|Founded||18 March 2006|
|Focus||Political, cultural, and artistic activities; anti-Zionism|
Jewdas is a Jewish diaspora group based in London. It describes itself as a "radical Jewish diaspora group" and is described by The Jewish Chronicle as "known for its far-left anti-Zionism". It has a satirical-communal website and stages events in London and elsewhere.
The group has been described by Benjamin Joffe-Walt of The Guardian as a Jewish hipster organisation engaged in political, cultural and artistic activities. The group initially came to attention for organising an event called "The Protocols of the Elders of Hackney" (a reference to the antisemitic hoax The Protocols of the Elders of Zion), with a flyer parodying traditional antisemitic images. Four members of the group were arrested. In October 2011, Jewdas hosted ¡No Pasarán!, a party commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street.
In May 2015, the group brought over thirty people on its inaugural Birthwrong trip to Andalusia, Spain, parodying Birthright Israel's heritage trips for young adults from the Jewish diaspora. Advertised as "a trip for anyone who's sick of Israel's stranglehold on Jewish culture and wants to get away on a raucous holiday", the itinerary included: "See Maimonides! Get pissed! Do some Jewish tourism! Spend Shabbat with Andalusian Jews! Shvitz in a hammam! Visit a communist village! Get pissed!" Jewdas made a short film on the trip.
During the summer of 2015, Jewdas took part in two counter-protests against neo-Nazi demonstrations in North London. In January 2016, Jewdas took part in a counter-protest against a far-right rally against Syrian refugees arriving in Dover.
Jewdas' description of Israel as "a steaming pile of sewage which needs to be properly disposed of" on its Twitter feed was criticised by Jon Lansman, founder of the pro-Corbyn organisation Momentum, who said that the organisation's comments were "not helpful to Jeremy or the cause of opposing antisemitism in the Labour Party".
Representatives of the organisation use the collective pseudonym Geoffrey Cohen in speaking to the media.
At the beginning of April 2018, Jeremy Corbyn, the United Kingdom's Leader of the Opposition, attended a third night Passover Seder held by the group in his constituency in a personal rather than official capacity. Following controversy over alleged antisemitism in the UK Labour Party, the Seder was described as symbolising Corbyn's lack of touch with mainstream Jewish opinion on issues such as antisemitism and Zionism. This criticism was not uncontroversial; comedian David Baddiel said that making out "it's somehow anti-Semitic for [Corbyn] to spend Seder with [Jewdas] just because they're far left is balls", while writer and actor David Schneider said: "'Boo! Corbyn needs to get out and meets some Jews!' (Corbyn spends Passover with some Jews at Jewdas) 'Boo! Not those Jews!'"
While discussing Corbyn's attendance at the Passover Seder, Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said that Jewdas is a "source of virulent anti-semitism" and claimed that its members are "not all Jews". Jewdas replied in an editorial in The Guardian that "we love Judaism and Jewish culture, as every one of our events demonstrate ... To claim that we in Jewdas are somehow not real Jews is offensive, and frankly antisemitic".
- ^ Sugarman, Daniel (23 November 2017). "Anti-Zionist to contest election for UJS leader". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- ^ Joffe-Walt, Benjamin (20 March 2006). "Jewish hipsters and sacred cows". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- ^ Elgot, Jessica (3 April 2018). "Jewdas: political activists who make fun of establishment Judaism". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
- ^ "No Pasaran! Remembering the Battle of Cable Street". openDemocracy. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- ^ Elgot, Jessica (4 October 2011). "Cable Street march remembered 75 years on". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- ^ a b "BirthWrong". BirthWrong 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- ^ "'BirthWrong' in the Cradle of Jewish Culture: Jews gather in southern Spain for tour that aims to repudiate Zionism". May 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- ^ "Birthwrong: meet the pranksters celebrating the Jewish diaspora". openDemocracy. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- ^ "Watch Our Video From Last Year's Birthwrong Trip To Southern Spain". jewdas. 9 January 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- ^ "Jewish group criticise Hackney police after they 'facilitated' neo-Nazi march". Jewish News.
- ^ Jackman, Josh (31 January 2016). "Activist group Jewdas marches against far-right anti-refugee demonstrators in Dover". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- ^ a b Kentish, Benjamin (3 April 2018). "Jeremy Corbyn defends decision to attend Passover dinner organised by radical Jewish group Jewdas". The Independent. Archived from the original on 8 June 2022.
- ^ a b c Elgot, Jessica (3 April 2018). "'I learned a lot': Corbyn defends taking part in radical Jewish event". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
- ^ Rothschild, Nathalie (4 October 2006). "The police can't tell satire from seriousness". Spiked. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- ^ Sandhu, Serina (3 April 2018). "Jewdas: Why has Jeremy Corbyn been criticised for meeting the Jewish group?". i. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- ^ Harpin, Lee (3 April 2018). "Arkush: Jewdas is 'source of virulent antisemitism'". The Jewish Chronicle.
- ^ Jewdas (3 April 2018). "Jeremy Corbyn celebrated Passover with us. It's a simple good news story | Jewdas". The Guardian.
- Joffe-Walt, Benjamin (20 March 2006). "Jewish hipsters and sacred cows". The Guardian.
- Paul, Jonny (26 October 2006). "Life's a party with 'the Protocols of the Elephants of Zion'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
- Rothschild, Nathalie (4 October 2006). "'The police can't tell satire from seriousness'". Spiked. Retrieved 28 January 2022.