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21 Secrets British Jews Won't Tell You

I'm going to be a mensch and let you in on a few things.

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1. We've been around for 3,000 years, but we still don't know how to describe all the different types of Jews.

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They keep Shabbat most of the time, but they'll tear the toilet paper. And I think they're like veggie-kosher, you know?

2. We go to charity events to pull.


Sorry, not sorry.

3. And we know that if we actually want to marry a Jew, the maths doesn't look great.

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If you factor in the number of Jews in the UK, consider how similar they are to you in terms of religiosity, and then think about their looks, sense of humour, and intelligence, you realise you've got 200 people to choose from in your whole life ever.

4. We're not sure if having sex through a sheet is a thing.


We're pretty sure it's not, but there are so many different kinds of Jews that it's entirely plausible.

5. We don't really get how foreskins work.


6. Our social lives peaked at 13.

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Bar and bat mitzvahs were so much better than weddings.

7. The saying "two Jews, three opinions" is entirely accurate.


8. Whenever we see the letter "J" in an acronym, we automatically assume it stands for "Jewish".

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So MoJ doesn't stand for Ministry of Jews?

9. Keeping kosher is hard. And sometimes it makes no sense.


Pork and shellfish are obviously off the menu. But we also can't eat owls. Or camels. And don't get us started on whether or not we can eat giraffes.

10. That said, Jewish cuisine is more diverse than you think.

That's right. Smoked-salmon-and-cream-cheese sushi is a thing. / Creative Commons

That's right. Smoked-salmon-and-cream-cheese sushi is a thing.

11. Fast days are totally worth it for the meal afterwards.


Eating and drinking nothing for 25 hours is tough. But the bagels, smoked salmon, pickles, two kinds of fried fish, cake, biscuits, and two cups of tea at your aunt's house afterwards more than make up for it.

12. One of the biggest disagreements in Judaism is about rice.

This is important because there is no such thing as good matzah. Matzah tastes like cardboard.

13. The best thing about synagogue is kiddush. That's snacks and whiskey.

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The worst thing is trying to avoid your rabbi in the car on the way home.

14. We pretend to speak way more Yiddish than we actually do.

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15. Speaking Hebrew makes us sound like we have bad phlegm.

16. We can tell a lot about other Jews by their surnames.

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You were Cohenites, Levites, from the Neue Synagogue, from the gold trade, from the silver trade, or your grandpa just thought Silberblatt was a bit too Jewish, so now you're a Simons.

17. Every time we meet new Jews, we play a special friend-making game.

It's called Jewish Geography, and it involves naming the school, university, and summer camps you went to, followed by all the Jews you know in common.

18. We have a canny skill for spotting other Jews on Facebook.

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We just look at their hair, surname, and the part of northwest London/Manchester/Leeds they're from.

19. We're really hairy.

Boys started shaving daily at about 14. For girls, it was more like 12.

20. We're lying when we say we're not envious of Christmas.

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No one gives us presents at Limmud.

21. But hey, at least we have a festival dedicated to cheesecake.