Jewish Book Week 2023 Saturday 25 February - Sunday 05 March | Tickets now on sale

The Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Book Week 2023 is proud to partner with the Jewish Chronicle, the world's oldest Jewish newspaper.
What Future for American Jews?
December 2022 saw the first-ever White House Roundtable on Antisemitism, with second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, describing ‘an epidemic of hate facing our country’. With Jewish students experiencing hostility and threats on campuses, spikes in antisemitic invective on social media platforms, antisemitic outbursts from some elected officials, public figures and entertainers and attacks on synagogues, does American Jewry have a future? Historian S...
Shalom Auslander & Howard Jacobson
Mothers loom large in Jewish culture and literature in general. They feature in the titles – and contents – of the latest books by two of the most acclaimed authors around; Shalom Auslander’s novel Mother for Dinner and Howard Jacobson’s memoir Mother’s Boy. Now as the opening event of the 72nd annual Jewish Book Week, these two much-loved, extremely funny, Wingate-winning writers join broadcaster Francine...
Pop Starts: Bob Stanley & Graham Gouldman
Pop music didn’t begin with the Beatles or Elvis; the pre-history goes back to the turn of the century. In Let’s Do It: The Birth of Pop Bob Stanley brings that eclectic, evolving world to life, from ragtime, blues and Broadway to country, crooning and beyond. Saint Etienne star Bob’s award-winning book Yeah Yeah Yeah took us from Bill Haley to Beyoncé. Now we hear stories of Sinatra, Gershwin, Billie Holiday, Haro...
Britain’s Jews
Jews have lived in Britain longer than any other minority – so ingrained into the national fabric that they are often not considered to be a minority at all. And while there is a pervading sense of anxiety, as periodic outbursts of antisemitism or flare ups in the Middle East turn the spotlight on them, there is also a new sense of confidence, a pride in being Jewish that former generations so often lacked. Harry Freedman,...
Lockdowns, Laws & Lost Freedoms
On 26 March 2020, a new law appeared. In 11 pages it confined tens of millions of people to their homes, restricting our freedoms more than any other law in history, justified by the rapid spread of a deadly new virus. Never debated in Parliament, it came into force as soon as it was signed, amid a state of emergency being declared, it lasted for over two years and allowed ministers to bring in over 100 new laws by decree, laws then broken by the then-Prime Minister and many of his colleagues...
Muppets in Moscow
It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights…or is it? After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the timing seemed perfect to bring Sesame Street to millions of children across the former empire, with Jim Henson’s Muppet creations envisioned as ideal ambassadors for Western values, an idea championed in Congress by then-senator Joe Biden. After all, the show had been running for almost 25 years in the US and already had over a dozen int...
Leonard Cohen in the Sinai
October 1973: Leonard Cohen is world famous, highly admired – yet unhappy and at a creative dead end. Rather than resort to a more routine rock star response, he swapped his Greek island lifestyle for the chaos and bloodshed of the frontlines of the Yom Kippur War, armed only with his guitar and some local musicians. As we approach the 50th anniversary of this unique concert tour journalist Matti Friedman tells this little-known story in Who By Fire, alo...
To Egypt with Love
With the Suez crisis of 1956, Egypt’s remaining Jewish population was forced to flee a land which had been their home for over 2,000 years. Author Viviane Bowell, who fled the country when she was a child, describes in vivid detail the lost world of the Jewish community of Cairo. In conversation with historian and author Lyn Julius. Click here to buy a copy of To Egypt with...
Murder at the Old Bailey
Until her March retirement Her Honour Wendy Joseph was one of the just 16 judges licensed to try murder cases at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales – better known as the Old Bailey – and the only woman. In Unlawful Killings: Life, Love & Murder she shares her rare insight from 15 years of presiding over numerous high-profile cases, having previously served as a criminal barrister for more than three decades. Focusing on six dra...
The Beatles’ Hairdresser
The Beatles’ hair changed the world. As their untamed manes grew, they set off a cultural revolution as the most tangible symbol of the Sixties psychedelic dream. But how did a Jewish boy from Burnt Oak become part of this epochal change? From dropping out of school aged 15 and apprenticing to Vidal Sassoon to becoming hairdresser and stylist to the biggest band of all time, Leslie Cavendish tells his story in Cutting Edge and here joins drummer, raconteur and pop ...
