Edinburgh

Matt Lucas quits West End after ex-partner's suicide

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

Little Britain’s Matt Lucas has left his role in Prick Up Your Ears until further notice after the suicide of his ex-partner Kevin McGee.

Mr McGee, 32, was found hanged at his Edinburgh flat and police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Mr Lucas had been playing a lead in Prick Up Your Ears, a play based on the life of writer Joe Orton, which opened on the weekend.

Producers have confirmed that understudy Michael Chadwick will take the role until further notice.

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Tallit survives major fire

By Stephanie Brickman, September 10, 2009

When a fire caused extensive damage to David Neville’s family home in Edinburgh last week, his initial reaction was relief that no one had been injured.

But as the extent of the lost possessions became apparent, Mr Neville began to think about items which had been in the master bedroom — the seat of the blaze.

And he remembered that the tallit and tefillin given to him on his barmitzvah had been in the drawer of a desk which had been almost completely destroyed.

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Scottish welfare target

September 10, 2009

Jewish Care Scotland hopes to raise £60,000 from its Rosh Hashanah appeal to help it maintain assistance to over 500 clients.

JCS chair Maureen Solomons said: “It is essential that we raise enough to ensure we can continue to deliver the care and support we know people want. Donations will help fund the professional social work team, including those with specialist knowledge in debt management, family problems and care in the community for older people.”

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The Edinburgh Festival comes to synagogue

By Stephanie Brickman, August 27, 2009

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.

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Scots Shoah memorial book on display

By Stephanie Brickman, July 16, 2009

Scotland’s first Holocaust Memorial Book has been put on permanent display in the vestibule of Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation’s synagogue. A kiddush marking the event was held by the Association of Jewish Refugees, which created the book.

The leather-bound volume contains the names and some photographs of several hundred people who perished in the Holocaust, all relatives of Scottish Jewish residents.

AJR member Irene Mason, who has seven of her relatives listed, said that preparing the book had been an emotional experience.

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Yiddish Film season at Edinburgh's Filmhouse

May 21, 2009

The second Yiddish Film season is running at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse. This year’s films concentrate on director Edgar Ulmer. The series kicked off with Green Fields and continues on Sundays until May 31 with The Singing Blacksmith, The Light Ahead and American Matchmaker. At the first viewing, Yiddish actor and academic Barry Davis introduced the film explaining to the crowd of 60 people
how prolific a film maker Ulmer was, making 128 films during his career.

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Film festival made to hand back embassy cash

By Marcus Dysch, May 20, 2009

Anti-Israel campaigners have succeeded in forcing the Edinburgh International Film Festival to return funding from the Israeli Embassy.

Members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign had threatened to picket the event in June unless £300, which was to be used to fly Israeli director Tali Shalom Ezer to Scotland, was rejected.

Festival organisers said the decision was not a result of those threats, but was instead based on comments made by film director Ken Loach, speaking on behalf of the SPSC.

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Scottish U-turn over Holocaust trips for pupils

By Leon Symons, November 27, 2008

Months of lobbying by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) paid off this week when the Scottish government decided it will, after all, pay for students to visit Auschwitz.

Scottish education secretary Fiona Hyslop announced on Wednesday that £214,000 will be set aside to send two pupils from every Scottish secondary school.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the HET said: "We are delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised the value of the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz' project and we look forward to working with them to involve more Scottish pupils in our work."

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Cheder children lead an erev Shabbat service in Edinburgh

October 3, 2008

Cheder children at Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community led an erev Shabbat service. The children took the service unaided and also presented a reading based on the week's parsha.

Shul chairman Maurice Naftalin said: "The children and all involved have shown that even a cheder as small as ours can achieve a great deal." Around 40 people attended the service.

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Scots fight attempt to ban shechitah

By Leon Symons, August 8, 2008

A petition to ban shechitah - religious slaughter - in Scotland has been vigorously opposed by Scottish communal organisations.

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) has sent an extensive rebuttal to the Scottish Parliament setting out in detail how effective shechitah is compared with the pre-stunning of animals.

It also deals with the potential effects of a ban on the Jewish community, even though shechitah is not currently carried out in Scotland, as well as scientific evidence on other methods of slaughter and the issue of suffering.

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