Cambridge J-Soc head says Jewish life ‘thriving – and undefined by antisemitism’

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Cambridge J-Soc head says Jewish life ‘thriving – and undefined by antisemitism’

Rafi Levi made his comments weeks after Israelis in the city made their voices heard in protests against Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli expats protest in Cambridge (Credit:  Jack Myhre)
Israeli expats protest in Cambridge (Credit: Jack Myhre)

The head of the Jewish Society at Cambridge University has said there is a “thriving” Jewish community in the city that is “going from strength to strength, undefined by antisemitism”.

Computer science student Rafi Levi, who is president of the University’s J-Soc, was speaking to local media outlet Cambridgeshire Live just weeks after Israelis in the city made their voices heard in protests against Benjamin Netanyahu.

The largely liberal city was not immune to casual antisemitism, he said, but “most comments come from a place of ignorance… More education of who and what Jews are is needed to debunk long-held stereotypes”.

Joel Rosen, the J-Soc’s LGBTQ+ and external affairs officer, compared life in Cambridge to growing up in London, saying: “By the age of 14, my Orthodox mates and I had mapped out the parts of London where it was safe to be visibly Jewish.”

A mother and member of Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue in central Cambridge, which was vandalised in 2015, said: “A lot of minorities settled in Cambridge and I don’t think that’s incidental – it’s because it’s accepting.”

Asking to remain anonymous, she added that local people “were quite shocked” when the shul was attacked, “but we also had a lovely response from the neighbourhood”.


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