A new project captures the voices of young Jews living in Europe

Kaleidoscope invites 17 to 24-year-olds to reflect on their Jewish lives and write their personal story for submission


Talia reflected about her own Jewish experience in her story for Kaleidoscope

A new project that captures the voices of young Jews living in Europe has launched.

Kaleidoscope is a pan-European project that invites young Jews, aged between 17 and 24 years old, to reflect on their lives and write their personal story for submission. Their story can cover any aspect of their lives, including life as a young Jew, personal relationships and how they feel about being part of the Jewish community.

All the autobiographical stories submitted will be published on the Kaleidoscope website ( Stories can be submitted under the author’s name, or anonymously, and should be between 750 and 7,500 words, and the next deadline is 15 May.

The first seven stories, which are already online, to be featured on Kaleidoscope have been submitted by young people from Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Turkey and the UK, and showcase a wide spectrum of lives of young European Jews today.

Dennis, 21, from Budapest, writes about hosting Shabbat dinners for Jewish friends as a way of keeping his “little community together”, while Rachel, 22, from Potsdam, recalls her great grandfather’s surprise at her choice to become a Rabbi.

Talia K-G, 23, from London, was motivated to write her story by the wish to share her “unique connection with Judaism and to show how every Jewish story is different”.

She says about writing about her Jewish identity for Kaleidoscope: “It felt empowering as it enabled me to have a platform to share my story and how my other identities played into my Judaism. The inspiration behind my story was wanting to share what Judaism meant to me in the context of my adult life in London and navigating where it fits in.

“It was an amazing process to be able to think reflectively about my Jewish experience and all the different parts that come along with it.”

Tali B, 19, from Paris, said: “I was having a bit of trouble finding my place, especially after October 7. I felt a bit vulnerable, and I didn't know who I could talk to. This project has enabled me to fully record everything I was thinking, to take responsibility for what I was saying and to be able to express myself, too. I needed to be heard.”

Kaleidoscope is inspired by a collection of stories submitted by young Polish Jews in the 1930s. The YIVO institute in Vilnius launched a competition in 1934 to collect autobiographies from young Jewish people. It gathered 627 entries in Yiddish, Polish and Hebrew and the winners were due to be announced on 1 September 1939 when war broke out. The entries were anonymous, so the fates of the young writers are unknown, but it is likely most of them died in the Holocaust. However, many of the stories survived the war and were eventually digitised and made available online.

Kaleidoscope is an initiative from the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe and the stories will be deposited with the Central Archives of the Jewish People at the National Library of Israel.

Daniela Greiber, Jewish communal life grants programme manager at Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, says, “This is a unique opportunity for young Jewish people to have their voices heard and recorded as part of the ever-evolving story of the Jewish people. Just like us, the original project organisers wanted to know what it was like to be a young Jew in Europe.

“We want to shine a light on the young Jewish people who represent our future and better understand their thoughts and feelings as young adults in the 21st century. We also want to show that Jewish communities in Europe today have a deep sense of history but are also forward-looking, diverse and vibrant.”

Register and submit your story on the website

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive