Victoria Starmer set to be one of 10 Downing Street's first Jewish resident

First Labour PM in 14 years hopes to curb antisemitism in UK and Jewish wife Victoria Starmer maintains her connections with the Jewish community while observing Judaism

Victoria Starmer, 51, a Jewish woman with a rich cultural heritage and deep-rooted traditions, has become the UK's first lady. She and Britain's first Labour prime minister in the last 14 years will manage 10 Downing Street as a Jewish household.
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מנהיג מפלגת הלייבור בבריטניה קיר סטארמר ואשתו ויקטוריה מוחאים כפיים לעובדי מערכת הבריאות בביתם בלונדון
מנהיג מפלגת הלייבור בבריטניה קיר סטארמר ואשתו ויקטוריה מוחאים כפיים לעובדי מערכת הבריאות בביתם בלונדון
Keir and Victoria Starmer
(Photo Justin Satterfield/ Getty Images)
From regularly observing Shabbat to maintaining strong connections with the Jewish community, Victoria's influence extends beyond the domestic sphere into her husband, Labour leader Keir Starmer's political career. Intertwined with her Jewish upbringing, her life story plays a significant role in shaping the values and practices of her family.
Victoria Starmer's steadfast commitment to her faith and cultural traditions, as well as her involvement in combating antisemitism, emphasizes the unique role she will play as the new first lady of the UK.
Victoria Starmer, originally Victoria Alexander, was born in 1963 in North London. Her Jewish father was born in Poland, and her mother, a community doctor, converted to Judaism upon marriage. Growing up, Victoria was immersed in Jewish traditions and cultural practices, which played a significant role in shaping her values and outlook on life.

Family and Jewish practices

The Starmer household upholds and cherishes Jewish traditions. Despite Keir being an atheist, the family regularly observes Shabbat, marking the weekly day of rest with family gatherings and traditional rituals as Starmer has said, "Every week there’s a challah, and we say kiddush".
The Starmer children are raised with a strong awareness of their Jewish identity, participating in various Jewish customs and celebrations. Keir has emphasized the importance of these traditions in their home, ensuring that their children understand and appreciate their cultural and religious heritage.
The family belongs to the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St. John's Wood, London, reflecting their active participation in the Jewish community. According to the Jewish Chronicle, Keir stated, “My wife in particular wants our children to know the faith of her family."
The Liberal Jewish Synagogue is part of the Liberal Jewish movement, a progressive strand of Judaism similar to Reform Judaism in the U.S. It focuses on modern interpretations of Jewish traditions and inclusivity, providing a welcoming environment for Jews of all backgrounds and levels of observance.
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קיר סטרמר ראש ממשלת בריטניה מחוץ ל דאונינג 10
קיר סטרמר ראש ממשלת בריטניה מחוץ ל דאונינג 10
Keir Starmer is atheist but maintains Jewish household
The incoming prime minister's wife is a socially active Jew and is particularly relevant given the Labour Party's recent history with accusations of antisemitism. Keir has made a commitment to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party as a matter of principle and values, reinforced by the cultural and religious practices observed in their home. In a speech to Labour Friends of Israel, he emphasized that "anti-Zionist antisemitism is the antithesis of the Labour tradition."

Connection to Israel

Victoria's connection to Judaism links her to Israel. She has family living in Israel, and Keir has expressed deep concern for their safety amid the October 7 massacre.
His stance on Israel is supportive, emphasizing the right of Israel to defend itself while advocating for peace and a two-state solution. Keir stated during a Labour conference, “I utterly condemn the senseless murder of men, women, and children, including British citizens, in cold blood by the terrorists of Hamas."
In an interview with LBC, he also expressed “deep concern” for his extended family in Israel and highlighted the "incredible anxiety" they were experiencing. "We stand by our Jewish communities here, and we stand by Israel internationally," He said.
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Starmer criticizes BBC over bias
Starmer criticizes BBC over bias
Starmer criticizes BBC over bias
(Photo: Shutterstock)
Keir Starmer emphasized Israel's right to defend itself and the need to adhere to international law, stating, "Everything must be done within international law." He criticized the BBC for their refusal to label Hamas as terrorists, asserting that terrorism is "obviously what we are witnessing."
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