In the course of SCoJeC's Scottish Government-funded "Being Jewish in Scotland" project, we met a number of Israelis who had settled in various parts of Scotland. Although they all felt at home here, several told us about difficulties they encounter because of local people's attitudes to Israel.
Members of the Glasgow Jewish community joined regulars and local musicians at the Sikorski Polish Centre for the next stage of our "Klezmatize" ceilidh tour.
We knew we were somewhere different when we saw the traffic sign as we drove up to the Universal Hall at the Findhorn Foundation for the next stage in our Klezmatize ceilidh tour – not the usual white "stop" on a red background – this one said "stop worrying"!
We arrived at Bogbain Farm near Inverness, the second stop of our Klezmatize ceilidh tour, to find a large collection of antique accordions set up behind the stage, forming a very fitting backdrop for the evening's entertainment!
The first stop on SCoJeC's six-city "Klezmatize" ceilidh tour was Dunoon, where twenty people happily danced the afternoon away to horas, hongas, freylechs, turkishers, khosidls, and kolomeykes.
Following the success, a few years ago, of our Kosher Ceilidh tour, SCoJeC invited "Klezmatize" to join us for the latest in our ongoing series of "Being Jewish in Scotland" events.
- Leon A Smith
Apr 5, 2013
One of the sad and hard aspects of working in a care home environment is that people die. Because people are coming into care at the end of their lives, they are staying with us for a shorter period of time than was the case a generation ago. Death is not a way of life but certainly in the care home environment it is an inevitability.
One of the strange side effects of people living longer and dying at a greater age is that in many cases people’s friends, relatives and indeed sometimes children pre-decease them – meaning that when the person dies well into their 90s there is sometimes nobody to remember and nobody to say kaddish. It is a truism to say that this is a heartbreaking thought – but it is a reality and an inevitable consequence of increased longevity. Sometimes people die and they have no surviving family and no surviving friends. They live to say 95 years and there is nobody left to remember. That fact epitomises the transience of life – 95 years of living, of happiness, sadness and then at the end nobody left to remember and nobody left to hang on to these memories.
I am not attempting – albeit I have probably succeeded, in trying to depress you my reader(s). Suffice to say I am merely trying to make (some might say labour) the point that this is a new reality. This therefore gives enormous impetus to those of us running and working in care homes to ensure that we offer our residents the very highest quality of life in their latter years. That quality can be measured in terms of tangible "hands on" care, the physical environment, the quality of 1-2-1 staff and volunteer interaction with our residents, entertainments, activities, stimulation – even for the very frail and those living with severe dementia.
- Jonathan Hoffman
Apr 2, 2013
Ben Cohen has it right, here
Paragraph 156 of the Judgment:
- Rabbi Aaron Gol...
Apr 1, 2013
Old message-bearer, Elijah,
I have lost all the addresses,
So now I write a letter to you.
Surely you have not forgotten an old friendship,
When, as a child, I would open the door to you.
These evocative words of Kadya Molodowsky (qu. J. Wittenberg, ‘The Eternal Journey,’ p.165) and the institution of Elijah transcend the seven days of Pesach. We can still taste the dry crunch of matzah in our mouths, the smell of spilt Kiddush wine, the sound of mah nishtanah and chad gadya, the sight of age-old rituals being enacted, and the touch of loved ones, friends and family. Elijah’s cup is full to the brim awaiting visual illusion that whether it occurs or not holds promises untold for those who will believe.
The promise of new life that may have come to fill the void left by presences departed; the promise of freshness, a new start augured by a clean kitchen that seems at once to bring a clear mind, a new resolve and a reassured trust. The promise of a Spring that this year is but glimpsed the yellow of daffodils struggling to free themselves from their brown casings; yet we now they will finally conquer with a burst of brightness that might just be reflected in the sky. As the door closes it is as if Elijah has visited us and blessed us, anointed us with the pure oil of possibility. This year can be a good one for us.
Mar 28, 2013
MEMO 346 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.