At a Being Jewish in Scotland focus group for young people in the Edinburgh area, teenagers shared their hopes for the community, their experiences of being the only Jewish person in the classroom for most of their school life, and some feelings of isolation now that older peers had moved away to attend university. They have all acted as 'ambassadors' for Judaism, teaching at cheder, running children's events, and actively making a social life with other young Jewish people. They saw themselves as being fully committed to Judaism and were all keen to continue playing a full part in communal life in whichever Jewish community they might live in the future.
Following the discussion, they drew the winning tickets for SCoJeC's Being Jewish in Scotland prize draw. The four great prizes were: a beautiful hard backed catalogue of the works of Josef Herman, whose Glasgow period was one of his most prolific (donated by the Ben Uri Gallery), Nathan Abrams' book Caledonian Jews about the history of the smaller Jewish communities of Scotland (donated by the publishers McFarland & Co), the CD Uncle Roland's Flying Machine 'jazz-inflected Klezmer and Balkan music'. (donated by Scottish band Moishe's Bagel), and two hot salt beef sandwiches – or vegetarian equivalent (donated by Mark's Deli).
The winners are: Rachelle Moore (Glasgow), Leslie Mutch (Dingwall), Jose Barinotto (Aberdeen), and Linda Davidson (Glasgow).
Jose Barinotto, who came to Scotland from Spain, told us “I am so happy about the prize - it is really amazing! As a Jew living in Scotland I wanted to say about how we can be happy in Scotland, and get stronger and unite as a community.”
"I hope my contribution to the survey was useful" said Rachelle Moore. "My grandparents, Isaac and Mildred Behar, settled in Glasgow from Turkey and London and opened a carpet shop. My grandfather founded Pollokshield Shul, where I got married, but it's not there any more. I never thought I'd win this prize, it's a wonderful book!"