Oxford Jewish Thought

Lectures, essays, questions & articles

by Rabbi Eli Brackman

Jacob the Jew, Isaac Casaubon and forced apostasy in England in the Middle Ages


As we celebrate the holiday of Chanukah, I am delighted to present the following essay on the subject of forced conversion in Oxford in the Middle Ages - a theme that is connected also to the historic setting of Chanukah, when Jews were forced to abandon their Jewish faith for Greek Hellenism in the 2nd century BCE. 


The history of the Jews of Oxford includes many important figures who contributed enormously to the University of Oxford[1]. A less known fact however is that for most of the history of the university, Jews were either not allowed to reside in England or were not admitted to the university, whether as a student or academic. The establishment of Merton College, one of the first colleges at Oxford, was in 1264 and… Read More »

Chabad on Campus UK Hosts AEPi Europe Conclave at the Oxford Chabad Society

P1070570.JPGPlease click here for the picture gallery


This past weekend, Chabad on Campus UK hosted one of the largest student Shabbaton weekends of the year, in conjunction with Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi’s third annual AEPi Europe Conclave.


The weekend was attended by 200 students and hosted at the Chabad of Oxford Slager Jewish Student Centre. 


According to Andy Borans, Executive Director of AEPi international, "Chabad on Campus and AEPi are natural partners and it was great to see the camaraderie between the Brothers and Rabbis.”


Celebrating 103 years since its founding, AEPi has 11,000 student members across the world. Until recently it was mainly in North America but over the last … Read More »

Professor Alan Dershowitz addresses Oxford Chabad Society after winning BDS debate at the Oxford Union

Chabad-10.jpgOn Sunday, 1st of November, Professor Alan Dershowitz addressed a full-to-capacity hall at the Oxford Chabad Society after having successfully debated the Oxford Union. The much-anticipated events were well attended; a full chamber of 250 people at the union, and around 200 at the Chabad society.


Dershowitz’s accolades are numerous and impressive; a Brooklyn native, he is professor emeritus at Harvard University Law School. He has been called “the nation’s most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer” as well as “Israel’s single most visible defender: the Jewish state’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.”


He is the also the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard… Read More »

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.