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Publications from October 2020 – February 2021

Posted on February 8, 2021 in Default, Home

[See also my various publications at JewThink here] Is antisemitism a progressive blindspot? in Prospect, 4 February 2021 Tongues and Borders Are Immutable in Norient, 4 December 2020 An end to Labour’s antisemitism controversy seems as far away as eve …

Recent articles

Posted on May 15, 2020 in Default, Home

Here are some articles that I’ve had published since the start of 2020 (in reverse chronological order) A generational divide in British Jewry?, in Jewish News, 14 May 2020 In spite of populist Brexiteer promises, science and the state still rule in Br …

Some recent published articles

Posted on January 1, 2020 in Default, Home

Contribution to: The Battle to Frame the Defeat: Four responses to the UK’s general election, in Dissent, 24 December 2019 Lessons for the US from the UK Labour Party antisemitism crisis , Medium blog post, 20 December 2019 British Jews’ fears hav …

Recent publications

Posted on June 28, 2018 in Default

Between the Rock and a hard place: Gibraltar’s Brexit limbo in the New Statesman, 11 June 2018 We need to live with our differences on Israel, in the Jewish Chronicle, 31 May 2018 To ask Corbyn to support Israel is an impossible demand, in The Guardian …

Videos of two recent lectures – now online

Posted on October 6, 2017 in Default, Home

Beyond Transgression: Breaking Metal’s Boundaries at ‘Boundaries and Ties: The Place of Metal Music in Communities’, University of Victoria, 9 June 2017 View talk here Antisemitism and divisions over Israel in diaspora Jewish communities : the exploita …

3 recent articles

Posted on November 11, 2016 in Default, Home

Branding Jews exotic in LSE Religion and the Public Sphere blog, 7 November 2016 The antisemitism reports: Against a zero-sum reading in Open Democracy, 3 November 2016 Better off siding with Russia or China: There’s no dictator’s dilemma today in Open …

Some recent articles

Posted on June 12, 2016 in Default, Home

Does civility in politics matter? in The New Humanist, summer 2016 The elephant in the room in Labour’s antisemitism row in The Guardian, 28 April 2016 Is Split Over Israel a Luxury Restricted to Countries With No Anti-Semitism? in The Forward, 12 Apri …

Recent reviews

Posted on March 30, 2016 in Default

Diasporic Activism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Svenja Gertheiss, in Fathom, Spring 2016 Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, in The Independent, 3 March 2006 The Life Project by Helen Pearson, in The Independe …

New publication

Posted on September 19, 2015 in Default, Home

The Interplay between Internal and External Factors in the Stimulation of Intra-Jewish Conflict over Israel and Antisemitism. Discussion paper. Anti-Jewish and Anti-Muslim Racisms and the Question of Palestine/Israel Online Paper Series. London: The Ce …

More Corbynalia by me (with bad headlines that I didn’t write)

Posted on September 19, 2015 in Default, Home

Stop moaning, let’s now try to embrace Corbyn, in the Jewish Chronicle, 17 September 2015 It’s vital for Jeremy Corbyn to establish a working relationship with British Jews, in Guardian Comment Is Free, 17 September 2015

Recent articles by me on Jeremy Corbyn

Posted on August 27, 2015 in Default, Home

Is Corbyn too pall with tyrants and other pariahs? in Open Democracy, 14 August 2015 What’s going on with the Labour party? Ten propositions, 23 July 2015 George Galloway is Tony Blair. Jeremy Corbyn is neither, 7 July 2015    

Is the Sun’s ‘save our bacon’ election front page antisemitic?

Posted on May 6, 2015 in Default, Home

My thoughts here at The Guardian.

New Project: My Impossible Books

Posted on May 2, 2015 in Default, Home

Over the last few years, I’ve been building up more and more ideas for books I’d like to write. It’s unlikely I’ll ever publish more than a fraction of them, so I wanted to find a way to ‘let go’ on my ‘impossible’ books. I’ve started ‘publishing’ thes …

One essay and two book reviews

Posted on May 2, 2015 in Default, Home

I recently had a length essay on antisemitism published at Open Democracy. I also had two book review published in The Independent: one on the Nazi concentration camps and the other a biography of Joseph Goebbels. Spot the common theme?

