What makes you
A collection of responses from Jewish friends, family and acquintances. They were all asked the same question; What makes you feel jewish.
“As a family we are not at all religious but we are practicing Jews. For me I love the traditions associated with Judaism. The family is very strong in what makes me Jewish I respect and look forward to Friday night dinner – we may light the candles after Shabbat is in but I always follow the ritual of lighting and blessing them, as well as sharing wine and cholla round the table; it is family time. It is important to me to uphold the 2 most religious high holydays and the traditional meals that go with them as well as Sedar night. Being a protective mother – quite normal in a Jewish family ... well it is for me! I love the Jewish Chuppa at weddings, it is timeless and makes us think of our roots I love my Shabbat/ yom tov table to be full with family and friends and in the traditional way over cater.” — L. Linder
As you can see I am full of Jewish tradition not religion. But I am proud to be a Jew and I hope my children will continue to feel the same way.
â€œMy approach to Judaism is that the Jewish community is one of many communities which should bind together to make a stronger society. Being Jewish means for me, creating a strong identity so that the Jewish community can work with other communities to make society strong. What makes me Jewish is my sense of responsibility to making the world a better place from a base in community.â€?â€” D. Casson
Creating a strong identity so that the Jewish community can work with other communities to make
It is also about feeling that
I am part of a community that will support me when I need it and make it easy to feel I belong somewhere.
“For me it is about being part of a rich history of both religion and tradition and the feeling of connection that brings me with other Jewish people. It is also about feeling that I am part of a community that will support me when I need it, and make it easy to feel I belong somewhere. From a religious perspective it is having a framework within which to live my life and having some rituals that make me feel spiritually connected.” — S. Douek
“Being Jewish to me is about being a part of a particular culture.
Special language Festivals & Celebrations Unique music Dance Food Set of moral standards. I feel a deep connection with the history and with Israel.” — S. Davies Splitter
I think spending almost every friday night with my grandparents having dinner and saying the blessings even though all of us are either athiest or agnostic highlights the cultural v.s religious nature of judaism.
cultural cultural vs. vs. religious religious oh and latkes... mmmmm latkes
“I suppose the first answer is my heritage - that’s the way I’ve been brought up (eg. kashrut) and I enjoy it, which means I continue with it. The traditions are powerful and have transcended generations; in that I include the food and family gatherings (eg. seder night,) and then there is the sense of belonging to something that is bigger than ‘just me’. I do believe in community but that is not only a Jewish concept. Lastly I think there is pride in being part of something that has existed for so long and playing a small part in its continuation.” — C. Garfield
Playing a small part in its continuation.
I think the feeling of solidarity of other Jewish people makes me feel it.
Also pointing out he’s Jewish she’s Jewish with celebs!
“What makes me Jewish is tradition
Family traditions that have been passed down and that I intend to pass down.” — A. Braybrook
Shared history & heritage Pride of Jewish achievers
Traits & behaviours
Connection My Genes Humour Antisemitism Israel Tradition Music
“Biologically, my mum, thats what makes us all Jewish, but i guess family for me, and tradition. Its easy to not keep kosher, or stick to shabbat and feel like your being a "bad Jew" but actually, when we pass away, and G-d greets us - I don't think he'll ask about what I ate, or when I used my phone but what I learnt. I think Judaism, like all other religions preach charity - not necessarily money and big charities but to eachother; mitzvot, good deeds, to eachother, Jewish or not. I think trying my hardest to do the right thing and be good to others makes me Jewish.” — R. Shine
YOU DO GOOD DEEDS
JEWISH OR NOT
â€œFor me there are quite a number of different reasons how I relate to being Jewish. I have always had a very traditional but not necessarily religious upbringing. I used to attend Synagogue as a child most weeks but would then go home and watch TV or go to football etc. My parent were involved in lots of voluntary work on committees when I was growing up including AJEX, JNF, School committee and Synagogue Board of Management and fundraising committee.
So I think it is a bit of a mixture of my upbringing, seeing parents doing communal work at home, communal involvement through Habonim has given me a true feeling of belonging to the community. As I have aged I have continued to attend synagogue and have become very involved in Synagogue communal life as a volunteer. I enjoy attending services but not necessarily from a religious perspective - for me it is a bit like a mens social club. My wife and I do keep a fully kosher home, participate in all festivals - build a Succah, hold Seder services etc.etc. However as I keep stressing it is from a traditional not religious perspective, we do it because we enjoy being part of the community, enjoy contributing to the communities future survival.
When I left my old employment 19 years ago (I had a retail business) I knew I wanted to work within the community and was fortunate to get a job at Jewish Care. I am also fortunate that my wife and children feel the same way.
My wife teaches at Ilford Jewish Primary School, my son worked for FZY (Federation of Zionist Youth) before making aliyah and now looks after American and English teenagers on gap year in Israel. My youngest daughter after finishing university worked as a movement worker for FZY and now does informal Jewish education at King Solomon High School. My middle child (daughter) although not working in the Jewish community married Jewish and has a strong Jewish identity. All 3 children attended Jewish Primary School, one attended Jewish Secondary Schools, all attended FZY and did Summer Tour and Year Course with them which helped to instil the sense of belonging to a Jewish community and a love of Israel.â€? â€” R. Jacobs