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

Mixed Experiences of
Being Jewish around Scotland
 
 
"People respect you for sticking to your yiddishkeit. I never hide what I am. I talk to people about being Jewish, and if they don’t like what they see they can lump it. But if you respect their religion they’ll respect yours."
"I do count myself incredibly lucky to be Scottish and Jewish. I wouldn't change either if I had to be born again."
"I remember deciding which of my friends I could talk freely and openly with. Some were interested and accepting, but I generally kept pretty quiet about my Jewishness to non-Jews."
"I have never ever encountered any antisemitism – my children's schools are fantastic about taking High Holy days off. There is a lot of tolerance, and non-Jewish people are genuinely interested in what we do."

"Parts of the national curriculum 'other' Jewish people. Religious and moral education is an example of that, because the assumption is that they’re dealing with Christian children. It changes what happens in music, in art, in drama. It's not only non-attendance at assembly, but also hymns being sung in music lessons, and my daughter being unable to be in a school play because all the plays were nativity plays."

"In a small community you are often the first Jewish person that someone has met. I think that that’s a pretty amazing honour, a pretty fantastic position to be in; you can change or build a perception of what Jewish people are."
"I have a Catholic friend who became a Sunday school teacher at the same time that I became a teacher in cheder. We used to compare notes. We had to put in the same effort, do the same preparation, and we both understood where the other was coming from."
"Before we went to Israel, I was in maths, and these boys said "do you know, if you go to Israel you’ll turn into a terrorist, you’ll come back as a terrorist." I burst into tears. I don’t know if it was about Judaism or Israel or what, they kept going on about all my family being terrorists; how we’re going to kill everyone, and what are we doing here."
"I used to be proud to wear a kippah all the time, but when I lived in Edinburgh, I was harassed several times by pro-Palestinians in Edinburgh city centre. … Now I do not feel safe to publicly wear a kippah."
"It's been great – I've met lots of Jewish people I didn't know existed. I can be negative at times, but Scotland's a darn good place to be a Jew."

 

   
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