Monday, January 12, 2015

Anniversary celebrations at synagogue 

Rabbis from across Britain joined with more than 300 people to celebrate 45 years since the founding of Lubavitch Scotland - a branch of Hasidic Orthodox Judaism.

The event took place at Glasgow's Garnet Hill Synagogue and honoured Rabbi Chaim Jabobs and his wife Sora Jacobs who introduced the movement into Scotland in 1969 and now run the Lubavitch Centre at the Giffnock synagogue complex at Fenwick Road, East Renfrewshire.

Yesterday, in front of their six grown up children, the couple were honoured with a new handwritten Torah scroll - a project which took around a year to complete - to mark their service to the community.

A concert was also held at the synagogue with performances by the Shabatton Choir from London.

Rabbi Jacobs said: "We were delighted with the presentation of the scroll. It was a huge honour."

He said the Lubavitch movement was the biggest Orthodox Jewish branch in the world with around 4,400 centres each with between 100 and 2000 members and was founded to remind Jewish people of the essence of their faith.

"The television presenter Robin Day once asked one of our Rabbis whether he was a Jewish Billy Graham. The Rabbi replied no, that Billy Graham was the Christian Lubavitch," he said.

"We don't actively seek non Jews to convert. Our main purpose is to bring Jews back to their faith, back to their traditions."

The branch was named after the Byelorussian village of Lyubavichi where its first members settled.

It became a worldwide force in Judaism under the guidance of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson who transformed the Lubavitch branch of Judaism from a small sect of Hasidism to a powerful and expanding international movement.

Rabbi Schneerson, who was born in the Ukraine died in New York in 1994.

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