Jewish Heritage Fortnight

At Queen Mary Students’ Union, every month is a reason to celebrate our students because we take pride in the diversity of our student body. In the last two weeks of January, after winter exams, we run the Jewish Heritage Fortnight, where we celebrate and recognise the Jewish community at QMSU.

What is Jewish Heritage Fortnight?

Jewish Heritage is celebrated in other parts of the world at different times in the year. For example, in America, the month of May is celebrated as Jewish Heritage Month to recognise the contributions of the American Jewish community. At QMSU, our student representatives and staff put together events and promotions all around our different campuses, between 22nd of January to the 4th February. This ranges from Tour of Jewish East End, Holocaust Memorial events, Jewish Heritage of QM etc. Some of our events are also set to continue through February.

How can you be involved?

You can get involved in our Jewish Heritage Fortnight campaign by following our website. All of our events, along with how to attend will be listed here. Many of our events will be free to attend and you can simply book yourself onto it. It will be a great way to meet tons of new people and understand different perspectives!

Facts and Figures
  • Jewish people only make up roughly 0.2% of the world's population and only
  • There are between 14.5 to 17.4 million Jews in the world today
  • 45% of all Jewish people live in Israel, and another 39% in the United States
  • Judaism is a religion, culture, and ethnic group
  • Judaism is the oldest monotheistic religion
  • In 2019, hate crimes against Jews constituted 62% of all hate crimes based on religion in the United States

Testimony of a Holocaust Survivor

As part of Antisemitism Awareness Month 2020 and to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, last year the Students' Union, QMUL and QM Jewish and Israel society hosted guest speaker, Harry Olmer BEM.

You can now watch Harry’s Holocaust testimony on how he survived four forced labour camps over three torturous years, plus time in Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany and the Terezin Ghetto, before being liberated by the Red Army in May 1945.

We were delighted that Harry agreed to share his story with us and thank him for attending the event. The testimony was followed by a Q&A with students and staff.

Watch here
Culture list
Israeli and Jewish Culture: A Brief List

This brief list barely scratches the surface of the rich and diverse tapestry of Jewish and Israeli culture. Each element reflects a unique blend of history, tradition, and contemporary influences that have shaped these vibrant communities.

  • Schindler's List (1993): Directed by Steven Spielberg, this powerful film tells the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved over a thousand Jewish lives during the Holocaust.
  • Golda Meir: The fourth Prime Minister of Israel and one of the world's first women to hold such a position.
  • Albert Einstein: Renowned theoretical physicist, synonymous with genius, and a vocal advocate for Zionism.
  • The Diary of Anne Frank (1947):The poignant and powerful diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis during World War II.
  • Shabbat: The Jewish Sabbath, observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening, marked by rituals, prayers, and a festive meal.
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Coming-of-age ceremonies for Jewish boys (Bar Mitzvah) and girls (Bat Mitzvah).
  • Hanukkah: Festival of lights, commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
  • Hummus: A versatile and popular Middle Eastern dish made from blended chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and various spices.
  • Falafel: Deep-fried balls or patties made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, often served in pita bread.
  • Matzo Ball Soup: A traditional Jewish soup featuring matzo balls (dumplings) in a clear broth, often served during Passover.
  • Challah: A braided egg bread traditionally enjoyed on Jewish holidays and Shabbat (Sabbath).