic Jewry-with particular reference to the Lubavitch story in Glasgow ? I’m sure many people don’t fully appreciate all that Lubavitch comprises ; I’m not sure if you are a mere supporter or an active member (maybe you are Chaim/Mendel !) ,but it sounds as if you know what you are talking about and maybe you have some clout.
    Given the willingness of Lubavitch to embrace and use technology ,maybe you could get Chaim/Mendel to join the blog-I ‘m sure they would like to add to the discussion.

  732. A Beitz said

    Emet, You could be right that Chaim and Mendel would like to add to the discussion. They would be very welcome if they did. However I hae ma doots that they would want to add to this blog. I think it is much more likely, if they could have their way, it would be shut down.

  733. Old Boy said

    Did anyone here the discussion on the Jeremy Vine Radio 2 show this sfternoon between Jonathan Friedland and A Palestinian acaademic from Birmingham University regarding the proposed boycott of Israeli Universities?

    I caught the tale end but missed the main thread.

  734. A Beitz said

    Old Boy you can hear the full thing on
    It’s about 7 minutes into the programme and lasts for about 11 minutes. Keep us informed about interesting stuff on Radio 2 and Saga.

  735. lurker said

    Just an informal poll. How many of you would want Cheder to be less like regular school with worksheets and exams and homework and more focused on Jewish projects and thematic meaningful concepts, such as gathering and sending coats to orphanage in ukraine, or having pupils research their hebrew namesake’s life in poland, or have them volunteer for jewish care or have pupils learn coversational hebrew or yidish, or have them put on plays,learn jewish music and art and food, find jewish pen pals abroad, take jewish field trips around, they can design a kids in the community mewsletter…more like a camp or youth club. If you are a parent that wants it more series, the way it is folowing an academic sylabus, why do you think we need to do it that way? Nachman, I just read, The Seven Daughters of Eve, fascinating read how modern Europe can be DNA traced to 7 women.

  736. A Beitz said

    Think someone’s cage has been rattled.

  737. A God Fearing Beitz said

    Lurker I think there’s room for both. I think kids have to learn basic Hebrew reading, davening and about the main principles and history of their religion. The sort of stuff suggested by you sounds great but I’d have thought would be mainly post barmitzvah or at least for senior primary pupils.It would certainly be something to be encouraged. I think your ideas should be looked at very seriously by anyone involved in the young Community’s education.

  738. Blogger said

    Congratulations Rabbi Jacobs – you have just made me famous.

    Have you put a curse on bloggers –
    I quote from today’s Telegraph….
    ” No blessing can ever come to these cowardly people who spread such hatred”

    I’m really worried..will I wake up tomorrow looking different or will my cat become unwell?
    And if I wish to repent how will I be able to reverse your edict?

    Please tell me as soon as you read this Chaim, I’m really really scared!!!!!

  739. Colin Rosenthal said

    An interesting comment about the old cheder system. If Lubavitch destroyed it then it must have been from within, since Chaim Jacobs was a long-time teacher at Giffnock cheder. Indeed, while trying to avoid speaking ill of the dead, he was one of the most popular teachers there and actually did a fair job of keeping his class interesting and entertaining (mostly by spicing it up with lots of gruesome martyrdom stories, but that’s religion for you).

    The cheder system also survived in parallel with Calderwood for many years so I wouldn’t blame them either. So far as I can tell, it was the Kollel that killed it off by providing a better alternative. Now I wouldn’t care to define what constitutes a “good” Jewish education – cheder + Hebrew College combined to make me a fully-assimilated atheist which is good enough for me. But cheder in my day (with a few honourable exceptions) was a story of tedious and repetitive rote-learning-without-understanding. It’s not something to be nostalgic about.

  740. Emet said

    In short I am appalled at Chaim’s attempt to censor any discussion -so he doesn’t like some of the questions put here-does that give him the right to call for closure of the blog ? It’s a pathetic re-action and rather cowardly. I have defended the Lubavitch many times on this blog ,but what I read in the JT is unbelievable.What’s more I suspect it will backfire . I am very disappointed in his re-action.

  741. Cowardy Custard said

    I think GJEF should write to Chaim thanking him and the JT for giving this blog a full page advert on the front page of the JT. That sort of publicity couldn’t have been bought and any member of the Community who was previously unaware of this blog will now know about it.
    Thank you, Chaim, thank you.