The Art of Survival
A first-hand narrative of the horrors of Bergen-Belsen – seen through the eyes of a child – and the remarkable life that followed. Born in 1939 in Amsterdam, by the age of four Maurice Blik was forced to face the questions and choices that philosophers, artists and religions have left unanswered. Moving to England following liberation, the legacy of some of the worst atrocities of the war remained silent in him until it found a voice almost 40 years later in his s...
Canine Pioneer
Dog trainer extraordinaire Rudolphina Menzel’s research into canine psychology was revolutionary. Between the wars she enjoyed a pan-European reputation as one of the foremost breeders and trainers of police dogs. A fervent Zionist, Rudophina trained hundreds of dogs to protect Jewish lives and property in pre-state Palestine – teaching Jews to like dogs and training dogs to serve Jews was her unique Zionist mission. Biographer Susan Martha Kahn discusses her life and...
“Funny, you don’t look Jewish”: Authenticity and Identity
Discovering her close friend and boss was a conman prompted Alice Sherwood’s lifelong interest in authenticity and identity, topics she explores in her award-winning book, Authenticity: Reclaiming Reality in a Counterfeit Culture. With a rich range of stories, many of which – from the world’s greatest impostor, the human chameleon who inspired Woody Allen’s Zelig, to the Bronx-born designer accused of copying by a French couturier – explore some of the co...
Graphic Novel Masterclass

A special masterclass with award-winning illustrator and comic book writer Rutu Modan. She will give practical insights and answer questions about her research methods and the work process behind her graphic novels, which include The Property and Minharot (Tunnels).

In Partnership with the National Library of Israel.

Events in the Wenlock Room are free and unticketed, entry will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

A Barmitzvah Gift: Searching for Viennese Holocaust Survivors
A special in person presentation with National Library of Israel reference librarian Daniel Lipson. In Vienna in 1936, a young man named David received a Mesilat Yesharim book for his Barmitzvah. This book disappeared during WWII but surfaced recently in the collections of the National Library of Israel. Using histroical, genealogical and archival records, Daniel was part of the team that traced this book’s incredible odyssey and uncovered the story of a Jewi...
György Pauk: 80 Years with the Violin
Internationally acclaimed violinist György Pauk is regarded as the foremost living torch-bearer of the Hungarian Violin School, which traces its origins to the 19th century violinist Josef Joachim, a close friend and collaborator of Mendelssohn, the Schumanns and Brahms. With musical accompaniment from violinist Eriko Nagayama, the longstanding Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music, discusses his memoir A Life in Music, with absorbing stories of many of the other instrum...
Encounters: Judaism and Orthodox Christianity
How can finite minds approach an infinite and ultimately unknowable God? Is it true that Christianity is a religion of love and Judaism a religion of law? How much do Jews and Orthodox Christians have in common when they worship God? What can be done about Christian prayers that Jews find offensive? How much responsibility do Christians carry for antisemitism? These and other fundamental questions are addressed by rabbi and professor Nicholas de Lange, academic researcher in ...
Refugees and Rescuers
Holocaust educator Mike Levy shines a light on the forgotten many who helped to rescue more than 10,000 Jewish children from Germany and Austria, among them the fearless Dutch woman, the grocer, the soldier, the Quaker and the Rabbi. Novelist Geoffrey Charin has produced an electrifying thriller, Without Let or Hindrance, telling the story of Veronica, who enters a high-risk world of deadly intrigue and political conspiracy to place herself at the very heart of dark...
Anglo Jewry: A History of Controversy
Over the last 300 years Britain’s Chief Rabbis have been attacked for being too orthodox, not orthodox enough or simply being resistant to change. David Latchman will discuss some of these controversies, detailed in his new book Ten Chief Rabbis which is based entirely on items in his unique collection of Anglo-Judaica. Sponsored in Memory of Michael Goldmeier by his Family. We would love to know what you think about Jewish Book Week and your online experience. ...
Comic Books: Where Life is more Absurd than Art
Israeli illustrator, comic book artist and former editor of the Hebrew edition of MAD magazine Rutu Modan on the real stories behind her award-winning comics and graphic novels. In conversation with fellow comics and graphic novel expert Ariel Kahn, Artistic Director of the National Library of Israel’s Comics Residency project will discuss inventing stories where truth often has little to do with reality. Click  ...
