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Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)


SCoJeC’s “JOES Boxes” project
commended in Parliament

15 June 2016

SCoJeC’s “JOES Boxes” project to provide a box of Jewish artefacts for every local authority in Scotland to use as a resource in its schools to bring education about Judaism to life has been recognised by a motion in the Scottish Parliament.

Jackson Carlaw, the MSP for Eastwood, the constituency that is home to the largest number of Jewish people in Scotland, has tabled a motion entitled “Jewish Objects for Education in Scotland” which has already been supported by 21 other MSPs from all political parties:

That the Parliament applauds the proactive approach of the Jewish Objects for Education in Scotland boxes (JOES Boxes) initiative; notes that the educational resource was helped into action by Zoe Jacobs, who serves as education and community development worker with the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, and the rest of the team; understands that the initiative involves the boxes, which can include a tallit and siddur among other things, being provided to schools to help stimulate interest about Judaism and the Scottish Jewish community; believes that this positive engagement is a helpful means to engage with people in Scotland from a young age to help further religious understanding, especially in communities with a small Jewish community, and hopes that such engagement from an early age can help to further understanding and minimise religious hatred.

JOES Boxes

Commenting on the motion, Zoe said:

"I am delighted that the JOES Boxes project is getting the recognition it deserves. Working on a national project is so exciting, especially as this is the first time anything like this has ever been done. I am so proud at how far it's come, and I am really excited to get the last little bits in place so we can really say that every child has access to these educational resources, so kindly donated by so many people. It's a funny old concept, trying to represent an entire religion, and all the hundreds of variations within it. But the idea of these resources, donated by Jewish families, is to show that we're real, living people, and – just like the artefacts – all slightly different, all unique, with our own stories and ideas and values. It's wonderful knowing that people are actively trying to learn more, work hard to create an environment in which people feel included and understood, and I am thrilled to be able to help them do that!"

Any schools wishing to borrow one of "JOES Boxes" should contact their local Education Authority. An information leaflet about the items included in the Boxes is available here.


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Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation no. SC029438