POSTPONED: Four Glaswegian Jews: Mark Gardner,Eve Barlow, Ben M. Freeman, Eve Garrard

8th May 2022

Four Glaswegian Jews discuss their experiences of antisemitism.


We have decided to postpone this event. Apologies for the inconvenience.

The main reason is that we are hoping to be able to hold this event in London, face to face and in person, perhaps this summer or perhaps in the Autumn.

If we can’t manage to schedule that then we will re-schedule it as an online event.

This event will happen, and it will be great, I’m sure. These are four brilliant fighters against antisemitism, and thinkers about antisemitism; they’re all different, they fight in different fora, but they’re all brought up in Glasgow. And I suspect they have something in common beyond their accents. So please bear with us. It will happen. Hopefully as a real-life conversation, and it will also be videoed. 

All good wishes
David Hirsh
London Centre for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism 

About this event

Mark Gardner is the Chief Executive of the Community Security Trust (CST), the communal organisation dedicated to the physical protection of British Jews. Although it is said to have roots in groups that knew how to relate to fascism intimately on street level, it is now wholly respectable, it works closely with police and policy markers, and it shares good antiracist and and security practice with other communities in Britain and globally. Mark has been there for 30 years and he speaks for the Jewish community on antisemitism.

Eve Barlow was at the NME building her career as a music journalist when she was slapped out of the community of the cool and transformed into a ‘racist’ ‘Zionist’ because she spoke out against antisemitism. Now in Los Angeles, she’s doing fine and she has her own thriving substack where she’s in charge of her own writing. Whenever she tweets, just to remind her who they think she is, ten or twenty antisemites tweet back: ‘Eve Fartlow’. When asked how she saw antisemitism so clearly, she said it was because she grew up in a Glasgow Jewish community that always felt like it might become extinct.

Ben M. Freeman is the high school teacher you wished you’d had: stylish, funny, thoughtful, he explains things properly, he teaches what others are afraid to teach and he knows how to stand up for himself. He pioneered the notion of Jewish Pride, in analogy with Gay Pride. He confronts antisemitism in the ways that gay people learnt to confront homophobia. With antisemitism, he simply warns us not to have any of it! Don’t go one inch with it. Don’t internalise any of it. Be proud, have zero shame. He’s changing the way many young Jews feel about themselves.

Eve Garrard is an intellectual heavyweight. A professional philosopher, her gentleness and diffident humility mask an ability to strip an antisemitic poseur to their absurd and stinking bones with a few words. I wish Eve had written more books on antisemitism, I wish she was louder and more front and centre, but that isn’t her way. She has written great stuff, but she has also spent huge amounts of her time supporting others – mainly men, I’m afraid – to do the high-profile fighting. She’s always there, reading, suggesting, editing, adding Oxford commas, toughening up people’s writing.

At one time it seemed like you had to come from Glasgow to be a great football manager: Alex Ferguson, Jock Stein, Bill Shankley, Matt Busby, George Graham, Kenny Dalgleish. What was it? How did Glasgow bring together sharpness of intellect into a people who knew how to get things done so relentlessly?

These are four absolute leaders of today’s struggle against antisemitism, from different generations and in different ways; they all come from one very small Jewish community in one tough city. None of them live there still. But they all have precisely the same accent. We’re not going to ‘chair’ their ‘seminar’ we’re just going to put them in a room for an hour or two – maybe three – and listen.

This event is co-sponsored by the George Washington University Rabin Chair Forum

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