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Jews & Crime

As any historian will tell you, one of the ways we discover Jews in far-flung places is through accounts of criminal activity both perpetrated by and against Jews. This series proposes to reflect on the relationship between Jews and issues of crime and criminality, opening up the hidden worlds of Jewish criminals and criminal behaviour. […]

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New Trek is Jew-Trek

First airing in 1966, Star Trek was always heavily influenced by Jews and Jewish thought but now it’s Jewier than ever. Famously Kirk, Spock and Chekov were all played by Jews (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Walter Keonig). Some of the writers who worked on the original series such as the noted sci-fi authors Harlan Ellison (City […]

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Napoleon and the Jews of Europe

On the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death, François Guesnet reflects on his relationship with Europe’s Jews. During a stagecoach journey in the north of France in 1799, an agent of the secret police struck up a conversation with a Jewish fellow traveller to find out what he thought of the revolution. The answer was prudent enough: […]

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Teaching Holocaust Art

Caroline Slifkin discusses her role teaching about the Holocaust through Holocaust Arts. The Holocaust is a defining event in human history and the study of it can help students to think critically about the world around them. Teaching the Holocaust in History is essential but it can be taught with a cross-curricular approach. A study […]

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Prayer

Bruce Black offers up four new poems on prayer. 1) Every day I listen Every day, dear God, I listen,wanting to hear Your voice— Just a word or two, even the soundof Your breath— Hoping for a sign that You arelistening to my prayer.__ 2) Your face is hidden Your face ishidden behinda cloud. When […]

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The Name’s Carver, Elliot Carver

Continuing our series on Jews & Crime, Nathan Abrams explores one of James Bond’s ‘Jewish’ villains. While none of James Bond’s villains in the film versions has been explicitly Jewish, several have been played by Jewish actors. The first-ever Bond villain in 1962’s Dr No, Doctor Julius No, a reclusive Chinese-German scientist, was played by […]

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The Jewish Actor Accused of Being a Nazi Spy

To mark the publication of his new biography, James Downs explores the life of Anton Walbrook. It must be fairly unusual for someone who was referred to as a ‘Jewish actor’ and was admired for his generous support of Jewish refugees during World War II, to have also been boycotted by Jewish groups due to […]

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The Hard Work of Racial Inclusivity in the British-Jewish Community Starts Here

Lara Monroe, a Black-British Jew, responds to the publication of the report by the Board of Deputies Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the Jewish Community.

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Good To Be A Jew

Robert “Smokey” Miles pens an original poem.   How’d you like to be a Jew? Yeah, you could be a Hebrew too when someone says to you, “so nu?” you can say “vos machts du?” too. Think Yiddish, speak British they used to say read the Torah, dance the hora let the klezmer play In […]

Television & Film

star trek featured

New Trek is Jew-Trek

First airing in 1966, Star Trek was always heavily influenced by Jews and Jewish thought but now it’s Jewier than ever. Famously Kirk, Spock and Chekov were all played by Jews (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Walter Keonig). Some of the writers who worked on the original series such as the noted sci-fi authors Harlan Ellison (City […]

elliot featured

The Name’s Carver, Elliot Carver

Continuing our series on Jews & Crime, Nathan Abrams explores one of James Bond’s ‘Jewish’ villains. While none of James Bond’s villains in the film versions has been explicitly Jewish, several have been played by Jewish actors. The first-ever Bond villain in 1962’s Dr No, Doctor Julius No, a reclusive Chinese-German scientist, was played by […]

anton feart

The Jewish Actor Accused of Being a Nazi Spy

To mark the publication of his new biography, James Downs explores the life of Anton Walbrook. It must be fairly unusual for someone who was referred to as a ‘Jewish actor’ and was admired for his generous support of Jewish refugees during World War II, to have also been boycotted by Jewish groups due to […]

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Jewish Ghost Stories

Molly Adams writes about Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories. February 1986. The playwright Tom Stoppard has organised a demonstration in support of the Jewish refuseniks trapped in Russia without human rights or means of leaving. The demonstration, taking place in front of London’s National Theatre, involves various actors, celebrities, and activists reading a roll call of […]

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British Jewish Horror

Molly Adams introduces six British-Jewish horror films. Since its birth as a genre, horror films have been preoccupied with religion and why not? The ritual, dramatic iconography, and terrifying promises of punishment in fiery pits for sinners to be found in Christianity are the perfect fuel for horror. However, if you’ve ever wondered where the […]

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Cronenberg’s Crime Films

Continuing our exploration into the link between Jews and crime, Sean Alexander looks at two David Cronenberg gangster films. You’d be forgiven for thinking that body horror director David Cronenberg’s canon of work is a world away from the crime thriller genre. Admittedly, Cronenberg’s halcyon period between Shivers (1975) and The Fly (1986) rarely crept any […]

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Britain’s Small Screen Jewish Gangsters

Contining with our series on Jews and Crime, Nathan Abrams explores British Jewish gangsters and criminals on the small screen. The image of the British Jewish gangster isn’t an obvious one but we’ve had two significant crime families on British television in recent years. McMafia (BBC, 2018) was an eight-part British crime drama television series […]

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New Flesh for Old

In the second part of a two-part series, Sean Alexander explores the films of Brandon Cronenberg and the return of Jewish Body Horror. *Warning: this review contains spoilers Brandon Cronenberg’s second film, Possessor (2020), echoes much of the corporate themes of its predecessor, this time positing a technology that allows the cerebral transference of ‘agents’ […]

Life after Covid

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Are our Jewish nightmares paling into insignificance?

