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

Who's Who in SCoJeC
Hilary Rifkind

Chair: Hilary Rifkind
Hilary is a past Chairman of the Board of Management of Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation, and is the first woman to lead the Synagogue. She was born and educated in Newcastle upon Tyne and came to Edinburgh in 1968 after her marriage to Arnold Rifkind, an optometrist. She has spent most of her professional life teaching Mathematics at George Watson’s College and has always been involved in communal work, ranging from Maccabi leadership in her teens, to Jewish Students, then WIZO, the Communal Centre Committee, Edinburgh Hillel Committee, the Ladies Guild, of which she has been Chairman for many years, and, since her retirement, convenor of the Shul Events Committee. Hilary and Arnold have two sons and four grandchildren who live in America.

Hilary is also one of SCoJeC's countersignatories for the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme.

Micheline Brannan
Vice-Chair: Micheline Brannan
Micheline worked for 30 years in the Scottish Government on issues including state-faith relations and equality. She was instrumental in ensuring that Holocaust Memorial Day was marked distinctively in Scotland from its outset in 2001. In 2007 she took early retirement, retrained as a nurse, and now works full-time in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Micheline gives as much time to ScoJeC and her other communal appointments as her shifts will allow! She is an active member of the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation, editor of the Edinburgh Star, the magazine for the Edinburgh Jewish Community, treasurer of the Edinburgh Jewish Literary Society, and has been on the SCoJeC Council as a coopted member for 5 years.
Simon Dover
Hon Secretary: Simon Dover
Simon Dover was born and brought up in Liverpool, studied medicine in Birmingham, and has lived in Scotland for more than 20 years. He and his wife Sharon, a solicitor, are members of Giffnock Synagogue. Their elder son recently began secondary school after seven years at Calderwood Lodge Jewish Primary School, where their younger son is still a pupil. Simon is a physician and gastroenterologist in Glasgow, and represents Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland on the SCoJeC Council.

Hon Treasurer: Howard Gordon

Community representatives
Raymond Taylor
Edinburgh: Raymond Taylor

Raymond is the current Chairman of the Board of Management of Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation, and has previously held the position of Treasurer. He was born in Falkirk in 1952 and educated at Falkirk High School. After leaving school he went into the family business retailing furniture, which is still his occupation today. Raymond is a keen snow and water skier, and has been a judge for the British Water Ski Federation. He married his wife, Jackie, in 1988, and they have two children.

Paul Morron
Glasgow: Paul Morron
Paul is President of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, and was a founder member of both the Northern Region and UK Jewish student Chaplaincy Boards. He was head of Criminal Justice Social Work in Strathclyde Region and Glasgow City, a founder member of Victim Support (Scotland) and SACRO, and Chair of the Scotland Committee of the children's charity, NCH. He has been a special advisor to the Scottish Government Justice Department, and was awarded an MBE in 1997 for services to criminal justice in Scotland.
Frank House
Small communities: Frank House

Frank was born and raised in London and his wife, Valerie came from Northampton; shortly after they married at Brixton Synagogue it closed! They spent their early married life in Aberdeen which gave them experience of small community life. They then moved to London (Catford), and on to Marlow, where they were part of the High Wycombe Community (another small, self-run group) with which they retain links. On Frank’s retirement from a career in Pharmacology and Statistics, and Valerie’s from teaching, they moved to Gairloch, where they were all the community within walking distance, but their involvement with the Jewish Network of Argyll and the Highlands, and SCoJeC has kept them in touch with Jewish life.
Now that Valerie has died, Frank endeavours to follow her teaching and remain involved in Community matters.

Ephraim Borowski

Director: Ephraim Borowski
As its Convener of the grandly-titled Standing Committee of Scottish Jewry at the time of Devolution, Ephraim led its transformation into SCoJeC, a democratic representative body with the authority to speak on behalf of the entire Jewish Community of Scotland. Before his early retirement from Glasgow University, Ephraim was head of the Philosophy Department, a member of Court, and President of AUT. He is the joint author of the Collins Dictionary of Mathematics, and has been President of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow, a Governor of Hutchesons' Educational Trust, Vice-President of Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, Chairman of Giffnock Synagogue, and Convener of BEMIS. He currently chairs the Regional Deputies of the Board of Deputies, is a Lay Member of GTC(S), and Chair of the National Independent Strategic Advisors Group which was recently established by Police Scotland to advise on equality and diversity matters. Ephraim was awarded an MBE for services on behalf of the Jewish Community, and was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philosophical Society - only the third since Einstein!

Ephraim is also one of SCoJeC's countersignatories for the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme.

