As part of our work making the voices of British Jews heard, we have begun publishing a unique series of powerful testimonials by members of the Jewish community and allies, detailing how they have been affected by the events of the past several months.

In the first of our testimonials, Lysa reveals the precautions that she feels that she must take to maintain her safety as a Jew in Britain.

When nearly 70% of British Jews say that they are less likely to show visible signs of their Judaism right now, this is what that looks like.

The second testimonial features Anatole, a Jewish student at University of Leeds. There are so many students who, like him, do not feel safe right now.

With so little being done by the universities about the intimidation on campus and antisemitic chanting by students and lecturers alike, can you blame them? As Anatole rightly says, this inaction by universities is a betrayal of their Jewish students.

Campaign Against Antisemitism stands up for Jewish students

We are continuing to monitor incidents on campuses across the country, including recently at Newcastle University and Central Saint Martins.

As a community, we can no longer tolerate how vulnerable Jewish students are feeling on campus. That is why we have produced an open letter for students to hold their universities accountable for the rise in hostility and intimidation exacerbated by the campus encampments.

As it is fashionable to make demands of university administrations these days, Jewish students make the following demands of their own in the letter:

  1. Vice-Chancellors must not accept any of the demands of the organisers of the encampments, and, making it clear that universities will not be pressured into action by this sort of conduct, they must pledge not to begin to consider any policy changes relating to such demands for at least three months after the encampments are removed.
  2. University policies must be applied on trespassing, property damage, bullying, racist conduct and other relevant provisions in order to bring the encampments to an end and punish participants to the full extent of student codes of conduct.
  3. The creation of a new paid staff position dedicated exclusively to tackling antisemitism and promoting Jewish inclusion at each university must be announced, where such a position does not yet exist.
  4. Every university must publicly reassure its community of its commitment to the International Definition of Antisemitism as its sole and unamended definition of antisemitism.
  5. All staff and faculty members, including campus security and welfare officers, must be required to undertake updated antisemitism training.

We are thrilled by how many students have signed the letter so far and had their voices finally heard. Students can sign at antisemitism.org/studentletter.

We have also visited campuses over the past several weeks, speaking directly to students and offering support. On our trip to UCL, we spoke directly with students and showed Jewish students that they are not alone. You can watch the video here.

If you like the t-shirts that the Jewish students in the video are wearing, you too can make a statement with our ‘Quite Openly Jewish’ and ‘Quite Openly Standing With Jews’ t-shirts. Some people also wore them at the march for the release of the hostages yesterday, which Campaign Against Antisemitism was proud to support.

Join the movement, wear the message, and stand proudly with us. Together, we can combat antisemitism.

Available now at antisemitism.org/shop.

Check out the latest episodes of Podcast Against Antisemitism

In our latest episodes, we spoke to two of the Jewish community’s best non-Jewish friends, the former MP Mike Freer and Rev. Hayley Ace.

Mike Freer announced his decision not to stand for re-election citing the “intolerable stress” that he and his family have been enduring from the several serious threats that he has received to his personal safety, including a recent arson attack on his constituency office. You can listen to our discussion about the impact of these threats and his decision.

Reverend Hayley Ace is the co-founder of the grassroots movement, Christian Action Against Antisemitism, along with her husband Timothy Gutmann. Both Hayley and Timothy have been standing firmly alongside the British Jewish community against antisemitism, using their perspective as Christians to educate people on racism against Jews. You can learn more about their work by listening to our conversation.

You can subscribe to the podcasts wherever you get your podcasts, or receive the podcast straight to your inbox by subscribing here.

With the General Election campaign now in full swing, we are working hard to expose candidates whose records concern us and calling attention to parties who are failing to act. We will have more on this in due course.

Whoever forms the next Government, they must be left in no doubt about what British Jews think and need right now. That is why it is so important that as many of you as possible complete the surveys above, so that we can convey your wishes and concerns to our lawmakers.

Once you have made your voice heard to us, we will stop at nothing to make sure that everybody else hears it too.

A German man who has allegedly used antisemitic tropes in public talks has been accused of pretending to be Jewish. 

Frank Borner, a retired teacher from the island of Fehmarn, has claimed to be working through the “Meet a Jew” programme. “Meet a Jew” is an initiative run by the Central Council of Jews in Germany whereby non-Jews meet members of the Jewish community to “prevent and debunk stereotypes, replacing them with actual experiences”.

According to the German publication Der Welt, which published an exposé on the inconsistencies in Mr Borner’s public talks, Mr Borner claimed that his family had “led a tranquil life” in Nazi Germany until 9th November 1938. 

He also allegedly claimed that his Jewish grandfather was initially sympathetic towards Hitler, whom he supposedly believed would bring stability to Germany following the First World War. 

According to the exposé, details such as the names of his relatives or the locations of events in his talks are often omitted or sometimes responded to by Mr Borner saying: “I don’t want to say that now.”

In one of his talks, Mr Borner reportedly claimed that Hollywood is “firmly in the Jewish grip”. 

In the same session, when talking about the Holocaust, he allegedly said: “Why did the Jews go through this? They were people with money, with international relations!”

When asked by an audience member about his relationship to Judaism, Mr Borner said, “I see myself as a political Jew by paying attention to where antisemitism appears in our society, even in very fine forms,” according to Der Welt

In 2020, a local German newspaper dedicated a feature to Mr Borner, where he wrote that he grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household and that his grandfather had committed suicide whilst in a concentration camp, among other details about his life. After the article was published, family members of Mr Borner reportedly came forward to dispute some of the so-called facts he had written about. 

In a statement, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, which denied that Mr Borner is part of the “Meet a Jew” initiative, said: “The damage done by such charlatans to such an important project is great.”

When contacted for comment by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Mr Borner said: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

He then later wrote to the news outlet to say: “In today’s Western democracy, Jewish people prey on other Jewish fellow human beings.” He also added that in Germany, his family had never belonged to an official Jewish denomination or community.

The revelation comes after a similar case earlier this summer, in which a prominent German critic of Israel who had claimed to be Jewish now admitted that he is not. 

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism in Germany, which have increased considerably.