New Young Zionist editor confronts the changing landscape for young British Jews and asks YOU to help contribute to this year’s edition!
I first want to take this moment to introduce myself, as your latest editor of the Young Zionist, and to express my admiration for the previous editor, Charlie, for all the fantastic work he put in. This is a publication with a long and storied history, and above all, I recognise the continued need for the stories and opinions of young Jewish people to keep being told and the necessity of our debates. Throughout this year, I hope that many of you will contribute your experiences and thoughts to the Young Zionist, and I implore you to take hold of this opportunity to see your work published, as it deserves to be. Please do be in touch if you wish to submit a piece of writing, art, poetry etc.; I can be contacted at
Whilst I have been struck by the varied discussions of Judaism and Zionist identity that I heard on this year’s Kesher summer camp, it goes without saying that it remains a turbulent and difficult time for the British and global Jewish community. The challenges faced by openly Jewish students in secondary schools and universities in regards to their religious beliefs and political stances continue to deepen, and Jews across the country are grappling with increases in antisemitism, most notably manifesting itself in antizionist movements.
No doubt, over the past couple weeks and months, you will have seen the outcry surrounding former Bristol University professor David Miller’s TV series ‘Palestine Declassified’ and his comments regarding ‘Zionist indoctrination’ in Jewish secondary schools and Jewish Societies across the UK. These comments, whilst deeply troubling and inflammatory, represent just the latest instance of overt antisemitic rhetoric in British media and in the British academic establishment. It has forced young Jewish people across the country to defend some of their central values: the right of Jewish self-determination, a belief in the State of Israel, and the expansion of Jewish cultural institutions.
The rise of social media platforms such as TikTok has also seen the Zionist debate become more visible, more contentious, and more virulently targeted at young Jews. When you come across a video showing a Shabbat meal, a Bat mitzvah party, or the toilets of JFS school, the comments are flooded with Palestinian flags and ‘Free Palestine’ tags alongside more dangerous sentiments involving Holocaust denial, distortion, and mockery. Whereas these views are sadly not a new phenomenon, they are increasingly present in our lives and rapidly becoming a central component of being a Jew online. Moreover, they once again are forcing young Jews to grapple with the central tenets of their Judaism, Zionism, and identity.
This year’s print edition of the Young Zionist is focused around the theme ‘Forward’. When we are progressively being compelled to explore our identity in different ways, what does the future hold for young British Jews? How do we reconcile our Zionism with an online environment that obliges us to hide it? How do we move forward, even as our collective past continues to be ridiculed and weaponised?
These central questions fuel this year’s Young Zionist.
The future of British Jewish youth is dependent on debate, intersectionality, and progression. FZY has always been at the forefront of social change, and has led an admirable path in fostering a safe environment for discussions on a huge variety of vitally important topics – the Young Zionist 2022/23 wishes to champion this outlook.
I look forward to hearing your views, to debating with you, and to publishing your work!