  742. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Of course Chaim has the right to call for the closure of the site just as he has the right to tell the world about his wish list including the imminent appearance of Moshiach. He has many rights that are unalienable and I for one will defend to the death those rights.I will defend them even though I consider them to be completely misplaced and pointless.I will defend them even though he will not defend my unalienable rights when they conflict with his lifestyle.

  743. To Be said

    #738… At one time I might have agreed with the sentiments in the article, but the blog has become interesting again!

  744. A Beitz said

    I’m confused. If I understand Rabbi Jacobs correctly criticism even when true is not permitted. Accepting that premise for a moment how does he reconcile this with his own statements such as “No blessing can ever come to these cowardly people who spread such hatred” and “cowardly non God-fearing individuals”. Sounds to me that he’s doing exactly what he criticises ie” bad mouthing individuals”.
    His points about people posting but “not having the guts to put their name” is a non sequitur. Apart from the fact this is the style of blogs the length and breadth of the internet if the comments are unacceptable then they that remains the position whether or not the person posting gives his or her full name.
    There are many positive things posted on this blog and many negative as well but Rabbi Jacobs thinks it should simply be a glossy brochure for the Glasgow Jewish community. That would be dishonest but that takes us into other halachic principles.

  745. Chaim Jacobs said

    Chaim Jacobs here:
    I welcome today’s policy statement by the GJEF, it is a step in the right direction. However, Judaism differs from many other religions and cultures in that we are not just careful about what we put into our mouth but also what comes out from it whether literally or in writing.
    It is the fervant prayer of every Jew at least 22 times a week at the end of the Amidah to beseech G-d I quote “My G-d guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceitfully.” The right to ‘free’ speech is not an option in Judaism. Any words spoken or written true and certainly untrue about another human being are totally wrong and out of order.
    For the blog to be used for this purpose whether or not the organisers agree or disagree with comments being written is totally un-acceptable. Any vehicle for the spreading of bad-mouthing another individual and often causing them unnecessary harm or upset is out of order. As it calls itself a ‘Jewish’ blog it should uphold these laws and values. Indeed many friendships have been broken up as a result of people writing on the blog without having the guts to put their name to them. If people feel so strongly about their views why can they not put their name to them.
    I suggest the organisers of the blog taken an in-depth study of the book written by the saintly Chofetz Chaim called Shemirat Haloshon, ‘Torah guidelines to correct speech and conversation.’ They will then understand why the blog should either be closed down or it’s focus changed and be used exclusively for spreading good news and tidings about events, activities and people within our community and beyond. For those planning a move or visit to Glasgow It should be painting a good and positive image of our community and not publicising in-fighting and hatred.
    A policy statement to not take responsibility for what is being written by certain individuals on the blog does not go far enough and I politely urge GJEF to re-think it’s blog focus as above as soon as possible.
    I wish everyone Shabbat Shalom. Please remember to light Shabbat candles and make kiddush at the correct time and have wonderful weekend!
    Chaim Jacobs

  746. Shalom said

    I have a proposal for Moshiach from the current generation. Perhaps it is the late departed – sadly missed Ben Avraham.
    What do you think?

  747. pete said

    Not missed by many!For those of you who like this blog Big Brother is back!!

  748. Ben Avraham said

    Did I hear my name called? Someone looking for me?

  749. Shalom said

    Are you the moschiach Ben Avraham?
    Altogether…we want moshiach now”!!!!!!!!!!

  750. Ben Avraham said

    Am I??

  751. Shalom said

    Ben Avraham, your followers have seen a sign. We believe you are the messiah – Please don’t deny it.

  752. Astonished said

    Welcome to the blog Rabbi Jacobs.
    I’m still trying to reconcile how it is possible to condemn the existence of this blog in the Jewish Telegraph this morning demanding its “urgent closure” and by 10.37am you are actually posting on this very same blog.

    Not exactly consistent is it. But nevertheless let’s deal with your arguments.

    You have accused people of ” lying”.
    So tell us what has been written about Lubavitch that is untrue?

    You think that it does not matter whether comments are true or untrue. Thankfully free speech is a value that most people in the modern world cherish and thankfully your interpretation of Judaism in declaring that ” free speech is not an option ” is something that many many Jews would just not accept.

    I have just scrolled back to find out how this discussion about Lubavitch originated. And I would be very grateful if you could explain why it is in your opinion acceptable to send unsolicited confectionary direct to very small children rather than addressing your postings to their parents.

