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May 5, 2016 7:25 am

Jewish-Catholic School to Open in Scotland Considered First of Its Kind

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Jewish & Catholic clerics at the site of a new joint faith campus in Scotland. Photo: Twitter.

Jewish & Catholic clerics at the site of a new joint faith campus in Scotland. Photo: Twitter.

A new school campus opening in western Scotland that will unite Jewish and Catholic students is deemed the first of its kind in the world, the UK’s Premier reported on Wednesday.

The $20.9 million development, in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, will replace the suburb’s current Jewish school, Calderwood Lodge, and will serve as an additional primary school for the Catholic community. East Renfrewshire Council leaders said the new facility will reflect aspects of both faiths and include a shared space at the center of the building where Jewish and Catholic students can interact.

Jewish and Catholic leaders on Tuesday blessed the grounds where the joint faith school will be built and laid ceremonial stones at the site. The ceremony was attended by East Renfrewshire Council members, the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council and students from both the Calderwood Lodge and St. Cadoc’s Primary School.

A picture posted on Twitter by the East Renfrewshire Council shows Rabbi Rubin from Giffnock Synagogue and Monsignor Monaghan from St Cadoc’s parish at the construction site.

“After nearly two years of planning and discussion between the authority and the two communities, it’s wonderful to see Rabbi Rubin and Monsignor Monaghan pray for God’s blessing as the construction begins,” said Father Thomas Boyle, the Catholic Education representative for East Renfrewshire Council. “May their blessings continue to be on both schools for the future.

Paul Morron from the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council called the uniting of Jewish and Catholic primary schools on one campus a “momentous initiative.” He added, “It delivers a powerful message to the wider community that two different faiths can work in close cooperation.”

Mhairi Shaw, director of Education at East Renfrewshire Council, said: “The joint faith campus is an excellent example of our creative and sector-leading approach to providing high quality education services and facilities shaped by the views of our residents and community partners.”

It is unknown when the new school will open.

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