Campaign Against Antisemitism hosted a first-of-its-kind sold-out event this past Thursday evening which featured the Jewish author Ben M. Freeman.
The event, “CAA presents…An evening with Ben M. Freeman”, attracted a room full of Jewish young professionals to an east London venue to watch a live interview with Mr Freeman, followed by a question and answers session.
Mr Freeman is a Scottish, gay, Jewish author, activist and educator whose latest book, Reclaiming Our Story: The Pursuit of Jewish Pride, is the second instalment of his seminal manifesto of the modern Jewish Pride movement that has taken the Jewish world by storm.
During the discussion, the educator spoke extensively on antisemitism and how it affects modern Jewish life.
“We cannot be defined by what is done to us,” he said. “We have to define ourselves via our experiences, our identity, our history, our story.
Addressing how antisemitic stereotypes and tropes have led to some Jews viewing their bodies in a negative light, Mr Freeman said: “Antisemitism is a racism…there are many groups that are racialised, and we are one of them…we have to understand that the way that we are treated, that way that we are perceived, the stories that are told about us, they impact us.
“People are told, ‘Oh, you don’t look Jewish,’ and we’re meant to take that as a compliment…the fact that we perceive it as a compliment is deeply, deeply worrying, and is a tragedy for our community.”
Last year, Mr Freeman appeared on an episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism, where he spoke about the importance of having a basic understanding of history and why it is vital in tackling antisemitism.