    In my opinion this is very wrong and you should address anything you send to people old enough to understand the purpose and meaning of the contents. They can then determine whether your activity is something they would like to take part in.

    Some have argued that it is clever marketing on your part but it isn’t. It is completely out of order and you should apologise.

    Finally, before running to the paper did you ever approach GJEF to discuss your complaints and when this organisation brought an eminent and esteemed Orthodox scholar to Glasgow did you turn up to hear him? Were you interested in what he had to say?

    Is it just possible you might have actually enhanced your own knowledge?

    When you enlighten us we can proceed to discuss the philosophy of Lubavitch and everyone will be educated further.

  753. slobitch said

    Let me inform the ill informed it was not Rabbi Jacobs snr or jnr that sent the mailshot out it was ‘The Shul in the Park’ executive and secondly i would inform you that the cones were purchased only days before the mail shot form one of our local Deli’s — facts first before you spout please

  754. Jacob said

    Thank you for that Slobbitch.

    Now we will wait and see if Rabbis Jacobs Jr and Sr will dissociate themselves from this irresponsible action.

    I would also expect that if this decision was taken without their prior approval the Lubavitch mailing list will no longer be made available to the executive of the Shul in the Park as they cannot be trusted to use it responsibly.

  755. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Chaim Jacobs – My impression of the article in the JT is that you took irrational exception to your endeavours being classified as a business. I consider as do many of my friends that business is a very worthy and worthwhile occupation and I would be amazed if much of your support, financial and otherwise did not come from the world of business and business men. You know, saying the same prayer 22 times a week doesn’t make it any more right than if you said it 21 times. What is more important is the interpretation of the words and I hope and suspect, Chaim, you have it badly wrong because if “the right to free speech is not an option in Judaism” then you have just divorced Judaism from truth, from justice and from all that we Jews have struggled to attain over the centuries. I assure you I intend to come back later either in full or piecemeal especially on your veiled threat to have blessings withdrawn from those who cross you. I am unclear whether it is your personal blessings or whether you are now speaking on behalf of a higher power. If the latter is the case then this is a worrying development that needs further serious consideration.
    Perhaps Chaim we should all broaden our knowledge and understanding not just of our own insular Jewish world but of the world at large, in which we all have to operate.You would refer us to your own Chofetz Chaim, I would refer you to another God fearing pious man, John Milton who in his later years lost his sight. In the sonnet “On His Blindness” he struggled with the problem of how, if at all, he would best serve his maker. His final conclusion which you as a restaurateur are bound to appreciate was “they also serve who only stand and waite”.

  756. Luby watcher said

    Interesting advert by Edgware Lubavitch in this week’s JC – page 23 for those that missed it.

    I quote..

    ” Only 40 years ago, the Jews living in Israel and the world over were facing absolute threat by an evil man, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who believed that he was to effect the “final solution”

    ” The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory, then assured us all that G-d would protect us and in particular the Jews living in Israel…..At that time he launched the Tefillin Campaign, urging every Jewish male to increase in the observance of the Mitzvah of Tefillin.”

    ” In just six days, our situation was transformed from fear of doom to liberation and security. G-d delivered the most miraculous delivery, to the astonishment of military experts and strategists across the world.”

    ” In celebration of this miracle and of the millions of pairs of Tefillin that have been donned through the Tefillin Campaign, Lubavitch of Edgware is making Tefillin available for just £120 for the month of June.”

    (at 50% discount)

    I have two observations.
    1. The margin on the sale of this product must be very very high if they can be sold at half price. Or there is too much stock and they need to improve their cash flow by selling off unwanted merchandise.

    2. Israel at that time had some brilliant military generals. It is good to know that their magnificent efforts have been relegated below the Mitzvah of Tefillin and it was the Rebbe’s campaign that really helped deliver victory.


  757. past student said

    Another item in this week’s JC, on the campus page, describes the expansion of Chabad on campus. Lubavitch are employing ‘chaplains’ and setting up a rival to the current Chapliancy service already well established on various campuses across Britian. This is not at the invitation of students or student leaders and is not happening in areas where there is not already a Chapliancy presence and is once again a direct attempt to poach. Some might argue that competiton is healthy, but we are not such a big community that we can afford the financial commitment requied to support duplicate organisations, especially when there is plenty of important work left undone or severely underfounded.

