Jewish News backs platform for unheard voices
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Jewish News backs platform for unheard voices

New initiative looking to recruit people for a special storytelling event at JW3 on 28 October, titled ‘People Who Usually Don’t Lecture’ (PWUDL), media sponsored by Jewish News.

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

 For a storytelling people, there are plenty of Jews who have never had the chance to tell their own stories to an audience bigger than guests at the
Friday night dinner table.

Reasons for this are myriad – it may be someone has a disability people do not understand, or that they play a communal role people don’t get, or that they had a life experience they have not been ready to tell.

These are the Jews now being recruited for a special storytelling event at JW3 on 28 October, titled ‘People Who Usually Don’t Lecture’ (PWUDL), media sponsored by Jewish News.

“We are looking for great stories from inspiring and unusual non-professional storytellers from the British Jewish community to feature on stage at JW3,” said organisers Juliet Simmons and Stephen Shashoua.

The educational event format has been created by Israeli social impact organisation, ZE.ZE, and gathers people who live in the same city to get to know each other “behind the labels”.

With initial seed funding from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the project aims to train those in the British Jewish community who do not usually have the opportunity to tell their complex and inspiring stories to
an audience.

The format, which has been rolled out in Israel and the United States, is for between six and eight speakers to appear on stage for about eight minutes each. Each story is recorded by video and audio, before being turned into podcasts and educational resources.

“Our community has had a challenging time of late,” said Simmons and Shashoua. “While we have always had religious and ethnic difference, political differences have come further to the fore and exposed the divisions among British Jews.

“The PWUDL format is a perfect one to introduce to the UK, as we hope it will help foster a new way of listening and speaking with each other.”

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