Sa’ad Khaldi & Trudy Gold in Conversation
In 2007 Sa’ad Khaldi, a UK educator with an Arab and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, became the first Palestinian Holocaust Educational Fellow studying with the Imperial War Museum and Yad Vashem in Lithuania, Poland and Israel. In conversation with fellow educator and historian Trudy Gold they explore – in a world where the Arab-Israeli conflict has become ever more complex, and where Holocaust education is insufficient to combat the tide of antisemitism ...
The Jewish Book Week 2023 Keynote: Howard Jacobson
With Jewish Book Week now into our eighth decade, Howard Jacobson, who has been speaking at the festival for almost half of our existence and predates us by just 10 years, delivers a specially created keynote: How the Jews Invented Disappointment. The Booker winner explains: “When asked to name what Jews were best at, I used always to say ‘argument’. Disputatiousness is our element, I insisted, but I don’t expect you to agree with me. Today I’d say ...
The Lives of Joseph Roth & Stefan Zweig
After Hitler came to power in 1933, celebrated Austrian – and Jewish – writers Joseph Roth and Stefan Zweig were forced to flee; Roth that very day, boarding a train to Paris. The pair enjoyed a peculiar friendship; in exile, the penniless but, in his own estimation, more talented Roth depended on the commercially successful Zweig for money. By 1942 they were both dead, Zweig by suicide, Roth from alcohol poisoning. Endless Flight author Keiron Pim and Na...
The Last Colony
East West Street author Philippe Sands takes us on a disturbing journey across international law sparked by the 1965 establishment of the British Indian Ocean Territory and deportation of a Chagos island’s entire population.  But the British had reckoned without the determination of one young woman and a four-decade battle with the government of Mauritius. International law specialist Philippe has been intimately involved in the cases for the last decade an...
Simon Sebag Montefiore: The World
From Alexander the Great to Zelensky, via Caesars and Rothschilds, plagues and love affairs, the latest book from international bestseller Simon Sebag Montefiore is nothing less than the history of humanity itself. In The World: A Family History the historian, novelist and broadcaster takes us from the first footsteps of a family 950,000 years ago right up to present day. The multi-award-winning author of Young Stalin, The Romanovs and ...
What’s Next for Ukraine?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has changed the world. From precipitating a refugee crisis throughout Europe as eight million Ukrainians fled their homes, to increased nuclear fears, the threat of famine in Africa and social and economic unrest in Britain, the impact has been seismic and global. What lies ahead? Editor of The Jewish Chronicle Jake Wallis Simons is joined by Ukraine expert, author and The Economist’s former Kyiv corresponden...
Israel: A History in 100 Cartoons
75 years after the state was established, Israel: A History in 100 Cartoons offers a new, visually exciting and accessible way to understand this unique, complex country and, in particular, the Israel-Palestine conflict. Colin Shindler, a leading authority on Israel Studies whose previous books include The Hebrew Republic and The Rise of the Israeli Right, contextualises the work of different generations of irreverent and contrarian cartoonis...
The Future of Food
What we eat has never seemed as crucial – or complicated. Tim Spector is in the top 1% most-cited scientists on the planet; in Food For Life he draws on cutting-edge research to deliver a comprehensive guide to what we should all know about our greatest ally for good health. Broadcaster Dan Saladino won the Wainwright Prize 2022 and the Guild of Food Writers Book Award for his astonishing Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Food...
Liberal & Illiberal Arts
How did Humphrey Bogart end up telling Lauren Bacall a Talmudic story in Key Largo and what does that have to do with Plato’s theory of recollection—or American Jewish assimilation? The answers can be found in the collection of witty, wise and whimsical essays (mostly Jewish, as the subheading says) from Abraham Socher. Subjects range from classic texts, Kafka and Rabbi Kook to yeshivas, Nabakov and a devasting account of the illiberal arts at work in Oberlin College, w...
Licoricia: Power & Prejudice
Dubbed ‘totally fascinating, tragic and unforgettable’ by Simon Sebag Montefiore, Licoricia of Winchester, a 13th century Jewish financier, was the most important Jewish woman in medieval England. In turn royal favourite, widow, potentate and prisoner, her extraordinary life took place against a backdrop of civil war, bad government and the ever-present and terrifying spectre of antisemitism. Author Rebecca Abrams is in conversation with renowned professor of m...