  758. Frumer said

    #753. Whilst it is a matter for individuals as to when they post I note that the Shul In The Park Executive appear to be posting on a shabbos afternoon at 4.20pm.

  759. Another frumer said

    I am quite sure that the fame of this blog has spread world wide and slobbitch was posting from Chabad House,Sydney where Shabat was already out. Were it otherwise he would never survive the ignomy of having his blessings withdrawn.

  760. A Beitz said

    I have received an email about the academic (or proposed academic) boycott of Israel. It seems to me to be one which many on this board may want to sign.
    Dear Friends,

    I have just read and signed the online petition:

    “Stop the Academic Boycott of Israel”

    hosted on the web by, the free online petition
    service, at:

    I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might
    agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider
    signing yourself.

    Best wishes,

  761. Curious said

    Is it just me or has Mr Beitz lost the plot through the course of this blog. He seemed to be the voice of reason before he moved on to Lubavitch baiting.

    Obviously he doesn’t agree with the Lubavitch approach to “spreading the gospel”. Thats OK by me although personally I think Lubavitch do a wonderful job making our religion fun for all the family. If they want to give my child an ice-cream then as long as its kosher its fine by me.

    So why oh why Mr Beitz can you not accept that although its not your cup of tea, it might be just fine for others? Are you hiding a dark secret from your past at a lubavitch camp as a 5 year old when someone nicked your crisps?

    Before you move onto Academic boycotts and other notable causes, can you just enlighten us as to the root course of your Luby vitriol?

  762. Shalom said

    I’m curious about curious. It’s not okay to give an ice cream cone to children without the consent of their parents. Full stop.

    You may believe that Lubavitch do “a wonderful job”. Others disagree.

    Mr Beitz has got a lot of this spot on.

  763. A Beitz said

    #761 Thank you for referring to me as “The voice of reason”. Re Lubavitch my concern is firstly the acceptance of a good number of its adherents that Schneerson was Moshiach. The Rebbe himself was somewhat slow to disavow this and the continued tolerance of the concept that the Moshiach has already come for me leaves questions as to whether Lubavitch has a place in Orthodox Judaism.
    I have previously praised some of the work they do but they have little communal discipline as can be seen by #757 where they are duplicating resources when they are not required.
    I also have still had no satisfactory response about its nepotism.
    I have to say that my views are reinforced by the vitriol expressed by Rabbi Jacobs in the JT this week which grossly exceeded anything which appears in this blog.

  764. A Beitz said

    BTW it occurs to me that Gerry The Joiner has more of a claim than the late Rebbe to be the Moshiach. For a start there is some biblical authority for someone in his profession being moshiach. Further the man has suffered mockery on this blog. Despite being crucified on occasions he has been resurrected at various times.

  765. Ben Avraham said

    #764 Over my dead body!

  766. A Beitz said

    ~765. What about a compromise. If you want to be Moshiach as well one of you can be the Ashkenazi Moshiach and the other the Sephardi. In keeping with some of the history of the relationships between their Israeli rabbinical counterparts you don’t need to speak and can just slag each other off. I’d go for the Sephardi though. You don’t have to worry then about kitniot at Pesach.

  767. A Mensch said

    re #763

    Mr Beitz…. so now you want to exclude a group from our religion because you don’t agree with their beliefs. Does that mean that everyone has to conform to the United Synagogue interperation of Judaism or they have no place in Orthodox Judaism?

    How about accepting differences without trying to pass judgement on other’s beliefs. Bigotry has no place in our religion. Everyone has a place in Orthodox Judaism based on maternal lineage, not based on beliefs. Let’s not try to change that right for Lubavitch or anyone else.

  768. To Be said

    Here we go again

  769. Gerrys mum said

    # 764,My Gerry is not the moshiach he is a very naughty boy,now go away!

  770. A Beitz said

    #769 Does he not always look on the bright side of life?
    #767 You don’t get it do you? If you’re the child of a Jewish mother of course you’re Jewish but it doesn’t mean that a group you join has beliefs which are in accordance with halacha eg Jews For Jesus.

  771. A Mensch said

    So you can be Jewish by birth but because your groups’ beliefs don’t conform then you can be excommunicated… You trying to model Orthodox Judaism on the Vatican’s model per chance?

