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The Scottish Jewish Archives Centre has been awarded a Certificate of Special Achievement for Sustained Best Practice in the 2023 Community Archives and Heritage Awards. The award was announced at a special ceremony in London.
SJAC director Harvey Kaplan said:
“We are delighted that SJAC has been recognised in this way. It is testimony to the sustained work over many years that has taken the Archives Centre from its modest beginnings in 1987 to being an internationally recognised collection today.
In recent years, we have upgraded to professional standard storage and collections care systems. We have built public interest in the collections and in the history of Scottish Jewry through our displays, exhibitions, publications, talks and website. Most recently, we have co-developed The Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre, designed to broaden public and school access to the SJAC’s collections, in particular its Holocaust and refugee period collections, and to the heritage and history of Garnethill Synagogue, where the Archives Centre is based – category A listed and Scotland’s oldest, opened in 1879.
This award is also a tribute to the dedication, enthusiasm and skills of many committee members, a small number of part time staff and band of volunteers who work diligently to ensure SJAC continues to collect, preserve and make accessible the records of Scotland’s Jewish history going back over 200 years.
A central thread of the Jewish experience in Scotland is the story of the integration of waves of Jewish immigrants and refugees and the inspirational contribution they have made to Scotland – a theme so relevant to today.
We are looking forward now to finding a means of appointing a part –time professional archivist to help consolidate and expand SJAC’s work and to ensure a sustainable future and that the collections continue to make their unique contributions to research, education, tourism, events and activities in many areas.”