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Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)


Praise and congratulations for
500th issue of MEMO

MEMO 500 logo
31 October 2016

MEMO, the bulletin that SCoJeC produces every week in collaboration with BEMIS, to help minority communities in Scotland keep up to date with and engage better with developments in the political arena, has reached its 500th issue. 

The Scottish Government has supported this initiative since it began 2005, and Angela Constance MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Equalities, has sent us a message of congratulation:

Cabinet Secretary for Equalities, Angela Constance MSP

Congratulations to the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities and BEMIS on the 500th edition of MEMO – what a wonderful milestone to reach.

MEMO is continuing to ensure Scotland's minority ethnic communities are empowered through the invaluable information it delivers. It is evident the contribution our minority ethnic communities make to Scotland and how important it is that everyone feels connected with, and the opportunity to participate in, civil society.

We want Scotland to be an inclusive and fair country, where people realise their potential both as individuals and as members of wider society, and MEMO contributes to achieving this vision. I wish you continuing success in its future production.

We began producing MEMO in August 2005, in response to a request from the Scottish ethnic minority umbrella organisation, BEMIS, who saw it as a way of supporting minority communities to engage more effectively with the Scottish Parliament and Government, local councils, the police, NHS, and other bodies. The majority of small community organisations do not have the resources to keep track of what is going on, so, for example, would often not respond to relevant consultations simply because they were unaware of them.

MEMO provides a wide range of information about matters such as immigration and asylum, community relations, equality, and discrimination, in an easily accessible format, and, from the outset, feedback has been uniformly positive. But its reach has far exceeded the thousands of people in minority community organisations who receive it direct from BEMIS or ourselves. We know that many of these recipients then cascade the information to their colleagues, and we know also that many people use the archive of past issues on our website as a reference tool: hits on MEMO and its sister publication MEMO+ rose from around 4,000 per month at the beginning of 2015 to an average of 9,780 per month in the first half of 2016.

We know also that MEMO is regarded as an essential resource within the Scottish Government itself, as well as by public sector agencies that have a particular interest in the well-being of minority communities. In his message of congratulation, the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, wrote:

The Lord Advocate, the Rt Hon James Wolffe QC

For over 10 years now MEMO has been a vital source of information for the diverse communities and many other interested parties across Scotland. It provides a one stop shop with a wide range of information of interest including round ups of events in Holyrood and Westminster and details of forthcoming events and is a very useful quick and easy way to keep up to date with developments.

MEMO has certainly played a part in empowering our diverse communities and I have no doubt that it has made a very important contribution to helping Scotland become the rich, diverse and inclusive society it is today.

I wish all those involved in its production every success for the future and look forward for to seeing MEMO for many years to come.

Deputy Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson of Police Scotland, whose remit includes community safety, wrote:

Deputy Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson

Over the years, the MEMO newsletter has collated a broad range of political, cultural and media information about current developments in equality, diversity, and community cohesion. I know that Scottish police service officers working for me have found MEMO to be a very helpful weekly briefing. Its wide and detailed coverage embraces national Scottish, UK, and international news and developments. MEMO regularly signposts articles that one might otherwise not have heard about. MEMO is also a very useful vehicle for publicising information about Equality & Diversity to a wide audience of stakeholders around Scotland.

Amongst other messages of congratulation from organisations within the sector, John Wilkes, Chief Executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, wrote:

John Wilkes, Chief Executive, Scottish Refugee Council

MEMO is a brilliant weekly summary of issues relating to asylum, immigration, race, and other equality issues that are happening in Scotland and the UK. It is very hard to keep up with the fast pace of change in these areas and ensure that you are on top of developments. MEMO provides that excellent ready reckoner of issues, and with its helpful layout, professional editing, and the links if you want more detail, it is a really easy read. For any organisation involved in policy and advocacy on any of these areas, or for anyone who is interested in keeping up to date, MEMO is the essential read. It is a huge help to us at Scottish Refugee Council.

Rami Ousta, Chief Executive Officer of BEMIS, whose idea MEMO was, is delighted with what it has achieved.

Rami Ousta, Chief Executive Officer, BEMIS

MEMO is an unparalleled resource for the diverse stakeholders in Scottish civic society, and the weekly collection of these immense amounts of quality information deserves a special acknowledgment.  MEMO continues to enhance and advance equality, citizenship, and policy by providing so much pertinent information on so many diverse topics for so many different stakeholders.

SCoJeC Director Ephraim Borowski commented:

Ephraim Borowski, Director, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities

We are immensely proud of being able to assist minority communities to engage more effectively with Scottish civic society, and very grateful to the Scottish Government for recognising its value and providing the funding that makes it possible. But above all, the credit goes to Leah Granat, SCoJeC's Research and Publications Officer, who singlehandedly collates and compiles all this information so that the rest of us can benefit from it.

Our congratulations and thanks to her, and here's to a thousand!

Click here to read back issues of MEMO, and e-mail if you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive each issue as soon as it comes out.


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