About Us

Jewish Quarterly is a leading literary, cultural and political journal, a crucial voice in Jewish life but with a reach that extends far beyond it. Founded in 1953, by Jacob Sonntag to continue the great European Jewish literary tradition, the Jewish Quarterly has made a unique contribution to the intellectual life of the Jewish world. It is the place that leading Jewish writers come to do their thinking, and the home for writing that is fearless, provocative and in-depth.

Jacob Sonntag, 1974:

If I were asked how I envisaged The Jewish Quarterly when I
started it more than twenty years ago, I would say that it was
to cultivate literary journalism in the best tradition of Central
and Eastern Europe and, in particular, in the best tradition of
Eastern European Jewish writing … I belong to the generation
which looked for a synthesis between our Jewishness and our
Europeanism, between our nationalism and our socialism, between
the particular and the universal … Part of our upbringing was
to revere the printed word, to adorn it with a power of its
own. How could truth and reason not prevail’? It was just a
question of finding the right word, the right combination of
words, and everything else would follow from it. Literature was
a living thing for us, and the world of books knew no boundaries.
We cherished the illusion that “you have only to will it and your
dreams would cease to be fairy tales’ … We felt as a collective,
we had a sense of community, we felt called upon to add a link to
the ‘golden chain’, handed to us by an earlier generation.