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

 

SCoJeC's Creative Thursdays

 
Click here to watch videos of the "Creative Thursday" sessions

 

September 2020

Building on the success of SCoJeC’s Scottish Jewish Art Club during the lockdown, we returned with a series of four online Creative Thursdays during this Rosh HaShanah month, featuring singing, baking, drawing and textiles.

The first session was a Rosh HaShanah Song Workshop with Bill Shackman from St Andrews to get everyone into the spirit of the holiday. Bill encouraged participants to sing along with New Year songs old and new. One audience member also shared her crafting projects with us – beautiful quilting using Kaffe Fassett fabric designs.

SCoJeC's Creative Thursdays

The theme of the second session was Self-Portraits: Know Yourself. This was led by artist Randy Klinger from Findhorn, who spoke about his creative career, and guided participants to create self-portraits, using mirrors so they could concentrate on parts of their body that they weren’t used to looking at! “I really enjoyed getting my eye and mind back into that drawing groove” said one lady, who had done a ‘real life’ art class with Randy, and was very pleased to be able to do an online art class during the pandemic.

SCoJeC's Creative Thursdays

The third Creative Thursday was on The Art of Baking and featured demonstrations by two of SCoJeC’s talented local volunteers – Bagels with Barb Taub from Arran, and Challah with Linda Martin from the Highlands. Writer and blogger Barb Taub showed how she makes authentic bagels using an extra-quick method. In contrast, Linda Martin, who runs a kosher bed-and- breakfast business in the Highlands, shared a “slow rise” method, as well as ideas for shaping Rosh Hashanah Challah.

SCoJeC's Creative Thursdays

Cook-along presentations were both professional and personal." said one participant, "A really wonderful experience.” Another told us: “It was informative and I love that I can recreate the food”. Several participants were baking along with the presentations. Janet Mundy said: “Huge thanks to SCoJeC for the fabulous Zoom session this morning. Barb's instructions worked a treat, and I look forward to trying Linda's challah braiding techniques soon.”

SCoJeC Creative Thursdays

For the last session, the theme was Textiles and Jewish Life. Debby Taylor, from Aberdeen Hebrew Congregation, started by talking to us about her creative practice and some of her home textile projects. She showed us how she had designed mantles to cover the Aberdeen Synagogue torah scrolls when the original mantles had been damaged by damp; and then moved on to the “Lockdown Quilt” that she produced in the first three weeks of lockdown featuring images of toilet rolls and quotes from newspapers referring to the panic of the early lockdown weeks. It will be auctiond at an online concert as part of SCoJeC’s contribution to Interfaith Week in November, in aid of the Aberdeen Synagogue roof appeal.

SCoJeC's Creative Thursdays

Debby was followed by Malcolm Lochhead, textile artist and designer, and Emeritus Professor of Visual Design at Glasgow Caledonian University, in conversation with Marsha Gladstone. They discussed the Giffnock Synagogue Memorial Parochet (curtain for the Ark to commemorate the life of her son, Yoni Jesner, who was killed in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem exactly 18 years ago, in September 2002. The session included a surprise livestream from the Synagogue, where participants were shown the Parochet in detail, as well as how it opens and closes, and the beautiful torah scrolls behind the curtain. We were able to meet some of the Glasgow-based embroiderers who worked on the project, and heard about the techniques used as well as the ideas behind the final design. Malcolm also spoke about his extensive career working on ecclesiastical textile designs, and he told us that the Giffnock Parochet had been his very favourite project in a religious setting.

After the event – which was attended by over 100 people, many of whom showed us their own creative projects – participants told us:

“Debbie is a natural in front of the camera as are Marsha and Malcolm. It was such a pleasure to see the slides and the live screening of the parochet in Shul, and I feel this was a very fitting finale to the Thursday morning sessions.“

“All three sessions were excellent in their own ways - learning about the textile heritage and visual symbolism of a different faith is always interesting for me, and this was fascinating – the section about the memorial piece was very moving and personal – I felt as though I was eavesdropping on a very private conversation at times – and it was really interesting to hear about the variety of Malcolm’s work.”

“It was wonderful to see the piece in situ and to have the items behind the curtain revealed.”

 
Click here to watch videos of the "Creative Thursday" sessions

 

   
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