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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. […]

Mixed featured

Mixed

Tamar Hodes shares her thoughts about her new book. I first had the idea of writing a novel called Mixed many years ago, when I attended a talk at Menorah Synagogue, where I was a member. The session was entitled Mixed Marriages and I assumed that it would focus on partnerships, like my own, of […]

Liberal Drippings of Pork Fat feature

Liberal Drippings of Pork Fat

Stephen Pogany contributes an exclusive extract from his book Modern Times: The Biography of a Hungarian-Jewish Family. Throughout her married life in Budapest, my Jewish grandmother invariably cooked with pork fat. She also spread pork dripping liberally on toast as a tasty snack for herself and her family, in open defiance of one of the most […]

salonica feature

Salonica’s Ghosts

Ross Bradshaw reviews a new book about Jews and Salonica. A number of Jewish people I know have found a few letters and postcards in Yiddish among their parents’ and grandparents’ possessions, sent by half-forgotten or unknown relatives living in Eastern Europe prior to the war. These ghostly messages from the past, in a faded […]

Keeping Kosherr featured

Keeping Kosher

A new story by MJ Popplewell. Joseph struggled upstairs and into the apartment with his bags. He laid them on the kitchen table and took out a selection of pans: small for milk, medium for vegetables and a large one for meat. He had also bought some cutlery: knives, forks, spoons and so forth, and […]

jews feature

Pop Jews Rocking On

David Drimer explores the relationship between Jews, pop and rock ‘n’ roll. We’re endlessly amused by the essentially semitic game “Who’s the Jew?” In my house, we fervently celebrate the Jewish identity of celebrities, athletes, artists and writers or historical figures famous or obscure, and bitterly lament the transgressions of Jewish bad actors (see Madoff, […]

A Time To Mourn…Jewishness

A Time To Mourn…

Barbara Borts reflects on the importance of Yom HaShoah. As a progressive Jew from an earlier time, I hadn’t learned about Tisha B’av, the fast of the 9th of Av. When I began my rabbinical studies, and later my congregational work, Tisha B’Av was beginning to be marked in progressive Jewish circles, mostly as the […]

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Yom HaSHoah 2022: The Story of George Garai

As Yom HaShoah looms, the hidden story of a journalist, told by his granddaughter, reaffirms the importance of giving young people a voice in Holocaust education

Dating the Exodus

Dating the Exodus

Annette Duckworth asks how did two different dates arise. In 1822, Jean-Francois Champollion, the French Egyptologist and linguist achieved his first true breakthrough in the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphics, with the decipherment of the two Pharaonic names, ‘Ramesses’ and ‘Thutmose’. This must have caused great excitement throughout the world of biblical scholarship because the Bible […]

When Passover Endss featured

When Passover Ends

Passover ended last night but this morning there’s still a lump of matzah in my stomach and the taste of dry matzah crumbs on my lips It’s like when I leave the beach and come home to find grains of sand stuck between my toes and dried salt from the sea on my legs You […]

The day before Passover featured

The day before Passover

It’s the day before Passover and we’re preparing to flee Egypt again to leave behind all the tasks we never got around to doing to bid goodbye to old habits and routines that won’t take us anywhere but back to where we started to say farewell to the people who enslaved us and treated us […]

rage

Pour Out Your Rage

Ruben Vis reflects on a key passage in the Haggadah. If the word Seder means order, then every piece in the Haggada must be in its correct place. Why, then, immediately after the meal, do we read a passage that seems out of place and why is it even there in the first place? It […]

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A Weekend of Yiddish

Myra Woolfson kvetches about the joys of planning a Jewish-themed event. This summer, some 50 to 60 Yiddishists will spend a happy weekend in a former stately home in the heart of Yorkshire. Everything will be in Yiddish – meals, coffee breaks, talks, walks, learned discussion and gossip. There will be opportunities to hear poetry […]

Cleaning for Pesach featured

Cleaning for Pesach

Cleaning the kitchen for Pesach yesterday I heard the voices of my loved ones who are gone but whose memories live on and return to keep me company. I kneeled to scrub the inside of the oven and suddenly could smell the chicken soup and matzah balls that my grandmother used to make in her […]

diversity featured

On (not) celebrating Jewish diversity

Keith Kahn-Harris explains how highlighting the diversity of British Jews through photography raises some uncomfortable issues

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Johanna Kaplan’s Miraculous Ear

Donald Weber reviews an author whose work might not be so well-known in Britain. Johanna Kaplan arrived on the literary scene almost fifty years ago as a superb interpreter of American Jewish life at mid-century, a time of social mobility, yet also an era haunted by the still raw traumas of the past. Loss of […]

uncle feature

Uncle Boris the Prophet

Alex Gordon remembers his great uncle Boris, Kyiv, and the Holocaust. My grandmother Rosa’s brother Baruch, whom we all called Boris, was a prophet. Why did my grandmother’s brother stop being called by the Jewish name Baruch and start being called by the Christian name Boris? Spinoza’s name was Baruch, which means “blessed” in Hebrew. […]

The English Patient featured

Seinfeld Yomi: The English Patient

In another instalment of his Seinfeld Yomi, Jarrod Tanny discusses the episode, “The English Patient”. Day 144, Thursday, March 24, 2022, s8e17, first aired on March 13, 1997. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0697691/ MISHNAH: Hillel: The English Patient Shammai: Sack Lunch Hillel: Neil Armstrong Shammai: Neil Diamond Hillel: Cubans Shammai: Dominicans Hillel: World’s Greatest Sage Shammai: Number one Sage […]

anne Art feature

How the Anne Frank Cold Case Team Betrayed the World

Ruben Vis explains how the recent revelations about Anne Frank’s alleged betrayer are wrong. Who betrayed Anne Frank and the others who were hiding with her? The question has been a source of speculation and research ever since Otto H. Frank, Anne’s father and sole survivor of the eight, returned from Auschwitz in the summer […]

pax featured

Pax Materna

Gloria Tessler wrote these poems in memory of her birth mother, Dorothy, who died when she was two years old. Dorothy One When I look at you in your photo frame, Contained and smiling, your auburn curls, Re-touched rose cheeks and painted eyebrows, Photo-shopped, old-style, as though your beauty Is not enough, as though I […]

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 […]

Tadeusz Borowski feature

Borowski’s Brutal Vision

Donald Weber reviews Here in Our Auschwitz and Other Stories by Tadeusz Borowski. The publication of the Polish writer Tadeusz Borowski’s Here in Our Auschwitz and Other Stories is a significant event for students of Holocaust literature. Sent to Auschwitz as a political prisoner in 1943, at the age of 21, and released from Dachau […]

After I'm Gone featured

After I’m Gone

When I die, let death come without pain. Let flowers and birds weep and sing a sad lament. Let Heaven open and soak the earth with rain. But, please, let there be no pain. Just the gentle kiss of a loved one’s lips on my cheek. The whisper of goodbye, the touch of a hand […]

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 […]

Zelensky feature

Volodymyr Zelensky: From Rootless Cosmopolitan to Democratic Icon

Martin Elliot Jaffe profiles the Ukrainian Jewish President.  “Both Ukrainians  and Jews value freedom and they work equally for the future of our states to become to our liking—not the future others want for us—we know what it’s like not to have our own state and land and with weapons in hand at the cost […]

The Jews of Ukraine feature

The Jews of Ukraine

Sue Fox recalls those Jews she met on her visit to Ukraine. World Jewish Relief is a British humanitarian charity that responds to international disasters, funds projects to meet the immediate needs of vulnerable communities, and secures sustainable livelihoods for those in poverty. The organisation was originally created to rescue refugees. Since 1989, WJR has […]

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