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


Who's Who in SCoJeC
Nicola Livingston

Chair: Nicola Livingston

Nicola studied Psychology and Social Economics, followed by a Diploma in Community Education. She has worked with Strathclyde Region Council and Glasgow City Council Social Work Departments, both in direct service provision and Commissioning and Contract Management of new services for people with disabilities. For the last six years she has worked for the Glasgow Homelessness Partnership on a ground-breaking programme which saw the decommissioning of the large homeless hostels in Glasgow and the development of an extensive range of more appropriate housing and support services. Her particular area of work has involved services for young adults with complex needs. She has been involved with Cosgrove Care in both professional and voluntary capacities for fifteen years, and is currently a member of the Board of Management and chairs the Professional Advisory Group. She has had a long involvement with Jewish Student Chaplaincy, and is currently Chair of Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland.

Timothy Lovat Timothy Lovat

Timothy has spent most of his career as a property entrepreneur but is perhaps best-known for his charitable and voluntary work. Among the many causes he supports are Norwood London where he is a patron and a member of the Chairman’s Circle Board. He is also a patron of Jewish Blind and Disabled, a trustee of Cosgrove Care, a trustee of Netherlee & Clarkston Charitable Trust, and a Member of the capital appeals committee for the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice. Previously he was Chair of Calderwood Lodge Parent Council, President of The Property Managers Association Scotland, Vice-Chair of Manchester Metropolitan University Jewish Society, the recipient of ‘Golden Eagle Award’ Cleveland Marriott, and the Master of Lodge Montefiore number 753.

He is married to Claire and they have two children.

Gillian Raab Hon Secretary: Gillian Raab

Gillian is currently one of four co-chairs of Sukkat Shalom, the Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community, with which she has been involved since it was founded in 2004. Before that she was the organiser of the Edinburgh group of the Glasgow New Synagogue (now Glasgow Reform Synagogue). She lives in Edinburgh with husband Charles. After a first degree in physics from Edinburgh University Gillian went on to complete a master’s degree and a doctorate in statistics. She has spent most of her professional life as a medical statistician and is professor emeritus of Applied Statistics from Edinburgh Napier University. Since retiring from Edinburgh Napier she works part-time on various research projects. One of her current projects involves looking at trends in the number of children being looked-after by local authorities in Scotland. The rest of her activities include voluntary work, including for Sukkat Shalom, cycling, gardening and looking after her granddaughters.

Philip Mendelsohn

Hon Treasurer: Philip Mendelsohn

Philip is a charted engineer who has now retired from a career in transport planning during which he worked both in local government and consultancy.  He was brought up in Giffnock, educated at Eastwood High School, and studied at the University of Strathclyde. 
He is a Past President of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council and served as a trustee of a large pension scheme for over 10 years. Currently he is the Board Member for Scotland of Transport Focus (the independent watchdog for transport users), Chair of Interfaith Glasgow, a trustee of the Queens Park Charitable Trust, and a board member of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council where he is the Convenor of the Jewish Community Centre.

Alan Kay

Immediate Past Chair: Alan Kay

Alan has had an interest in communal and interfaith relations for more than 40 years, and for 8 years has been on the Board of Interfaith Scotland representing the Jewish community, being the Chair and previously the Hon Secretary. He is on the advisory board organising the Scottish National Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations. He is also the Hon Treasurer of Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland, a post he has previously held for both the Council of Christians and Jews in Scotland, and Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation. He was born and brought up in Glasgow and is a graduate of the University of Glasgow. Alan has worked in accountancy and information technology in both small companies and large multi-international organisations. You will usually see him with a camera in his hand as he is a keen amateur photographer.

Community representatives
Matthew Shaps

Edinburgh: Matthew Shaps

Matthew is Vice-Chair of the Board of Management of Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation and also leads on security. He grew up in London, son of Cyril Shaps, the actor, and Anita Shaps, who worked for Jewish Care. After school he spent a year volunteering on kibbutzim in Israel before studying at Cambridge University, and later qualified in social work, community work, and applied social studies in Swansea. He has worked for the Scottish Community Education Centre (and Council) in Edinburgh, as head of research and policy at Shelter (England) and research manager for the Housing Corporation. He joined the Ministry of Defence in 1997, working in counter proliferation and arms control, leading on Iran nuclear issues, international humanitarian and development strategy, and international defence engagement. Matthew then worked for the Scottish Government on defence, security and cyber resilience, and as Head of Security and Business Continuity, and led the Scottish Government’s corporate response to COVID-19, and its transition to new ways of working. He is now retired.


Glasgow: Timothy Lovat

See Vice Chair entry above for details

Paul Spicker

Small Communities: Paul Spicker

Paul is a former Chair of SCoJeC. He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and moved to Dundee in 1989 where he was Chair of the small Jewish community in 2006 and subsequently Vice-Chair until 2010. (The former Dundee Jewish Community is now based in St Andrews, and has been renamed the Tayside and Fife Jewish Community.)

Paul worked as Professor of Public Policy in the Robert Gordon University where he did a range of work about poverty, disadvantage, minority ethnic groups and welfare provision.

