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Date: 2016
Abstract: Following the unprecedented number of antisemitic incidents in the summer of 20141, the Scottish Government funded the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) to carry out a small-scale inquiry into ‘What’s changed about being Jewish in Scotland’ since our 2012 inquiry into the experience of ‘Being Jewish in Scotland’. Our principal findings were: - 38 respondents to our survey (32%) explicitly talked about a heightened level of anxiety, discomfort, or vulnerability, despite not having been directly asked. - 20 respondents (17%) – many more than in 2012 – told us that they now keep their Jewish identity secret. - As a result there is less opportunity for Jewish people to develop resilient and supportive networks and communities. - 76% of respondents said that events in the Middle East have a significant impact on the way they are treated as Jews in Scotland. - 80% of respondents said that the events in the Middle East during summer 2014 had negatively affected their experience of being Jewish in Scotland. - 21 respondents (18%) mentioned the raising of Palestinian flags by some Local Authorities as having contributed to their general sense of unease. - 16 respondents (13%) told us that they no longer have confidence in the impartiality of public authorities, including the police. - Several respondents said that, for the first time, they were considering leaving Scotland. - Antisemitism in social media was a much greater concern than in our 2012 inquiry. - 12 respondents (11%) told us they found it difficult to find anything good to say about being Jewish in Scotland. Commenting on the preliminary findings of our inquiry into What’s Changed About Being Jewish in Scotland, Neil Hastie, head of the Scottish Government Community Safety Unit, said: “The emerging themes from this report are particularly valuable; as is the data on how the international context can impact very palpably on the experience of being Jewish in Scotland. There is much in this for us (and Ministers) to consider.” We are disturbed by the extent to which this inquiry shows that Jewish people’s experience in Scotland has deteriorated as a result of the wider community’s attitudes towards events in the Middle East. But despite the negativity and level of discomfort expressed by many respondents, and the fact that some are, for the first time, wondering whether they should leave Scotland, the vast majority of Scottish Jews are here to stay, and we therefore welcome the Scottish Government’s willingness to listen to the concerns of Jewish people in Scotland to ensure their safety and well-being
Abstract: Mandated by the Leeds Jewish Representative Council (LJRC), a group of community lay
leaders and professionals, representing a wide cross section of the community (including
ages, gender, organisations and affiliations) undertook the challenge of producing a
strategic assessment of the Leeds Jewish community.
This exercise of analysis, needs assessment and planning is vital for Jewish communities that
want to thrive and grow in the complex times we live in, that in many cases make obsolete
many of the certainties of the past.
This cross-section group, which started its work with a year of training in community
development issues, could develop a comprehensive view (a sort of 'bird's eye view') of the
whole community beyond organisational boundaries. After this initial stage, the group
evolved into the Leeds Strategic Planning group (SPG), which, with the support of UJIA and
Leatid, undertook this strategic analysis.
The aim was to understand the current trends in the community, the needs of its different
populations and to envision different scenarios in the evolution of the community in the next
few years. This would constitute the basis for offering a set of strategic directions for the
community as a whole.
A strategic planning process requires many qualities from a Jewish Community. Not every
community is ready to undertake the challenge that a planning process demands. One
needs to have a solid basis to build on, a committed, positive leadership and the openmindedness
that comes from strong convictions and solid values. The community needs to
have the daring and the intellectual honesty to look at itself without preconceived ideas
and with the desire to improve and grow. The fact that the Leeds Jewish Community
undertook this task is further proof of its solidity and dynamism.
Date: 2015
Abstract: This short term study into people’s experiences of being Jewish in Scotland has been
carried out by the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) and funded by the
Community Safety Unit of the Scottish Government. The inquiry was a direct response to
the large increase in the number of antisemitic incidents in Scotland in the third quarter of
2014. This increase came as an unwelcome shock, not only to the Jewish Community, but
to civil society at large. The terrorist incidents in Paris and in Copenhagen that deliberately
targeted Jewish people occurred during the course of the inquiry, and these also affected
people’s feelings about being Jewish in Scotland.
This new study has enabled us to go back to many of the people who contributed to our
2012 Being Jewish in Scotland inquiry to ask whether, and if so, how and why, their
experiences and opinions have changed. It has also reached a significant number of
additional participants around Scotland.
We have gathered data through a combination of online and paper surveys, focus groups,
and informal discussions at events in locations throughout Scotland. We know from our
experience of running the initial inquiry, that when we hold events to discuss the
experience of being Jewish, especially outside the larger Jewish communities in the central
belt, these events and activities themselves serve to provide support and reassurance, and
build a sense of community and engagement.
We are currently preparing a detailed report of responses to the inquiry, and a special
edition of our quarterly newsletter Four Corners will be published around the end of April.
The present report outlines the methodology, summarises the main themes that are
emerging, and gives a flavour of the findings of the inquiry.
Author(s): Willis, Ben
Date: 2005
Abstract: Within New Labour Policy, faith community involvement within urban renewal has
firmly been placed on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s policy agenda.
Nationally, faith community awareness is significantly increasing but what is a more important consideration is how this policy is developed to the micro-level. With specific interest in housing needs this policy arena has created the core context for this research.
Primary methodologies have been adopted to investigate the specific housing needs of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community within their micro-enclave of Gateshead. A particular focus will be on those projects, which aim to reduce the specific overcrowding issue within this community, which at 40% is the highest Borough-wide. Sub-regional and
private sector involvement has been key to the success of current renewal programmes
alongside successful mechanisms of Jewish participation. Key issues arising are the lack
of intra-agency knowledge flows, the lack of proposed further projects partnerships and
the increasing ‘parallel lives’ syndrome. The research discusses recommendations for future policy adaptation including the appointment of a Gateshead Council Community Liaison Officer in conjunction with a Gateshead Council Jewish Community strategy would begin to alleviate participation and planning issues. In conjunction with this there is a significant need for Jewish-led renewal and this should be addressed by the
establishment of a Jewish Housing Corporation.
Author(s): Myer, Marc
Date: 2015
Abstract: It is no exaggeration to say that the United Synagogue is one of the Jewish community’s most
important institutions. I firmly believe the United Synagogue is essential to the future of the UK
Jewish community and I was privileged that the President and Trustees asked me to help them
conduct a strategic review of this august institution.
The decision to initiate a strategic review comes ten years on from the publication of Rabbi Saul
Zneimer’s report, “Transformation & Action”, and almost 20 years after Sir Stanley Kalms
conducted his review. It recognised that whilst the United Synagogue is, now, financially stable (a
very different situation to the one Sir Stanley looked at), it must look ahead to address the
challenges it faces and to meet the needs and challenges of future generations. The US must
clearly articulate its vision and align itsstrategy with corresponding delivery mechanisms. In doing
so, The US must clearly communicate what it stands for and what it provides to members.
This review also comes at an opportune moment, following Chief Rabbi Mirvis’ installation into
office and looking ahead to 2020, the 150th anniversary of the Act of Parliament that created the
United Synagogue.
The report that follows summarises and elucidates the conclusions of over nine months’ work by
a large team of talented volunteers and professionals.
Its principal finding is that the United Synagogue needs to redefine its synagogues as vibrant
homes of community that enrich our members’ lives. No longer can shuls solely be houses of
prayer. This is not a new idea but it has taken on a new importance as we seek to meet the spectre
of disaffiliation that haunts our community.

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