‘I feel more Jewish and less British at the moment’

Sunday’s rally was billed as a march for ‘proud British Jews’. The JC asked some of the participants how they felt about their dual identity


A Union Jack and an Israeli flag at Manchester's march against antisemitism (Photo: Gary Sheldon)

Marshall Frieze

56, from Leeds

“I am very proud to be British and Jewish. For me, the two identities are intertwined. My mother is a Holocaust survivor, who came from Salonika and was welcomed to the UK. My family and I made aliyah in 1983, but I came back here when I was 22. There is a correlation between what is happening in Israel and the antisemitism we are seeing. People think we’re child killers. We have a responsibility to tell people what is really going on in a respectful manner. For the first time, I have started to wonder if there is a future for the Jewish community in the UK. I think I would feel safer in Israel right now.”


39, from London, living in Manchester

“At the moment, I feel more Jewish than ever and less British since I feel abandoned by a lot of people in the UK. I’m a teacher and I used to be proud of saying I was Jewish in school, but now I hope that no one remembers since both pupils and teachers are coming in to school with Palestinian flags on their clothes and wearing kefirs. The Jewish community were huge victims of what happened on October 7, but not one non-Jewish friend has said to me they were sorry about what happened.Their silence is suffocating.”

Natalie Hamburg

52, from Whitefield

“I identify as British and Jewish, and I have always felt very safe in Manchester. Although since October 7, I get very nervous about telling someone I’m Jewish. As an estate agent, I do meet a lot of people, and I often wonder how they would react if they knew I was Jewish. Maybe that’s just paranoia, but I try to stay off social media since that’s a cesspool of antisemitism.”

Olivia Hamburg,

24, from Whitefield

“I’m proud to be Jewish since that is something which makes me different to most people who live in the UK. Since October 7, I have become more aware of whether to tell people I am Jewish since there is now a lot more hatred and antisemitism here. Sometimes, I do show my Magen David and sometimes I don’t. It really depends on who I’m with. Everyone at work knows I’m Jewish, but nothing was said to me after the terrorist attacks, which made me feel like no one cared. Since October 7, the Jewish community has really come together, which makes me feel very proud to be Jewish.”

Shelley Laskier,

from Prestwich

“My father was a Holocaust survivor and that absolutely impacts on me as second-generation Jew living in the UK. That antisemitism in this country has increased so much makes me feel very nervous and wary. I’m more cautious about where I’m going, the people I’m seeing and shops I’m supporting since some of them have pro-Palestinian signs outside. I have always felt Jewish, but feel that since October 7, people have recognised their Judaism from deep within. We have a voice, and we need to do what we couldn’t do in 1939 – stand up for ourselves.”

Peretz Tabor,

46, from Prestwich

“I’m proud of being Jewish in a country like England, but it’s a bit more difficult at the moment. I wear a kippa and I have had people shouting things at me and being confrontational, as well as to other members of my family. I think that the regular person on the street doesn’t understand that antisemitism is a form of racism, although the police do. When I reported the attacks, they were amazing.”

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