Scottish Jewish groups row over racism

By Stephanie Brickman, June 3, 2010

A row is raging between two key communal organisations over the level of antisemitism in Scotland.

In a letter to the JC, Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum's Michael Samuel, Jeremy Stein and Tony Tankel expressed concern "at the repeated attempts of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities to exaggerate the threat of antisemitism, which will only cause harm to the interests of Jews living in Scotland".


Salmond: Scots Jews are not persecuted

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2010

Scotland's First Minister has dismissed the claim that the country's Jewish community is shrinking because of a rise in antisemitism.

But speaking this week to a meeting arranged by Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum, Alex Salmond did acknowledge that there were incidents.

He went on: "I don't share the analysis that the Jewish community is suffering a wave of persecution or that antisemitism in Scotland is rapidly growing and such a severe problem that it is jeopardising this community."


Volunteer of the week: Stanley Bernstein

May 27, 2010

The retired plumber has volunteered at Burnfield, Newark Care's Giffnock-based residential home since 2006. He also lends his support to the Chabad Lubavitch's Shul in the Park, which is housed in Burnfield care home

● Why Newark Care?

I chose to volunteer at Burnfield because of my close links with the Jewish community.

● What does your current volunteering role involve?


Glasgow synagogue concern over Masorti

By Stephanie Brickman, May 13, 2010

Concerns over the leasing of a room to Masorti Scotland at Garnethill's iconic Glasgow synagogue were voiced at an emergency meeting of the Garnethill congregation on Sunday.

The meeting - primarily to discuss the future of the struggling community - attracted half the 120 members, a turnout which delighted co-chair Gerald Lavin.


Election result: Glasgow South

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2010

Labour’s Tom Harris held the Glasgow South seat, home to a large section of Scotland’s Jewish community.

He won with 20,736 votes – the highest number of votes for any candidate in any of the city’s constituencies – and a majority of 12,658.

His nearest challenger was the Scottish National Party's Malcolm Fleming and there was a 1.5 per cent swing from Labour to the SNP.

Mr Harris was first elected in the constituency – then known as Glasgow Cathcart – in 2001.


Election result: Glasgow Central

May 7, 2010

Osama Saeed, the Scottish National Party’s great hope for capturing the Glasgow Central constituency, has failed to win the seat.

He finished second behind Labour’s Anas Sarwar, who polled 15,908 votes to secure a majority of more than 10,550.

Mr Saeed, who finished with 5,357 votes, founded the Scottish Islamic Foundation, which offered to help protect an Edinburgh synagogue which was attacked during last year’s Gaza conflict.


Salmond to talk on racism

May 6, 2010

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, will address a public meeting of the Glasgow Jewish community at the end of this month to address anxieties about antisemitism in the country.

Mr Salmond has apparently expressed concern at issues raised recently by the JC's political editor, Martin Bright.


East Renfrewshire: Election 2010

By Stephanie Brickman, April 22, 2010

The BNP's Gary Raikes has pulled out of the running for Renfrewshire East. According to a BNP spokesperson they have decided instead to concentrate on several seats in Aberdeenshire, Raikes's home turf.

The news was welcomed by community leaders such as Glasgow Jewish Representative Council President Philip Mendelsohn, who said: "I'm glad to hear that the BNP have withdrawn their candidate from the seat as it was clearly targeted at a constituency which has both a high Jewish and Muslim component. It was designed to be divisive in what is a very cohesive community."


Glasgow rabbi steps up to perform at Independence Day

By Stephanie Brickman, April 22, 2010

Glasgow's very own guitar man stepped into the breach on Independence Day when the scheduled Israeli entertainers were stranded by the flight chaos.

Newton Mearns minister Rabbi Danny Bergson entertained the 300 guests at a party in Giffnock, with the musical assistance of Josh Cowan.

Face painting and cupcake decoration were among a variety of activities for children and families.


BNP withdraws candidate from Scottish seat

By Jessica Elgot and Stephanie Brickman, April 19, 2010

The BNP candidate for East Renfrewshire, which has the largest Jewish population in Scotland, has dropped out of the election race.

A spokesman for BNP Scotland confirmed that candidate Gary Raikes, who was standing against Labour MP Jim Murphy, the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Mr Raikes, who has lived in Scotland for 18 years, was a local instructor in the Army Cadet Force until 2007. He has not yet given a reason for his departure from the campaign.