Nicola Livingston
Public Affairs Officer: Nicola Livingston
Nicola studied Psychology and Social Economics, followed by a Diploma in Community Education. She has worked with Strathclyde Region Council and Glasgow City Council Social Work Departments, both in direct service provision and Commissioning and Contract Management of new services for people with disabilities. For the last six years she has worked for the Glasgow Homelessness Partnership on a ground-breaking programme which saw the decommissioning of the large homeless hostels in Glasgow and the development of an extensive range of more appropriate housing and support services. Her particular area of work has involved services for young adults with complex needs. She has been involved with Cosgrove Care in both professional and voluntary capacities for fifteen years, and is currently a member of the Board of Management and chairs the Professional Advisory Group. She has had a long involvement with Jewish Student Chaplaincy, and is currently Chair of the Northern Region Board.
Leah Granat

Research and Publications Officer: Leah Granat
Leah joined SCoJeC in 2003 on a one-year temporary contract and still hasn't left! She enjoys playing the flute, recorders, and piano, has a degree in music, and is particularly interested in the music of the troubadours and trouvères. She worked with the National Childbirth Trust and later with the Breastfeeding Network for 22 years, and was a member of the (pre-Devolution) Scottish Office Breastfeeding Strategy Group. She has also worked as freelance trainer in counselling skills and group dynamics for the NHS and other organisations. She has four children, and nine grandchildren.

Leah is also SCoJeC's Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme Administrator.

Fiona Frank

Projects and Outreach Manager: Fiona Frank
Fiona was born in Preston but her father was born in the Gorbals in Glasgow so she has good Scottish heritage! She has a BA in European Studies from the University of Bath, an M.Ed from the University of Sheffield, and has just finished a PhD at the University of Strathclyde which involved looking at transmission of Jewish identity through five generations of one extended Scottish Jewish family. She worked for many years at Lancaster University in the areas of adult literacy, adult learning, and learning for older people. She is part of an ecological cohousing project, plays Klezmer, Irish, and European music on concertina and melodeon, and is involved in the promotion of the art of her aunt, the late Glasgow artist Hannah Frank.

Linda Martin

Online Outreach Worker, and Voluntary Ambassador for the Highlands and Islands: Linda Martin
Linda grew up in NW England, but also spent a lot of time in Aberdeenshire and Morvern, where she now lives. Formerly a Secretarial Executive with an international company, she later trained as a Remedial Therapist. Since being introduced to voluntary work through WIZO as a teenager, Linda has volunteered with a wide range of organisations including the National Union of Students, Royal Observer Corps, Women’s Institute, Harris Museum, Preston Playhouse, Ribble Valley Conservation Group, Scottish Wildlife Trust, and more recently SCoJeC as Voluntary Ambassador for the Highlands and Islands. She frequently visits schools and other organisations to talk about Judaism.

Sharon Mail

Project Worker: Sharon Mail
Sharon has a BA in Business Studies from Strathclyde University. She has been Scotland correspondent for the Jewish Telegraph since 2006, and has become a ‘well kent’ face in the community. She is also a commissioned photographer and author, her book “We Could Possibly Comment – Ian Richardson Remembered” having been published in 2009 in paperback, and as an eBook in 2012.
Sharon has always lived in Glasgow. She was a member of Habonim, and actively involved in the Glasgow Jewish Students Society in her youth, and sang with the Glasgow Jewish Choral Society for more than 30 years. She is currently Public Relations Officer for the Scottish Association of Writers. She is returning to SCoJeC where she worked on a short term contract in 2008/9.

Zoe Jacobs

Education and Training Assistant: Zoe Jacobs
Zoe studied English Language at university and is now working with SCoJeC and the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council on our partnership project to expand Jewish volunteering. She has been a youth worker at Maidenhead and Glasgow Reform Synagogues, has coordinated community volunteering events, and has worked as a volunteer with Mitzvah Day, RSY-Netzer, and Limmud. She is an avid fan of Jewish volunteering, intergenerational work, and the benefits of creating a positive atmosphere around Judaism and Jewish volunteers. In her spare time she helps to teach Scottish Country Dancing, and has just begun an adult gymnastic class.

Zoe Jacobs
Interfaith Representative, and Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme Countersignatory: Alan Kay

Alan has had an interest in interfaith relations for more than 20 years, and is currently the Hon Secretary of Interfaith Scotland. He is also the Hon Treasurer of Northern Region Jewish Chaplaincy, a post he has previously held for both the Council of Christians and Jews in Scotland, and Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation. He was born and brought up in Glasgow and is a graduate of the University of Glasgow. Alan has worked in accountancy and information technology in both small companies and large multi-international organisations.

Council Members
Aberdeen representative:
Ehud Reiter
Argyll and Highlands representative:
Frank House
Edinburgh representatives:
Gillian Raab
Hilary Rifkind
Raymond Taylor
Glasgow representatives:
Fiona Brodie
Edward Isaacs
Philip Mendelsohn
Paul Morron
Tayside and Fife representative:
Paul Spicker
Micheline Brannan
Simon Dover
Walter Hecht
Sharon Levy
Neil Livingstone
Judith Sischy
Ex Officio (Student Chaplaincy):
Simon Dover
Kenneth Collins
John Cosgrove
Joe Goldblatt
Gerald Gordon
Click here for information about previous SCoJeC Chairs


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