Gloria Tessler asks has the pandemic deepened society’s consciousness and so we Jews have to worry less? Does it seem strange that during the pandemic so many important topics of conversation have suddenly assumed even greater magnitude? Racism in society, gender issues, women’s rights, everything is laid bare before us in terms that were muted […]

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Masks, Jews and the Holocaust

Nathan Abrams explores the similarities between rightwing Americans and orthodox Jews over their refusal to wear masks. The wearing of masks has evoked contradictory emotions and reactions. Some see it as an important means to halt the spread of Covid-19, as well as a sign of social consideration and altruism. Others have politicised the issue, […]

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If I am not for myself, who will be for me? A Profile of Yehudis Fletcher

Karen Skinazi profiles Yehudis Fletcher, a Haredi political and social activist who helped to found Nahamu, an organisation dedicated to fighting extremism. ‘What would you do if, say, a transwoman who used to be part of the Haredi community lost the right to see her children in the civil courts?’ I asked (admittedly, it was […]

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Lockdown and Motherhood

Miki Shaw, an artist, illustrator and graphic designer based in London, reflects on parenthood during lockdown. Lockdown, when it first came, felt oddly familiar to me. Not the large-scale and tragic backdrop of it, but the personal-scale isolation, and being stuck at home. I’ve been locked down in some ways since I first became a […]

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Streaming Rosh Hashanah

Nathan Abrams talks to Dr. Joshua Edelman about his new research project into how best to conduct religion online. As Rosh Hashanah looms, how do we conduct online religious services in the age of Covid? This is an essential question, as we prepare for what is, unquestionably, the most important period in the Jewish calendar. […]

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How Will This Rosh HaShanah Be Different From Every Other? It Won’t

Nathan Abrams reflects on how there will be little change to his Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There is a great deal of talk about how Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will be different this year for many people but for me it won’t. In fact, it will be better. I live in Bangor, in […]

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The Enduring Relevance of Avrom Radutski’s Poetry

Phil Alexander finds contemporary echoes in the poetry of Avrom Radutski. At the beginning of 2020, recently embarked upon a British Academy fellowship exploring Scottish-Jewish musical encounters, I was looking forward to days spent leisurely mining the Garnethill Synagogue Archives, the National Library of Scotland, the British Library, and so many other physical treasure chests.  […]

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Sourdough is Goyish, Challah is Jewish

If there was one thing that characterised my social media feeds during the early days of lockdown, it was the sudden appearance of endless photographs of homemade bread. It seems that, stuck at home, even in the face of a national shortage of flour and yeast, most people’s first reaction was to bake a loaf. […]

Politics

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The Hard Work of Racial Inclusivity in the British-Jewish Community Starts Here

Lara Monroe, a Black-British Jew, responds to the publication of the report by the Board of Deputies Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the Jewish Community.

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It’s Time to Celebrate Jewish Power

Loolwa Khazzoom celebrates the Jews in the new Biden administration. I watched inauguration day with great emotion, for numerous reasons, including the fact that a Black Indian woman is in the White House, for the first time in history. I was equally excited not only about the corollary fact that there is a second gentleman […]

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We need better ways to speak to each other about campus antisemitism and Israel

Ken Stern argues that efforts to oppose campus antisemitism must be consistent with academic freedom and free speech, and this means rejection of hate speech codes such as IHRA.

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Corbynites prepare to reject EHRC findings

Dan Jacobs considers the likely reaction to the EHRC report by Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters. The report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into Labour antisemitism is due to be released to the public within weeks, possibly days.   The report is unlikely to call for the removal of individuals and Jeremy Corbyn himself then […]

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A Letter from Portland

On the day I write this, we have witnessed 60 days of daily demonstrations in the streets of downtown Portland Oregon. After the murder of George Floyd by police, it was awe-inspiring to see myriads of thousands rise up across the US. Horrified by the blatant injustice, peaceful crowds in Portland Oregon, masked, observing safe […]

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Dang!

Artist and filmmaker Ruth Novaczek reflects on social media’s determination of hate speech — and the real hate it occludes. Dang, banned again! Yes, first it was 24 hours, ok not so bad, next it was 48, hmm, then finally 3 days. The worst aspect of this stupid Facebook algorithmic witch-hunting was the fact that […]

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The problem of love in Corbyn’s Labour Party: Reflections on Left Out

How Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire’s ‘Left Out’ shows how love was always a greater problem than hate in Corbyn’s Labour Party

A letter in support of Professor David Feldman and the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism

While JewThink has no editorial ‘line’, it exists to be a platform for debate and discussion within and outside the UK Jewish community.  We were approached by the organisers of the following jointly-signed letter that was published in the Jewish Chronicle on 23 December 2020. They wished to ensure that the letter was more visible […]

As We Are

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Time To Heal

Emma Franks, a practising visual artist describes how her brother’s increased religiosity and Deborah Feldman’s Unorthodox inspired her commitment to producing work that explores the female narrative and perspective. In the middle of the global pandemic last year, when we noticed birdsong and the joys of being at one with nature people also discovered the […]

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