Scottish Council of Jewish Communites
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities
 
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities

SCoJeC AGM – Time for Change
 
24 June 2012

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities 2012 AGM, held in the Jewish Community Centre in Giffnock, approved a number of significant changes.

SCoJeC exec

SCoJeC was set up in 1999 by the various organised communities in Scotland as an umbrella representative body, and its structure has reflected that, with the President of the Glasgow Representative Council and the Chair of the Board of Management of the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation acting as Vice-Chairs ex officio. That, however, has disadvantages, and following an amendment to the Constitution, the AGM for the first time elected a Vice-Chair, Prof Gillian Raab of the Edinburgh Liberal Community, Sukkat Shalom.  Hilary Rifkind, immediate past Chair of the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation, who has been Acting Chair for the past six months was confirmed as Chair. Sharon Levy, the outgoing Chair of the Dundee Hebrew Congregation, which has just resolved to change its identity and become the Tayside and Fife Jewish Community, better to reflect the local demography, joins the SCoJeC Executive as the representative of the smaller communities. The meeting also agreed the co-option of Judith Sischy, who has recently retired as Chief Executive of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools.

Hilary Rifkind and Ellen McCance

The meeting also approved the appointment of Ellen McCance as our new Public Affairs Officer.  She will take up her post in August, working alongside Leah Granat, who is stepping down as Deputy Director, but will continue to work for SCoJeC as Research and Publications Officer after she goes on aliyah. Fiona Frank, who has organised very successful events from the Borders to the Shetlands as part of the Being Jewish in Scotland project, will continue as our Outreach Worker.

Originally from Los Angeles, Ellen graduated from Princeton University with honours in Politics, and came to Scotland in 1989.  Since then she has worked in both the local authority and voluntary sectors, and has experience in many of the diverse aspects of SCoJeC's work, including community development, interfaith and community relations, policy development, public relations and the media, event management, and tackling rural disadvantage. Ellen currently works for the interfaith anti-poverty charity, Faith in Community Dundee, and is also the Hon Secretary of the Tayside and Fife Community. 

Leah Granat

Making a presentation to Leah of a havdalah spice-container, Hilary paid tribute to the phenomenal amount of work she has put into SCoJeC, first as Public Affairs Officer, and more recently as Deputy Director, and said how delighted the Executive are that it is possible for her to continue working for us. Director Ephraim Borowski echoed this, saying that it is her efficiency and consistency in producing briefing materials for both Scottish and communal audiences that brings in much of SCoJeC’s income, and so is responsible for our being able to continue to function so successfully in other areas too.

Ephraim also spoke about the success of the Being Jewish in Scotland project both in terms of what it had found out about the attitudes and experiences of Jewish people all over Scotland, and also as a catalyst for events in places that have not seen a Jewish event in decades, if ever.

The Hon Treasurer, Neil Livingstone, welcomed the renewal of our main Scottish Government funding for a further three years, and a commitment by the Board of Deputies to an annual contribution. As a result, the Council's finances remain healthy.

The meeting also said farewell to the student chaplain, Rabbi Garry Wayland, and thanked him both for his support of Jewish students during the past three years, and his work in building stronger links between students and their local communities. There was a brief discussion of how these links might develop in future, as more Scottish students choose to study closer to home.

The meeting was addressed by Jonathan Arkush, Vice-President of the Board of Deputies and chair of its Defence and Group Relations Division. Asking “what has the Board ever done for you?”, he outlined the Board’s work in combatting antisemitism and defending the right of Jews to practice their religion. This led to a discussion of how representative organisations like SCoJeC and the Board should handle sensitive matters on which opinion within the community is deeply divided, such as Israeli government policies or same-sex marriage. In conclusion, he paid tribute to the immense amount of work done by SCoJeC with very limited resources, and said that the two organisations had benefited greatly from their cooperation and collaboration. 

Click here to read the AGM reports.

The new executive are:

Chair
Hilary Rifkind
Vice Chair
Gillian Raab
Hon Secretary
Nicola Livingston
Hon Treasurer
Neil Livingstone
Edinburgh representative
Edward Green
Glasgow representative
Edward Isaacs
Small communities representative
Sharon Levy
Director
Ephraim Borowski

 

   
This site uses cookies, and by continuing to use it you consent to this. Click here to read our policy.