Free Online Events at JBW2022

Yoel Finkelman, Efraim Zuroff, Andrew Porwancher, Jeffrey Veidlinger, Ronen Steinke, Ollie Anisfeld, Stuart Halpern, Trudy Gold, Anne Joseph, Rachel Elior, Yigal Zalmona, Caron Sethill

28/02/2022 2:30 pm
On Zoom, Virtual Event

Sign up below to receive links for our six fantastic free online events taking place between Monday 28 February and Monday 7 March:

Jewish Magic – Monday 28 February, 2.30pm GMT

The deliberate manipulation of supernatural forces for human ends has a long and surprisingly robust place in the history of Jewish ideas and practice. Jews throughout history cast spells, wrote amulets and crafted magical objects in order to heal the sick, battle natural disasters and save themselves from dark cosmic forces. Is such activity permitted? Is there a difference between good and bad magic? Has modern science and technology really put an end to Jewish magic, or is magical thinking still alive and well even among “rational” people?

In Partnership with the National Library of Israel. In Association with Lockdown University.

Join Dr Yoel Finkelman, Curator of the Haim and Hanna Salomon Judaica Collection at the National Library of Israel for a spellbinding session featuring treasures from the NLI Collections.


Efraim ZuroffL Nazi Hunter – Tuesday 1 March, 2.30pm GMT

As chief Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, over the last four decades Holocaust historian Efraim Zuroff has played a major role in facilitating the prosecution of war criminals all over the world. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, his books include Operation Last Chance and his most recent Our People: Discovering Lithuania’s Hidden Holocaust, which he produced in partnership with a local journalist and descendent of perpetrators. Back at Jewish Book Week by popular demand, don’t miss this online event.

Click here to buy a copy of Our People: Discovering Lithuania’s Hidden Holocaust by Efraim Zuroff & Ruta Vanagaite.

In Association with Lockdown University.


The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton – Wednesday 2 March, 2.30pm GMT

This is the untold story of the founding father’s likely Jewish birth and upbringing—and its revolutionary consequences for understanding him and the nation he fought to create. For more than two centuries, Alexander Hamilton’s youth in the Caribbean has remained shrouded in mystery, as he preferred, with most biographers assuming a Christian boyhood. But with his life in focus like never before thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s global hit musical Hamilton, historian Andrew Porwancher debunks a string of myths. He looks not only at Hamilton’s background but the unique relationship he cultivated with the Jewish community, striking given the pernicious antisemitism of the era. In a new nation torn between democratic promises and discriminatory practices, he fought for a republic in which Jew and Gentile would stand as equals.

Click here to buy a copy of The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton by Andrew Porwancher

In Association with Lockdown University


In the Midst of Civilized Europe – Thursday 3 March, 2.30pm GMT

Between 1918-1921, over 100,000 Jews were murdered in Ukraine and Poland by peasants, townsmen and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbours with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of total annihilation. 20 years later, these dire predictions would come true. Jeffrey Veidlinger, chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History and author of In the Shadow of the Shtetl, draws upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, to show for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. In conversation with Trudy Gold.

Click here to buy a copy of In The Midst of Civilized Europe by Jeffrey Veidlinger

In Association with the Lockdown University


An Arab Doctor in Berlin – Friday 4 March, 2.30pm GMT

Ronen Steinke, author & Süddeutsche Zeitung correspondent tells the remarkable story of Mohammed Helmy, the Egyptian doctor who risked his life to save Jewish Berliners from the Nazis. Shining a light on the almost-forgotten world of Arab Berlin during the Weimar period, Steinke produces a riveting account of Dr Helmy’s rescue of, among others, a Jewish girl named Anna.

Click here to buy a copy of Anna & Dr Helmy by Ronen Steinke

In Association with the Lockdown University


Letters of Light – Monday 7 March, 6pm GMT

Please note that this event has moved from a previously advertised date and time.

This event will be at 6pm (GMT) / 8pm (IST).

Micha Ullman’s “Letters of Light” will stand in the southern portion of the new National Library of Israel campus in Jerusalem, at a prominent crossroads between the Israel Museum and the Knesset. Anchored in ancient Jewish mystical text and drawing inspiration from alphabetic traditions of other cultures, the ground-breaking work is largely inspired by Sefer Yetzira (Book of Creation), an ancient Jewish text maintaining that the universe was created through these 22 letters.

What is Sefer Yetzira and how can it and other ancient, mystical texts be reflected in modern art?

Join Yigal Zalmona, art adviser for the new National Library of Israel, in conversation with Rachel Elior, John and Golda Cohen Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Jewish Mystical Thought at the Hebrew University.

