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


SCoJeC’s new Five Minute Judaism
teaching resources


8 September 2020

5 Minute Judaism

SCoJeC has published the first set of a planned series of short videos about aspects of Jewish life, produced by some of our Volunteer Ambassadors. Each positive, educational, and memorable video, covers a different aspect of Judaism, and is accompanied by worksheets, activity packs, and supplementary material for teachers.

Earlier this year, SCoJeC was delighted to be awarded a grant by the People’s Postcode Trust to expand our education programme in schools – but not long after we were notified of our success, all schools in Scotland were closed down as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, and we had to think again. Our Glasgow volunteer training programme couldn’t take place face to face, but we went ahead and moved it onto Zoom – which actually meant that several more participants were able to take part, including one from near Inverness and two from Orkney!

5 Minute Judaism

We already have boxes of resources placed with every local authority in Scotland – JOES Boxes (Jewish Objects for Education in Scotland) – which are used regularly by schools and others, and over the years we have developed a resource bank of lesson plans, presentations, and activities for volunteers to use when they run classes and activities in schools. But now, under lockdown, inspired by long time volunteer Joe Goldblatt, we decided to make some videos for use by anyone – at home or at school – wanting to learn about Judaism, whether on their own or as part of a guided study programme. So, in addition to preparing for a time when we might return to the classroom, we took this opportunity to script, plan, and produce these new resources.

Our aim was a set of short, to the point, videos, about various aspects of Judaism, and at the suggestion of one of the volunteers, we named the resource Five Minute Judaism. So far we have three videos about Shabbat for (age 10+, lower primary, and additional support needs), and one about Kashrut filmed in the kitchens of two of our volunteers, Bill and Jen, in St Andrews and Glasgow. During ‘peak lockdown’ there was an additional challenge as the volunteers had to film themselves – and some of our star performers lost count of how many takes they needed before they were satisfied with the result!

5 Minute Judaism

At the request of one teacher who provided some very welcome feedback, we have also designed worksheets, quizzes, and activities to accompany the videos, as well as providing supplementary information for teachers.

Over the next twelve months we will be producing a complete set of videos, including Jewish festivals and life cycle events, all featuring our own volunteers talking about their own practices and looking at Jewish observance across the Orthodox, Reform, and Liberal Jewish traditions.

One of the first videos is for pupils with additional support needs, and includes Boardmaker PCS symbols, at the suggestion of one of our volunteers who has used them as a communication tool for many years. 

Feedback from teachers around the country has already been very positive:

These resources will be very useful, as we, like many authorities, are coordinating online resources for teachers to use with ongoing teaching and learning.

Stephanie Brown, Stirling Council

The [JOES] box has been borrowed every term since we received it, and I’m interested to hear about this extension to your educational support materials.

Marion Wands, Young People's Services Resource Support Librarian, Aberdeenshire Library

I look forward to sharing the finished versions with my class.

Jamie Struther, Preston Tower Primary School, East Lothian


SCoJeC would like to thank the People’s Postcode Trust for funding the training and the video production, our Social Media and Marketing Assistant Geanina Beres for video editing, long time SCoJeC volunteer and former SCoJeC council member Joe Goldblatt for the idea and encouragement, and all our established and new volunteers: Diane, Jane, Bill, Maia, Caitlin, Jen, Ariella, and Margalit for their work on the project.

Our thanks also to Tobii Dynavox who have granted us permission to use the Boardmaker PCS symbols on our videos for pupils with additional support needs. PCS is a trademark of Tobii Dynavox LLC. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


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Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation no. SC029438