New articles

Posted on March 29, 2015 in Default, Home

Loosening of the Zionist Bound in the Jewish Chronicle, 26 March 2015 From Extreme Metal to Islamic State in Souciant, 27 March 2015

Uncivil War – the first review

Posted on March 23, 2014 in Default, Home

My book Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict in the Jewish Community has received its first review. The review is from the official blog of the Forum for the Discussion of Israel-Palestine and discussed both the book and the launch event on 12 March. Read …

My new book: Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict in the Jewish Community

Posted on February 13, 2014 in Default, Home

  I’m excited to announce that my new book Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict in the Jewish Community will be published by David Paul Books on 12 March 2014 and is available for pre-order now. The book will be launched at JW3 London at 7:30 on 12 Ma …

Two new articles on antisemitism

Posted on December 20, 2013 in Default

I’ve recently had two articles on antisemitism published in Guardian Comment Is Free. Both attracted fierce comment threads: Roger Waters and the Antisemitism Question in Guardian Comment Is Free, 16 December 2013 [also published in the newspaper the n …

On summing about Judaism in 25,000 words

Posted on August 25, 2012 in Default, Home

My book Judaism: All That Matters will be out imminently. It’s a short accessible introduction to Judaism and the Jewish people. It was a tough book to write as I had to pack in an awful lot in a very small space. I wrote an article for the Jewish Chro …

Interview on the Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

Posted on August 25, 2012 in Default, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

The lovely travel blogger Rachel Cotterill was kind enough to publish a short interview with me about my project The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg.

The pleasure and pain of crowd-funding

Posted on August 25, 2012 in Default, Home, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

I bared my soul in a modest way in an article for The Literary Platform about my experience of crowd-funding my book, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg, through the Unbound project. Here it is again: I’m stalled – there’s no other wo …

Why I want to visit Malta

Posted on July 26, 2012 in Default, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

This is the third in a series of posts explaining the background behind the choice of places I am aiming to visit on my travels for my project The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg: Tales of Big Fish in Small Ponds. The book is being crowd-funded via the …

Why I want to visit Iceland

Posted on July 20, 2012 in Default, Home, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

This is the second in a series of posts explaining the background behind the choice of places I am aiming to visit on my travels for my project The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg: Tales of Big Fish in Small Ponds. The book is being crowd-funded via the …

Why I want to visit Alderney

Posted on July 17, 2012 in Default, Home, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

This is the first in a series of posts explaining the background behind the choice of places I am aiming to visit on my travels for my project The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg: Tales of Big Fish in Small Ponds. The book is being crowd-funded via the …

The surprising rewards to connecting via The Listserve

Posted on July 10, 2012 in Default, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

A few weeks ago I signed up for The Listserve. It’s one of those ideas that are so simple you wonder why no one thought of it before. You sign up to the e-mail list (currently it has 20,000 subscribers and they are aiming for 1 million). Every day one …

New journal article on religious popular music

Posted on July 9, 2012 in Default

I have had a new article published, co-written with Marcus Moberg: ‘Religious Popular Music: Between the Instrumental, Transcendent and Transgressive’ in Temenos: Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion, 48/1, 87-106 I’m quite proud of this one. Sadly i …

The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg – The Next Phase

Posted on July 5, 2012 in Default, Home, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

So I’m pleased to announce that the next phase of the book I’m crowd-funding The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg: Tales of Big Fish in Small Ponds is now open for funding. The first chapter is virtually completed and those who funded it will get a copy …

Quoted in an article on the search for the UK’s next Chief Rabbi

Posted on July 3, 2012 in Default

I’m quoted fairly extensively in Miriam Shaviv’s article on the search for the next UK Chief Rabbi: “Part of the problem Sacks faced is that the expectations of him were so high, and for a lot of people he didn’t fulfill them,” says K …

Press release for Judaism: All That Matters

Posted on July 2, 2012 in Default

Press release Judaism All That Matters.pdf Download this file My book Judaism: All That Matters will be released later this month. Here’s the press release – feel free to spread it around!

Coming Soon – Judaism: All That Matters

Posted on June 11, 2012 in Default, Home

I’ve got a new book coming out in July called Judaism: All That Matters It’s a short introductory guide to the subject, intended to be lively and modestly provocative. Here’s the cover: The book is part of a new series. There are some interesting title …

It’s Unbound’s first birthday!

Posted on June 1, 2012 in Default, Home

It’s Unbound’s first birthday. To celebrate they are offering a free £5 voucher to pledge on any project – including mine!

Me talking about the Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

Posted on May 29, 2012 in Default, Home, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

I spoke at an Unbound Live! event a couple of weeks ago on my project The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg. The first chapter will be available very soon. Till then, my talk provides a good sneek preview:  

New article in New Statesman

Posted on May 25, 2012 in Default, Home

The latest New Statesman is a special issue on ‘Who speaks for British Jews?’ I have a piece in it on how Israel and anti-semitism make the work of Jewish communal institutions a fraught affair. (Sadly it’s not online yet).      

