Jerusalem on the Amstel: The Quest for Zion in the Dutch Republic
Chair: Keren David
Lipika Pelham tells the extraordinary story of the Sephardi Jews of 17th century Amsterdam. The community, part of a ‘carnival of nations’ formed of French Huguenots, North African merchants, Spanish Moriscos and Iberian New Christians, was integral to the success of the Dutch Golden Age. They traded, wrote, staged plays and were painted by Rembrandt. They achieved unparalleled freedoms. While Jews elsewhere were confined to the ghetto, this community dared to nurture the ‘Hope of Israel’, sowing the seeds of Zionism. Lipika also searches for what remains today of Jerusalem on the Amstel.
In association with Jewish Renaissance
Lipika Pelham worked in the BBC newsroom for over a decade and also reported from the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. In 2005–13, she lived in Jerusalem, where she learnt Hebrew, made award-winning films and wrote a memoir, The Unlikely Settler. She now works as an independent documentary maker for the BBC and other broadcasters.
Keren David is the award winning author of eight Young Adult books. She is features editor of the JC.