MEMO 330

December 2, 2012

MEMO 330 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.



Mon, 12/03/2012 - 13:03

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the jc used to have a column giving us a heads-up of tv and radio programmes of jewish interest: let's try to re-start the idea …


elliot levey reads "ukraine without jews", part 3 (the final part) of "vasily grossman from the frontline" on radio 4

"'Stillness. Silence. A people has been murdered.'
The author of Life and Fate, which begins its dramatization on Radio 4 [no longer available to listen to, see ], conveyed the 'ruthless truth of war' that revealed itself to the Soviet Union after Nazi invasion in June 1941. This devastating piece was one of the very first articles to describe the results of Nazi genocide as the war still raged.
Grossman's own mother would be one of the thousands murdered in his home town of Berdichev which lay in the path of the Nazi's lightning quick advance through the Ukraine. Some one and half million Jewish people lived in these newly conquered areas, nearly all would be shot in what has become known as 'shoa by bullet'
Grossman had volunteered for military service partly in reaction to his mother's fate. Instead he found himself assigned as frontline correspondent for the military newspaper Red Star. From the disastrous year of 1941 to final victory in ruined Berlin, Grossman gave the Soviet people a sense of their war.
But his attempts to detail the murder of the millions of Jews on Soviet soil would only be met by official silence. As the Red Army began reconquering the occupied lands Grossman travelled with them, recording the empty villages and towns, the mass graves and terrible silence. Ukraine Without Jews was rejected by the military censor & would only appear in the Yiddish newspaper Einkayt in November 1943. The full version, from which this is an extract, would only be rediscovered in the late 1990's and appeared in English earlier this year."

listen online at (15 minutes)

(see also and


Tue, 12/04/2012 - 12:00

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if you like poetry that doesn't rhyme, doesn't scan, and has no connection with jews or judaism, then don't miss the shalom poets on radio 4's "Poetry Workshop", who take their name from having met at shalom house, the belfast premises of the lamb of god community, an inter-denominational christian group, committed to the work of renewal and reconciliation, see

you can "listen-again" to the programme, or read two of the poems, at


Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:53

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all this week on channel 4 at 7.55 pm …

4thought tv's theme this week is "Are Jews still persecuted in Britain today?"

for details, or to watch the programmes now, see

Many people in Britain assume that anti-Semitism is a thing of the past, but one Jewish organization has documented nearly 300 anti-Semitic incidents across Britain in the first six months of 2012. As the Israel-Palestine conflict continues, some British Jews claim the media is fuelling anti-Semitic sentiment whilst critics of Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians say they are unfairly labelled as anti-semites. This week asks “Are Jews still persecuted in Britain today?"


Tue, 12/04/2012 - 19:12

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"uzbek to my roots" tomorrow (wednesday) at 11 am on radio 4 …

Twenty-five-year-old north Londoner Amy Cordell has grown up embracing the rituals, food and music of a far-away world, one that still cleaves to the ancient traditions of her Bukharian grandparents who were once part of a 95,000-strong community of Jews, living in Uzbekistan in central Asia.

Uzbek To My Roots is an audio diary tracing Amy's journey back to her family's homeland, to the teeming provinces of Bukhara and Samarkand along the Silk Road in a reunion involving various cousins, aunts and uncles gathered from the UK, Israel and America.
Together they visit grandpapa John's place of birth, where he went to school, played and worshipped. Against a backdrop of palaces and mosques, wide avenues and imposing, intricate architecture, they find the old Jewish quarter and its cemeteries still largely intact and encounter an array of characters, from carpet and silk sellers to street acrobats to a bazaar filled with gold-teethed women trading in gold, silk and velvet garments.
Amy and her party are embarking on a voyage of discovery: to learn both their family's back-story and to learn about themselves as they travel by coach, car and plane, crossing the length and breadth of this vast cotton growing country where Western impulses are encroaching on long held custom and tradition.



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