A major research project into Glasgow Jewish life has revealed overwhelming demand for more social, cultural and educational opportunities.
Seventy per cent of respondents to the Communities Future Project wanted to explore the possibility of creating a community centre in the south of the city.
Published this week, the survey also demonstrates the desire for additional education provision for children, with every parent of an under-18 requesting more cheder classes. Glasgow’s Calderwood Lodge Primary — Scotland’s only Jewish school — was endorsed as a key centre of communal activity.
Around 350 people participated in three years of extensive research and consultation by the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council into the community’s future religious and social needs.
Project co-ordinator Paul Morron described it as “one of the most important reports produced on the Glasgow community. It’s now up to the community to see how we can implement people’s wishes.” Project worker Fiona Frank authored the report.
Almost every respondent supported the work of communal welfare agencies, acknowledging the importance of the elderly receiving care in a Jewish environment with kosher food.
At the opposite end of the age spectrum, students and other young people called for dedicated spaces for educational events and informal activities.
Glasgow’s Israeli residents also took part, urging more vocal support for Israel in the face of strong organised opposition.
Cultural activities, the creation of a library and resource centre and enhanced links with the wider Jewish community were also high on the Israelis’ agenda.
A full report, including recommendations based on the research, will be published in June. Annual meetings will then be held to discuss progress towards implementing the recommendations.
“A lot of what is being asked for can be done quite easily,” Mr Morron suggested, “such as welcome packs for new people moving to the community or lower synagogue fees for young people.
“The desire for a community centre is ambitious but there’s a good mix of practical things that can be done in the short-term.”