  772. A Beitz said

    Erm where did I excommunicate anyone? A group’s beliefs may be contrary to orthodox Judaism without any of its members being excommunicated although Rabbi Jacobs did come uncomfortably close to placing a harem upon certain contributors to this blog.
    Do you or do you not agree Mr Mensch that belief that the Moshiach has already come is not acceptable within Orthodox Judaism?

  773. A Mensch said

    So you are now accusing Rabbi Jacobs of sending a crowd of woman your way…. If I were you I would be thankful any harem that has your name on it. If you don’t fancy any of them can you send them to my house please Mr Beitz.

    My point is …. whatever someone wants to believe is entirely there business. It is not for me to define what is and what is not acceptable. Religion is and always has been a matter of individual interpretation.

    However, I think your underlying point is more subtle and relates to the missionary work of the deciples of different sects within religions in general and Judaism in particular. Some people get really offended when others try to instill their beliefs on others. I chose to ignore them where I have no common ground. The issues you raise relating to Lubavitch are very similar in nature to the recent discussion on Charedi involvement in Jewish schools in London. Would you outlaw all charedi and lubavitch style “outreach work” within the framework of orthodox Judaism?

  774. A Beitz said

    #773 I’ve tried to make the point that I don’t lump Chassidim together. Further many Haredi are not Chassidim anyway. The beliefs for example of a Gerer Chasid would not include a belief that Moshiach has already arrived and was living in Crown Heights. Same with Satmar. I do however have concerns about a group whose adherents believe one of them is and was Moshiach.
    I have concerns about outreach with kids because they are often vulnerable and susceptible to extreme ideas but provided their activities are carefully monitored they can be of assistance. However when they tell 14 year olds to leave the parental home and go to Manchester because the child’s parents aren’t frum enough then unfortunately this constitutes a form of abuse.
    All of that is a completely separate issue from whether the philosophy of many in Lubavitch can be reconciled with Orthodox Judaism.

  775. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Now that Chaim Jacobs has posted on the blog and de facto conceded that it has a place in the community perhaps he will spare the time to expand on some of the questions he has raised.

    1) He maintains that Calderwood lodge has been bad mouthed on this blog. I would ask him how he comes to that conclusion because most people’s impression is that Calderwood has come out very well and, in fact, it is those who have by-passed Calderwood who have been put under the spotlight.

    2) He talks of broken friendships. Does he have knowledge of specific cases or is he dabbling in a bit of loshen hora?

    3) Chaim makes great play of the lies posted on the blog. I am unaware of lies. Are we to understand that he let them pass without attempting to correct them either under his own name or a pseudonym? Worse, is this again second hand information that appears to be the truth because Chaim shouts as loud as he can from the front page?

    4) Most people contributing to the blog are obvious supporters of Israel though some are aghast at the policies of Israel. Chaim would maintain that the Israeli Government is above criticism which certainly is consistent with his denial of the right to freedom of speech. Perhaps he would explain why arguments that appear in Israeli newspapers daily and have already contributed to the resignation of the Chief of Staff are unacceptable here. Would he maintain that views that conflict with those of Lubavitch are unacceptable and anti-Israel?

    5) Chaim has had time to consider his own words. Now he must expand on his veiled threat, the withdrawal of blessing. Is he speaking on behalf of a higher authority and if so which one? Is it the Moshiach to be or is it the ultimate highest authority? Furthermore, how did he get the position of intermediary? Does he realise that the concept of intermediaries is Catholic rather than Jewish?

  776. lupine lad said

    I believe the Rep Council has just had its new Executive formed .

    Does anyone know who’s on board now? Is it just the same old faces or are there any new kids on the block to inject some vigour into this body that represents us?

    Also who was the keynote speaker this time and was he/she up to the task? Did he/she enthrall the audience?

    I have been away for a little while and am not very good at turning up for meetings. I always seem to have an excuse not to go.

  777. Humpty Dumpty said

    I would rather fall of my wall than go to a Rep Council Meeting.

  778. bo peep said

    The 20th Glasgow maccabi summer scheme has been cancelled due to lack of numbers.It isnt just Humpty who has fallen apart!

  779. Humpty Dumpty said

    Well Bo Peep- a bit of advice. Don’t send your kids to Lubavitch if they still have a summer scheme – because the chances are they will get stale ice cream cones – and will come home singing nonsense about the moshiach. And that will be just for starters.

