London’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas

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Festival Archive

Jewish Book Week 2012

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 to Thursday, 15 March 2012
more videos

Events

02-18 Saturday

George Webber Evening: Sixty Years On
Saturday, 18 February 2012 - 12:15pm

JBW 2012 celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Jewish Book Week.

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02-19 Sunday

Rabbinical Creativity
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 12:15pm

In his three volume work, The Sages, Rabbi Lau vividly describes how the Rabbis of the Talmud developed novel interpretations of Jewish law which could successfully navigate an ever-changing reality.

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That Woman
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 12:15pm

Twenty five years after her death, Wallis Simpson exerts a more powerful fascination than ever. That Woman is the first full scale biography written by a woman about the Duchess of Windsor, one of the most glamorous and vilified women of the last century and a key character in the recent

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Jewish London
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 12:30pm

Rachel Kolsky joined us for the launch of Jewish London, throughout the session she delved into literature and films featuring sites, past and present, of Jewish London. Rachel co-wrote 'Jewish London' a new comprehensive guidebook which focuses on the heritage and culture of London’s hi

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I Lived on this Earth.... Hungarian Poets on the Holocaust
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 12:30pm

Dame Janet Suzman and George Gömöri read poems from I Lived on this Earth… Hungarian Poets on the Holocaust, edited by poet and translator George Gömöri and his wife Mari Gömöri. They were accompanied by violinist Marianne Olyver and pianist Robert Schuck.

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Taha Muhammad Ali
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 12:30pm

Adina Hoffman’s Jewish Quarterly-Wingate-Prize-winning biography of Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali is a moving account of the ways “ordinary” individuals are swept up by the floodtides of both war and peace.

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Scandal of Kaballah
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 12:30pm

The Scandal of Kabbalah is the first book about the origins of a culture war that began in early modern Europe and continues to this day: the debate between kabbalists and their critics on the nature of Judaism and the meaning of religious tradition.

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Joseph Roth
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 12:45pm

The Austrian writer Joseph Roth was born in 1894 on the dusty edge of Eastern Europe. He died, forty four years later in a Paris sanatorium, a rootless, stateless alcoholic. In between he wrote 15 novels and novellas, and some of the most potent and evocative journalism of the 1920s and1930s.

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Tales of Mediterranean Coexistence
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 12:45pm

Al-Andalus in Islamic Spain and the 19th Century Levant are often mentioned as legendary times and places of peaceful co-existence between different peoples and religions. But how much real social, cultural and economic interaction actually existed among Jews, Christians and Muslims?

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Masterclass
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 1:00pm

Whether or not Robert Frost ever said it, just about everyone assumes that poetry is in fact what is lost in translation.

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Fagin the Jew
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 1:00pm

Charles Dickens's Fagin is one of the most infamous Jewish characters in world literature. Cunning, manipulative and ruthless, Fagin has become synonymous with 19th Century London's low life and organised street crime.

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Jews and Palestinians in Israel: Separate or Together?
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 1:00pm

David Wesley came to Israel as a young Zionist to participate in what he saw as Jewish national rebirth.  In this conversation with Tom Selwyn based on his book Zionist Images and State Practices, he challenged popular conceptions about existing and possible Jewish-Arab relations in Isra

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Trouble-Making Rabbis
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 1:00pm

Navigating the boundaries of sacred and profane David Goldberg and Elli Sarah are two rabbis who have stuck by their convictions, approaching Judaism with boldness, passion and unfailing intellectual rigour.

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Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 2:15pm

One May day in 1896, a meeting took place between a Romanian-born maverick Jewish intellectual and twin learned Presbyterian Scotswomen who had assembled to inspect several pieces of rag-paper and parchment.

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Yehuda Halevi
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 2:15pm

Yehuda Halevi defined the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry and is considered Poet Laureate of the Jewish people. Like Maimonides, Halevi spanned multiple worlds.

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Portugal at War: Lisbon and the Jewish Refugees in WW2
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 2:15pm

In Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light 1939-45, a gripping tale of high-stakes intrigue, betrayal, double-dealing, and survival, Neill Lochery tells the story of how Portugal, a relatively poor European country trying frantically to remain neutral amidst extraordinary pressur

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Lady of Fleet Street
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 2:30pm

In the late 19th century at a time when women were still denied the vote, Rachel Sassoon Beer edited both The Sunday Times and the Observer.

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The Origins
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 2:30pm

Both Agnès Desarthe and Fabrice Humbert have written novels about men embarking on a difficult investigation into their own past and the secrets that were kept from them, both taken back to the horrors of WW2.

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The Eichmann Trial
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 2:30pm

The capture of Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann by Israeli agents in Argentina in 1960 and his subsequent trial in Jerusalem electrified the world and sparked a global debate on where, how genocide can be judged.

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The Golem: Silent Film with Live Musical Accompaniment
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 2:45pm

JBW 2012 presented a screening of the powerful 1920 silent film classic, ‘The Golem’, accompanied by a brand new musical score from Robin Harris on piano (with a few brass instrumental surprises).

