London’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas

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Festival Archive

Jewish Book Week 2011

Saturday, 26 February 2011 to Sunday, 6 March 2011
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Events

02-26 Saturday

Bookniks Salon
Saturday, 26 February 2011 - 1:45pm

A literary salon with a twist (or two). We discovered hidden Yiddish London, heard from the frontline of the ‘Sheitl-gate’ scandal and found out what happened to the woman who thought too much.

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Jerusalem, the Biography
Saturday, 26 February 2011 - 1:45pm

Who better to have opened JBW than a captivating and charismatic storyteller on the most iconic city of the world, the capital of three faiths, the prize of many conquerors, the jewel of many empires, and the eye of the storm of today's battle of civilisations: Jerusalem.

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02-27 Sunday

All About Eve
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 11:30am

"To be a boy really means not to be a girl. To be a man means not to be a girl. To be a woman means not to be a girl. To be strong…to be a leader means not to be a girl. I actually think that being a girl is so powerful that we've had to train everyone not to be that."

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The Warsaw Anagrams
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 11:45am

The Warsaw Anagrams is a chilling mystery set inside the Warsaw Ghetto in the early 1940s.

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How the Jew in Gustav Mahler changed the music of the West
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 11:45am

Norman Lebrecht's best-selling book Why Mahler? examines how a composer, scorned and rejected for decades, has come to replace Beethoven at the centre of symphonic culture.

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Translation and Survival
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:00pm

Tessa Rajak offers a radical new understanding of the translation of the Torah into Greek – the first major translation in Western culture. Its significance was far-reaching but largely forgotten. Without a Greek Bible, European history would have been entirely different.

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My Bookshelf, My Country: Understanding Israel through its Writing
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:00pm

Anat Hoffman’s world is filled with demonstrations, vigils, courtrooms and confrontations in and out of parliament. Here she shared books that inspire, direct and move her to action.

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Stefan Zweig: Words and Music
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:00pm

With whom have we not spent heart-warming hours there, looking out from the terrace over the beautiful and peaceful landscape, without suspecting that exactly opposite, on the mountain of Berchtesgaden, a man sat who would one day destroy it all? —Stefan Zweig, Die Welt von Gestern

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Jesus and the Jews
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:00pm

Why is Jesus the source of fascination in modern Jewish thought? How has Christianity changed Jewish practice and how did Judaism shape the medieval imagination?

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Maureen's Monologues
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:15pm

Maureen Lipman has the knack of making the everyday supremely entertaining, the ordinary absurd and unexpected. Her collection of pieces, I Must Collect Myself: Choice Cuts from a Long Shelf-Life, sparkles with her inimitable prose and pithy opinions.

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33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:15pm

When pop music meets politics, the results are often thrilling, sometimes lifechanging and never simple. 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs tracks this turbulent relationship across 33 pivotal songs that span seven decades and four continents.

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Fifty Year Reflections of a Jewish Historian
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:30pm

With consummate skill, patience and brilliance in equal measure, Martin Gilbert has recounted most of the major events of the 20th century.

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Anne Frank Revisited
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:30pm

Buddy Elias, Anne Frank’s only surviving relative, told us about his cousin, as he remembers her.

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Burnt Books: Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav and Franz Kafka
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:45pm

Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav was a religious Jew responsive to the challenge of Jewish secularism; Franz Kafka, a thoroughly secular Jew who loved the paradoxical parables of hasidism. Their stories and their lives reflect deeply on one another. Each died tragically young of tuberculosis.

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The People and the Book: The Impact of the Printing Press on the Formation of Jewish Culture
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:45pm

David Ruderman spoke about the momentous world events that shaped Jewish history in the early modern era. What did the discovery of America in 1492 have to do with the expulsion of Sephardic Jews from Spain and the resettlement of Ashkenazim in Eastern Europe?

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Community Buildings: Building Community
Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 1:30pm

One of the causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment. Alain de Botton tells us about his new Living Architecture project, dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of world-class modern architecture.

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02-28 Monday

The Hare with Amber Eyes
Monday, 28 February 2011 - 11:00am

The internationally acclaimed ceramicist, Edmund de Waal, retraced the history of his family through an inherited collection of netsuke –  tiny Japanese figurines.

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Poetry
Monday, 28 February 2011 - 11:15am

Each of Ruth Fainlight’s poems is a balancing act between thought and feeling, revealing otherness within the everyday. She read from her New and Collected Poems, covering work written over 50 years.

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Arthur Miller Biography, Part 2
Monday, 28 February 2011 - 11:15am

Backed by popular demand, Christopher Bigsby returned to JBW to talk to us about Arthur Miller from 1962 – the year of Marilyn’s death – to that of the playwright’s own in 2005.

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Films
Monday, 28 February 2011 - 11:15am

The Slow Mirror (22 minutes)

The Slow Mirror is based on a short story by Jewish-American novelist Richard Zimler, who wrote the screenplay.  It was awarded the Best Drama prize by the New York City Downtown Short Film Festival.