  780. Upset said

    Bo Peep, is that really true about the Maccabi Summer scheme being cancelled. If it is then I and my daughter will be really upset as she was kkeen to go as she loved it last year. Can someone from Maccabi plaese confirm this is true. However, if it is the case then I am afraid it is symptomatic of a shrinking and ageing community.

    How come no one has answered lupine lad’s earlier question. He can’t help it if he doesn’t go to meetings he was asked to giving feeble excuses. Surely someone must know how this august body is made up now.

  781. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    I note the comments reported in this morning’s Jewish Telegraph. At the recent Rep Copuncil AGM Dr Kenneth Collins and Dianne Wolfson both took the time to criticize the blog which in itself could be considered acclaim at the highest level. Dr Collins and Mrs. Wolfson both have spent many years giving valiant service and dedication to the community in many spheres. However they have been stewards of and spent a lifetime in an organization that meets mostly in private and debates in private. Their views and criticisms and proposed actions have been kept within their private club. On the rare occasions when public debate on contentious issues has been forced upon him, Dr Collins has not been averse to giving the nod and the wink to Senior Vice Presidents prepared to vote down further debate. So you takes your choice. The Rep Council way is names in public but views in private. The blogs way is names in private but views in public. I would say the latter is far more honest, democratic and ensures that people are aware of what is being said and have an automatic right of reply.

  782. E Dull Pain said

    Having just read the JT from cover to cover, I note with interest that the Rep Council have rstructured to form a Management Board and some Appointed Members.

    The old Rep Council had an Executive Council and Executive Members.

    Is it just me or is the new Management Board not just the 2 old bodies joined together with just about the exact same people on board (no pun intended) except for a new Treasurer and maybe an appointed member who weren’t involved before?

    I sincerely hope that this new Board move with the times and truly represent the needs of this excellent community of ours but if I were to be honest the fact that it’s virtually the same people makes me “hae ma doots, mon”.

  783. Bob's Beard said

    This blog, having been criticised by Lubavitch and the Rep Council hierarchy in succeeding weeks is clearly doing a fine job. I would have serious concerns about its effectiveness were it to be the subject of praise.

  784. Quercus said

    I feel very sorry for Phillip Mendelsohn. This should have been the pinnacle of his communal career. It is clear he has become heir to a council that lacks any gravitas whatsoever, a motley crew of nice, well meaning people who do not yet realise that they have been lifted out of complete obscurity and voted back onto the road to complete obscurity. At best Phillip will lead his troops into the that distant black yonder, at worst he is heir to a poisoned chalice.

  785. Emet said

    The Rep council are entitled to their opinions re this blog-they have stated their position and that is fine ; it is the Lubavitch approach that so annoyed me ,throwing their toys out of the pram ,putting curses on ,withdrawing blessings and going to the front page of our only paper-what an ill advised abuse of position that was !In one move they lose a lot of support/credibility.Maybe one day CJ will re-visit this blog and accept he made a big mistake.
    The Rep council seem to have partially re-organised-so I’ll accept that as a positive move and in that vein maybe the organisors of this blog can extend an olive branch to them and ask that PM joins in this blog from time to time to state their position on communal matters under discussion……

  786. Ex Rep Council Delegate said

    I wish Philip Mendelsohn the best of luck for his presidency but I genuinely believe that the Rep Council is no longer relevant to our community.

    Nachman Aaronovitch was right in what he wrote. (781)

    For years this community has been prevented from discussing issues that needed to be discussed. We have seen all kinds of debate on all kinds of subjects stifled because our supposed communal leaders wanted to keep things hidden behind closed doors. And we have had stagnation and decline.

    The gravitas and respect for this Council has long gone and the really sad thing is that most of those left don’t see it.

    The Jewish Telegraph reported Dr Collins outgoing speech to the AGM.
    We read about his concern about the blog and how he is uncomfortable with free speech. Sad that this is the substance of his closing remarks to the community. I would have thought that his remarks would have concentrated on his reflections on his term of office – his achievements and failures. But very sadly no -and yet again he fails to confront the real issues.

    This blog has now been front page news for two weeks in the community newspaper. As a previous comment noted – it would appear that it is now a genuine feature of our communal life.

    But, I would have much more respect for the Rep Council executives if they had ever approached the owners of this blog about their concerns. And I know that they have not.

