Jewish identity

Circumcision is at the heart of Jewish identity

By Elad Uzan, March 23, 2014

Recently, circumcision has been in the headlines in Israel due to two events. First came a German court’s decision that circumcision is “bodily harm”, leading to claims that Germany, or Europe, are about to ban circumcision, and to accusations of antisemitism by many Israelis. Recently, a woman who refused to circumcise her son was allegedly ordered to do so by an Israeli rabbinical court.

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Jewish identity project will stand the test of time

By Raymond Simonson, March 22, 2013

On Wednesday March 6 I attended a Jewish burial. It wasn’t at Bushey, Willesden or Waltham Abbey, and no, I wasn’t consigning a sefer Torah to its final resting place either.

It was, in fact, a joyous occasion; the burial of a time capsule under the piazza on the site of the new JW3 Jewish Community Centre on London’s Finchley Road.

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Encapsulated: UK Jews for future reference

By Jenni Frazer, March 7, 2013

Sir Trevor Chinn put it simply. “As a community, we have a decision to make. Do we accept decline as inevitable, or do we challenge it?”

There seemed no doubt that, on a cold but sunny morning in the grounds of JW3, the new Jewish Community Centre for London, the decision had been taken to take the challenge to the barricades.

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Arlene Phillips

March 1, 2013

An overwhelming sense of family, for my relations but also for the loved ones of my children and all I welcome into my home. I hope I have passed this on to my children, who through gatherings, festivals and Friday nights, will duly pass it on to generations to come.

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Matthew Gould

March 1, 2013

The two prayers said in every British synagogue every week — one for the Royal Family, one for the state of Israel. The prayers repeated over and over for peace. All the arguing. The food. My grandfather from Warsaw. My parents. My wife Celia. And my daughter Rachel.

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Tracy-Ann Oberman

March 1, 2013

What does being Jewish mean to me and my work? It means I approach my acting and writing with the ability to hold two truths. That there is comedy in tragedy and tragedy in comedy. That humanity is flawed yet essentially wonderful. That there is strength in being the outsider.

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Naomi Alderman

March 1, 2013

It’s a bit of a blessing. It’s a bit of a burden. For myself, I’ve managed to turn it from a prison cell to a toolkit. Learn what wisdom there is in Judaism. Use what’s useful, disregard the rest. And if nothing is useful, throw it all out without fear.

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Ruth Deech

March 1, 2013

Rightly or wrongly, all Jews have been treated as responsible for each other: if one does something reprehensible, others may be blamed for it. So we try that bit harder. We try to bring credit to the community and not the reverse. The reward is the sense of community.

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Jewish identity: This is what we feel now

By Anna Sheinman, February 28, 2013

We asked you what being Jewish means to you and you answered in your hundreds, with your words, pictures and even your glitter pens.

You told us about your fondness for gefilte fish, your meditations on Torah and your fervent love of Spurs, and over 100 Year Five and Six children, the future of Jewish identity in this country, created artworks, illustrating what being Jewish means to them.

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Dame Vivien Duffield puts the final touches to her project

By Simon Round, February 28, 2013

Dame Vivien Duffield claims she is tired. The new Jewish community centre for London, to be known as JW3, is approaching completion and Dame Vivien, honoured for her massive philanthropic efforts, says that this may be her last big project.

However, when she discusses JW3 and the influence she hopes it will have on the community, she seems to lack nothing in energy.

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