Jewish identity

Francesca Segal

By Anna Sheinman, January 10, 2013

“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.”

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Words and music of being Jewish

By Anna Sheinman, January 10, 2013

Submissions for our Jewish identity project with JW3, the Jewish Community Centre for London, on what being Jewish means to you have continued to fill up our inbox.

The plan is to bury a time-capsule of people’s 50-word testimonies in the grounds of the new building in Swiss Cottage on March 6.

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Our Jewish identity art contest

January 6, 2013

As part of our drive to encourage younger members of the community to take part in the wider Jewish identity project, we are delighted to be launching an art competition for primary schools.

Pupils should answer the same question: “What does being Jewish mean to you?”

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The Jewish Identity Project: We’ve uploaded our 50 words...

January 3, 2013

Submissions have begun to pour in to our Jewish identity project, launched in conjunction with JW3, the new Jewish Community Centre for London.

Our aim is to give future generations a snapshot of what it is like to be Jewish in Britain today. We have one question: What does being Jewish mean to you?

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Keep 'em coming

January 3, 2013

When we first planned our identity project there was an assumption that much of the feedback would come from the "heartland": the well-trodden mezuzah-laden front doors of Hendon, Golders Green and Prestwich. It is a pleasant surprise to find Jews jumping out all over, from Dartford to Norfolk, from east Yorkshire to south London. They want to have their say.

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Lynn Levy

January 3, 2013

Being Jewish means always feeling different from other people, in belief, in food and in holidays. It means making sure I am always on the side of justice, tolerance and kindness. It means the delight of being with other Jewish people who feel the same way as me and therefore feeling comfortable and relaxed.

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Keith Kahn-Harris

January 3, 2013

An itch that must be scratched, the grit in the oyster, a constant feeling that something should be somehow different...describing what being Jewish feels like to me is to search through metaphors and never be entirely satisfied with any of them. And that is entirely appropriate, as for me being Jewish is never to be entirely satisfied, always to be pushing on towards an endlessly deferred goal.

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Charly Goldsmith

January 3, 2013

Being Jewish means spotting Jews, like finding Where’s Wally? Never buying rounds for my friends, and scrounging free drinks off as many people as possible (in return for them receiving a free lift home). Praying Israel will stop falling for Hamas’s rocket attacks and giving it the PR it needs for world support. Looking at every olive-skinned woman and thinking ‘Is she Jewish/Israeli...

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Ric Cooper

January 3, 2013

We are not what we think we are; we are what those around us think of us. In the time of ghettos and pogroms we all knew who was a Jew. Now we have equal rights and our own state, we have the luxury of self-doubt. How then should we represent ourselves? Not as an ethnic minority: our forefathers rightly encouraged us to integrate.

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Alfred Godfrey

January 3, 2013

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.

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