Reuben Goldberg’s career of fighting racism and fascism saw him on the frontline in both Bradford and Newham. Reuben was a member of the international Marxist group, President of the Bradford Student Union, and one of the original founders of the Bradford Ad-Hoc committee against racism and fascism. His background as an anti-fascist, a socialist, and a Jew meant he was often seen as a target by his enemies and was regularly attacked.
In 1975, Reuben was central to the newly formed Asian Youth Movement, stopping the National Front from marching through Manningham – the heart of Bradford’s black community. Reuben continued to work with the Asian Youth Movement and its successor groups for the rest of his life. Having been a Socialist Unity candidate for Bradford Council in 1976, Reuben was later adopted as a Labour Party candidate, and was a member of the council between 1984 and 1988. During this period, he was prominent in the struggle against anti-traveller racism, and he helped establish the Labour Campaign for Travellers Rights.
In 1988, in a bitter election fight, Reuben was dropped by the party, and left the council. Shortly after this, Reuben left Bradford and moved to London, where he was employed as a Race Equality Officer by Newham Council. In London, Reuben quickly made contact with the Newham Monitoring Project, with whom he worked closely. He continued this collaboration in the difficult period after the Newham Monitoring Project lost their council funding.
When he moved to London, he joined the Jewish Socialists Group and became coordinator of their anti-fascist and anti-racism work. Within the debates in the anti-racist movement, Reuben always called for unity of the campaigns and uncompromising opposition to the fascists. He was a regular presence at anti-fascist and anti-racist mobilisations, and a tireless organiser behind the scenes.
Reuben’s death at the age of forty-five was seen as a huge loss to the anti-fascist and anti-racism movement. His funeral saw Jewish mourners almost outnumbered by members of the Newham Monitoring Project and the Bradford Asian Youth Movement, who had come to pay their respects.