Reclaiming Our Story: The Pursuit Of Jewish Pride

By Ben M. Freeman
Reclaiming Our Story: The Pursuit of Jewish Pride, tells us how we can all act now for a fairer, more equal and more tolerant society. He focuses
not just on the hate that targets Jews from external sources, but instead – in a radical and fresh perspective – on how that hate impacts Jews themselves. Educating his readers about the history and theory behind this phenomenon, Ben also offers tangible solutions and sets his reader on a path of healing. 
 
Although, to many, a deeply historical issue, it is still as pressing today as it has ever been. Today British Jews face rising antisemitism with 2021 reported as the worst in a decade for global Jew-hate that saw a 24% increase from the previous peak of 2019. From the surge in Jew-hate in the British Labour party, to the brutal murder of retired French doctor and school teacher Sarah Halimi and the subsequent miscarriage of justice, to the various terrorist attacks at American synagogues, there is an evident tsunami of Jew-hate that continues to threaten the Jewish community. An immensely complex and emotional subject, Ben M. Freeman explains why we cannot ignore, nor attempt to understand these issues without the relevant history and contextualisation.

Rooted in millennia of hatred and a desire to be accepted, internalised anti-
Jewishness is a significant by-product of Jew-hate. Although many Jews have taken up the call to defend Jewishness, Reclaiming Our Story demonstrates how people can absorb shame that swirls around them in the wider world. This book shows how internalised anti-Jewishness leads entire Jewish communities to warp and change their Jewish identity in an attempt to be accepted by the non-Jewish world.Tragically, it can also lead Jews to accept watered-down versions of Jewish culture and identity in order to appear palatable. It is why internalised anti-Jewishness is the single greatest internal threat facing the Jewish people.

Ben M. Freeman uses his LGBTQ+ experience as a framework as he demonstrates that no one is immune to this sort of hatred. People and communities all around the world experience this phenomenon including women, the LGBTQ+ and Black communities amongst others. Though specifically about the Jewish experience, Reclaiming Our Story also offers guidance for proud integration across a variety of identities and demonstrates how to navigate these complex conversations about identity in the hope of moving towards being more understanding.

Both hopeful and inspiring, Reclaiming Our Story aims to educate and empower, while giving people the tools to start personal conversations about their Jewish self-esteem with empathy and without shame. Through five authentic interviews that offer a range of different voices, including a woman whose relationship with Jewishness was reframed due to the trauma of her family’s loss during the Holocaust, Ben M. Freeman demonstrates that it is possible to overcome
internalised Jew-hate
 
“To be Jewish is to be part of a four-thousand-year-old ancient civilisation that has contributed untold marvels to the world. We have survived and we have thrived. And that is nothing to be ashamed of. We must look to our history and our ancestors with the framework of Jewish Pride. We must choose the path to pride, we must begin this journey and we must commit ourselves to this work. Otherwise, the continuation of the Jewish people is at risk. And even if we do manage to survive, we will exist as a mere shadow of our once- great civilisation. We must not allow that to happen. We must choose pride.”
Ben M. Freeman

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About Ben M. Freeman

Ben M. Freeman is a Jewish leader, a Jewish thinker, and a Jewish educator.

Born in Scotland, Ben is a gay Jewish internationally renowned author, educator and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion specialist focussing on Jewish identity, combatting Jew-hatred and raising awareness of the Holocaust.

He came to prominence during the Corbyn Labour Jew-hate crisis and quickly became one of his generation’s leading voice against anti-Jewish racism.