SCoJeC was delighted to host an online Coffee Morning in association with the Jewish communities in Aberdeen, Tayside and Fife, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, that provided a Scotland-wide experience of Jewish community and identity.
The event was attended by 68 people, many of whom brought artefacts that have particular significance for them, and they spoke about their stories while the other participants were able to enjoy a cup of coffee in their own homes.
David Bleiman of Edinburgh shared a photograph of his grandmother, Gretl Taubes, and told the story of how she had been an amateur opera singer in Vienna before emigrating to Cape Town. He played part of a recording of her singing Der Lindenbaum by Schubert and Ständchen by Richard Strauss – her only recording, made in 1935, and accompanied by Gunther Pulvermacher, an accomplished pianist and Hungarian Jewish émigré. David talked about the joy of conserving this record, made more than 85 years ago, and hearing the actual singing voice of his grandmother.
Judy Townsend, who recently moved to Edinburgh from the United States, shared a photograph of herself with her daughter and mother, and told us the story of her mother who emigrated to Chicago from Czechoslovakia after surviving Auschwitz. Judy talked about how, despite her suffering in Europe and her harsh experiences in the US as an immigrant who didn’t speak English, her mother is a very positive and resilient person, and inspires her to be positive as well.
Other stories came from karate black belt Hilary Franklin from Aberdeen, who told us about her stay in the Berlin Olympic Stadium when she took part in a competition in Germany, and John Danzig, whose certificate showing his family’s links with the fur trade started a fascinating discussion about changing ethics through the ages.
"I loved all the personal anecdotes about family history, childhood memories" said one participant, and another added "It was lovely to see people from across Scotland and meet and learn about some new people”.