Stephanie Brickman

Glasgow leader hits back at bloggers

By Stephanie Brickman, April 1, 2010

The chairman of Glasgow's Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue has launched a contemptuous attack on bloggers who have accused shul leaders of complicity in the sacking of Masorti man Warren Bader by Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society.

Giffnock and Newlands minister Rabbi Moshe Rubin and the shul management have come under intense and anonymous criticism over the departure of Mr Bader, a key personality in the newly launched Masorti Scotland. Those posting on a blog run by Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum have also ridiculed Giffnock and Newlands leaders for their appearance and clothes.

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Chief Rabbi celebrates Scottish congregations

By Stephanie Brickman, March 11, 2010

Lord Sacks was in Glasgow at the weekend for a double celebration - the 75th anniversary of Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue and the induction of Rabbi Danny Bergson at Newton Mearns Hebrew Congregation.

At Giffnock, the Chief Rabbi spoke on how declining communities could embrace the future positively, emphasising the importance of maintaining Orthodox practice.

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Masorti man sacked by burial society

By Stephanie Brickman, March 4, 2010

A leading figure in Glasgow's new Masorti congregation has been relieved of his role as burial officer by the Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society (GHBS).

Warren Bader was informed by letter that his services were no longer required because of a "change of circumstance".

Mr Bader, who did not have a contract, had worked for the society for almost two years. He said it had been "a great privilege to serve the community in this way - it was just so fulfilling." He would not comment further on legal grounds.

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New head for Scotland's only Jewish school

By Stephanie Brickman, February 25, 2010

Scotland's only Jewish school has appointed a new head. Vanessa Thomson will take charge at Glasgow's Calderwood Lodge Primary in April, replacing Christine Haughney, who is moving to the highly regarded Hutchesons' School as head of primary.

Ms Thomson, 43, is currently acting head at another Glasgow primary. She looked forward to experiencing the school's "unique Jewish ethos" and building on its success "by developing learning and teaching with the needs of each pupil at the heart of all we do".

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Synagogue-goers told to avoid anti-fascist march through park

By Stephanie Brickman, February 18, 2010

A popular route to shul for Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation members will be off limits tomorrow because of an anti-Fascist march by Scotland United, organised in protest against a Scottish Defence League rally.

The park known as The Meadows is crossed by some members of the community on their way to and from shul.

Two Lothian and Borders police officers visited the shul on Shabbat to warn congregants to avoid The Meadows on February 20.

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Scotland's Limmud weekend

By Stephanie Brickman, February 18, 2010

Scotland was gripped by Limmud fever at the weekend with a range of educational and cultural events culminating in the main Scottish Limmud programme in Glasgow on Sunday.

Some 350 people had the choice of an increased number of sessions - up to 61 from 50 last year and made possible by skipping the lunch break.

One of the most popular presenters was culinary journalist and Israeli TV personality Gil Hovav, who rustled up an appetising tabouleh and a spicy pumkin paste.

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Rabbi criticises Scotland's first Masorti synagogue

By Stephanie Brickman, February 11, 2010

The establishment of Scotland’s first Masorti group has not been welcomed by the minister of Glasgow’s biggest shul.

Rabbi Moshe Rubin of the 850-member Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue voiced concern at the addition of another congregation in an area of declining Jewish population. “With the size of the community, it’s just not desirable to create yet another division.”

But at Masorti Scotland, which holds its inaugural service at the weekend, Warren Bader took issue with Rabbi Rubin. “We do not see ourselves as being divisive to the community,” he said.

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Glasgow: Community where less is more

By Stephanie Brickman, February 4, 2010

Ask any Scot to complete the sentence “I belong…” and the immediate answer will be: “I belong to Glasgow, and Glasgow belongs to me”. What is true of the general population equally applies to Scottish Jewry. There is pride and passion about being a Jew and a Glaswegian.

However, two-thirds of what was once a 15,000 population now reminisce from a distance — usually London, Manchester or Tel Aviv.

