A new expanded edition of Scotland’s Jews by Kenneth Collins, Ephraim Borowski and Leah Granat was launched at Garnethill Synagogue on Sunday 22 June 2008. It has been published by SCoJeC, with support from the Scottish Government, and the launch was attended by the Minister of Communities and Sport, Stewart Maxwell.
"I wrote a brief pamphlet a long time ago" commented Kenneth, "and came to realise that a lot of the material needed elaboration. This second edition is much more of a handbook on Scottish Jewry in all its aspects.”
Welcoming the publication, Stewart Maxwell said he "would certainly recommend it to others outwith the Jewish community. It has an astounding wealth of information and is bound to be a very helpful guide. The Jewish community has managed to strike a very good balance between being Scottish and Jewish in a positive way. You are an example of how to do it and do it well. You have integrated well whilst retaining your own identity and with a strong work ethic and great mix of character, you have been a very good asset and made a huge contribution to Scotland.”
Amongst new material is a survey of the contemporary community and its concerns, Jewish issues in employment, health and other contexts, and the demography of the community as revealed in the 2001 census. There is also a basic introduction to Jewish beliefs and practices and a guide to John Clark’s celebrated stained glass windows, originally commissioned for Queens Park Synagogue and now housed in Giffnock Synagogue in Glasgow.
The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, who has written a foreword states: “I have long been impressed by how the Jewish communities of Scotland combine loyalty to our Jewish way of life with Scottish identity – integration without assimilation. This classic guide to the history of Jews in Scotland is a wonderful informative introduction to a community that has written a notable chapter in the history of our people.”
Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, who has also written a foreword, describes the book as: "providing highly useful information about Judaism and issues affecting Scotland’s Jewish communities, [that] will help reinforce the resolute belief in One Scotland of many cultures and faiths – a belief that all of us have our part to play in weaving the tartan of Scottish society.”
Scotland's Jews will be distributed to all MSPs, Scottish MPs, schools, libraries, local councils, police forces, and hospitals.
Click here to read Scotland's Jews online, or
contact SCoJeC to buy a copy (£6.00 inc. p&p).