Plague and Prejudice

Hadley Freeman, Simon Schama

09/05/2021 7:00 pm
On Zoom, Virtual Event

During the course of the pandemic – when the benefits of cooperative pursuit of knowledge have been so obvious – ignorance-based hatred and prejudice have seen a rapid rate of infection. Simon Schama explores how ‘viral prejudice’ has been an enduring plague for the Jewish people, examining the relationship between antisemitism and scientific scepticism – the rejection of knowledge. Turning to the hatred that overwhelmed the 20th century, Hadley Freeman explores the memoirs of Esther Safran Foer and Arianna Neumann, presenting an engaging investigation of testimony and the generational shifts in memory. In a conversation chaired by Julia Neuberger, these three leading writers and thinkers look to the past for insight into the present, and lessons for the future.

This event is planned to celebrate the international relaunch of  The Jewish Quarterly. Ticket holders will receive a discount code for one year’s subscription to the print and digital editions of The Jewish Quarterly for just £35.

Click here for full price subscriptions to The Jewish Quarterly

Hadley Freeman


Hadley Freeman is the author of The Meaning of Sunglasses, Be Awesome and House of Glass and has been a Guardian columnist and staff writer since 2000, where she writes the popular Ask Hadley fashion column. She also contributes to Vogue. She lives in New York and London.

Julia Neuberger


Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE is Chair of University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust. She was Senior Rabbi of the West London Synagogue from 2011 until March 2020 and is now Rabbi Emerita. She is a cross bench Peer in the House of Lords, former CEO of the King’s Fund, and a founding Trustee of the Walter and Liesel Schwab Charitable trust, set up in memory of her parents. She is a Trustee of the Rayne Foundation, Trustee of the Van Leer Group Foundation, Chair of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Chair of Independent Age. She chaired the Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway for Dying Patients in 2013 and was Vice Chair, Mental Health Act Independent Review 2017-2018. She is also a member of the Executive Board, Leo Baeck Institute London. Her latest book on Antisemitism ‘What it is. What is isn’t. Why it matters’ (Orion Books) was published in May 2019. Photo credit Derek Tamea

Simon Schama


Sir Simon Schama, CBE is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University and a Contributing Editor of the Financial Times. He is the author of nineteen books and the writer-presenter of fifty documentaries on art, history and literature for BBC2. His art criticism for The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for criticism in 1996; his film on Bernini from The Power of Art won an Emmy in 2007 and his series on British history and The American Future: a History, Broadcast Critics Guild awards. He won the NCR non-fiction prize for Citizens, National Book Critics Circle award for Rough Crossings, the WH Smith Literary Award for Landscape and Memory. In 2015 he received the Premio Antonio Feltrinelli in historical sciences from the Accademia nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. His The Story of the Jews: Finding the Wordswas published in 2015 and the second volume Belongingin 2017. In the autumn of 2016, The Face of Britain, a history of British portraiture appeared as a five-part BBC television series; a book and an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. In 2018, Civilizations, a nine-part BBC television series on world art, of which he wrote and presented five. In May 2019,Wordy: Sounding off on high art, low appetite and the power of memory, was published. His latest television series, The Romantics and Us, is currently airing on the BBC.