According to Her
A book-length interview with the Mother of God. No questions, just answers. Mariamne is an old Jewish peasant woman from Galilee, visited by a young Greek man who came to listen to her talk about her late son, Judas, John the Baptist and more. Maciej Hen’s novel According to Her was published to acclaim in Poland in 2004; here he joins its English language translator Anna Blasiak to discuss. Click ...
The Disrupted Mind
Philopsopher Noga Arikha spent 18 months at the Pitié-Salpêtière hospital in Paris, studying what happens when the mind goes wrong – and how our physical experiences inform our identities. Weaving together stories of her subjects’ troubles, from Vanessa who wakes from a coma having forgotten ten years of her life to Thomas, who no longer knows how to answer questions, in The Ceiling Outside Arikha draws on cutting-edge research and insights from neuroscience ...
2023 Digipass
Jewish Book Week Digi-Pass gives access to all 16 online streaming events for £39.50. These comprise: Monday 27 February The Disrupted Mind Jews and the Diamond Trade Bad Jews: American Jewish Politics & Identities...
Bad Jews: American Jewish Politics & Identities
You can be called a ‘Bad Jew’—by the community or even yourself—if you don’t keep kosher, don’t send your children to Hebrew school, or enjoy Christmas music; if your partner isn’t Jewish, or you don’t call your mother enough. But today, amid rising antisemitism, what makes a Good or Bad Jew is a particularly fraught question. There is no answer, former New Statesman US editor Emily Tamkin argues, as she reflects on the complex, conflicting and...
Adam Gopnik: The Mystery of Mastery
Decades of writing bestselling books and award-winning essays has seen Adam Gopnik take on myriad topics. But recently a question obsessed him: how did the people he was writing about learn their outlandish skill, whether it was drawing a nude or baking a sourdough loaf? In The Real Work the long standing New Yorker writer apprentices as a boxer, a dancer and a driving instructor and other roles he’d assumed beyond him. He finds that learning a ski...
Jews and the Diamond Trade
From proposals and galas to James Bond and Uncut Gems, diamonds hold an indelible place in our culture. In A Brilliant Commodity: Diamonds and Jews in a Modern Setting historian Saskia Coenen Snyder shows how diamonds travelled from South African mines to processing factories in Amsterdam to the necks of high society women in New York. She reveals the contributions made by Jewish buyers, brokers, cutters, financiers and retailers to modern and global industr...
Barbaric Verses
A musical refutation of Adorno’s dictum that to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric, inspired by the creativity of composer Mieczysław Weinberg in the face of totalitarian brutality from both Hitler and Stalin. The programme also includes music by his Russian friends Dmitri Shostakovich, Georgy Sviridov and Nikolai Myaskovsky, the Ukrainian Boris Lyatoshynsky and the Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz, as well as young French-Jewish composer Olivier Milhaud’s music on the writings of...
The Future Face of the Jewish State
Israel today is navigating internal struggles over what kind of Jewish state it wants to be—a debate that is playing out through tensions over reproduction. As demographic forecasts show that by 2065 Haredim will constitute a third of Israel’s Jewish population, Israeli policy makers have attempted to manage the rapid increase through steep cutbacks in child benefits. Lea Taragin-Zeller of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem offers an overview of these Jewish ‘womb-...
Meir Kahane: Jewish Radical
Meir Kahane came of age amid the radical politics of the counterculture, becoming a militant voice of protest against Jewish liberalism. In the US he founded the Jewish Defense League in 1968 and then the ultranationalist KACH after his immigration to Israel in 1971, before his assassination in 1990. The incisive new biography from Dartmouth College Professor of Jewish Studies Shaul Magid traces the journey of this quintessentially American figure, from a fervent supp...
Goodbye Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is disappearing. Not off the map, but as an idea. Today it can call to mind a jumble of post-Soviet states paved over with C&A and McDonald’s. It could be described as a group of 20 nations, but in Goodbye Eastern Europe: An Intimate History of a Divided Land journalist Jacob Mikanowski asks why, given that for most of their history, they weren’t nations at all. He joins us to discuss his eulogy for a world we are losing, a vanishing culture of...
