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Statement of Principles:

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What is it to be Jew-ish?

Jo Bird writes: “One of my parents is Jewish, the other is not. For many years, I didn’t feel Jewish enough, or pro-Israel enough, to name and claim my experiences as Jewish. This is my story.” […]

Encountering Jewish News

Mike Scott, a JVL member, picked up a copy of Jewish News while visiting an elderly relative in her residential home. He was surprised by what he read… […]

A new film from Independent Jewish Voices

100 Years After Balfour is a new talking heads film made by Independent Jewish Voices. The film spells out the troubling legacy of the Balfour Declaration, challenging the notion that this year’s centenary is cause for celebration, given the grave consequences of the document for Palestinians above all.

The film goes on to explain how the decisions of the British government in 1917 are linked to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, its fifty year occupation of the West Bank since 1967, and today’s political gridlock. 100 Years After Balfour features seven experts and activists: Professor Avi Shlaim, Professor Jacqueline Rose, Rabbi Howard Cooper, Professor Brian Klug, Antony Lerman, Barnaby Raine and Miri Weingarten. […]

Balfour revisited

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration is nearly upon us and Robert Cohen fears it is becoming a sacred Jewish text. “But unlike other Jewish scripture, these are not words our rabbis will be allowed to examine, verse by verse, in synagogue sermons, nor our students wrestle with in yeshiva study halls.” So, Cohen affirms, “For the sake of future Jewish generations, not to mention historians of the 20th century, it would be a good idea to put a stop to this manufacturing of holiness, this muddling of religion and nationalism.” […]

I am a secular Jew…

A heartfelt piece by Daniel Susskind on what it is to be Jewish: “There is no contradiction here, between being a devout Jew and not having faith. The Holocaust was not only an attempt to kill a Jewish God, but also to destroy a Jewish civilisation – our histories and memories, songs and stories, ways of thinking and living.” […]

Why we need JVL

On the eve of the public launch of Jewish Voice for Labour, Joseph Finlay writes in the Morning Star.

Too often the most prominent Jewish politicians have been either Tories or Blairites. Finlay explains how Jewish Voice for Labour hopes to redress the balance. […]

Jewish land trumps Jewish God

In May 2015 Robert Cohen, blogger at Micah’s Paradigm Shift, wrote a blogpost for JfJfP reflecting on the need to reclaim the language of Jewish identity: “I want to criticise Israel not to do down the tribe but to stay loyal to it. I want to uphold the values and teaching that I think of as mine by birth and by upbringing. Jewish nationalism, and a blind loyalty to all things Israeli, has stolen my identity and my religion. Now I’m taking it back, one blog post at a time.” […]

Leon Rosselson: what does it mean to be Jewish?

“For my parents and grandparents, Jewish identity, in religion, culture and language, was a given. Not so for me. I’m not religious, not a Zionist, so in what consists my Jewishness? Is a love of chopped liver and a belief that chicken soup cures all ills enough? And does it matter? This is the story of my search for answers. It is an argument with myself, with song lyrics to embellish the argument.” […]

Jewish Identities

We will be republishing a number of articles, published in previous months and years, exploring aspects of Jewish identity. Here is the first: Jewdas’s 2015 argument that “Jews will become full allies in the battle for justice in Israel/Palestinian only when they see that living a secure, rich, full Jewish life does not depend on oppressing another people.” […]