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MEMBERS of this year's UJIA Ethiopian Bar/Bat Mitzvah Club were praised at a ceremony last week.
Among those present at the event, held in the JCC, were club members and relatives, recently appointed UJIA Living Bridge Programmes manager Melanie Kelly, of London, and senior Scottish minister Rabbi Moshe Rubin.
Melanie said: "You have spent this year, working to learn about the Ethiopian Jewish community. Through the UJIA, you have raised money to be sent to children in this community living in Israel, to help them enjoy some of the opportunities that we often take for granted.
"You have helped them have a club they can go to, to do activities with their friends and families. You have helped them learn about how to become leaders of their community and make the most of the educational opportunities they now have in Israel that they would never have had in Ethiopia.
"Most importantly, you have helped this group of children celebrate a bar or batmitzvah of their own - something that would never have happened if you hadn't worked so hard to enable it."
Scottish Programmes youth worker Julie-Rae King gave a presentation on the sessions run during the past year and spoke about the introduction to the club's 'twin' Shlomo and the fundraising efforts undertaken.
Club members were Jacques Clapham, Martin Dover, Greg Barmack, Brad Solomon, Ryan Solomon, Joshua Groden, Daniel Caplan, Marsha Cates, Kimberly Greenhill, Robbie Ure and Adam Green.
Scottish Programmes director Joanna Hyman announced that they hoped to start the programme again in October.
The final fundraising event was a bag packing session in a Giffnock supermarket which raised £505. It brought the final total raised for Shlomo to £980.