An illustration of Jewish migrants arriving from Russia and Poland in the late 19th or early 20th century (The History of London)

Carrying the past

When I’m talking to friends and acquaintances from war-torn countries, I don’t ask why or how they escaped. After many months, one friend shows me a video of their bombed home in Damascus. A young man I’ve just met alludes to a nightmarish journey through Libya. Others never say a word to me. Most refugees

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The Ever Given

The Suez Canal: from the 1967 war to the Ever Given

On 23 March, strong gusts of wind drove the giant Ever Given completely off course as it passed through the Suez Canal. A sandstorm created poor visibility, affecting navigation. The vessel ran aground, its vast bulk horizontally wedged across the narrow waterway. The 400-m long, 224,000-tonne Ever Given is one of the largest container ships

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First beigel shop (Flickr)

A sense of community

I’ve recently discovered that some of my forefathers came from the shtetl of Sadowne, in Poland. A great-great aunt, Sarah Appelbaum, was apparently a midwife and teacher in Sadowne, helping to maintain the health and morals of the community. Jewish shtetl society was hierarchical. At the peak were a few wealthy estate managers and successful

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Black Lives Matter protest, London, 2020

Why I want to thank Reni Eddo-Lodge for still talking about race

I’ve just read Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. All white people should read Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book, even if they are anti-racists. Especially if they are anti-racists. For me, it is essential to learn what it is like to live as a black person in this country because

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Davis and Fagah Senker, seated, with daughter Sophie and son Sender

Memories of Stamford Hill

Nowadays, Stamford Hill is associated with the Orthodox Haredi Jewish community. Back in the 1930s, it was a ‘leafy suburb away from the hustle and bustle of the East End.’ Property was cheap and there were lots of houses available. Many first-generation Jewish migrants moved out of the East End to Stamford Hill for a

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