Former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has made a heartfelt and moving appeal for Jews to connect with their culture, heritage and faith with an animated video explaining: “Why I am a Jew.”

The innovative six-minute whiteboard animation, soundtracked with an emotive monologue from Rabbi Sacks, calls upon Jews to appreciate their status as part of an “eternal people”.

In the video, Lord Sacks says: “The deepest question any of us can ask is: Who am I? To answer it we have to go deeper than, Where do I live? or What do I do? The most fateful moment in my life came when I asked myself that question and knew the answer had to be: I am a Jew. This is why.

“I am a Jew not because I believe Judaism contains all there is of the human story. I admire other traditions and their contributions to the world.

“Nor am I a Jew because of anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism. What happens to me does not define who I am. Ours is a people of faith, not fate.”

He adds: “It isn’t Jews who are different but Judaism. It’s not so much what we are but what we are called on to be.”

The message takes on added significance in the light of the Rabbi’s recent comments on the refugee crisis, which saw him call for the UK to emulate Sir Nicholas Winton’s Kindertransport. 

He told BBC2’s Newsnight this week: “Now is the time for humanitarian compassion to triumph over what seem to me quite dark and dangerous remarks.

“I hope that European countries will realise that the very ideals on which the EU were founded are being tested right now.”