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Flash Fiction Writing Workshop
Monday, 28 February 2011 - 11:30am

Flash fiction, micro fiction, short shorts: this is the short story distilled to its very essence, less than 1000 words in length and often much shorter.

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Lives Remembered
Monday, 28 February 2011 - 11:30am

Miriam Frank had to adjust to new countries and new languages before becoming a successful anaesthetist and respected translator. Prolific writer Rosemary Friedman gives us an insight into the world of books, theatre and television.

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03-1 Tuesday

Great House
Tuesday, 1 March 2011 - 10:30am

 “[She] happens to write like an angel.” — Simon Schama

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Eat, Write, Love
Tuesday, 1 March 2011 - 10:30am

Recipe for a delectable and stimulating talk: take an award-winning novelist and a fabulous cookbook writer. Add a flavour of Jane Austen, equal doses of intelligence, humour and sensibility. Sprinkle with business acumen, passion and sympathy. Let the audience add their pinch of salt.

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Flavours of Babylon
Tuesday, 1 March 2011 - 10:45am

Following a screening of Sephardi Voices, in which seven Jewish men and women from Iraq, Egypt, Iran and Morocco tell their stories of coexistence and persecution, emigration and new beginnings, Linda Dangoor evoked the flavours of Babylon she has captured in her cookbook and what they meant to h

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Films produced by the Association of Jewish Refugees
Tuesday, 1 March 2011 - 10:45am

Both directed by Dr Bea Lewkowicz

Moments and Memories (2005, 38 mins) This film highlights the memories and experiences of fourteen refugees and survivors who came to Britain before and after WW2, and settled in different parts of the United Kingdom. 

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Workshops: The Afternoon Play
Tuesday, 1 March 2011 - 11:00am

What is unique about the short form on stage? How do you capture something and distil it down to a few minutes? In this workshop, participants learnt and played around with the basic principles of writing for performance.

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Refugee and Survivors Stories
Tuesday, 1 March 2011 - 11:00am

Tony Grenville is the author of the first history of the refugees who fled to Britain from German-speaking lands, from their arrival in the mid-thirties, to their eventual settlement.

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03-2 Wednesday

Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends
Wednesday, 2 March 2011 - 10:00am

In his research for his biography of Simon Weisenthal, Tom Segev had access to previously unseen and recently declassified papers, rendering this the first fully documented biography of the world-renowned Nazi-hunter.

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Silent Words
Wednesday, 2 March 2011 - 10:15am

Johanna Adorjan and Merilyn Moos both grew up with vast areas of silence, things that could not be spoken about. Echoes of the holocaust linger into the silence of the next generation and it is these ripples which both writers attempt to articulate

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I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal
Wednesday, 2 March 2011 - 10:15am

(2007, Richard Trank, 105 min)

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Workshop: Find Your Poetic Voice
Wednesday, 2 March 2011 - 10:15am

This was a practical writing workshop helping participants to get in touch with their poetic voices. Memories are essential ingredients for constructing poems. This workshop explored the power of stories and looked at how objects can reveal unexpected gems about our lives. 

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Haunting Memories and Fractured Identities
Wednesday, 2 March 2011 - 10:30am

Two strikingly new voices came to JBW 2011, original and poetic, revisit the themes of loss and belonging, nourished by their own experiences. In Jenny Erbenbeck’s haunting novel, Visitation the inhabitants of a house by a lake are displaced by history, one family after the other. Julya

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Clive James in conversation with Pascal Bruckner
Wednesday, 2 March 2011 - 4:00pm

Pascal Bruckner is not afraid of controversy. Original and unconventional, the author of The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism has garnered praise from Nick Cohen, Christopher Hitchens and, of course, the brilliant polymath Clive James.

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03-3 Thursday

The Arabs and the Holocaust
Thursday, 3 March 2011 - 3:30pm

Arab and Israeli reactions to the Holocaust differ naturally and are yet closely interconnected, as the Nazi genocide of the Jews has become the object of various and often symmetrical forms of instrumentalisation on both sides of the Middle East conflict.

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Meet the Author
Thursday, 3 March 2011 - 3:30pm

When his cousin was killed in the Zululand hills, journalist Kevin Bloom’s reporting of South Africa’s tempestuous social upheaval took on a deeply personal aspect.

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Banking Then and Now
Thursday, 3 March 2011 - 3:45pm

With access to 10,000 letters and a wealth of previously unpublished material, Niall Ferguson’s compelling biography: High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg took 12 years to write.

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Film: Jellyfish
Thursday, 3 March 2011 - 3:45pm

(Keret and Geffen, 2007, 87 min)

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Workshop: Story by Bedtime
Thursday, 3 March 2011 - 3:45pm

This practical afternoon workshop got our JBW audience writing a bedtime story to read to their loved ones.

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A Question of Age
Thursday, 3 March 2011 - 3:45pm

Mid-life mum Cari Rosen certainly found out that age matters in more than one hilarious way. But age is not all gloom and doom, as Jane Miller, from a considerably more advanced vantage point, considers in her literate and witty exploration. They shared anecdotes, wisdom and possibly advice.

