I’m a Jew first, I’m a woman second.

Rachelle, a writer and journalist, was born in New York but has been living in London for most of her life. Her father was born in Beregovo, a town now in Ukraine near the Hungarian border, which is the cultural centre of Ukraine’s Hungarian minority. Rachelle believes that she could have been born anywhere, but that ‘ultimately’, she is Jewish: ‘that is my first thing. I’m a Jew first, I’m a woman second.’ Her homeland feels closer to her father's birthplace rather than England. ‘Jews don’t have a country,’ she says, ‘we are stateless.’ Although Rachelle has an American passport, she considers herself stateless.

For Rachelle, although she acknowledges the horrors of 1939, the current political situation in England is uglier than she herself has ever known. ‘I am such a Remainer, I love being a European. We are watching this country slowly sliding back to the England that we all hated when we were growing up – stuffy, never quite as good as the French or the Americans. There was never a sharpness about it, that only came with a European accent, and that is being taken away now.’

She continues, ‘Who wants stay in this country, if it’s going to be run by backward-looking Brexiteers? I love London, but London is a bubble. I don’t like Little England.’

Remarkably, however, Rachelle remains hopeful and her political engagement with the People’s Vote Campaign, opposing the rise of Anti-Semitism and the retreat of democracy in the Trump era, has generated connections with many like-minded people.

As a Jewish woman she hopes that part of her legacy to her son Joe will be the tools to look at the world through Jewish eyes and to understand her father’s values about humanity, kindness and community.

This project is part of the initiative ‘Stand Together and Go Virtual’, supported by the German Embassy London and the Goethe-Institut London.