Staff, Consultants, and Volunteers
Ephraim Borowski

Director: Ephraim Borowski

As its Convener of the grandly-titled Standing Committee of Scottish Jewry at the time of Devolution, Ephraim led its transformation into SCoJeC, which is now a democratic representative body with the authority to speak on behalf of the entire Jewish Community of Scotland. Elsewhere in the Jewish Community he has been Vice-President of Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, Chairman of Giffnock Synagogue, and chair of the Regional Deputies of the Board of Deputies, and was awarded an MBE for his service on behalf of the Jewish Community.
Ephraim chairs the National Independent Strategic Advisory Group (NISAG) that advises Police Scotland on diversity matters including hate crime, and is a member of the Employment Tribunal. He has been Convener of Bemis, the Scottish ethnic minority umbrella organisation, a member of the Race Equality Advisory Forum set up by the first Scottish Executive, and the Scottish Committees of both the EOC and CRE.

Before his early retirement from Glasgow University, Ephraim was head of the Philosophy Department, a member of Court, and President of AUT. He is the joint author of the Collins Dictionary of Mathematics, and has been Convener of the Scottish Education Forum, a Governor of Hutchesons' Educational Trust, a Lay Member of GTC(S), and President of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow, of which he was made an Honorary Member - only the third since Einstein!

Ephraim is also one of SCoJeC's countersignatories for the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme.

Leah Granat

Research and Publications Officer: Leah Granat

Leah joined SCoJeC in 2003 on a one-year temporary contract and still hasn't left! She enjoys playing the flute, recorders, and piano, has a degree in music, and is particularly interested in the music of the troubadours and trouvères. She worked with the National Childbirth Trust and later with the Breastfeeding Network for 22 years, and was a member of the (pre-Devolution) Scottish Office Breastfeeding Strategy Group. She has also worked as freelance trainer in counselling skills and group dynamics for the NHS and other organisations. She has four children, and twenty grandchildren.

Leah is also one of SCoJeC's countersignatories for the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme.

Kirsty Robson

External Engagement Manager: Kirsty Robson

Kirsty joined SCoJeC in 2021 and now serves as the External Engagement Manager. Passionate about human rights, genocide prevention and anti-racism, she has managed engagement with Scottish and UK politicians as part of international campaigns on behalf of charities and non-profits. She has a degree in Society, Politics and Policy from the University of the West of Scotland where she completed her dissertation on digital antisemitism and the effectiveness of legislation tackling online hate in the UK. Kirsty has held various positions within the third sector, including managing campaigns for human rights, leading engagement in Scotland for the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and advising the Anne Frank Trust on communications.

Lindsey Livingston

Community Engagement and Events Manager: Demi Franks

Originally from Manchester, Demi has grown up immersed in arts and culture from a very young age, training with the prestigious National Youth Theatre of Great Britain at the age of 16 and graduating from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2013. Demi went on to work for many years producing for theatres and production companies both in Manchester and London. Most recently working as Creative Producer at Manchester Jewish Museum and coming with a wealth of experience in arts facilitation, engagement, and producing events, Demi is really excited about her move ‘up north’ and her new position with SCoJeC.

Hilary Rifkind

Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme Administrator: Hilary Rifkind

Hilary is Chair of the Board of Management of Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation, and is the first woman to lead the Synagogue. She is also a past Chair of SCoJeC. She was born and educated in Newcastle upon Tyne and came to Edinburgh in 1968 after her marriage to Arnold Rifkind, an optometrist. She has spent most of her professional life teaching Mathematics at George Watson’s College and has always been involved in communal work, ranging from Maccabi leadership in her teens, to Jewish Students, then WIZO, the Communal Centre Committee, Edinburgh Hillel Committee, the Ladies Guild, of which she has been Chair for many years, and, since her retirement, convenor of the Shul Events Committee. Hilary and Arnold have two sons and four grandchildren who live in America.

Eloise Bishop

Support and Development Officer: Eloise Bishop

Eloise, originally from South London, is in her third year studying History at the University of Glasgow. Having held various volunteer positions in third sector organisations and youth media outlets, she is passionate about ensuring young people’s voices are heard. Away from SCoJeC and her degree, Eloise is a freelance photographer, and runs a digital Holocaust remembrance project called ‘Morsel of Memory’.


Danielle Bett Sharing Jewish Scotland Project Manager: Danielle Bett

Danielle currently serves as the Director of Communications for Yachad and has previously worked as the Jewish Leadership Council’s Scotland Manager. She has a degree in International Relations and Spanish from the University of St. Andrews, and later founded the Scottish Israeli Cultural Association. Danielle has worked on a number of interfaith and anti-racism initiatives throughout her career and is managing the delivery of the Sharing Jewish Scotland Project for SCoJeC. 


Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme Countersignatories:

Hilary Rifkind (Administrator)

Ephraim Borowski

Micheline Brannan

Sue Faber

Leah Granat

Council Members
Edinburgh representatives:
Hilary Rifkind
Gillian Raab
Matthew Shaps
Glasgow representatives:
Timothy Lovat
Barry Berlow-Jackson
Micheline Brannan
Henry Lovat
Susan Siegel
Israelis in Scotland representative:
Danielle Bett
Jewish Network of the Highlands and Islands representative:
Tayside and Fife representative:
Bill Shackman
Student Chaplaincy representative:
Nicola Livingston
Scottish Jewish Archives Centre representative:
Fiona Brodie
John Danzig
Simon Dover
Alan Kay
Carol Levstein
Jonathan Manevitch
Philip Mendelsohn
Jackie Sevitt
Interfaith Scotland:
Susan Siegel
Ex Officio (BEMIS):
Ephraim Borowski
Kenneth Collins
John Cosgrove
Sir Gerald Gordon QC
Hon Solicitor:
Joel Conn
Click here for information about previous SCoJeC Chairs


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