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What makes Britain a great place to be Jewish?

The following article appeared in today’s (6 Feb ’15) Jewish News:

What makes Britain a great place to be Jewish?

front page groupAnglo-Jewry is more vibrant and open to new ideas (mostly!) than ever before – thriving in the tolerant and inclusive society we share. The diversity of opportunities to engage with Judaism are incredible; from and to lesser known examples such as the response to extreme poverty and – London’s first pluralist synagogue community.

Wherever we are on a spectrum from “ultra-orthodox” to “non-believing secular” we are at our best when engaging positively with our Jewish identity, and influencing the wider world through Jewish values. Our role in British society is out of all proportion to the 0.4% of population we represent.

The world is not perfect. Terrible things happen, and not everybody loves me – as a person or as a Jew. My parents grew up through the horrors of World War and the Shoah; as children we lived with the threat of nuclear holocaust, and National Front inspired thugs on the streets. We should and do speak out to make the world a better place – both for Jews and for the wider world – but let’s have a sense of perspective and, rather than cower in fear in a self-imposed ghetto, celebrate the life we have in Britain.


Mark Phillips is on the Board of Mosaic, London’s first pluralist Jewish Community, and co-chair of Harrow Day Limmud on 15th March 2015.

February 6, 2015