“Feeling a sense of connectedness with God which inspires a committed Jewish lifestyle and enables me to make a meaningful and uniquely Jewish contribution to society. I pray that those who open the capsule share this definition; a sure sign that Jewish continuity is alive and well.”
“Belonging to a global family blessed with a rich, divine heritage. We are responsible to ensure our heritage remains vibrant and accessible to every Jewish man and woman, and to inspire, by example, all humankind towards wholesome faith and meaningful living, and a better world.”
“If I had to choose its most essential elements I would say it means having an intense and often complex relationship with God, an obsession with social justice, a passion for books, study and ideas and having the courage to go against the current.”
“Responsibility and accountability set out by the word of Hashem in the holy Torah. A meaningful life filled with joy and happiness, one of ultimate pleasure basking in the shadow of the Shekhinah. Improving the world and knowing one’s place within the world and with God.”
“I love being Jewish. It’s an enriching, nourishing inheritance. Rooted in texts which ground me and lift me. It’s creative, joyful and challenging. It compels me to pursue justice, equality and dignity for all as all humans are created in God’s image. British-Israeli with more than a little chutzpah”.
“My father’s hands’ blessing; life’s journey become mystery; the dog having challah; family and community I love; the unyielding commandment of compassion; pine-scents of the Galilee, Jerusalem streets; history’s railways; melodies of Kaddish; God’s sacred light; struggles with failing to see.”
“Because my mother became a Christian and hid her Jewishness, being Jewish means fear, secrecy and lies. Because at 23 I discovered her secret, being Jewish means the sudden unfolding of an ancient golden heritage, family, prayer, Brick Lane, Jerusalem sunlight. An endless joyful thankful gift.”
“Pride in being Jewish and in having founded UK Jewish Film which brings culture, history and stories to audiences across the UK through the power of film and discussion.
I believe that we must promote dialogue to grow respect and understanding across cultures while fostering Jewish continuity and identity.”
“I came to my Jewish identity through the violin. Through klezmer and the traditional music of the Eastern European shtetl, my violin can speak in Yiddish; the ornaments, the sounds, the inflections of the Yiddish language and I feel a spread of belonging, a deep connection to the past.”
“Being Jewish as a comedian means being an ambassador. For audiences that have never met a Jew, I’m reflecting our culture, showing we have a sense of humour, we’re witty and self-deprecating. For Jewish audiences, I’m an ambassador for the outside world, prodding down complacencies that Jews may hold.”
“Being Jewish is a huge part of who I am. My mother’s family have been committed Zionists for many generations, and my father came from a family of rabbis. It’s inevitable that there are Jewish elements to my writing, as one should write the world one knows.”
Although it does not encompass the whole essence of Jewishness, the incidental bits and pieces which accompany our religion— the Jewish penicillin, the way we communicate in our very special way, the red ribbon superstition, and expressions such as kein ayin hara [beware of the evil eye] — they are the recognisable hallmarks of our faith.
A warm family environment, where the mother acts as a pivotal figure and children and elderly relatives are much loved and cherished. A way of life that stresses fair treatment to all people you meet and charitable deeds as much as religious observance.
Tolerance of others’ views, with vigorous debate being the way to settle arguments rather than shows of force.
Through personal example, I show how to stand up for the Jewish people, Israel and Britain. Community, charity and responsibility enable others to improve themselves and our society. Commitment, family, legacy, investment, pride, continuity and history make our future.
I can best express it in the words of others for the best statements have already been made. Hillel: if I am not for myself, who will be? But if I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when?
Micah: What does the Lord ask of you? To do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
1967: Frankie Vaughan chucks me under the chin in shul. 1972: My mother fries fish in the garden to keep the smell out of the curtains. 1994: Journalist calls me “the woman who ate Stamford Hill”. 1998: My daughter’s batmitzvah. JC posters all over London read: “Vanessa Feltz on having an affair.”
Being Jewish means my children having parents born in two countries, grandparents who started life in three, and great-grandparents from six of the mighty Ashkenazi heartlands — from the shtetls of Belarus and Lithuania to the cafés of Vienna and Amsterdam. All of us united by common language, culture and understanding. Being Jewish means journey-defying,
A subtle complex that defies definition, a religion, a nation, a culture, all and none. At its essence: the Law of the Torah and lovingkindness. But as we expand: the Talmud and our traditions and rules.
It’s about pride. Pride that my grandparents came to the UK from the Ukraine, Poland and Romania relatively disadvantaged but with great will and determination. Through self-education, sacrifice and hard work, they gave me, my wife and my kids and grandkids, undreamt of opportunities. My picture would be of Terezin, or Theresienstadt.