    Somer of the speakers brought to this community by GJEF have been excellent. Ask around those who heard Dr Duffy, Mona Siddiqui and Jonathan Freedland, not forgetting our local MP, Jim Murphy , and many will tell you that these talks were timely and well worth hearing.

    And then compare these kind of speakers with the choice of speaker for the Rep Council AGM – the showcase event in the Rep Council’s year. And who does the new President come up with – Paul Edlin – just stepping down as treasurer. Must have taken a lot of imagination that one. They really must have sat up late at night thinking who to invite – who has a story to tell that we have not heard before.
    But no we got Mr Edlin.

    And now please consider this. Dr Collins has stepped down for a matter of minutes – and Paul Edlin decides to praise the very organisation – Scottish Friends of Israel – that Dr Collins spent so much time during his presidency in confronting in order to protect the good name of this community. It really must have sickened Kenneth Collins to hear this. Although I disagree with Mr Edlin’s comments I do applaud that he has now come out – at last – after all these months of pretending that he was an honest broker determined to protect the good name of the Rep Council – and revealed exactly where his true sympathies lie.

    What the report in the Telegraph didn’t tell us though is the reaction of the new executive and President.
    Did anyone tell Mr Edlin that they disagreed with him? I’m sure not.

    And I’ll tell you why. It’s much easier to berate a blog for bringing issues out into the open.

    But it’s sad. Very sad indeed. A once proud organisation has declined so far.

  787. NLL said

    Has anyone confirmed Bo Peeps (778) comments that the Macabbi Summer scheme has been cancelled? If this is correct, its a great shame, but not hugely surprising. Macabbi aught to be one of the organisations that does well in Glasgow, as it is cross communal with no political or religious bias.

    3 problems I see;

    – Like almost every other organisation, Macabbi has been training youth leaders many of whom then leave Glasgow and take their skills with them. There is little support for those who remain and the governing committee is not replenished with new and enthusiastic people. I don’t know, but I suspect, there is not a huge input from the National organisation which, if it is like many of its counterparts, will be concentrating its resources in areas with a higher Jewish population. What’s left is a bridge club, 2 or 3 football teams and a few other activities – all very successful in their own right, due to a handful of dedicated volunteers, but there is almost no structure and little vision. What a waste!!!

    – Both charity and childcare legislation mean – rightly – that a strong and clued in management committee is needed to run children’s activities and can make this expensive and cumbersome, particularly if it’s only a small part of what the organisation does. The traditional summer scheme, from 10am – 4pm is no good for working parents who need child care during working hours, which is why the Fun Lodge summer scheme has been virtually fully booked since November.

    – If Macabbi is a sports club, it has to compete with other similar facilities, eg; Greens & Parklands – sadly I can’t see an argument for the huge investment required to develop an exclusively Jewish club of that standard. They have tried this in Manchester, where it should have been well received and it has been struggling.

  788. Sandra's Sheitel said

    I think #786 is perhaps being a bit unfair about the Rep Council using Paul Edlin as their keynote speaker at their AGM. After all the Israeli Embassy have previously let them down by not sending the promised speaker. Mr Edlin by way of contrast is of course a man who would never take on a commitment to speak to a Glasgow communal organisation and then renege.

  789. Letter from Tel Aviv said

    There seems to be a preoccupation by some in the Glasgow Jewish Community to berate the blog. Given that GJEF have also organised meetings in recent months that have enabled the Glasgow Jewish Community to hear some highly renowned speakers it is very sad that the community leaders – religious and secular, do not realise that there are far more serious problems in the Jewish world than a condemnation of a blog.

    I would like you all to read an article by Gideon Levy in today’s Haaretz newspaper. I challenge those leaders of the Glasgow Jewish community to have the moral courage to say out loud to their constituency – by sermon or meeting or e-mail – that what you are about to read is utterly appaling.

    For years too many people in the Glasgow Community as well as Israel have remained silent as racism and bigotry has festered.

    I challenge your Rabbis to speak out and tell us where you stand on this issue. Tell us loudly and clearly that you condemn without any qualification those in your own community who believe that it is okay to behave and talk like this. And unfortunately there are some sad and pathetic characters in your community who don’t understand what is unacceptable.

    I challenge the new executive and President of the Representative Council to have the integrity and decency to speak out on what really matters.
    If issues get highlighted on your blog then that has to be a good thing. And I can tell you that when I speak to some of my friends in Glasgow, London, Israel – that there are many who agree.

    So go on – all those