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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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Jews & Chess

Tim Cowen asks if chess is a Jewish game. Beth Harmon, a 9-year-old orphan chess prodigy, walks into a high school. She beats all 12 of the school’s best players simultaneously. The Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit is entirely fictional, but it reveals the reality of the ancient game. An orphan girl can succeed against the […]

chess fearured

The Top Ten Jewish Chess Movies

The Queen’s Gambit, a novel that has been adapted for and is currently streaming on Netflix (read a review here), has caused an uptake in the game of chess. Jews, as we know, excel at the sport, perhaps because it requires no physical contact, is played indoors and takes brains to master. In fact, the […]

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What’s in a Name? Lovecraft Country’s Hiram Epstein

Elyce Rae Helford takes another look at the troubling and antisemitic character of Hiram Epstein on HBO’s Lovecraft Country. In September 2020, in The Times of Israel, Philissa Cramer asked, ‘Why does HBO’s anti-racist ‘Lovecraft Country’ stumble into anti-Semitic tropes?‘ The question came to me as well, and Cramer does a superb job of clarifying […]

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Thinking in Yiddish

Michele Byers reflects on learning Yiddish during lockdown. Not knowing Yiddish is one of those things I’ve been lamenting most of my life. And, in a way, the lamentation is itself as much a part of my secular Jewish identity as knowing Yiddish might have been. I expect that it’s like this for a lot […]

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Jew vs. Jew

Vincent Brook offers another perspective on The Trial of the Chicago 7. Jewish writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s reputation as one of America’s most unflinchingly leftist filmmakers/television creators was secure well before The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), as was his penchant for interweaving his work with Jewish themes and characters. With his period docudrama about […]

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The Secret History of Hava Nagila

The Secret History of Hava Nagila is an animated short story that could change everything you thought you knew about Jewish history.

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Is She or Isn’t She . . . Jewish?: ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

Vincent Brook reviews new Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit. SPOILER ALERT: The following review contains major reveals! We all know about Bobby Fischer, the paranoid, self-hating Jewish chess wiz featured in two American movies (Meeting Bobby Fischer, 1993; Pawn Sacrifice, 2015). Fischer became U.S. champion at fourteen and, marred by his antisemitic rantings, defeated the […]

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Vessel

In this personal essay, Polish translator Marta Dziurosz explores her Jewish roots, her uneasy path to engaging with them, and how literature helped her along the way. There are rooms of silence attached to this piece of writing. Things I don’t know; things I should know; things I’ve been asked not to write about; things […]

Television & Film

chess fearured

The Top Ten Jewish Chess Movies

The Queen’s Gambit, a novel that has been adapted for and is currently streaming on Netflix (read a review here), has caused an uptake in the game of chess. Jews, as we know, excel at the sport, perhaps because it requires no physical contact, is played indoors and takes brains to master. In fact, the […]

chicago feart

Jew vs. Jew

Vincent Brook offers another perspective on The Trial of the Chicago 7. Jewish writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s reputation as one of America’s most unflinchingly leftist filmmakers/television creators was secure well before The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), as was his penchant for interweaving his work with Jewish themes and characters. With his period docudrama about […]

lovecraft 1

What’s in a Name? Lovecraft Country’s Hiram Epstein

Elyce Rae Helford takes another look at the troubling and antisemitic character of Hiram Epstein on HBO’s Lovecraft Country. In September 2020, in The Times of Israel, Philissa Cramer asked, ‘Why does HBO’s anti-racist ‘Lovecraft Country’ stumble into anti-Semitic tropes?‘ The question came to me as well, and Cramer does a superb job of clarifying […]

hava nagila featured

The Secret History of Hava Nagila

The Secret History of Hava Nagila is an animated short story that could change everything you thought you knew about Jewish history.

featured gambit

Is She or Isn’t She . . . Jewish?: ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

Vincent Brook reviews new Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit. SPOILER ALERT: The following review contains major reveals! We all know about Bobby Fischer, the paranoid, self-hating Jewish chess wiz featured in two American movies (Meeting Bobby Fischer, 1993; Pawn Sacrifice, 2015). Fischer became U.S. champion at fourteen and, marred by his antisemitic rantings, defeated the […]

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From Aliyah to ‘I’m A Celebrity’: Gwrych Castle’s Secret Jewish History

Nathan Abrams reveals the forgotten Jewish history of Gwrych Castle. One thing that has been missed in the excitement of the announcement that Gwrych Castle in Abergele, north Wales is hosting I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here is the location’s Jewish history. During the Second World War, Jewish refugee children were housed in […]

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The Art of Mizrahiness

Karen Skinazi argues that, in the Jewish diaspora, we don’t talk enough or think enough about the Mizrahi experience—but, with writers like Ayelet Tsabari, that’s changing. I don’t remember hearing the word ‘Mizrahi’ growing up. Almost all the Jewish people in my Jewish day school, and almost all the Jewish people in the stories we […]

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The Crown’s Jew(el)s*

Nathan Abrams looks forward to finding more Jews in The Crown‘s new season. Season Four of the Netflix drama The Crown is about to drop. ‘This drama’, as its official website states, ‘follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.’ Seemingly, […]

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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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 […]

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Bloated and Angry: Rudolph Giuliani

Sue Fox recalls meting and interviewing one-time New York City mayor, Rudolph Giuliani. Having seen far too much of Rudolph Giuliani – the bloated, angry looking  legal advisor to Trump – during this election fiasco, I decided to skim through his 2002 book Giuliani: Leadership.   Before the events of 9/11 changed the world, the then […]

EHRC FATURED

The EHRC report shows that anti-racist solidarity, not special protection, is the way forward

Yair Wallach reflects on the EHRC report on antisemitism in the Labour Party published last week. The EHRC report on antisemitism in the Labour Party, published last week, is a damning conclusion on Labour’s failure to deal with antisemitism. The Equality and Human Rights Commission found that the Labour Party, through its agents, was guilty […]

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Poor Jeremy

Dan Jacobs does not feel sorry for Jeremy Corbyn. Poor Jeremy, he is being hung out to dry. Why? Because he defended himself against those Jews, sorry, I mean Zionists.   The EHRC decided Labour under his leadership broke the law in being discriminatory against Jews.  Sure, maybe, but it’s not his fault.  He was just the leader.   What […]

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RBG and the Jewish Tradition of Dressing with Intention

Of the many lessons Ruth Bader Ginsburg embodied – that our legal status should not be contingent on gender; that we can value people with whom we virulently disagree, and that disagreement can make us better; that choosing the right life partner can make all the difference – the one that most resonates with me […]

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When Joe Biden announced his candidacy for President of the United States, c1984

Louis Gordon recalls a career-defining speech from over two decades ago. Thirty-six years ago, during my senior year at Brandeis University, I attended Herut USA’s conference in New York City.  It was the first such event by Herut in many years and was well attended largely due to the featured speakers who included then former Israeli […]

Left Out by Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire

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

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Considering the antisemitism of Jeremy Corbyn

Extracts from the yet unpublished Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn by Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire are being published in The Times this week and include interesting tidbits about Jeremy Corbyn and his alleged antisemitism. The latest revelations are a quote from one of Corbyn’s right-hand men, Andrew Murray, saying that […]

As We Are

hava nagila featured

The Secret History of Hava Nagila

The Secret History of Hava Nagila is an animated short story that could change everything you thought you knew about Jewish history.

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