Sukkat Shalom – Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community (EJLC)
The community had its origins in 1997, as an Edinburgh group affiliated to the Glasgow New Synagogue (GNS). Going back 30 years before that, members of GNS from Edinburgh had held Erev Shabbat services in each others’ homes. Then in 2004, it became a separate community and affiliated to the national movement Liberal Judaism, becoming Sukkat Shalom, Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community. .
Cheder (Religion School)
The Cheder meets fortnightly on Saturday afternoons, in very attractive premises in Marchmont, but currently online via Zoom. Children can attend from age 5 upwards – there are five classes. In May 2019 a safeguarding policy was put in place.
Tea and Talmud
During his visits Rabbi Mark holds meetings to discuss Talmud or other sources in members’ homes or at one of the venues. Topics range widely and often lead to animated discussions. Times and places vary according to his other commitments during his visit.
Currently these meetings are being held online via Zoom.
Library – coming soon we hope.
There is now a collection of Jewish children’s books and teaching materials which may be borrowed by members. The community hopes to expand this collection into a library of both adult and children’s books which may be borrowed by members.
Since September 2009 Rabbi Mark has been leading a group which reads and discusses texts of various kinds, broadly philosophical.
It began with a long exploration of the works of Spinoza, but since then, the group has briefly studied Kabbalah and the work of Maimonides, has read the book Radical Judaism by Arthur Green, and is currently working through Liberal Judaism’s consultation exercise on the contents of a new siddur (prayer book). Anyone is welcome to join this group which usually meets on Sunday afternoons.
Currently these discussions are being held online via Zoom.
One of the members has been taking groups of adults for Biblical Hebrew tuition at various levels.
Edinburgh has a long history of successful Interfaith relations. In fact, 2010 saw the Centenary of Inter-Faith Dialogue in Edinburgh, originally started in 1910. There are several organisations which exist in Edinburgh for the pursuit of understanding of and respect for people of all Faiths.
The community is very fortunate in having Rabbi Mark Solomon as itsRabbi. He is Liberal Judaism’s first Interfaith Consultant and has already been engaged in promoting further the existing Inter-faith relations with the other Faith communities in Edinburgh and beyond.
Edinburgh and the surrounding areas are home to people of many Faiths and all these are represented in the various associations, some of which are listed below:
- The Edinburgh Inter-faith Association – EIFA
- Edinburgh Women’s Inter-faith Group – EWIG (Women only)
- Council of Christians and Jews – CCJ
- Council of Christians and Jews UK
- Festival of Spirituality and Peace – FSP
- Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace – EICSP
- Edinburgh & Lothians Regional Equality Council – ELREC and Direct Approach (Women only)