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Scotland’s Jews: Community and Political Challenge


Publication Date

March 14 2010



The Jewish community in Scotland numbered eighteen thousand in the 1950s but has now shrunk to around ten thousand, largely through emigration. The community is overwhelmingly concentrated in the Greater Glasgow area with around a thousand Jews in Edinburgh and smaller numbers scattered around the country.
When the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999, with responsibility for almost all home affairs, the Jewish community set up the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) as a democratic representative body to speak on its behalf. SCoJeC monitors legislation and informs Parliament and civic and religious bodies on Jewish issues and attitudes.
SCoJeC has been very successful in influencing Scottish government policy in areas such as family law, looted Holocaust art, the census, and health and safety issues. It also has responsibility for outreach work to scattered Jews in outlying areas, ensuring their access to Jewish facilities in the larger centers as well as arranging activities in remote centers in the Highlands.
There has been historically little antisemitism in Scotland, and in particular good relations with the churches. Recently there has been a significant increase, much of it associated with events in the Middle East. Specifically, the Scottish trade union movement has pursued a policy of boycotting Israel despite a dialogue with the Jewish community aimed at understanding both sides of the conflict.



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Scotland’s Jews: Community and Political Challenge

Bibliographic Information

Borowski, Ephraim Scotland’s Jews: Community and Political Challenge. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. March 14 2010:  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-uk319