Homepage

Latest articles

crime featured

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. […]

Harry,_William_and_Charles_(cropped)

Sparring Spares

Gloria Tessler suggests that Prince Harry could spare a thought for Joseph in his coat of many colours. Prince Harry’s revelations about sibling rivalry in his sensational book, Spare, will come as nothing new in the sense that they have exposed, as the late Rabbi Sacks has described it, the root of human conflict. Unsurprisingly […]

WhatsApp Image 2023-01-06 at 16.17.45

Eyes Wide Shut

Nathan Abrams considers the Jewishness of Jordan Peele’s Nope. Two alternative names have been suggested for Jordan Peele’s latest film, Nope, but which have already been taken: “Don’t Look Up” and “Don’t Look Now”. I am going to suggest an alternative if already taken title: Eyes Wide Shut. This is because in quoting Stanley Kubrick’s […]

dark feature copy

The Jewish mystical roots of His Dark Materials

The BBC and HBO recently aired the final episodes of the TV show His Dark Materials, based on the books of the same name by Philip Pullman, a self-described Church of England Atheist. When I first read the His Dark Materials trilogy 20 years ago, I knew the books were deemed as heretical. I read […]

Danny Kalb: Jewish Blues Icon

Martin Elliot Jaffe reflects on his musical inspiration since 1966. Reading the New York Times obituary for guitarist Danny Kalb, who died aged 80 in November, I was transported back in time: aged 15, Framus guitar in hand, struggling to find a chord progression as I listened to Projections, a new album from Kalb’s band, […]

The Scream in Kiev

Alex Gordon presents an original story.       My grandfather Ilya Gordon was an assistant pharmacist in a Kiev pharmacy. He made and sold medicines, weighed portions of medicines on scales, and was always accurate in his work. He was allowed to settle outside the Pale of Settlement in Tsarist Russia and move from the shtetl […]

An Unfathomable Nightmare

Donald Weber admires a new translation of Lion Feuchtwanger The Oppermanns. “Berlin is a city full of future émigrés,” Lion Feuchtwanger declared in 1931, prophesying his own fate two years before the 1933 publication of his deeply prescient novel, The Oppermanns. By then, the well-known author, a political novelist and playwright affiliated with Brecht and […]

Jewish Culture in Kraków

Shai Afsai reflects on a pre-pandemic Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków. Prior to World War II, about one-tenth of Poland’s population was Jewish, and Jews made up almost a quarter of Kraków’s residents. By the end of the war, 90% of Poland’s Jews had died at the hands of the Nazis and their accomplices. Those […]

Jewish Folk Medicine in Eastern Europe

Efram Sera-Shriar reviews a new book about Jewish Folk Medicine in Eastern Europe. Not so long ago I was having a discussion about traditional Jewish folk customs with my uncle, who is a lawyer. Like me, he’s always been interested in this aspect of Jewish culture, and we chatted about things such as the supposed […]

Television & Film

WhatsApp Image 2023-01-06 at 16.17.45

Eyes Wide Shut

Nathan Abrams considers the Jewishness of Jordan Peele’s Nope. Two alternative names have been suggested for Jordan Peele’s latest film, Nope, but which have already been taken: “Don’t Look Up” and “Don’t Look Now”. I am going to suggest an alternative if already taken title: Eyes Wide Shut. This is because in quoting Stanley Kubrick’s […]

dark feature copy

The Jewish mystical roots of His Dark Materials

The BBC and HBO recently aired the final episodes of the TV show His Dark Materials, based on the books of the same name by Philip Pullman, a self-described Church of England Atheist. When I first read the His Dark Materials trilogy 20 years ago, I knew the books were deemed as heretical. I read […]

Fred Melamed (left) stars as Sy Ableman and Sari Lennick (right) stars as Judith Gopnik in writer/directors Joel & Ethan CoenÕs A SERIOUS MAN, a Focus Features release.  Photo Credit: Wilson Webb

“No Jews were harmed”

Nathan Abrams reviews a new book about the work of the filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. In a review about the Jewishness of the films of the brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, it would be far too easy to devote attention just to A Serious Man. This is their most obviously Jewish film and probably […]

19th_century_Hanukkah_lamp_from_Austria-Hungary_-_Musée_d'Art_et_d'Histoire_du_Judaïsme

The Hollywood Chanukkiah

Barbara Borts discusses an unlikely Jewish Film Star. How does one signal to the public that the characters in a film are Jewish? ‎Well, let me introduce you to the unlit Chanukkiah, which made at least three different ‎appearances in three different films during the 2022 UK Jewish Film Festival.‎ In no particular order, this […]

baddiel eatured copy

But who’s counting?

Daniel Randall critically responds to David Baddiel’s documentary “Jews Don’t Count”.  Jeremy Corbyn defending a mural explicitly intended, according to its creator, to demonise Jewish financiers; antisemitic memes peddling conspiracies about “Rothschilds” approvingly circulated in left-wing social media spaces; Adbusters magazine, seen by many as having sparked the Occupy movement, asking in editorials “why won’t […]

dune featured

The Hidden Jews of ‘Dune’

As the film opens in the UK today, Nathan Abrams explores the Jewishness of the famous novel and its film adaptations. Dune opens in the UK today and while its secret Jewish history has been explored here, the full story has not been told. Much of Frank Herbert’s original 1965 science-fiction novel is explicitly influenced […]

eva eatured

All About Eva

In this exclusive extract from his new book, All About Eva: A Holocaust-Related Memoir, with a Hollywood Twist, Vincent Brook reminisces about his German Jewish parents’ experiences in Nazi Germany and their early years as refugees in Los Angeles, where Vincent’s mother, Eva, had an extramarital affair with famed Polish Jewish actor Alexander Granach. When […]

beatle feature

“A Hard Day’s Night”

David Drimer explores the Jewishness of the famous Beatles movie.  One Sunday night in 1964, the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and the world somehow changed. Almost 60 days after the Kennedy assassination, it broke America out of its national malaise. In the midst of the “British Invasion” – a slew of bands […]

Life after Covid

Israel and Covid feature

Israel and Covid

Sue Fox charts the hassle of flying to and from Israel in the age of Covid. Israel here we come. Never mind PASSENGER LOCATOR FORM, what I need is a brain locator form. Flights to Israel were bought pre-Covid. It was barely two years ago but I seem to have aged another decade. When Israel […]

jews featured

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 […]

photo-1584634731339-252c581abfc5

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, […]

headshotYF

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 […]

motherhood featured

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 […]

sergey-zolkin-_UeY8aTI6d0-unsplash

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. […]

shofar

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 […]

alvaro-serrano-hjwKMkehBco-unsplash (1)

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.  […]

Politics

A left response featured

A left response to left antisemitism: Is it too late for education?

Two recently-published books try and educate the left against antisemitism. Will they succeed?

blewish featured

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.

jewish power featured

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 […]

campus antisemitism and Israel featured

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.

corbinites featured

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 […]

portland featured

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 […]

dang featured

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 […]

featured left out reflection

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

As We Are

emma featured

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 […]

JewThink
Close Cookmode