In Partnership with the National Library of Israel

Yoel Finkelman

Dr. Yoel Finkelman is the Haim and Hanna Salomon Judaica Collection Curator at the National Library of Israel. Previously a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, he is author of the book "Strictly Kosher Reading: Popular Literature and the Condition of Contemporary Orthodoxy". Image cr. Yorai Liberman

Efraim Zuroff

Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff is the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the director of the Center's Israel Office and Eastern European Affairs. For four decades, he has played a major role in facilitating the prosecution of many Nazi war criminals all over the world. He is the author of four books (translated into 15 languages) and numerous articles on Holocaust-related issues and their impact on the Jewish world. A recipient of many honors, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008.

Andrew Porwancher

Andrew Porwancher is the Wick Cary Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma. His books include The Devil Himself: A Tale of Honor, Insanity, and the Birth of Modern America.

Jeffrey Veidlinger

Jeffrey Veidlinger is a professor of history and Judaic studies at the University of Michigan. His books, which include The Moscow State Yiddish Theater and In the Shadow of the Shtetl, have won a National Jewish Book Award, the Barnard Hewitt Award for Theatre Scholarship, two Canadian Jewish Book Awards, and the J. I. Segal Award. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Image cr. Leisa Thompson

Ronen Steinke

Ronen Steinke is the author of new book Anna & Dr Helmy: How an Arab Doctor Saves a Jewish Girl in Hitler’s Berlin. He is also a political commentator for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany's leading broadsheet newspaper and has published a number of works in Germany on the Nazi period, including his biography of Fritz Bauer, the courageous German Jewish judge and prosecutor who played an instrumental role in bringing the holocaust planner Adolf Eichmann to justice, and whose story was dramatized in the 2015 film The People vs. Fritz Bauer. Image cr Peter von Felbert  

Ollie Anisfeld

Ollie Anisfeld is the founder and director of J-TV - an online, global Jewish channel which aims to inspire positive Jewish identity, values and knowledge through engaging video media. J-TV features content on current affairs, Jewish philosophy and values, Jewish history, and other entertainment. Ollie launched J-TV five years ago while he was in his final year at University College London reading History. J-TV has viewers all over the globe with a viewership that is predominantly aged between 16-35. Ollie's favourite word is "edu-tainment" - combining educational and entertaining content to influence hearts and minds.

Stuart Halpern

Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern is Senior Advisor to the Provost of Yeshiva University and Deputy Director of YU’s Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, and is responsible for developing educational and communal initiatives that bridge Torah and general studies. He has edited 17 books, including most recently Esther in America: The Scroll's Interpretation in and Impact on the United States. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Jerusalem Post, JTA, Tablet, and Jewish Review of Books and he teaches in Yeshiva University, synagogues, Hillels and adult educational settings across the U.S., Europe and Israel.

Trudy Gold

Trudy Gold is the former C.E.O of the London Jewish Cultural Centre, and one of the founder members of the British delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. She has taught Modern Jewish History in schools and universities and for adult groups throughout the World. She has coordinated teacher training in Jewish History and Holocaust Studies in Eastern Europe and latterly in China. She is the author of The Timechart History of Jewish Civilisation and the student resources “Understanding the Holocaust” and the digital resource “Lessons of the Holocaust.”

Anne Joseph

Anne Joseph is a freelance journalist who writes mainly about Jewish arts and culture. She contributes to the Times and The Jewish Chronicle.

Her work has also appeared in the Guardian, the Times of Israel, the TLS and the Forward.

Rachel Elior

Rachel Elior is John and Golda Cohen Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Jewish Mystical Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has been a research fellow and visiting professor at University College London, the University of Amsterdam, Oberlin College, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Case Western University, Yeshiva University, Tokyo University, and Princeton University. She is the author of numerous works on Jewish mysticism and hasidism, two of which are also published by the Littman Library: The Three Temples: On the Emergence of Jewish Mysticism (2004), and The Mystical Origins of Hasidism (2006). The recipient of many honours, she was awarded the 2006 Gershom Scholem Prize for the Study of Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Yigal Zalmona

Yigal Zalmona is an Israeli curator, art critic and historian. He was the Chief Curator-at-Large of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem until his retirement in 2012.

Yigal has published numerous works in Hebrew and English on Israeli art and art history. He currently serves as adviser on matters of art and exhibitions for the new National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

Caron Sethill

Caron Sethill is Programme Manager Europe at the National Library of Israel (NLI), managing Gesher L'Europa, (A Bridge to Europe), which aims to share the Library's collections in creative ways, and to engage people with shared interests working in Jewish settings in Europe. Caron was born in the UK, and came to live in Israel in 1984. Prior to her role at the Library, she was Deputy Director of the British Council Israel, promoting cultural and scientific cooperation between Britain and Israel.