Norman Lebrecht on Beethoven
Beethoven was deaf and wrote a ringtone. That’s all most people know about him. His portrait is a scowl, his reputation anti-social. But is that the real Beethoven? Tracing the composer through two centuries of manuscripts and performance records, Norman Lebrecht finds that much of what we know about Beethoven is either warped, or plain wrong. Lebrecht reveals a restless, rude, resourceful creator, a rebel against the rich and powerful, a relentless workaholic, a ma...
A Small Town in Ukraine
Decades ago, historian Bernard Wasserstein set out to uncover the hidden past of Krakowiec, where his family originated. Now he recounts its dramatic history across centuries of conflict as Cossacks, Swedes and Muscovites rampaged through. In the Age of Enlightenment, a Polish magnate created an arcadia of serenity; under the Habsburgs it became a typical shtetl. Both World Wars left terrible legacies and today hordes of refugees flee for their lives from Ukraine to...
Landscapes of Silence
Celebrated anthropologist and filmmaker Hugh Brody weaves a dazzling tapestry of personal memory and distant landscapes, from childhood in the Derbyshire attending Hebrew classes but sent to a C of E boarding school, to a kibbutz in Israel. Bewildered by the silence created by his concealed family history, he sought places of escape. It was only in the deep Canadian Arctic, a world so far removed from anything he had known, that he had a chance to learn what it can mean to be...
Golda Meir’s Path to Power
This event is included in our best-value Digipass offer, featuring 16 digital events for only £39.50. In this authoritative, empathetic and ground-breaking biography, Pnina Lahav, in conversation with historian Trudy Gold, re-examines the life of Golda Meir through a feminist lens, focusing on Israel’s first and only female prime minister’s recurring role ...
Dani Shapiro: Signal Fires
Family secrets were at the heart of Dani Shapiro’s memoir Inheritance, a New York Times bestseller sparked by a shocking discovery that made her rethink her identity, and now again in her sixth novel Signal Fires, a book of the year for the Washington Post, Time & Vanity Fair. And with her iTunes Top 10 podcast titled Family Secrets, it feels safe to say that this will be a theme of our special transatlantic...
The Pope at War: Pius XII, Mussolini & Hitler
After winning a Pulitzer for The Pope and Mussolini, David Kertzer returns with an explosive book on Pius XI’s successor, based on Vatican papers sealed for over 60 years and never-before seen documents from Britain, France, Germany and the US. The Brown University professor explores Pope Pius XII’s actions during the War, including his response to the Holocaust, as the Church prepares to canonize one of their most controversial leaders. He clears away myths and falsehoods...
The Object of Jewish Literature
With the rise of digital media, the ‘death of the book’ has been widely discussed. But the physical object itself persists. Here, through the lens of materiality and objects, Barbara Mann tells a history of modern Jewish literature, from novels and poetry to graphic novels and artist’s books, offering a new frame for understanding how literary genres emerge. Called, “original and finely instructive” by Robert Alter, Mann is in conversation with Aviva Dautch. ...
Precious Goods
Winter 1942: a train passes through a forest in Eastern Europe. destination unknown. Twin babies are aboard, only one is rescued. In the forest in a clearing beside the railway-line a poor woodcutter’ s wife is foraging for firewood in the snow, all she has ever wanted is a child…have the gods answered her prayers? Based on the 2019 publishing sensation The Most Precious of Cargoes by French writer Jean-Claude Grumberg, the ...
Lost, Loved & Left: Poetry & Spoken Word
Guardian poetry reviewer and The Craft editor Rishi Dastidar hosts an hour of readings. Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year nominee Rachel Long’s My Darling From T...
Hannah Arendt and Isaiah Berlin: The Feud
This event is included in our best-value Digipass offer, featuring 16 digital events for only £39.50. For the first time, the full story of the conflict between two of the 20th century’s most important thinkers—and how their profound disagreements continue to offer important lessons for political theory and philosophy. Hannah Arendt and Isaiah Berlin fundamentally disagreed on ce...
One Hundred Saturdays
With nearly a century behind her, Stella Levi never spoke in detail about her past, until Mighty Franks author & essayist Michael Frank visited her Greenwich Village apartment to ask about the Juderia in Rhodes, where she was part of a Sephardic Jewish community that was deported in its entirety to Auschwitz. In the resulting book, a Wall Street Journal Top 10 of 2022, Stella reveals what it was like to grow up in an extraordinary place at...
