Ed Miliband, one of Britain’s most influential politicians, opened up about his Judaism in a piece for the UK’s New Statesman.
Miliband, leader of the Labour party, penned the article himself, describing his upbringing in a secular Jewish home and the moment he learned of ancestors who died in the Holocaust.
"For me, my Jewishness and my Britishness are intertwined. My parents defined themselves not by their Jewishness but by their politics,” he wrote. “They assimilated into British life outside the Jewish community. There was no bar mitzvah, no Jewish youth group; sometimes I feel I missed out."
He recalled a time when he was a child, “Pointing at a black-and-white photograph, I demanded to know who was 'that man in the picture.'”
"I remember being taken swiftly out of the room and then being told quietly that he was my grandfather David, who had died in Poland long before I was born,” Miliband wrote. "It was only some years later that I realized my mum's father had died in a concentration camp, murdered by the Nazis for being Jewish."
Miliband went on to talk about his love of Woody Allen, Yiddish idioms and his grandmother’s matzah ball soup. He also talked about his want to see peace in the Middle East promoting a two-state solution.
“I support a two-state solution because I long for the peace that both Palestinians and Israelis need so badly,” he said.
He added: “I also get to do things as leader of the Labour Party which I might not have had the chance to do before. One night, I went to a dinner with Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, where we sang a traditional prayer. I remember thinking my grandparents – their grandparents, too – would have said the same words.”