L’Taken’s mission is to train people to identify and interrupt antisemitism in their relationships & organisations.
We see this work as an act of love for our community and a contribution to the struggle for collective liberation.
The events of the past five years have been difficult for everyone involved in the Jewish community and in progressive movements – and we’re in both. Seemingly overnight, we experienced a dramatic increase in public commentary on antisemitism in the UK. Like others, we were confused about antisemitism, despite having experienced significant amounts of it ourselves.
All of a sudden, everybody was asking us complex questions about our identities and our oppression, assuming that as politically active Jews we would have the answers. Both of us had friends and colleagues make heartbreaking statements that repeated antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories.
Despite being professional activists and educators, we found that we had very little in our pocket to respond. We hadn’t learned enough about how antisemitism worked beyond the stories of our families repeatedly fleeing for their lives. And we had never considered how antisemitism might intersect with the other work we were doing to make the world better.
“we were confused about antisemitism, despite having experienced significant amounts of it ourselves“
Experiencing antisemitism in the spaces we loved and, in many instances, from people we trusted, caused a lot of sadness and frustration. Many of our colleagues and friends – people we campaigned with on other issues – were privately honest about not being able to identify whether something was antisemitic, never mind why.
These were people we knew to be otherwise excellent humans, committed to making the world better, and yet they were illiterate in one of the world’s oldest oppressions, and asking us where to start on their learning journey.
Our work is part of a broader struggle and commitment to end racism. The security of the Jewish people is inextricably linked to the safety of all oppressed people and dependent on us working together to create a world free from antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, and all forms of bigotry.
Foundational to our work for justice is believing people, organisations, and communities can change. We bring a warm, supportive approach to all the work we do and create courageous spaces where people can transform their thinking and behaviour. We don’t need you to be perfect – just to show up in good faith and with an open mind.
Jewish tradition teaches us “great is study for it leads to action ”. We prioritise learning that changes us, demands something from us, and acts as a catalyst for action. We come together not simply to better understand the world as it is, but to transform it.
We believe that education is a right, but it is also a responsibility. Learning is not a passive experience where knowledge is passed down from teachers to students – it is created through dialogue. Through joining us on this journey, participants become co-conspirators with a duty to pass on the lessons that have been shared.
Authentic social justice work often requires the mental, emotional and physical labour of leaders for whom the subject is intensely personal. We see this work as a mitzvah – an act of love for our two communities, justice and Jewish.
We have made the choice to meet this moment and offer our expertise and experiences as your Jewish teachers. We hope our contribution will one day allow our community to live free from fear.