SCoJeC was welcomed back to Oban Library, where Outreach Worker Fiona Frank, and Linda Martin, our new Highlands Volunteer Ambassador, set out a kosher buffet for local Jewish, ‘Jew-ish’, and other interested people, who came to discuss the findings of our Being Jewish in Scotland project and hear a talk from author J David Simons. One man, originally from Glasgow but now living in Oban, came to reconnect with his Jewish culinary past, and was very disappointed to learn that he had missed the latkes at Chanukah! (see Four Corners 37)
The conversation was very wide-ranging, and included a fascinating discussion on the differences between Jewish and Christian rituals, and some of those present thought it would be interesting to have a session comparing the singing of psalms in the Jewish and the Highland traditions! Watch this space!!
The discussion was followed by a talk from author J David Simons about his books The Credit Draper, which is partly set in Oban and the surrounding countryside, and The Liberation of Celia Kahn. He began by giving a brief history of Jewish immigration into Scotland at the beginning of the 20th century, intertwined with the history of his own family, and explained the role of credit drapers in providing work for these new immigrants.
The next day David spoke again, this time at Waterstone's bookshop, when one man came back to hear the talk for a second time! Here the audience included someone with first-hand knowledge of the subject, since Irvine Waugh's grandfather had worked as a credit draper. The response was very positive, including from one man who told us “I didn’t know much about Jewish culture in Scotland – it was interesting getting that perspective.”