Glasgow synagogue concern over Masorti


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.

He assured them that there were no plans for a formal link with Masorti. "I just reiterated that we are an Orthodox congregation and as long as we get a minyan on Shabbat and Yomtov then we will continue that way," he said afterwards. "We're discussing our survival and it overshadows the Masorti issue."

A further meeting in six weeks time will review progress, but may also feature a vote on whether to renew the six-month agreement with Masorti, which has angered Garnethill minister Aharon Soudry, among others.

Another problem is that Masorti is using a room formerly allocated to the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre as an overflow storage area.

"We haven't had a lot of notice and obviously all sorts of issues arise," said the archives' director Harvey Kaplan. "We're negotiating with Garnethill for alternative storage space."

At its AGM, Mr Kaplan reported on a productive year with important acquisitions including the diaries, scrapbooks and photo albums of the late artist and sculptor, Hannah Frank. There had been a 20 per cent rise in research inquiries and an increase in visitor numbers and academic researchers.

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