The Edinburgh Festival comes to synagogue

By Stephanie Brickman, August 27, 2009
Strings attached: Helen Russell performs as part of the Woody Sez group

Strings attached: Helen Russell performs as part of the Woody Sez group

The Edinburgh Festival came to the local Hebrew congregation on Sunday when the fourth annual festival open day was staged at the Jewish Community Centre.

One hundred locals and visitors turned up to watch performances and interviews with 40 festival stars with a
Jewish connection.

Entertainment ranged from Time Keepers, an award-winning drama from Israel, to septuagenarian American comedienne Lynn Ruth Miller.

There were more laughs as David Solomon performed extracts from his Mother/Son show, about a gay man and his Jewish mum, and Daniel Cainer showcased his Jewish Chronicles musical.

On a more sombre note, there were scenes from Raymond Raszkowski Ross’s drama A Promised Land. This tells the story of Holocaust survivor Rivka Feldman, a friend of missionary Jane Haining, who rescued Jewish orphans, died in Auschwitz and is the only Scot to be honoured at Yad Vashem.

Visitors also browsed an exhibition on the history of the shul.

Organiser and presenter David Neville said: “It was a surprise and delight to once again have so many fantastic performers and visitors from all over the world.”

The previous day had seen the congregation’s annual civic service, held in the presence of Edinburgh Lord Provost George Grubb.

Last updated: 1:08pm, August 27 2009