David Dein
‘Without David Dein there wouldn’t have been a Premier League’ Greg Dyke Part memoir, part inspirational meditation on leadership and teamwork, Calling the Shots: How to Win in Football and Life is the entertaining and eye-opening account of a remarkable career that changed football forever. David Dein was co-owner of Arsenal for 24 years, vice-chair of the Football Association and president of the G-14, receiving high admiration from sporting icons incl...
Come to this Court & Cry
At the very moment the last survivors – and legal witnesses – were dying, a criminal investigation in Latvia put hard-won facts about the Holocaust on the line. Then journalist Linda Kinstler discovered that a Nazi, 50 years dead and from the same killing unit as her grandfather, could be pardoned by the proceedings. Nominated for the 2023 Wingate Prize, the probing and profound Come to This Court & Cry: How the Holocaust Ends investigates bot...
Translating Soviet Literature
Three of the leading literary translators from Russian to English – Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk and Bryan Keretnyk – join literary critic David Herman to discuss their most recent translations: Vasily Grossman’s The People Immortal; Isaac Babel’s Of Sunshine and Bedbugs; and Yuri Felsen’s Deceit. From Jewish gangsters in Babel’s native Odessa and the catastrophic first...
Why We Sing: Julia Hollander
What is it about song that brings communities together, in harmony and protest? Why do parents feel compelled to sing to their new-borns? How can an activity that helps to embed languages and maths formulae also be used to rehabilitate Long Covid sufferers? Singing is at the root of what it is to be human. Acclaimed music therapist, teacher and performer Julia Hollander charts our love of song...
Israel: A Fragile Democracy?
The opening weeks of this year saw 80,000 Israelis take to the streets of Tel Aviv, protesting the new government’s proposed sweeping changes to the judicial system.  Supreme Court president Esther Hayut denounced the move, calling it a “plan to crush the justice system”, with opposition leader Yair Lapid pledging to stand by her side “in the struggle for the soul of the country”. Not everyone agrees, however: a recent Newsweek op-ed sought to brush off the controv...
Case Histories to Drama: Sacks, Pinter & Friel
In 1973 renowned British neurologist Oliver Sacks published a collection of beautifully crafted case histories, Awakenings.  An instant success, it inspired many writers and artists. Via performance and commentary we explore two outstanding examples, Harold Pinter’s A Kind of Alaska and Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney, with reference to Sacks’ original case history. Scripted by Tristram Powell and produced by Honor Borwick...
Joanna’s Story: Read by Janet Suzman
A three-year old child is found in Theresienstadt at the end of the war with no memory of her past, her only words ‘dog’ and ‘soup’. Brought to children’s homes in England with other survivors, she was adopted under a new name and identity; her past was erased. This is the story of how Joanna Millan reclaimed her life. Award-winning playwright David Peimer created Joanna’s Story from hours of testimony and Dame Janet Suzman r...
Bill Browder: Surviving Putin
Can one man take on a ruthless global leader – and win? Financier Bill Browder was the largest foreign investor in Russia, but the Moscow jail murder of his lawyer after uncovering a $230 million fraud by government officials sparked a fight for justice that has made him number one both in the New York Times charts and Vladimir Putin’s enemy list. He follows Red Notice with Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder and Survi...
The Marx Brothers: From Vaudeville to Israel
Like many children of 19th century Jewish immigrants, as each Marx brother boy celebrated his Barmitzvah their formal education was replaced by life on the stage. Non-religious, they fiercely embraced their Jewish identity in the face of rampant antisemitism. And late in life, Harpo in particular and unexpectedly profoundly connected with Judaism during an emotional trip to Israel in 1963. Robert S Bader – author of Four of the Three Musketeers, Susan Fl...
Mizrahi and Sephardi Voices
Almost a million Jews fled their ancestral homelands following the founding of the State of Israel; Henry Green & Richard Stursberg trace their journeys in the wide-ranging yet intimate Sephardi Voices: The Untold Expulsion of Jews from Arab Lands. In The Wrong Kind of Jew: A Mizrahi Manifesto Hen Mazzig catalogues the Jewish population of the Middle East and North Africa, their history and the voices, arguing that while they fail to meet the exp...
The Relativity of Death: Eduard Shyfrin
Dr Eduard Shyfrin, founder of the Kabbalah of information, best-selling author of From Infinity to Man: The Fundamental Ideas of Kabbalah Within the Framework of Information Theory and Quantum Physics has written extensively for the Jerusalem Post on a series of topics such as Torah, Theory of Creation, life and death, science and many more through the lens of Kabbalah, physics and Theory of Information. In conversation with Dr Robert Lawrence K...
