Jewish identity

Dina Shiloh

February 11, 2013

Being a Jew means respecting my heritage and traditions. Understanding where I came from. Believing my family comes first. Supporting Israel. Loving Jewish jokes and culture. Passing on these values to our three sons. Being a Jewish lawyer means a heightened understanding of the need to fight injustice and discrimination.

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Owen Shayan

By Anna Sheinman, January 31, 2013

My Dad was always very proud he was Jewish. Growing up in Leicestershire, we didn’t say we were Iranian, but it was OK to be Jewish. Being Jewish will mean recognition, acceptance. It is knowledge, understanding. It is important, when I have a family, that I have that knowledge.

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Miryam Ben Chaim

By Anna Sheinman, January 31, 2013

I lived in LA; it was superficial. I felt I wasn’t in the right place. Judaism gave me a direction as to how to approach life. I keep kosher, I keep Shabbat, I keep everything I’ve learned. There is a connection with every person who believes in Judaism, it binds us.

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Yoletta Nyange

By Anna Sheinman, January 31, 2013

Co-hosting the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony with Simon Schama and debuting my Magen David a day after I returned from a trip to Ethiopia made me very proud. As a child, my Judaism was a lethal secret but now it is what I hold on to. I reconnected. It feels natural.

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Shiraaz Sidat

By Anna Sheinman, January 31, 2013

I felt something was missing. Judaism has helped me to develop my relationship with God. There is a feeling of peace, of being happy and content after a service. Going to the Beth Din was very emotional, I was so nervous, but it was a new beginning.

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Online identities

January 31, 2013

This week we carry the latest batch of 50 word statements of Jewish identity - from converts. They are especially poignant. What has made this project so fascinating has been the mix of common threads and wildly different views. The more of us who contribute, the better the results will be. So if you haven't yet entered your 50 words, you have just under a month. Do, please.

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Chava Fleming

By Anna Sheinman, January 31, 2013

I was inspired by some wonderful Jewish neighbours. My stepson Benjamin’s barmitzvah and my marriage to his father were on the same weekend; the entire community was invited to both. The sense of family, and commitment to it, is uppermost.

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Aaron Radford-Wattley

By Anna Sheinman, January 31, 2013

The Book of Ruth says “your people will be my people.” That rang true for me. Other people in my conversion class had Jewish partners, I was doing it just for me. Now I have a Jewish boyfriend, I’m looking forward to a Jewish wedding and having a Jewish home.

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Ben Helfgott

January 24, 2013

“We have a responsibility to be careful what we say and do, because we all represent all Jews. I have always tried to work for reconciliation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 45 Aid Society – many survivors speak about Polish people differently today because of my influence.”

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Rudi Oppenheimer

January 24, 2013

“When I was young we had a blue JNF box. I had heard about Palestine. Occasionally the family would share a Jaffa orange. Now students ask me if I wish I hadn’t been Jewish, but if I hadn’t I would have been in the Hitler Youth, so being Jewish was better.”

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