Encouraged by our very successful virtual Klezmer concert, SCoJeC has moved very quickly into the new world of online events and virtual support.
With our new People’s Postcode Trust funding, we had planned a training session for the nine volunteers who were keen to run classes about Judaism and the Jewish Way of Life in schools around Scotland, and instead of cancelling because of the restrictions on movement, we went ahead online, which had the advantage of that two volunteers from Orkney were able to participate fully. Our education team are now working on ways in which SCoJeC’s schools programme can also be adapted so we can reach more distant schools more easily, and perhaps also contribute to home-schooling while schools themselves are closed.
The following day we launched our planned Scottish Jewish Art discussion groups, with participants from St Andrews, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. Each of the participants brought a favourite piece of art from our homes to the shared space, and talked about why it has special meaning for us. We have offers of support for this programme from the senior curators at the Ben Uri Art Gallery in London and other galleries; we are still putting the full programme together but the programme is planned to run weekly on Thursday mornings. Register here if you'd like to join us.
Then that evening we held an informal online support group for Jewish people around Scotland. People joined us from Inverness-shire, Moray, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. One participant was looking forward to the first seder in many years where she’d be joined by cousins from all over the world. Another, a member of an on line bridge club, told us how the club had swelled from a membership of around 600 people to nearly 6000 in recent days – with the result that the site was crashing regularly. We heard some stories of isolation and separation from beloved children and grandchildren, but also heartwarming stories of people helping out doing shopping and other services. Although one participant in her 80s was only able to join the meeting using the phone, we called her the next day and managed to get her video working for next time.
SCoJeC’s Events Team is currently investigating the possibilities of running a regular midweek and Sunday evening cultural event programme, so watch this space!