The idea for a new magazine that would fill a gap for lively and intelligent reading focussed on Jewish culture was raised at Wimbledon Synagogue Book Group by Janet Levin in 2000. The first issue was published in October 2001. Starting as a voluntary enterprise it now has a highly professional team and 8,000 readers.

A history of JR by Janet Levin, founder

“When I founded Jewish Renaissance in 2001 I was told it wouldn’t last two issues, let alone two years, but we are still here, for some years the most widely read Jewish cultural magazine in the UK.
Before the first issue came together I was running my own market research consultancy. That’s when the seed of an idea for a new magazine had been planted. The Jewish Chronicle had been one of my research clients so I knew a fair bit about the needs of Jewish readers, and knew of the gap in the market among those who, like me, wanted to keep in touch with their Jewish identity but could not find a Jewish periodical that chimed in with their world view. Some 25 years before, while my children were young, I had been involved in founding and editing the newsletter of my local Community Association in Barnes and enjoyed the challenge of finding the exciting in the unexceptional. So, having got disillusioned with helping my then financial sector market research clients, and having built up sufficient pension to take early retirement, at the age of 58 I decided to start on a new career.