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Meet the Author: Hillel Halkin: Melisande! What are Dreams?
Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 2:45pm

Melisande! What Are Dreams? is a first novel by the acclaimed American-Israeli author and translator Hillel Halkin, known for his essays and books of non-fiction on Israeli and Jewish subjects and for his translations from Hebrew and Yiddish literature. And yet Melisande!

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02-20 Monday

The Long Road Home
Monday, 20 February 2012 - 2:45pm

In The Long Road Home, Ben Shephard describes how for 8 million displaced persons the end of the Second World War didn’t mean the end of their ordeal.

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Film: Orly Castel Blum: Not Far from the Centre of the City
Monday, 20 February 2012 - 2:45pm
52 mins, Hebrew, English subtitles
Screenplay, Director and Cinematographer: Ruth Walk
Editor, Producer: Yael Perlov
 
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The Poetry of Bob Dylan
Monday, 20 February 2012 - 2:45pm

Bob Dylan’s songs formed an indispensable soundtrack to the 1960s, and have continued to capture the imagination of audiences ever since. His song lyrics are often praised for their poetry and he has been acclaimed by some as one of the great unsung poets of the 20th century.

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Constructs of Place: What makes cities tick?
Monday, 20 February 2012 - 3:00pm

What shapes a city’s identity? Who defines it? Is New York about individualism or community? Is Jerusalem about religion, conflict or cafés?

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02-21 Tuesday

What the Grown-Ups were Doing
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 - 3:00pm

We embarked on an odyssey through 1950’s suburbia –a Metroland of neat lawns, bridge parties and Martini socials through the eyes of an ‘oddball tomboy’.

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Film: Agi Mishol: Things Happen
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 - 3:00pm
52 mins, Hebrew, English subtitles
Screenplay, Director and Cinematographer: Ruth Walk
Editor, Producer: Yael Perlov
 
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A Place to Call My Jewish Home: Memories of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue 1911-2011
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 - 3:15pm

An ode to the Liberal Jewish Synagogue on its centenary.

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The Patagonian Hare
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 - 3:15pm

Claude Lanzmann fought in the Resistance, opposed the war in Algeria, was Simone de Beauvoir’s lover and Jean-Paul Sartre's friend. He played a very important role in French intellectual life and is above all known for his magisterial nine-and-a-half hour film Shoah.

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Meet the Author: Sue Eckstein: Interpreters
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 - 3:15pm

Sue Eckstein spoke about her devastating and wonderfully understated novel following the stories of three generations of women from wartime Germany to today.

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On the Eve: The Jews of Europe before the Second World War
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 - 3:15pm

This is the portrait of a world on the eve of its destruction. Bernard Wasserstein presented a disturbing interpretation of the collapse of European Jewish civilization even before the Nazi onslaught.

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02-22 Wednesday

The Third Day
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 - 3:30pm

In Chochana Boukhobza’s moving novel, The Third Day, two cellists travel to Jerusalem for a concert.

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Film: Sara Shilo: No Gnomes Will Appear
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 - 3:30pm
52 mins, Hebrew, English subtitles
Screenplay, Director and Cinematographer: Ruth Walk
Editor, Producer: Yael Perlov
 
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Meet the Author: Tom Rachman: The Imperfectionists
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 - 3:30pm

Tom Rachman discussed his first novel, The Imperfectionists, about the quirky, maddening and endearing people who write and read an international newspaper based in Rome. Gripping, funny and moving, this is a novel about the hectic but now threatened life of the press as we knew it.

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Ron Arad
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 - 3:30pm

Ron Arad is a central figure in contemporary design, renowned for his willingness to push boundaries between disciplines and experiment with processes and materials. Many of his designs such as the Rover chair and the Bookworm bookshelf are iconic.

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Religion and Science
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 - 3:45pm

The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning by Jonathan Sacks was the starting point for a conversation between the Chief Rabbi and mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, chaired by Daniel Glaser.

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02-23 Thursday

Major/Minor
Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 3:45pm

Alba Arikha has written a vivid and haunting coming-of-age memoir, Major/Minor, set in Paris in the 1980’s.  Her father was the artist, Avigdor Arikha; her mother the poet, Anne Atik; her godfather, Samuel Beckett.

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Film: Mordechai Richler: The Last of the Wild Jews
Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 3:45pm

Director Francine Pelletier, 2010 52 minutes

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Meet the Author: Freud's Couch, Scott's Buttocks, Brontë's Grave
Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 3:45pm

Why should anyone care about a writer’s house? Why do tourists flock to see where the Brontës lived or where Shakespeare was born?

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Etgar Keret
Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 3:45pm

The critically acclaimed master short-story teller Etgar Keret gave us a taste of his magic with his new collection of stories, Suddenly, A Knock on the Door. More absurd, humorous, surreal and compassionate than ever, they reflect Israel’s uncanny reality.

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My Son, the Gold Medallist: A short history of the Jews and the Olympics.
Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 4:00pm

Entirely made up by David Schneider.

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02-24 Friday

The Food of Spain
Friday, 24 February 2012 - 4:00pm

Claudia Roden spoke about discoveries she made while researching her new book The Food of Spain.

