Scots are staying, despite problems


As the full findings of the "What's Changed About Being Jewish in Scotland" survey were released this week, a co-author of the study said that despite the negativity of many respondents, "the vast majority of Scottish Jews are here to stay".

Ephraim Borowski, director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC), was also pleased by the Scottish government's willingness to listen to concerns and work towards ensuring the "safety and well-being" of the nation's Jews.

Following an unprecedented number of antisemitic incidents in the summer of 2014, attributed to the Gaza conflict, the government funded the "small-scale" 2015 follow-up to SCoJeC's 2012 "Being Jewish in Scotland" study.

Thirty-two per cent of respondents said they felt heightened levels of anxiety or vulnerability and several were considering leaving Scotland.

Seventeen per cent said they kept their Jewish identity secret. For example, an Edinburgh health worker confided: "I'm scared to tell people at work that I'm Jewish. I talk about going to church instead of synagogue."

Responding to the findings, Angela Constance, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Communities, said she shared the concerns expressed. Her message to Scottish Jews was: "You are welcome and your contribution to our economy, our society and our culture is valued."

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