Who’s Afraid of Greater Luxembourg? – by Frank Jacobs (from the NY Times Opinionator Blog)

Posted on May 1, 2012 in Default, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

Borderlines explores the global map, one line at a time.Tags:European Union, Geography, Luxembourg (Geo);Luxembourg is about as cuddly as countries come: prosperous, picturesque and delightfully tiny. At 999 square miles, it is the smallest but one of …

New article on changing the Board of Deputies

Posted on April 27, 2012 in Default

In my latest article for Guardian Comment Is Free Belief, I discuss the movement to change the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Speaking on the Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

Posted on April 16, 2012 in Default, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

I’ll be talking about the Best Water Skier in Luxembourg at the Poltroon Literary Salon at the Betsy Trotwood in Clerkenwell on Tuesday 17 April 2012. Feel free to come along!

My travel feature on Luxembourg

Posted on April 9, 2012 in Default, The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

I had a travel feature on partying in Luxembourg published in the Guardian. View it here. The first chapter of my Best Water Skier in Luxembourg book should be published within the next month or so.

More on Despatches from the Invisible Revolution, and on slow thinking

Posted on February 28, 2012 in Default, Home

Despatches from the Invisible Revolution is now available for order. Some of the constituent essays are going to be published on the New Public Thinking site, starting with Vinay Gupta’s On Becoming a Conservative. The comment thread below the original …

The Hogwarts Fallacy

Posted on February 25, 2012 in Default

Harry Potter has never done it for me. I wasn’t a big fan of that kind of thing when I was a kid so I’m hardly likely to be into it now. That doesn’t mean I have a problem with it though. So I’ve watched my 9 year old get into the books over the last f …

Launching new book: ‘Despatches from the Invisible Revolution’

Posted on February 23, 2012 in Default, Home

I’m thrilled to announce that the book edited by Dougald Hine and myself, ‘Despatches from the Invisible Revolution’, is now available. The collection consists of a series of reflections on the extraordinary year that was 2011. The book was conceived l …

Argument outsourcing – the EUMC definition

Posted on February 12, 2012 in Default, Home

For several years I’ve been working to try and improve the civility of intra-Jewish debates over Israel. It hasn’t been easy work and I would not claim any clear victories. The issue is complex and so is the solution. I’ve been working on a book on the …

My recent review of the Atzmon and Landy books in the Jewish Quarterly

Posted on February 6, 2012 in Default, Home

Non Jewish Jews January 31, 2012 by The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics By Gilad Atzmon Zero Books 2011 Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights By David Landy Zed Books 2011 So contested has the issue of antisemitism become and so pro …

Appearance on Sounds Jewish Podcast

Posted on February 6, 2012 in Default, Home

I appeared on this month’s Guardian Sounds Jewish Podcast talking about the Jewish Chronicle/London Citizens controversy and much else.

Attack on Souciant

Posted on February 6, 2012 in Default, Home

Souciant, one of my favourite web publications, for which I’ve written a number of times, is currently fighting off an attack on its website. Although, it’s not yet entirely clear whether this an intentional ideological attack or not. Still, it’s worry …

Great article on civility

Posted on January 6, 2012 in Default

Charlie Bertsch’s wonderful article published on the Souciant website describes how he developed a convivial and respectful relationship with a neighbour who’s political views were the polar opposite of his. It’s important to be reminded from time to t …

The politics of engagement and the Jewish Chronicle

Posted on January 5, 2012 in Default, Home

Over the last few months, the Jewish Chroncile’s Martin Bright has been conducting a campaign against the involvment of some Jewish groups, and in particular New North London Synagogue, in London Citizens. Bright has pointed out that a key player in Lo …

Naming the movement redux

Posted on January 4, 2012 in Default, Home

There’s a fascinating piece by Paul Mason published in the Guardian today on the global unrest of the last 18 months or so. The article summarises  the arguments of his new book Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions which I h …

Welcome to my new site!

Posted on December 30, 2011 in Default

Those who’ve visited my website before will notice that the site have changed. I’ve included a blog on the front page and integrated my Metal Jew blog into the site as a separate page. The site still needs a fair bit of work so bear with me…

DESPATCHES FROM THE INVISIBLE REVOLUTION New Public Thinking #1: Reflections on 2011 (Ed. with Dougald Hine)

Posted on December 28, 2011 in Default

Order the book here The book began as an invitation to reflect on the events of 2011: to make sense of the changes going on in the world and in our own lives, and to voice the questions the year had left us with. From Wikileaks to the UK riots, Tahrir …

The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg – in the Luxembourg media

Posted on December 20, 2011 in Default

I was interviewed about the project in a couple of English-language media outlets in Luxembourg: In wort.lu In 352LuxMag Issue 123 (no direct link I’m afraid)

The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg: Tales of Big Fish in Small Ponds

Posted on December 20, 2011 in Default

I am currently working on a book to be entitled ‘The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg: Tales of Big Fish in Small Ponds’ . The book will be something of an adventure for me –  I will travel to a number of places to investigate experts and champ …