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02-25 Saturday

Retelling the Story
Saturday, 25 February 2012 - 4:00pm

Why is this text different from all other texts? The Haggadah recounts the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt and is read around the Passover table each year. There are over 4000 known versions in existence; however this one is set to become the most wanted.

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Six Word Memoirs
Saturday, 25 February 2012 - 4:00pm

Hemingway’s legendary challenge to write a novel in six words—"For sale: baby shoes, never worn"— has unintentionally created one of the hottest modern literary trends.

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02-26 Sunday

Get Real: How to Tell it Like it is in a World of Illusions
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 9:15am

Oil companies advertise their green credentials. Billionaires orchestrate ‘grassroots’ political movements. Organic food is grown on vast industrial farms. Public spending cuts that target the poor are billed as progressive.

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Trieste
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 9:15am

The Croatian novelist spoke about her first novel to be translated into English,Trieste, the story of a mother who has waited over sixty years to be reunited with the son who was stolen from her by the Nazis.

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Jewish European Heritage in the Age of Diasporas
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 9:30am

Zygmunt Bauman took us on a sweeping tour of the history of European Jews and their search for a place. He placed back the birth of Zionism in its context, at the peak of modern nation-state building zeal and imperialist expansion.

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Pantheon
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 9:30am

The novel by Jonathan Freedland - written under the pseudonym Sam Bourne – Pantheon, is set in the Oxford and Yale of 1940. It follows an Oxford academic deemed unfit to serve in the war against Germany and his desperate search to find his missing wife and child.

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Jewish Legions
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 9:30am

In We Are Coming, Unafraid: The Jewish Legions and the Promised Land in the First World War, Michael Keren tells the little-known story of three all-Jewish battalions formed in the British army as part of the Allies’ Middle East campaign during WW1.

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Israel and the European Left
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 9:30am

Why has the European Left become so antagonistic towards Israel? Is such antagonism in opposition to the policies of successive Israeli governments? Or, is it due to a resurgence of anti-Semitism?

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Protocols of Prague
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 9:45am

David Aaronovitch interviewed Umberto Eco about his brilliant historical novelThe Prague Cemetery set in 19th Europe, from Turin to Prague to Paris, at a time when conspiracies rule history.

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Jazz Piano: A Love Story
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 9:45am

Jay Rayner leaped at the chance to play one of the famed Steinways at King’s Place, and spoke about the music that has shaped his life, his flirtations with electro pop in the 80s, why he was drummed out of a blues band made up entirely of writers and, accompanied by a few of Britain’s best jazz

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Daniel Stein: Interpreter
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 9:45am

Ludmila Ulitskaya came from Russia to talk about her extraordinary novel, Daniel Stein, Interpreter.

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Israel After the Arab Spring
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:15pm

Will the Arab Spring lead to peace between Israel and its neighbours, or does it mean perpetual war? Is what we've been seeing really an Arab Spring, or is it in fact an Islamic Awakening?

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Proust Among The Nations
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:15pm

In her book, Proust Among the Nations – from Dreyfus to the Middle East, Jacqueline Rose takes her far-reaching and often controversial analysis of the Middle East conflict into the heart of Europe.

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Almighty Teenagers
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:15pm

Make way for the almighty teenager. Long have we suspected that this awkward figure, lurking in the shadows is an underrated entity.

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Hope: A Tragedy
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:30pm

Darkly hilarious, dangerously subversive and extraordinarily bold, Shalom Auslander delivered a hilarious and disquieting examination of the burdens and abuse of history.

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Jewry in Music
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:30pm

Michael Portillo discussed David Conway’s new book Jewry in Music with the author, accompanied by live musical illustrations by Mark Viner (piano) and Claudia Conway (soprano).

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Hebrew Language Session
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:30pm

In memory of Risa Domb

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A New Voice for Israel
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:30pm

The leader of America’s pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby explained to Jonathan Freedland why he felt the need to fund J-Street. He comes from a family who were pioneers in Israel, founders of Tel Aviv and fighters for the country’s independence.

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Of Loss and Hope
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:45pm

Here are two beautifully written and meticulously researched new novels.

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Road to Apocalypse
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:45pm

A chance discovery in a Sussex chapel led Stanley and Munro Price to the fascinating but forgotten story of Lewis Way. In 1805Way, a devout evangelical Christian, came into a fortune by chance and looked for a cause to spend it on.

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Ulysses Revisited
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 4:45pm

For Howard Jacobson, James Joyce's Ulysses is the greatest Jewish novel of the 20th century; for Henry Goodman the novel that hugely articulated and reshaped his artistic hopes and identity as an actor.

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Jewish Book Week 2012
Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 11:45pm

Sunday 26 February was the final day of Jewish Book Week 2012. The main festival ran from 18 to 26 February at Kings Place. More than 110 challenging and entertaining speakers took part in 64 sessions, presenting arguments and many different points of view.

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Contributors

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Video

 
David Grossman speaks with Mark Lawson at a special out-of-fesitval event.