From Classroom to Synagogue: GRS Visit by Cathkin High School

The following was submitted by Orlaith Payne, RMPS teacher at Cathkin High School in Cambuslang, on their June visit to GRS and other community institutions.

Cathkin HS students visit to GRS
Cathkin HS students visit to GRS

As part of the Higher and National 4/5 RMPS World Religion section, teachers Mrs. Colligan and Mrs. Payne took their classes for a day of Jewish culture! In the morning, we visited the Reform synagogue where our guides, Babeth and Eileen, showed us where they pray, what their festivals consist of and how they conduct their laws. Both guides explained the Sabbath, the day of rest at the end of the week for all Jewish people. Ryan Ramsey, a fourth year pupil, said, “The best part was when we were shown how the Jews carry out a Sabbath”. Eileen read from the Torah in Hebrew and the pupils were very impressed. Zoe Raffan added, “Babeth and Eileen put a lot of effort into making our trip as enjoyable and interesting as they could”.  Jemma Stevens said, “I really liked the four stained glass windows on the entrance to the synagogue and how they represented four important events in a Jewish life – birth, a Bar Mitzvah, marriage and death”.

Eileen from the Reform Synagogue sharing Challah bread
Eileen from the Reform Synagogue sharing Challah bread

The group then visited Mark’s Deli in Giffnock for a taste of Jewish kosher food. Mark himself came out of the kitchen to explain some of the items the pupils were tasting. The pupils tried all of the items and the chicken soup, known as Jewish penicillin to the Jewish community, was a hit. Following a stroll around Giffnock, the pupils visited the Orthodox synagogue. Avril Levy, a spokesperson for the synagogue, met the group at the entrance and took the pupils on a tour of the Orthodox Jewish place of worship. She then explained some key facts about the religion and some of the celebrations that the Jewish people carry out. The visit was fascinating, with the pupils thoroughly enjoying both the talk from Avril and the hands on aspect of the synagogue when Avril left religious artefacts out on the table for the pupils to look more closely at. Mrs Colligan was impressed with the trip, adding, “This is the third year we have studied Judaism at Higher and National 4/5, and this trip really brought alive the beliefs, the values and the practices that make Judaism so interesting to teach. We would love to thank Babeth, Eileen and Avril for their invaluable tours that will really aid the pupils in their final exam”.

Pupils enjoying the Sabbath meal put on by the Reform Synagogue Jews
Pupils enjoying the Sabbath meal put on by the Reform Synagogue Jews
Pupils tasting kosher food in Mark’s Deli in Giffnock