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03-4 Friday

Berlin at War
Friday, 4 March 2011 - 3:30pm

Roger Moorhouse’s bird’s eye-view of life in Berlin under Nazism using memoirs, diaries and interviews charts the violent humbling of a once-proud metropolis: the fear, the cruelty, the petty heroism and the individual tragedy.

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Translating Anne Frank
Friday, 4 March 2011 - 3:30pm

Most of Anne Frank’s readers come to her diary through a translation. How much has this affected our experience of this iconic piece of writing? How much is the voice we feel we know so well really the creation of her translators?

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03-5 Saturday

True Tales
Saturday, 5 March 2011 - 3:15pm

The totally true storytelling club returned for JBW 2011. We selected some of our favourite writers who revealed true moments of beauty, awkwardness, tragedy and hilarity all packaged in 10-minute stories and told with no notes. JBW 2011 theme was ‘Close Call’. 

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The Death of Eli Gold
Saturday, 5 March 2011 - 3:15pm

The Death of Eli Gold is a comedy, a thriller, and a meditation on love, death, aging, sex, America and fame.

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03-6 Sunday

JC Evening: Last Word
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:00pm

The Finkler Question is the ‘first unashamedly comic novel’ to win the prestigious Booker Prize and flagrantly Jewish to boot.

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Vasily Grossman
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:15pm

Vasily Grossman is famous for his masterpiece Life and Fate and his writing as a reporter embedded within the Red Army, particularly for his powerful report on Treblinka.  Robert Chandler (his translator and editor of The Road) revealed to us Grossman not only as a heroic witnes

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My Memories After Death
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:15pm

The most popular Israeli journalist presented his latest book, a posthumous memoir of his father, the much loved and controversial politician Tommy Lapid. He also told Rachel Shabi of his vision for Israel and the part he may play in the future.

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A Rift In Time
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:15pm

Raja Shehadeh’s uncle fled the Ottoman police, his family lost their prosperous home by the sea when Israel was created, his father was murdered and his everyday pleasure of walking in the hills around Ramallah is often ruined by checkpoints and barriers.

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Super Sad Love Story
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:30pm

Put together one of America’s best novelists –  the irreverent Russian-born Gary Shteyngart –  and the only UK comedian who is an expert in Yiddish –  the sparkling David Schneider –  and you will get a super-funny, super-sharp conversation about the future of books, media culture, the fall of th

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Peter Mandelson in conversation with Nick Cohen
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:30pm

'A compelling account of the New Labour years...nearly every page is illuminating.' Steve Richards, Independent

'A revealing and important book by a more winning individual than I had expected to encounter.' Matthew Parris, Spectator

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We Had It So Good
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:30pm

Linda Grant spoke to Joan Bakewell about her new novel, We Had It So Good, which takes us from the late 60s to today, following the lives of a group of friends from youthful idealism to middle-class successes, until the events of late middle-age and the new century force them to realise

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The Punishment of Gaza
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:45pm

He has been called “a propagandist for Hamas” by Israeli right-wingers but sees himself as a patriot who wants to be proud of his country. He told Johann Hari what makes him angry and ashamed, his duty to fight injustice and inhumanity with his pen and his hopes for the future.

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Freud's Escape from Vienna
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:45pm

Freud escaped from Vienna with the help of a good Nazi Anton Sauerwald who in his spare time made bombs. In the book The Escape of Sigmund Freud David Coehn tells the story of their relationship.

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An Unfinished Business
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 2:45pm

Boualem Sansal is not afraid to tackle difficult topics. His novels, written in French, are banned in his own country, Algeria. An Unfinished Business is the story of two young men who discover their father was a Nazi who died without having paid for his crimes.

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Tel Aviv Stories
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 3:00pm

The film, Jellyfish, captures the hidden narratives of everyday Tel-Aviv life and draws a vision of the hundred-year old city which is both more seedy and magical than often meets the eye.

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Who Do We Think We Are?
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 3:00pm

Journalists Gary Younge and Jeffrey Kaye wrestled with "identity" in this thought-provoking session.

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The Balfour Declaration
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 3:00pm

The story of the Balfour Declaration is a tale full of intrigue, betrayal, adventure, death and triumph.

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Turbulent Times
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 3:00pm

The Jewish people have always been a disputatious lot. In the contemporary British Jewish community, issues such as attitudes to Israel, antisemitism, Jewish practice and schooling can be deeply divisive. Debates in the Jewish community can often be bitter, angry and alienating.

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Jewish Book Week 2011
Sunday, 6 March 2011 - 11:45pm

Sunday 6 March was the final day of Jewish Book Week 2011. The main festival ran from 26 February to 6 March at London's Royal National Hotel. More than 100 challenging and entertaining speakers took part in 58 sessions, presenting arguments and many different points of view. 

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Contributors

The JBW Newsfeed

Take advantage of our huge library of free audio talks by subscribing to our podcast feed. Download our podcasts onto your device to catch up on...
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Video

 
Jonathan Safran Foer discussing his novel Here I Am with Hephzibah Anderson at an out-of-festival event.