OUR HISTORY

 

The Edinburgh Jewish Cultural Centre has

achieved many major milestones in a

very short period of time

Here is our story

A group of Jewish people in Edinburgh, known as The Edinburgh Jewish Dialogue, conducted a series of public consultations to identify a way forward for the Jewish community to thrive in future years.

 

Founded by Jane Ansell and Janet Mundy and chaired by Professor Joe Goldblatt, Edinburgh Jewish Dialogue invited leaders of successful Jewish communities in London, Oxford and Stockholm to share their ideas with our community on how to develop and nurture a vibrant Jewish identity.

 

Interest in the work of the Edinburgh Jewish Dialogue began to spread throughout the Jewish community and, following an extensive period of research and consultation, the group’s ideas crystallised around establishing a Jewish Cultural Centre in Edinburgh that would serve the whole of Scotland. The group decided to formalise their future work by transforming into a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation entitled the Edinburgh Jewish Cultural Centre (EJCC) in April 2018. Our board was duly formed (see below) and we began to explore establishing a positive physical home for our new Centre. 

2016-2018

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP unveils a plaque funded by EJCC in Usher Hall in 2017

Summerhall, October 2017

Summerhall, October 2017

Our first major public event marked the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the first Jewish community in Edinburgh and the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF). EJCC commissioned a plaque to be permanently displayed in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh’s largest concert hall, in honour of the two Jewish artists who founded EIF in 1947. This plaque was unveiled by Nicola Sturgeon MSP, the First Minister of Scotland, in August 2017.  

 

Initially, EJCC published a document that encapsulated the organisation’s values and principles. We articulated what a Jewish Cultural Centre could contribute to the Jewish community in Scotland, to our City of Edinburgh and to its diverse range of residents and visitors. We stressed the role the Centre would play in fostering community cohesion across all groups and communities in the City. In the intervening three years we have successfully curated, produced and presented a range of activities that have shared and celebrated Judaism and Jewish life and culture with hundreds of participants.

In November 2019 we co-ordinated Limmud Scotland for the first time in Edinburgh in partnership with Limmud UK, with 250 people participating. 

2017-2019

Photo © Eddy Maher

Successful ending to first Limmud to be conducted in the City of Edinburgh

Photo © Eddy Maher

Limmud volunteers

In January 2020, we co-ordinated the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with an official ceremony at the City of Edinburgh War Memorial that was led by the Lord Provost, Councillor Frank Ross. 

In March 2020 we celebrated International Women’s Day by establishing and presenting the biennial Gertrude Herzfeld Award in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. The award will be presented every two years to an outstanding Jewish female medical or scientific researcher whose work emulates the spirit of Dr Herzfeld who was the first female practising fellow of the College.

2020

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Health Jeane Freeman MSP presents the Gertrude Herzfeld Award posthumously to Francesca Loening who is a distant relative of

Dr Herzfeld

Photo © Eddy Maher

Limmud singing workshop

Councillor Frank Ross lays wreath for 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz Commemoration

Francesca Loening and Dr Judy Evans, Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, at Herzfeld Awards Ceremony March 2020

OUR MISSION

We will curate, promote and present Jewish cultural activities and events across a range of healthy, safe spaces, both virtual and real, where our practice reflects the best and latest

health guidance

OUR PURPOSE & VALUES

We will work in partnership with statutory and public sector bodies to bring new thinking to how our city functions in the best interests of all of its citizens

We will work in partnership with like-minded third sector and faith-based organisations to promote individual well-being and community cohesion across our city

We will curate, promote and present Jewish cultural activities and events across a range of healthy, safe spaces, both virtual and real, where our practice reflects the best and latest health guidance

We will develop our technological capabilities and expand our online capacity so that our work can be shared seamlessly, virtually, unconstrained by the limitations of time, space or geography to potentially engage many more participants near and far

We will be an outward-looking organisation that seeks to share our activities and programmes with people of all faiths and none

We will build the principles of diversity, inclusion and equality into everything we do

 
 

NEWS

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Rabbi Mark Solomon addresses the Scottish Parliament following the unveiling of the plaque honouring the Jewish founders of the Edinburgh International Festival

OUR FUTURE

We seek to establish a permanent physical presence for EJCC in the city of Edinburgh as well as continue to simultaneously offer a comprehensive range of

online programmes

 

WHO WE ARE

Adrian thumbnail.JPG
Jane thumbnail.JPG
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CHAIR

 

Adrian Harris

 

VICE CHAIR

 

Jane Ansell

 

SECRETARY

 

Janet Mundy

TREASURER

 

Mark McLeod, ACCA

CHAIR

of Beacons of Hope Fundraising Committee

 

Professor Joe Goldblatt

 

TRUSTEES

 

Peter Bennett

Lynn Cooper

Sam Gaus

Stephanie Mitchell

Desta Shanko

Judith Sischy OBE

Hailey Zislis, MPH

 

CO-OPTED MEMBER

David Ian Neville

OUR PARTNERS

EJLS Logo.jpg
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Edinburgh International Festival logo
University of Edinburgh logo
Limmud logo
Chabad Edinburgh logo
Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh logo
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ELJC logo.png
Aberdeen logo
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City of Edinburgh Council logo
Scottish Government logo

CONTACT US

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  • LinkedIn

Edinburgh Jewish Cultural Centre SCIO, registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation number SC048275

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