Uni Glos RPE Guest Speakers: Cheltenham Synagogue community

As part of the program of guest speakers for our new module ‘Contemporary Religious Landscapes’ we were joined by Jennifer Silverston and Abigail Fisher, long standing members of and spokespersons for the Cheltenham Synagogue community. This was a fantastic session which, because of Covid mitigations, sadly had to take place via Zoom but lost none of its impact for all that. In many ways the subject of Zooming came up quite a lot as, over the last few months, Zoom has been one of the main ways that the community has been able to keep in contact. But this has also brought up problems concerning Shabbat when of course the orthodox community are committed to not engaging in any form of technology. Jennifer and Abigail provided the students with so much insight in to the nature of sacred space in the synagogue and the home and indeed on line and their experiences and comments were greatly appreciated. The students are currently working on research projects concerning the nature of scared space in the Cheltenham region and this first session started the ball rolling in terms of ethnographic ‘field research’, despite being bound by the Covid situation. Many, many thanks to Jennifer and Abigail.

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