Call for Contributions: Reflections on 2011

Posted on December 20, 2011 in Default, Home

[Cross posted from New Public Thinking] We are looking for contributions to our first New Public Thinking book, a moment of reflection at the end of a year of networked disruption. More from Keith Kahn-Harris and Dougald Hine… 2011 has been an e …

Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today (co-authored with Ben Gidley)

Posted on December 20, 2011 in Default

Published by Continuum, 2012 The first book-length study of contemporary British Jewry , Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today examines the changing nature of the British Jewish community and its leadership since 1990. Keith Kahn-Harris a …

Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge

Posted on December 20, 2011 in Default

  Published by Berg, 2007 Extreme metal–one step beyond heavy metal–can appear bizarre or terrifying to the uninitiated. Extreme metal musicians have developed an often impenetrable sound that teeters on the edge of screaming, incompre …

Religion and Popular Music in Europe (Co-edited with Thomas Bossius and Andreas Häger)

Posted on December 20, 2011 in Default

Published by I.B. Tauris, 2011 Music and religion have, throughout history, walked hand in hand. In the rites and rituals of small tribal religions, great world religions, and more recent New-Age and neo-heathen movements, different kinds of music have …

After Subculture: Critical Studies in Contemorary Youth Culture (Co-edited with Andy Bennett)

Posted on December 19, 2011 in Default

Published by Palgrave, 2004 The concept of “subculture” has long been of significant importance in research on youth, style, deviance and popular culture. Although in more recent years subculture has been the subject of sustained critique, it still pro …

New Voices in Jewish Thought: Volume Two

Posted on December 18, 2011 in Default

Edited by Keith Harris (my maiden name!) Limmud Publications, 1999 ‘The five essays in this book represent highly creative attempts to deal with the problematics of contemporary diaspora Jewish identity, including the need to deepen an understanding of …

Media Appearances and Interviews

Posted on October 28, 2011 in Default

23 August 2012 interview with Judische Allgemeine [German] 27 July 2012 interview in Kreuzer Online  [German] 9 July 2012 interview with WD3 (radio) [German] April 29 interview on the Metal-Rules webzine February 2012 interview on Guardian Sounds …

New articles

Posted on September 12, 2011 in Default

Contributor to: 9/11, ten years on: reflections in Open Democracy 7 September 2011 The Dinner Party Revolution in Open Democracy 6 September 2011 Deserving an Audience in Souciant 6 September 2011

My new project: ‘The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg: Tales of Big Fishes in Small Ponds’

Posted on September 1, 2011 in Default, Home

Although I’m working on 3 other book projects at the moment, I’ve just started another.  It’s called’The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg: Tales of Big Fish in Small Ponds’ . The book will be witty but with a serious purpose. I will travel to a numb …

New podcast interview

Posted on August 26, 2011 in Default

August 16 2011 co-hosting and interview on The Governor’s Ball podcast

New articles

Posted on July 6, 2011 in Default

I’ve had a number of new articles published recently: People Power Needs People in The Jewish Chronicle, 4 July 2011 Let’s Broaden the Definition in Times Higher Education, 23 June 2011 Naming the Movement in Open Democracy, 22 June 2011 How to Hate Et …

Naming the movement

Posted on July 6, 2011 in Default

I had a piece published on Open Democracy that outlined a kind of manifesto and has sparked a fair amount of discussion: Naming the Movement

New (ish) stuff

Posted on June 13, 2011 in Default

In the last couple of months I have had a number of pieces published, including: Why we are all worth a mix of self-love and self-hate in The Guardian, 11 June 2011 United States of Invisibility: Unseeing Israel/Palestine in Souciant, 8 June 2011 A War …

Jewish metal video

Posted on April 13, 2011 in Default

I don’t know who made this short video or why, but it’s a nice enough tribute to Jewish (particularly Israeli) metal:

Podcast appearances

Posted on April 12, 2011 in Default

I appear on two recent podcasts: The March 27 2011 edition of  Cartoon Kippah The recording of the ‘Turbulent Times’ session at Jewish Book Week 6 March 2011 Podcast available here

Various new articles

Posted on April 12, 2011 in Default

I’ve had a few articles and contributions to join articles published in the last few weeks: The Arab Spring: Protest, Power, Prospect in Open Democracy, 11 April 2011 Botswana’s Cowboy Metalheads in Vice (online edition), 31 March 2011 What Could New P …

New essay – ‘On Engagement’

Posted on March 11, 2011 in Default

On Engagement in New Public Thinking 25 February 2011

Two interesting articles

Posted on March 11, 2011 in Default

The historian Ben Elton has published a paper making an orthodox Jewish case for orthdox rabbis attening Limmud. Read it here. Keith Kahn-Harris has published an essay ‘On Engagement’ that discusses the boundaries and limits of engaging with the other.