Philanthropy: From Aristotle to Zuckerberg
The super-rich are shaping our world. Award-winning journalist Paul Vallely follows previous bestsellers Bad Samaritans & Pope Francis with Philanthropy. He takes us from the Greek man of honour, the Roman patron, the Jewish prophet and Christian scholastic to the Victorian moralist, the welfare socialist, the celebrity activist and today’s wealthy mega-giver. Exploring the successes, failures and contradic...
The Fire & the Bonfire
Celebrated artist Ardyn Halter, in conversation with art historian Monica Bohm-Duchen, offers a profound meditation on genocide, memory and art interwoven through three compelling journeys through time and place. From the dynamics of his relationship with his father, Roman Halter, to his work designing and creating stained-glass windows for the Rwandan National Genocide Centre, to tracing his father’s journey during the Shoah, The Fire and the Bonfire...
Short Stories / Tall Tales
With the short story enjoying another resurgence, two of today’s most exciting British-Jewish writers join us to discuss their extraordinary first fiction collections. Having written non-fiction for the TLS and the White Review and contributed a story to the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology, Parallel Hells is the deliciously strange debut from Leon Craig. Among its 13 stories, drawing on folklore in refreshingly innovative ways, we meet a...
Jonathan Freedland: The Escape Artist
“Awe inspiring, exciting and poignant, this is a thrilling read, a piece of redemptive storytelling and a work of important Holocaust historical research.” Simon Sebag Montefiore In April 1944 teenager Rudolf Vrba and fellow inmate Fred Wetzler became the first Jews ever to break out of Auschwitz. Shortlisted for both the Baillie Gifford Prize and Waterstones Book of the Year and an instant Sunday Times bestseller, The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out o...
Jewish Pride Amid Rising Hate
Why, after all this time, are we still talking about antisemitism? Can we instead embrace empowerment? In Reclaiming Our Story: The Pursuit of Jewish Pride educator Ben M. Freeman calls for a rejection of the shame of anti­semitism imposed on Jews by the non-Jew­ish world and looks into the long history of internalised anti-Jewishness. In Everyday Hate CST head of policy Dave Rich asks how ‘never again’ has given way to rising hate cr...
The Collaborators: Deception & Survival in WWII
A Hasidic Jew fixer, a Manchu princess and Himmler’s masseur; each regarded as both heroes and villains due to their wartime acts. Friedrich Weinreb took money from fellow Jews in a deportation-avoiding scam, but is known by supporters as ‘the Dutch Dreyfus’. Kawashima Yoshiko spied for the Japanese secret police in China. Felix Kersten became indispensable to the SS commander but after the war presented himself as a resistance hero. Historian and former New York Review of Books...
Shylock: Merchant & Matriarch
Something special to close our 72nd festival: star of stage and screen Tracy-Ann Oberman performing excerpts from a radical new production of The Merchant of Venice alongside a panel discussion sparked by one of Shakespeare’s most controversial characters. Set in London’s East End in 1936, Ridley Road actor Tracy-Ann is playing Shylock as a widowed single mother and refugee from Russia, running a small business from a cramped house in ...
Lapidarium: The Secret Lives of Stones
From the hematite used in cave paintings and the moldavite that became a TikTok sensation to from crystal balls to compasses, rocks and minerals have always been central to our story. 3,000 years ago, Babylonians constructed lapidaries, books that tried to pin down their magical secrets. Now art critic and author Hettie Judah explores the stories behind 60 stones that have shaped human history, from Dorset fossil-hunters and Chinese philosophers to Catherine the Great and Mic...
Tsitsit Fringe at Jewish Book Week
We are delighted to welcome Tsitsit Jewish Fringe Festival to Jewish Book Week for a special afternoon of free guest programming in the Wenlock Room at Kings Place. All events are free and unticketed. 12.00 Villa Russo, from page to stage Author Julia Nelki introduces her family history, a story of the 20th century through the lens of a house in East Germany , and ho...
