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

 

Concerns of Jewish people in Scotland:
A Jewish Manifesto for the Scottish Elections

 
Click here to read the manifesto in full

13 April 2021

update 4 May 2021: Party Leaders release videos supporting Jewish Manifesto

 

The Jewish Manifesto for Scotland 2021

In advance of the Scottish elections on 6th May 2021, SCoJeC, together with the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and the Jewish Leadership Council, has compiled a Jewish Manifesto for Scotland to inform existing and prospective members of the Scottish Parliament and other public representatives about the interests and concerns of the Jewish community of Scotland.

The Jewish community prides itself on its representative and democratic structures, and the Manifesto has been formulated after consulting widely amongst Jewish people and organisations in Scotland. Although there is no single ‘Jewish view’ on many political issues, there is a great deal of unanimity on issues that directly affect the community, and throughout this document we have sought to represent that consensus.

In particular, it is informed by SCoJeC’s community-wide consultations, which were funded by the Scottish Government. More than 300 people contributed to each of our inquiries, Being Jewish in Scotland in 2012 and What’s Changed about Being Jewish in Scotland in 2015, as well as to two more informal surveys during the Coronavirus pandemic. The findings show that Jewish people in Scotland, including those who are not religiously observant, value and rely on an infrastructure that is culturally sensitive and faith specific, and in which they can feel confident to express their identity in safety, but that their confidence has been badly shaken by recent spikes in antisemitic incidents, especially on social media.

The Jewish community in Scotland is keen to promote Scotland as an attractive place for Jewish people to live, but for this to be successful, Scottish society, and in particular political leaders, must ensure that Scotland continues to be a safe and welcoming place for Jewish people to practise their religion and culture, and, very importantly, that it is seen as such by people elsewhere in the UK and worldwide.

We have therefore identified “Ten Commitments” relating to matters that are devolved to the Scottish Parliament and Government that we are asking politicians to undertake to support.

The manifesto has been sent to all the political party leaders and to all candidates from the main parties contesting the elections, who will be invited to express their support. The advocacy campaign will be supported by the hashtag #TenCommitments on social media, and there will be hustings events with the main parties' candidates in Edinburgh and the Eastwood constituency.

The leaders of the four organisations issued the following statement:

“The last year has been incredibly hard for everyone. As Scotland recovers and rebuilds from the pandemic, this Jewish Manifesto for Scotland provides future MSPs with a guide to how to support the Scottish Jewish community.

We look forward to engaging and working with the new Scottish Parliament and Government on implementing our manifesto proposals, and we urge all candidates and elected representatives to endorse the principles summarised in the #TenCommitments to help ensure that Scotland continues to be a great place to be Jewish."

Alan Kay, Chair, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)

Paul Edlin, President, Glasgow Jewish Representative Council

Marie van der Zyl, President, Board of Deputies of British Jews

Jonathan Goldstein, Chair, Jewish Leadership Council

 
THE 10 COMMITMENTS
 

We ask policy makers to:

 
  1.

Promote and enhance community safety, by working closely with minority communities to oppose all forms of prejudice, hatred and discrimination; supporting initiatives that foster resilience; and funding appropriate security measures.

Find out more
 
 
 
 
  2.

Combat antisemitism in all its forms, wherever it appears. Adopt, promote and implement the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism.

Find out more
 
 
 
 
  3.

Promote good relations, understanding and cooperation between all of Scotland’s communities, and support interfaith and inter-communal activities and initiatives that promote working together to achieve community cohesion.

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  4.

Support efforts to remember, educate on, and understand the Holocaust, to confront those who seek to deny or downplay it, and to strive to prevent any further genocide.

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  5.

Promote initiatives that unite communities; act responsibly when making statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; oppose boycotts and support a two-state solution that affirms Israel’s right to peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state.

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  6.

Promote respect for religious observance, including Kosher and Halal meat, religious clothing, circumcision, and flexible working to accommodate Shabbat and holy day observance.

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  7.

Ensure that all public services are fully equipped to provide appropriate support for people of different backgrounds, including the provision of religiously and culturally specific services, protect schools of religious character or ethos, and support heritage and cultural institutions.

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  8.

Recognise that not all communities equate to geographical neighbourhoods, and that localism can therefore discriminate against minority communities; and promote measures that foster support for communities through a combination of national and local networks and initiatives.

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  9.

Assist young people to appreciate the diversity of Scottish society through accurate, accessible, and age-appropriate materials about diverse faiths and cultures and to enable them to express their identity in their own terms and to understand and report discrimination.

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  10.

Support and include faith communities in relation to welcoming refugees, addressing poverty and other social ills, tackling climate change and ensuring a strong legacy following the Glasgow-hosted COP26.

Find out more
 
 

 

   
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