My first review for the Times Literary Supplement

Posted on February 26, 2011 in Default

‘The Rebbe’ by Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman in The Times Literary Supplement, 25 February 2011

New article on Guardian Comment Is Free – When antisemitism goes hand in hand with philosemitism

Posted on February 19, 2011 in Default

When antisemitism goes hand in hand with philosemitism in Guardian Comment Is Free 16 February 2011

Article on Debbie Friedman

Posted on January 22, 2011 in Default

Debbie Friedman and the value of religious popular music in Guardian Comment Is Free 17 January 2011

Session at Limmud 2010 – video now online

Posted on January 6, 2011 in Default

A session that I organised and facilitated at Limmud, ‘How should we talk to each other about Israel? David Newman and Gerald Steinberg in dialogue’, can now be viewed online here

Comment Is Free article on Limmud

Posted on January 6, 2011 in Default

Limmud: a great Jewish alternative to Christmas in Guardian Comment Is Free 29 December 2010

New contribution to Open Democracy

Posted on January 6, 2011 in Default

The 2011 outlook – ideas and agents In Open Democracy 3 January 2011

Dialogue session at Limmud

Posted on January 6, 2011 in Default

I organised and facilitated a diallgue at Limmud between David Newman and Gerald Steinberg. Both of them are UK-born Israel academics who, in recent years, have often been on different sides on debates about Israeli politics. The aim of the session was …

Dialogue project announcement and Jewish Chronicle article

Posted on December 23, 2010 in Default

As part of the project New Jewish Thought, my wife Deborah and I have been hosting and facilitating a series of confidential dinner parties to promote greater civility in the Anglo-Jewish community particularly in reference to public debate about Israe …

2 reviews of ‘Turbulent Times’

Posted on December 11, 2010 in Default

Review in the Jewish Quarterly by Tony Lerman, Winter 2010/2011 [download a scan here] Review in the Jewish Chronicle by Miri Freud-Kandel, December 1 2010

Reach out to those without faith, too

Posted on October 25, 2010 in Default

Reach out to those without faith, too In Guardian Comment Is Free 15 October 2010

Review of ‘Black Sabbath and the Rise of Heavy Metal Music’ by Andrew Cope

Posted on October 1, 2010 in Default

‘Black Sabbath and the Rise of Heavy Metal Music’ by Andrew Cope In Popular Musicology Online, 3 September 2010

Re-Imagining the University (Again, but this Time Differently)

Posted on October 1, 2010 in Default

‘Re-Imagining the University (Again, but this Time Differently)’ On the website of The Society for Curious Thought, September 2010

Open Democracy article with Joel Schalit

Posted on August 24, 2010 in Default

‘In Search of an Israeli Left’ in Open Democracy 22 August 2010

Jewish Chronicle interview

Posted on August 4, 2010 in Default

The Jewish Chronicle has a full-page interview with myself and Ben Gidley, talking about our book ‘Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today’.

Houses of Prayer

Posted on July 20, 2010 in Default

A post for Tisha B’Av from Stephen Handley: On the Fast of Tammuz, I went into my local Jewish bookshop. My eye fell on Karen Armstrong’s history of Jerusalem, and despite that fact that I was looking for a book on something quite different, some …

My new book: ‘Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today’ (co-authored with Ben Gidley)

Posted on July 19, 2010 in Default

I’m really pleased to announce that my book (co-authored with Ben Gidley) ‘Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today’ will be published this week by Continuum. The first book-length study of contemporary British Jewry , Turbulent Times: The B …

New review

Posted on July 7, 2010 in Default

‘Another Way, Another Time: Religious Inclusivism and the Sacks Rabbinate’ by Meir Persoff in the Jewish Quarterly 215 Summer 2010

New article

Posted on July 7, 2010 in Default

Why is Turkey Only Now the Villain of the Piece? In The Jewish Chronicle (Northern and Web editions) 1 July 2010

Dialogue on Gaza Flotilla Crisis

Posted on June 21, 2010 in Default

The Jewish Dialogue Group in the US has, with impressive speed, put out an agenda for dialogues on the Gaza flotilla crisis.

New York event on Israel

Posted on June 18, 2010 in Default

Following Peter Beinart’s well-publicised recent article that  argued that young US Jews were being ‘lost’ by the Jewish establishment, through being forced to chooose between liberalism and the support for Israel, it’s interesting to see this eve …

New book review online

Posted on June 18, 2010 in Default

‘Practising Public Scholarship: Experiences and Possibilities Beyond the Academy’ Edited by Katharyne Mitchell in The Sociological Imagination 1 June 2010

New articles: on Israeli post-democracy and on Melanie Phillips

Posted on June 18, 2010 in Default

What Drove Melanie Phillips to the Right? In Guardian Comment Is Free 18 June 2010 (With Joel Schalit) Israeli Post-Democracy: Origins and Prospects In Open Democracy 10 June 2010

New article on denial

Posted on May 17, 2010 in Default

‘Unreasonable Doubt’ In New Humanist May/June 2010. A scan of the article can be downloaded here.

