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


Interfaith Woodland Welcome!

24 October 2021

Woodland Welcome!
© Eloise Bishop

For our first live joint event with Interfaith Glasgow’s Weekend Club, SCoJeC was delighted to join Scottish Forestry for a “Woodland Welcome”, an afternoon of outdoor activities and interfaith dialogue in the delightful setting of Greenbank Garden in Clarkston.

This was part of a series of events supported by the Joint Distribution Committee’s Tikkun in Action fund, following virtual events earlier in the year focused on Shabbat and other days of rest, and baking bread together.  The Weekend Club is an interfaith response to the social isolation often experienced by people from refugee backgrounds, which aims to address the need for newcomers to get to know Glasgow and Scotland better, build social connections, and practise speaking English in fun and relaxed settings.

Woodland Welcome!
© Eloise Bishop

The participants were joined by Craig and Nicole from Operation Outdoor Play, who lead the group in activities, starting with a ‘tree-sure’ hunt around the woodlands, identifying different types of trees and their leaves.

Woodland Welcome!
© Eloise Bishop

This was followed by a group crafting session, and then everyone came together to plant trees in compostable pots that they could take back to their homes. Several ceremonial trees were planted and will be distributed among local Jewish communal organisations. Philip Mendelsohn, Chair of Interfaith Glasgow and Treasurer of SCoJeC, then led a short discussion about Jewish faith, and explained some traditional blessings related to nature.

SCoJeC Chair Nicola Livingston said “It was a pleasure to attend the Woodland Welcome event we held in partnership with Interfaith Glasgow’s Weekend Club and Scottish Forestry. One of our aims is to promote dialogue and understanding between the Jewish community and other communities in Scotland – it’s events like these, where communities can come together, that allow us to fulfil that goal. I really enjoyed meeting the various participants and seeing all the children and adults having such fun. I'm especially proud of my woodland crafts!”

Lynnda Wardle, Programme Manager at Interfaith Scotland, said “We shared a wonderful afternoon in the autumn sunshine, appreciating what the beautiful site has to offer, and admiring 200-year-old trees. In the run-up to COP26, it was especially relevant to plant trees and discuss the importance of preserving nature for the future of our planet.”

With thanks to the Joint Distribution Committee’s Tikkun in Action fund for their support of SCoJeC’s event programme.


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