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Scot and bothered over future

By Stephanie Brickman, January 21, 2010

A row has erupted in Glasgow over plans by the local representative council to hold a meeting on the community’s future.

News of the meeting was leaked by a blogger identified only as “One of the privileged few” on the website of the Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum (GJEF).

The news prompted a flurry of critical posts, with the original blogger writing: “I think it is not acceptable that the future of our community is discussed and decided upon by a secret cabal.”

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Scottish man celebrates 106 birthday - with one regret

By Stephanie Brickman, January 7, 2010

Celebrating his 106th birthday in Edinburgh on Monday, Samuel Latter voiced just one regret.

When running a car tyre and battery firm, “I could have bought into a new business with one of my customers — wee Tommy Farmer — but I wanted to stay on my own”.

Wee Tommy Farmer is now better known as Sir Tom Farmer, head of the Kwik-Fit empire.

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Soul Train journeys to Scotland

By Stephanie Brickman, December 3, 2009

In what has been dubbed the “Kosher Ceilidh”, Israeli cultural outreach organisation Soul Train has completed an 11-stop tour of Scotland, bringing music, dancing and stories to communities as far-flung as Ayrshire, Isle of Skye and Lochgilphead.

The two musicians, David Weinreb and Danny Dor-El, also entertained students in St Andrews as well as stopping off at the Calderwood Lodge Primary in Glasgow and the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation cheder.

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Mitzvah Day: Scottish communities clear up

By Stephanie Brickman, November 19, 2009

In a collaboration between Glasgow UJIA, Maccabi and Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation, 50 Scottish youngsters tidied up the Jewish cemeteries at Sandymount, Glenduffhill and Cardonald and volunteered at care homes.

Giffnock and Newlands minister Rabbi Moshe Rubin took youngsters to the new branch of Mark’s Deli, where they asked shoppers to donate an item of food.

A similar initiative took place at the Hello Deli, with all donated goods distributed to the homeless.

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Glasgow Jewish cemetery is restored

By Stephanie Brickman, November 12, 2009

Glasgow City Council has contributed £20,000 towards the restoration of the Jewish section of Sandymount cemetery, which is entering its next phase.

The project, costing a total £210,000, began in 2004 in the wake of considerable damage through repeated vandalism. Since then, 20 out of 35 rows of headstones have been restored and laid flat to make upkeep easier.

Donations have been received from all over the world, a number prompted by JC coverage of the project, which is led by London-based Glaswegian Stanley Coorsh, who has many family members buried at Sandymount.

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'They pinch our cheeks at gigs'

By Stephanie Brickman, November 5, 2009

‘Excuse me dear, but you weren’t singing in English were you?” says a concerned elderly man, who has come to speak to me at the end of a gig. “No,” I reply, “that was Yiddish.”

“Oh, that’s all right then,” he says, relieved, “I thought my hearing aid was playing up.”

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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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Wear a Feng Shui pig? Ok, I’m a monotheist really

By Stephanie Brickman, September 10, 2009

Perhaps it was a terrible idea from the start to draw on the services of a grand master of Feng Shui, but it is indicative of my levels of despair at the state of our flat, or Battleship Domestica, as I like to call it.

Said battleship has been listing rather more than usual recently, having been regularly broadsided by assortments of children and my scientist husband, whose habits I won’t go into here.

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Scottish question time

By Stephanie Brickman, September 3, 2009

A question time session with the Scottish government minister for community safety, Fergus Ewing, was part of a forum for young Jews on racism and stereotyping in Glasgow on Monday.

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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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This software could help our son to talk

By Stephanie Brickman, August 6, 2009

Dr Ehud Reiter was watching his two-year-old son Moshe play with a child six months younger when he realised that something was not quite right.

“The other boy, Sidney, was talking much more than Moshe. Up till then, Moshe had always been ahead of him. So we knew there was something really wrong.”

Reiter sighs and pauses as he recalls that terrible moment in 2000. It was a year later that he and his wife Ann finally received the dreadful news that Moshe had full-blown autism and would need care for the rest of his life.

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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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