Times Higher Education article on the problems with academic publishing

Posted on May 10, 2010 in Default

‘It’s time to put the point back into the pen of scholarly writing’ In Times Higher Education 6 May 2010

My Comment Is Free article on ‘red state Britain’

Posted on April 8, 2010 in Default

‘Tea Party Spirit Firing Red State Britain’ in Guardian Comment Is Free 4 April 2010

Comment Is Free article

Posted on March 27, 2010 in Default

‘JNews: A Potential Voice for Peace’ in Guardian Comment Is Free 20 March 2010

My idea posted on Jewish Chronicle blog

Posted on March 12, 2010 in Default

My idea ‘Share our synagogues and community centres with other religions’ was published on Miriam Shaviv’s Jewish Chronicle blog in the series on proposals to transform the British Jewish community.

My Ignite London presentation

Posted on March 12, 2010 in Default

My presentation ‘My dream came true and I’m still not satisfied: the journey of a metal jew’, that I presented at Pecha Kuch London and Ignite London in March 2010, can now be viewed here.

Review of Anthony Julius’s ‘Trials of the Diaspora’

Posted on March 6, 2010 in Default

My review of ‘Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England’ By Anthony Julius’ has been published as: ‘‘Perfidious Albion’: How Britain treats its Jews’   in The Forward 12 March 2010

A civil letter on Islamic fundamentalism in Europe

Posted on March 6, 2010 in Default

Stephen Handley, who has written on this site before, has allowed us to publish a letter he wrote to a fellow member of his schul on the divisive question of Islamic fundamentalism in Europe. The letter is a good example of how to have a civil dialogue …

An American Jewish resolution on civility

Posted on February 26, 2010 in Default

The American Jewish Council of Public Affairs, adoped a resolution on civility in discussions within the Jewish community at their 2010 plenary. In my view it’s a far-reaching statement which, if taken seriously, would have a real impact on Jewish comm …

New Comment Is Free article on antisemitism

Posted on February 25, 2010 in Default

I have a new article called ‘The Legacy of Antisemitism’ in Guardian Comment Is Free

New essay on British Jewish politics

Posted on February 20, 2010 in Default

I have an essay in the new publication ‘New Conceptions of Community’ published by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, entitled ‘What is British Jewish politics’. Not yet available online.

New article on Israeli heavy metal

Posted on February 5, 2010 in Default

I had a new article published, featuring an interview with Israeli heavy metal Orphaned Land: ‘A Tango Between God and Satan: Heavy Metal With a Hippy Peace Message for the Middle East’  in The Forward 27 January 2010

Journal article on Jewish rap

Posted on January 27, 2010 in Default

I had an article on Jewish rap published in an Austrian journal (in English): ‘Creating Jewish Rap: From Parody to Syncretism’ in transversal – Zeitschrift für Jüdische Studien 1 2009 21-38

Dialogue between settlers and Palestinians

Posted on January 23, 2010 in Default

Haaretz has an interesting article on an initiative to build dialogue between settlers and Palestinians – 2 groups where you might think dialogue would be impossible. The article doesn’t suggest that this dialogue is easy, or that it is very common. Bu …

On Torah and democracy

Posted on January 23, 2010 in Default

By Stephen Handley Matamim is a weekly sheet of divrei torah produced in Israel, which I have seen appearing in England, usually in Hebrew, but they are now beginning to be published in English. This piece is my response to the Matamim on Parshat Vaeir …

Innovative ideas from Dan Sieradski

Posted on January 8, 2010 in Default

Dan Sieradski, the American serial Jewish social entrepeneur, is currently blogging a series of ‘ideas to tranform the Jewish future’. He is posting one idea a day for 31 days here. So far, most of them deal with innovation in Judaism on the web. It’s …

New survey on Israel

Posted on January 8, 2010 in Default

The Institute for Jewish Policy Research is running a major survey on UK Jewish opinions about Israel.  Here’s the details from the JPR website: The Institute for Jewish Policy Research has been commissioned by the Pears Foundation to carry out a …

Article translated into Hungarian

Posted on January 7, 2010 in Default

My 2004 article ‘Unspectacular Subculture?: Transgression and Mundanity in the Global Extreme Metal Scene’ (in A. Bennett and K. Kahn-Harris (eds) After Subculture: Critical Studies in Subcultural Theory and Research, Palgrave, 2004 pp 107-118) has jus …

New Jewish Chronicle article

Posted on January 1, 2010 in Default

I had an opinion piece published in the 31 December 2009 Jewish Chronicle: ‘We all have views on Israel so let’s hear them: Instead of striving for a united front, we should acknowledge our differences’

Postgrad film interview

Posted on December 31, 2009 in Default

A few weeks ago someone emailed me asking to interview me for a postgrad film project. I erased the email by mistake – if the person concerned reads this, please get in touch.

