Dianna Wolfson, who recently stepped down as Convener of the Scottish Inter Faith Council (SIFC), was interviewed by Anna Magnusson, BBC Scotland head of Religious Broadcasting, at an event organised by the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council (GJRC) at Clarkston Synagogue in Glasgow.
Dianna, who was Head Teacher at Calderwood Lodge Jewish Primary School for 22 years, and has also held the post of President of the GJRC, described her childhood as the only Jewish family in the West Lothian mining village of Stoneyburn, where her father was the local GP.
At the age of 17 Dianna began studying at Glasgow University where she rapidly became immersed in the active Jewish life of the city. After her marriage, and the birth of her children, she trained as a primary school teacher, and some time later was invited to apply for the headship of Calderwood Lodge, which, not without some trepidation, she did.
Dianna became interested in interfaith activity as a result of her work for GJRC, and described her joy and excitement on first discovering that, whilst the ritual of observance differs from faith to faith, they all share common moral values. The highlight of her term as Convenor of SIFC was being invited to address the Church of Scotland General Assembly, which she did in May 2007. (Click here for a report of the occasion and here to read her address.)
During her term as President of the GJRC, Dianna supported the creation of SCoJeC to represent the Scottish Jewish communities to the newly devolved Scottish Parliament, and was the SCoJeC representative on SIFC during her tenure as Convener.
Following the interview Dianna responded to questions from the audience, which consisted of her many friends in the Glasgow Jewish community, from other faith communities, and from the many organisations with which she has been involved. She has observed many changes throughout her long career, but it gives her most pleasure to reflect that interfaith activity is no longer a minoirty pursuit, but has now become part of the mainstream.