Scottish Council of Jewish Communites
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities
 
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities

Government Grant for
"Being Jewish in Scotland" Project
 
Press Release issued 1 September 2011

SCoJeC is delighted to announce the award of a grant of £21,720 by the Scottish Government for a short study of the varied experiences of Jewish people throughout Scotland.

The “Being Jewish in Scotland” project will enable SCoJeC to identify the concerns of the community and so represent and provide more effective support for the community.  It will strengthen networks and social capital in the Jewish community; provide support to Jewish people in Scotland; assist statutory and voluntary organisations and agencies including the Scottish Government, Local Councils, the police, NHS, and others to support and respond more effectively to the needs and concerns of the Jewish community.

This will be achieved by a small-scale qualitative study the aim of which is to find out more about the experience of Jewish people regardless of their religious affiliations, and from all parts of Scotland, both urban and rural including island communities.  The project will help to build a better understanding of what affects the sense of security of Jewish individuals and communities and will be designed to engage people in identifying the issues that matter to them.

We are committed to working inclusively and participatively.  Because the Jewish Community is dispersed throughout Scotland, we will encourage people to contribute by using a variety of techniques: focus groups, one-to-one interviews, and online and hard copy questionaires – or simply writing to us with their views.  The funding will be used primarily to employ a Project Worker to arrange and conduct events throughout Scotland, create web-based resources, conduct interviews and collate data. 

Responding to the announcement, SCoJeC Director Ephraim Borowski said, “We are obviously delighted that our preliminary work on this project has reached a successful conclusion, and are very grateful to the Scottish Government for their generous recognition of the issues facing scattered and diverse members of the Jewish Community.  We will seek to record the diversity of experience of Jewish people in Scotland, in order to understand their concerns and develop our services to meet their needs.  Carrying out the study will in itself be a catalyst for SCoJeC to strengthen networks of Jewish people throughout Scotland and so reduce the isolation experienced by some of them."

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1.

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) is the representative body of all the Jewish communities in Scotland comprising Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Dundee, as well as the more loosely linked groups of the Jewish Network of Argyll and the Highlands, and students studying in Scottish Universities and Colleges. SCoJeC is a Scottish Charity, and its aims are to advance public understanding about the Jewish religion, culture and community.  It works with others to promote good relations and understanding among community groups and to promote equality, and represents the Jewish community in Scotland to government and other statutory and official bodies on matters affecting the community.
See our website www.scojec.org for more about the Council and our activities.

   
2.

For information about the post of Project Worker see http://www.scojec.org/bjis.pdf.

   
3.

This work will:

add to the social capital of the Jewish community overall, complementing and extending SCoJeC’s current outreach project;

engage Jewish people throughout Scotland more directly in public processes;

provide invaluable information and perspectives for agencies throughout Scotland who are engaged with community planning and public safety;

enhance feelings of self-confidence and wellbeing especially among people living outwith any settled Jewish community, by developing and implementing a programme of support in partnership with a wide range of public bodies; and

provide evidence to enable us toconsider whether the development of any other resources and mechanisms would contribute to the sense of security and well-being of vulnerable Jewish people, especially in isolated rural areas.

   
4.

This project aims to make a difference to:

Jewish people in Scotland, particularly those living in the very small communities outwith the Central Belt, and individuals outwith any settled community, by facilitating more consistent development of supportive social networks.

effective government in Scotland.  The construction of community planning as a local activity can sometimes mean that minority communities that are geographically dispersed lose opportunities to be heard.  SCoJeC has unique access to Jewish communities and Jewish people in Scotland.  It has contact with over fifty Jewish community organisations and a unique mailing list of isolated individuals from across Scotland.   No other organisation in the community has the contacts, networks or representative structure to undertake this work.

Local councils, police, NHS, procurator fiscal service, and other service providers, by facilitating links with the local and national Jewish community.

Other minority communities in Scotland by raising awareness of the needs of small, geographically dispersed communities in Scotland, and developing a model of distributed resourcing, networking, and support, that can be rolled out to others.

   
5.

The Scottish Government is supporting this project because it advances its national strategic goals by helping create a society in which everyone, regardless of background, feels confident and secure; promoting active citizenship and supporting all individuals to become more engaged in securing provision of appropriate culturally specific services; and responding to the changing demography of minority communities in Scotland.

In particular, the project contributes to the Scottish Government National Outcome 9, “We live our lives free from crime, disorder and danger”, in that it will play a significant role in enabling Jewish people to communicate their experiences and perceptions both to others in the Jewish community and more widely to others in Scotland.

It also contributes to Scottish Government National Outcome 11, “We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others”, because although there are strong, vibrant Jewish communities in the central belt, Jewish communities elsewhere in Scotland are relatively fragile and isolated. This project will help to develop links between Jewish people throughout Scotland, and to engage them, to whatever extent they want, in the national communal network.

 

   
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