Who can convene dialogue?

Posted on December 22, 2009 in Default

I am currently someone living two lives. As an academic and a writer, part of my job is to make interventions in public, often controversial, debates. These include debates about Israel and the Jewish community, an area that raises very senstive emotio …

Two new essay reviews

Posted on December 19, 2009 in Default

I’ve had two essay reviews published this week: ‘The Fascination of Israel: Three Left-of-Center Writers Offer Critiques of a Western Obsession’ in The Forward 16 December 2009 ‘An Offensive Culture: Review of Brian Klug’s ‘Offense: The Jewish Case’ in …

Civilizing the debate

Posted on December 18, 2009 in Default

I wrote an article for Comment Is Free on the tone of debates on Israel. The article was ‘inspired’ by the hate mail received by Professor David Newman of Ben Gurion University, from Michael Gross, a member of their board of governers. Comment Is Free …

My books of the decade

Posted on December 18, 2009 in Default

The book blog Podularity asked me for my top three books of the decade.

New Comment Is Free articles

Posted on December 18, 2009 in Default

In the last week I have had two articles published on Comment Is Free: Civilizing the debate A bitter exchange of emails between academics at Ben Gurion University highlights the need for calmer way to talk about Israel Bring back rejection letters Fac …

Selected writings

Posted on December 8, 2009 in Default

You can now download a collection of my selected journalism, reviews, essays and music criticism here.

JCC Left Right Night – an alternative to dialogue

Posted on November 27, 2009 in Default

On Thursday 3rd December I will be speaking at the JCC for London’s Left Right Night. It’s an interesting mix of cabaret and political discussion. Here’s the blurb: As the Jewish community becomes increasingly polarised along the left/right political a …

Project reconnections

Posted on November 18, 2009 in Default

The Jerusalem Report has an interesting article by Jan Jaben-Ellon called ‘Learning How to Argue’ in its November 9th issue. The article talks about the SanFransisco Project Reconnections (sadly it has no website for me to link to) which aims to develo …

What happened to the ‘Metal Studies’ page?

Posted on November 17, 2009 in Default

Those who visited my old website will notice that I have not include my ‘Metal Studies’ bibliography on the new site. The bibliography is due to be transferred and hosted by Brian Hickam within the next few weeks/months. In the meantime, please contact …

The Five Steps

Posted on November 13, 2009 in Default

Stephen Handley has contributed this little piece that will appeal to more spiritually-inclined readers: What follows below are five steps to peace. Firstly, I acknowledge that some of my old beliefs about God and about Life are no longer working. Seco …

Hug A Jew Day

Posted on November 13, 2009 in Default

Today (November 13th) is Hug A Jew Day apparently. Sure it’s a cheesy idea but it’s a hell of a lot better than the vituperative arguments that sometimes disfigure the Jewish world…

The Jewish Chronicle discovers dialogue

Posted on October 23, 2009 in Default

The Jewish Chronicle has always been criticised by critics of Israel  for giving too little space to their concerns. The plain fact of the matter is that the majority of British Jews feel themselves to be supporters of Israel so – for economic rea …

Confronting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

Posted on October 15, 2009 in Default

The Centre for Jewish Studies at SOAS Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies: University of Exeter In association with The Joseph Interfaith Foundation Confronting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia An exploration of their socio-historic and theological roo …

Renegade Jews?

Posted on October 14, 2009 in Default

In a recent article in the Jerusalem Post , the writer and activist Isi Leibler takes an uncompromosing stance against leftist Jewish critics of Israel. Amongst those he damns as ‘renegade Jews’  are Israeli post-Zionists (particularly within Isra …

Dispatch from the UK: Grassroots Jews

Posted on September 1, 2009 in Default

Logging onto Facebook recently, I received an invitation to join an initiative called Grassroots Jews, a project led by a small group of people working together to put on High Holy Day services in north west London this year.  Not within an existi …

Dispatch from the UK: What is British Jewish Politics?