The Life Fantastic: Myth, Pop & Folklore
Western culture as you’ve never seen it before. In a series of mind-blowing essays, critic and broadcaster Noa Menhaim digs down to the roots of stories, myths and literary genres, travelling from art to politics to history to folklore, and from high to popular culture and back again. Through an intricate web of side notes, she embarks on a voyage of discovery from the unluckiest book ever made to Viking horned helmets, via the sex life of vampires, mermaids fro...
The Story of Russia: Orlando Figes
No country has been so divided over its past, or reinvented its story so often, as Russia. To understand what Putin’s regime means for the future we need to unravel Russia’s history. There can be few better guides than historian Orlando Figes, whose books have been translated into over 30 languages. In The Story of Russia – a book of 2022 in the Sunday Times, the FT and the Telegraph – he makes sense of the world’s largest nat...
John Lahr & Nicholas Hytner on Arthur Miller
Playwright Arthur Miller almost single-handedly propelled 20th Century American Theatre to a new level of cultural sophistication. Distinguished theatre critic John Lahr focuses on the fault lines of Miller’s life – his family, the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, Elia Kazan and the House Committee of Un-American Activities, Marilyn Monroe, Vietnam – demonstrating the synergy between Miller’s psychology and his plays. In conversation with acclaimed d...
The Most Dangerous Woman in Europe
Edda Mussolini was Benito’s favourite daughter: spoilt, clever, faithless, flamboyant, venal, a brilliant diplomat. Her father’s confidante during 20 years of Fascist rule she acted as first lady, helping steer Italy to join forces with Hitler, and with husband Galeazzo Ciano was part of Italy’s most celebrated couple. In a dramatic story that takes in her father’s fall and her husband’s execution, Caroline Moorehead paints a vivid portrait of a comp...
Hope is a Woman’s Name
An indigenous Bedouin in a Jewish state and a fifth daughter in a patriarchal society, Amal Elsana Alh’jooj was a shepherd at the age of five. Always driven to pursue justice and equality, from her early teens she ran literary classes for women, marking the beginning of a lifelong career promoting policy change for Israel’s Bedouin. Today Amal is instrumental in shaping public opinion on Israel’s marginalised minor...
Hollywood and Israel
From Sinatra’s pro-Zionist rallying to Spielberg’s present-day peace-making, Hollywood has long enjoyed a “special relationship” with Israel. Historians Giora Goodman & Tony Shaw offer an innovative account of this relationship, both on and off the screen, investigating the ways Hollywood’s moguls, directors, and actors have supported or challenged Israel for over 70 years. Detailing the political involvement with Israel – and Palestine – of...
The BDS War: From Academia to Hollywood
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, conceived at the United Nations World Conference against Racism in South Africa in 2001, unleashed the “new” antisemitism which targeted the State of Israel. Ronnie Fraser, in Challenging the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement focuses on the efforts to oppose the academic boycott, while industry insider and author of Artists Under Fire Lana Melman discusses BDS...
Jonathan Freedland and Anthony Julius in conversation with Hadley Freeman
An insightful hour with three people who’ve reached the top of their fields. Solicitor Anthony Julius and Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland, both deeply rooted in the Jewish community and the authors of acclaimed books, join author and Sunday Times journalist Hadley Freeman for a unique event to discuss their respective careers, how their work has shaped their identities, and how it has been informed by Israel and the challenge of liberal Zion...
The Meeting
The horror of the Holocaust seen through the prism of two brothers from a German Jewish family, Richard and Arthur Lindner. In The Meeting Elsbeth Lindner remembers her uncle and her father. In drawing together two very different lives – the huge success in America of her artist uncle (chosen as one of the individuals featured on the cover of the Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) and her father’s more modest time in Britain ...
Returning from Silence
Michèle Sarde’s lively saga mingles creative writing with family memories. It evokes the prickly, centuries-long life of the Jews in Salonica, with their nostalgia for the Spain they left behind. With the breakup of the Ottoman empire, they feel impelled to emigrate once more, this time to Paris. Through the narrator and her mother, we get to know her family as genuine human figures, with fears, snobberies and dreams. Soon, though, they are thrown int...
Pressburger and Pearls
With A Matter of Life & Death, Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes, Pressburger and Powell changed the face of cinema. Emeric Pressburger also wrote two novels; The Glass Pearls, a post-war thriller about a mysterious German émigré, was reissued by Faber last year to acclaim. Here his grandson Kevin MacDonald, the Oscar-winning director of One Day in September and The Last King of Scotland, joins critic and novelist Anthon...