Scots' Israeli records

By Marcus Dysch, January 14, 2011

A project dedicated to charting the lives of Jews who left Scotland to make aliyah has attracted an immediate response.

Scots in Israel, an online collection of historical data, is the brainchild of Michael Diamond, who left Glasgow for Beersheva in 1987.

More than 50 people joined the site in its first week, inundating its message boards with stories of their aliyah experiences, memories of life in Scotland, and attempts to contact old friends.

Mr Diamond is working with the Scottish Jewish Archives, based at Glasgow's Garnethill Synagogue, to record details of olim.

"Among the amazing people who are coming out of the woodwork are psychiatrists, air traffic controllers, musicians, landscape gardeners, tour guides, workers from Yad Vashem, antiquities dealers, translators, medical school managers and many more.

"I'm going to organise annual events to bring the Scots together. One will include meeting the Jewish Agency shlichim who sent us to Israel.

"When the group is big enough, I plan to approach the British Embassy in Tel Aviv to hold a formal event."

Mr Diamond said many of the olim were older people who were uncomfortable using computers. He planned to interview them about their experiences and put the details on the site.

There are also plans to replicate the idea for Scottish Jews who left for other countries, including Canada and Australia.

Last updated: 9:55am, January 14 2011