Posted on June 30, 2009 in Default

Politics is an inescapable part of human existence. It concerns the way that people organise themselves, in particular how they act within institutions and units of governance. Above all, politics concerns the way humans interact with power. It is ther …

Dispatch from the UK: One People Separated by a Common Language

Posted on May 19, 2009 in Default

The British Jewish community rarely seems to feature on the worldwide Jewish map. It may have been significant a century ago, although probably only then because a handful of its leaders had access to the corridors of power of the British Empire. Today …

New Jewish Thought Policy Paper 2: An Experiment in Dialogue

Posted on December 2, 2008 in Default

By Keith Kahn-harris This report discusses a Jewish dialogue group on Israel convened by Keith Kahn-Harris for New Jewish Thought in 2008. It is available to download as a pdf here. The problem For a community of under 300,000 people, British Jewry is …

New Jewish Thought Policy Paper 1: Shalom @ Schul

Posted on November 2, 2008 in Default

This paper can be  downloaded as a pdf by clicking here. By Jonathan Hoffman Rabbi David Soetendorp Professor Ruth Soetendorp I: INTRODUCTION The three authors of “Shalom@Shul” came together as a result of a letter published in the JC …

A Close Look at Jewish Organisational Culture

Posted on September 2, 2008 in Default

The story that broke recently about former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s use of political ties for personal business use is not a mere technicality. This is not about legal loopholes or trivial regulations. At stake here is no less than the …

What is a Jewish Space?

Posted on August 2, 2008 in Default

Dani Kranz submitted her PhD on the creation and maintenance of the liberal Jewish ommunity in Cologne, Germany, to the University of St Andrews, Social Anthropology Department. Her current research work is tentatively called the Jewish Spaces Project. …

Review of The Art of Dialogue in Jewish Philosophy by Aaron W. Hughes

Posted on April 2, 2008 in Default

Whether for the purpose of heartening the faithful to resist pressure to convert or assimilate, or to demonstrate the essential harmony of faith and reason, the philosophic dialogue has a long and distinguished history. A Canadian academic from the Rel …

An Ordinary Virtue

Posted on March 2, 2008 in Default

By Professor Les Back Faussone, the hero of Primo Levi’s novel The Wrench, is a difficult man.  An itinerant rigger he spent his life travelling the world operating high-rise cranes. Despite the dramatic nature of his adventures Faussone is …

Making Jewish Communities Work

Posted on March 1, 2008 in Default

By Daniel Anderson Whilst reading Andrew Mawson’s recently published, and deeply inspiring, book ‘The Social Entrepreneur – Making Communities Work’, I found myself continually asking how can we apply the lessons of his experien …

Developing Constructive Conversations

Posted on February 27, 2008 in Default

I convened a Jewish-Jewish dialogue group about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the congregation of the Liberal synagogue in Bristol of which I am a member. I have views on Israel and an equally strong desire to talk about what Israel means to us …

Listening to Jews

Posted on August 2, 2007 in Default

Discussed in this essay: Les Back (2007) The Art of Listening. Oxford: Berg Books. Since last May I have been researching Jewish communal leadership in the UK since the early 1990s with Ben Gidley, my colleague at the Centre for Urban and Community Res …

Where Neo-Conservatism was Born

Posted on August 1, 2007 in Default

Reprinted with thanks to History News Network. By Nathan Abrams The roots of much of the now-discredited policies of the Bush administration can be found in Commentary magazine over fifty years ago. Commentary was the vehicle (or ‘soapbox’ …

Natural Burials in the British Jewish Community: A Response from Mike Frankel of the Jewish Joint Burial Society

Posted on July 3, 2007 in Default

The Jewish Joint Burial Society is interested in providing natural or woodlands burials for those people who would like to enjoy this facility.  We have a few of our member synagogues who have expressed particular interest in this subject, however …

Natural Burials in the British Jewish Community: A Response from Abe Alpren, Jewish Humanist Funeral Celebrant

Posted on July 3, 2007 in Default

The cross-denominational as well as secular interest in ‘natural burials’ is rapidly building in line with our gathering desire to interact more harmoniously with the environment. Humanism accommodates whatever format of funeral might be required, and …

Natural Burials in the British Jewish Community: A Response from David Frei, Registrar of the London Beth Din

Posted on July 3, 2007 in Default

There are two basic problems with natural burial: First, burial should be in consecrated ground. Secondly, the chief reason in Halacha for the placement of a tombstone above a grave is not in order to commemorate the deceased, but to warn Cohanim (thos …

Natural Burials in the British Jewish Community: A Response from Rabbi Jeremy Rosen

Posted on July 3, 2007 in Default

Ancient burial laws in the Middle East were very complex. We are familiar with Egyptian pyramids and mummies. Their burial customs, together with the Hittites offered a form of transition for the upper classes and the priesthood to the after life. Poor …

Natural Burials in the British Jewish Community: A Response from Rabbi Margaret Jacobi

Posted on July 3, 2007 in Default

Of all the articles I have written, the ones that have evoked the most response are two about woodland burials, one in the Union of Liberal and Progressive Jews newsletter and a second in the Jewish Chronicle in September 2006. Rabbi Hillel Avidan sugg …

The Hermeneutics of Anti-Anti-Semitism

Posted on May 3, 2007 in Default

You knew where you were with the old antisemitism: antisemites hated Jews and were not ashamed to say so. They believed Jews were a cancer on the world and sought to either eliminate them or confine them so they would no longer be a ‘threat …