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Want to Write for Us?

We are always looking for new contributors to tell us something we didn’t know; to find fresh angles and fresh ways of telling them.  If you feel you have something new and interesting to say, please consult our contributor guidelines and get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you. The JewThink Team.

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Introducing JewTh!nk

JewThink is a project to set up a popular, not for profit service to allow diverse Jewish voices to be heard in Britain. Existing Jewish publications in the UK are struggling. The circulation of print-based media continues to dwindle and close, and websites fight to produce revenue. At the same time, newspapers are subject to […]

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My Metal, My Judaism

Adam Kammerling reflects on metal, theatre and Judaism. The first song to move me to tears was the Avinu Malkeinu, as sung by the congregation of the Bristol and West Progressive synagogue. I was fifteen years old and it took me by surprise. It was the hyper-normative, mega-hetero, small-town, the early noughties. Boys couldn’t just […]

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Mazel Tov to the Golden Globe Winners

The results of the Golden Globes were announced last night. To congratulate the Jewish winners and those shows with some Jewish content, here is a reminder of what our film and television critics thought of them. Schitt’s Creek (two awards) may not be The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, says Vincent Brook, but it is marvellous and very, […]

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‘Law Not War’

Nathan Abrams reviews Parting Words by Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor for the Nuremberg war crimes trials. The American Jewish lawyer, Benjamin Ferencz has had a remarkable life. His career, which spanned more than seven decades, is a classic rags to riches story. From miserable poverty, he became the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg […]

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The Return of Jewish Body Horror

In the first of two articles, Sean Alexander explores the films of Brandon Cronenberg. ‘Long Live the New Flesh’ has become a mantra for the underlying themes in the films of David Cronenberg, long since it was first uttered by Max Renn (James Woods) in the climactic scene of 1983’s Videodrome. Cronenberg’s tracking of humanity’s […]

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Challenging Jewish Stereotypes, One Client at a Time

Gus Condeixa interviews personal trainer Yoel Levy, ‘The Jewish Fitness Coach’. Yoel is a 21-year-old Personal trainer / online coach. From running the London Marathon at just 18, Yoel is on a mission to help other Jewish people achieve their fitness goals whilst enjoying a Friday Night Dinner! Your insta handle is thejewishftinesscoach. Have you […]

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Albert Memmi

Jonathan Judaken remembers the most important Jewish thinker of the twentieth century (you may not know). Having just co-edited a compendium of Albert Memmi’s writing, The Albert Memmi Reader, I am always a little surprised when his name evokes nothing but a blank stare. He was, after all, one of the most important Jewish thinkers […]

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Into the flatlands with Professor David Miller

Why rejecting David Miller’s antisemitism also requires rejecting the flatland he inhabits.

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Shylock

Gloria Tessler shows how Shakespeare turned antisemitism on its head. I have often thought the Bard was the most enlightened philosemite of them all. And the reason? His controversial play, The Merchant of Venice. Many Jews applaud Michael Morpurgo’s decision not to include The Merchant in his forthcoming children’s book, Tales from Shakespeare, but I […]

Television & Film

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Borat is Back

Nathan Abrams looks forward to Borat sequel and how it will deal with contemporary antisemitism. It has been fourteen years since the release of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) but the trailer for the sequel has just dropped. In that initial installment, Sacha Baron Cohen treated us to […]

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The Return of Jewish Body Horror

In the first of two articles, Sean Alexander explores the films of Brandon Cronenberg. ‘Long Live the New Flesh’ has become a mantra for the underlying themes in the films of David Cronenberg, long since it was first uttered by Max Renn (James Woods) in the climactic scene of 1983’s Videodrome. Cronenberg’s tracking of humanity’s […]

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Antisemitism and Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’

The Shining, which marks its fortieth anniversary this year, is probably the ur-horror film. Its template for pyschological horror has been much copied over subsequent decades. Given its director’s ethnicity, which has been established by various authors (including myself), we can also view The Shining through the lens of Jewishness and Judaism. In so doing, […]

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic…

Will it be possible to update this homage to consumerism that was originally set amongst an incredibly narrow and privileged New York social elite?

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The Jewishness of ‘Scanners’

Sean Alexander unpicks the Jewish undercurrents to the film Scanners which was released forty years ago on this day. Probably best known to David Cronenberg fans as ‘the one with the exploding head’, Scanners (1981) has proven to be one of the Canadian’s most remembered and entertaining of early studio features.  Following the parasitical excesses […]

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Is The Mandalorian a Space Jew?

Nathan Abrams wonders if Disney’s creation is a member of the tribe. ‘Is There a Jew Under the Mandalorian’s Mask?’ Charlotte Gartenberg asked in The Tablet. She wrote this as the show debuted. There is certainly a great deal of mystery to the bounty hunter at the centre of Disney’s new Star Wars derived drama […]

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Flash Gordon, Moshiach of the Universe

Nathan Abrams tells the hidden Jewish history of a childhood favourite, Flash Gordon, which is 40 years old today. Imagine if the creators of Superman had read Susan Sontag’s ‘Notes on Camp’ and the result is Flash Gordon which celebrates the fortieth anniversary of its release today. In a nutshell, scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov, football […]

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Watching Unorthodox in Broughton Park

Rachel Harris argues that problem with Orthodox Jewish women in popular cultural representation lies with audience shlock and salvation, not with Charedi society. I am an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor, supporting people who have experienced sexual violence. I am a writer and a campaigner against ideologically motivated harms. I live and work in the heart […]

Life after Covid

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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. […]

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COVID, Ducks and Balak the Crazy Dog

A dream-like state. Thousands of random flashing images gradually replaced by a piercing, high frequency sine-wave and my wife’s urgent pleas to ‘wake up! Wake up! Kirk, wake up!’ After initial confusion, I realised I had passed out in the lobby of our apartment block. I remembered exiting the lift and telling my wife I […]

Politics

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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 […]

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Post-truth, QAnon and the Jewish response – a call for submissions

I’m not an absolutist. I’ve long understood that if you asked ten people to recall the same event they all witnessed, you will get ten different versions. Some of those versions will directly contradict each other. We understand this happens because everyone processes what they see through the lens of their own experience.   The concept […]

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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