Making Poetical Statements: Meir Wieseltier
This session marked the first appearance in Britain by Meir Wieseltier, widely considered to be one of Israel’s finest living poets. His zestful, earthy poetry has been shaped to a large extent by the character of the sprawling, Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv where he has lived since 1955. An avowed agnostic, he draws heavily on biblical and rabbinical sources which he refashions in his highly idiosyncratic and often ironic poetry. In this session, he read from and discussed a number of...
Autobiographical Imaginings: Michal Bat Adam

Michal Bat Adam, in conversation with Eilat Negev, explored the relationship between her life and her work as a writer and film maker.

Hebrew Language Session

Etgar Keret’s latest collection of short stories, The Nimrod Flip-Out (2005), confirms his reputation as Israel’s bestselling young writer and new national conscience. Keret read from these ‘bite-sized satiric tales’ and discussed ‘the difficulty of life and the easiness of writing.’

Bar Mitzvah Disco

Remember your bar mitzvah? Not the important religious rite of passage but the party!

This is what the authors of The Bar Mitzvah Disco have given us: hilarious and embarrassing photos, biting accounts by celebrated authors of over the top celebrations, atrocious clothes and painful adolescent experiences – cultural history with a Duran Duran backbeat.

Family Affairs
Here, three highly distinctive writers explored dysfunctional families; mining relationships, love and betrayals, secrets and lies. When We Were Bad, Charlotte Mendelson’s novel, tells the story of a high profile woman rabbi’s family in total disarray. In Rutu Modan’s beautifully drawn graphic novel, Exit Wounds, the search for a man feared dead in a terrorist attack reveals someone neither his son nor his lover knew. Blake Morrison wrote two moving memoirs uncovering the liv...
Goals for Galilee: We Too Have No Other Land

2007, Israel, 62 min Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler

This film is based on the book, Goals for Galilee, a winning soccer-based diary, played out within a democracy in conflict. The first Arab club in the top league battles for survival, a metaphor for the Arab minority’s battles for acceptance within Israeli society. Minority versus Majority: it’s the ultimate match for securing equal rights and co-existence.

It was followed by Q&A with the authors.

The Eichmann Trial
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. The event has become a touchstone for judicial proceedings throughout the world, offering a legal, moral and political framework for coming to terms with unfathomable evil. This ‘trial of the century’ was revisited by award-winning historian, Deborah Lipstadt, whose book,...
And Europe Will Be Stunned – Poland and the Loss or Return of the Jews
With the support of the Polish Cultural Institute, London, The Museum of the History of Polish Jews and Artangel. Event photos (c) Elzbieta Piekacz, courtesy of the Polish Cultural Institute, London. 7.30 pm And Europe Will Be Stunned Part I Nightmares Part II Wall and Tower Part III Assassination 8.30 pm Interval 8.50 pm Discussion Jewish Book Week 2013 hosted an evening dedicated to new interpretations of Poland’s Jewish past and the potential ...
Eilat Negev and Yehuda Koren: Giants
Giants The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz is an astonishing story of survival against the odds. The Ovitz family, seven of whose children were dwarves, performed across eastern Europe in the 1930s and ‘40s as “The Lilliput Troupe”. Captured in 1944 and sent to Auschwitz, they continued to perform and escaped death. Master biographers Eilat Negev and Yehuda Koren came to Jewish Book Week to present a moving portrait of an extraordinary family. Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev are journalis...
JBW 2013 On Tour in Glasgow: Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev
At an event organised by Jewish Arts and Garnethill Synagogue with Jewish Book Week, author J David Simons discussed his novels set in the Glasgow Jewish community, and master biographers Eilat Negev and Yehuda Koren spoke about their book, Giants- the Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz. Giants – The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz is an astonishing story of survival against the odds. The Ovitz family, seven of whose children were dwarves, performed across eastern Europe in the 1930s and ‘40s...
Jewish Venice
Shaul Bassi masterminded the events in the summer of 2016 to commemorate the 500-year anniversary of the Venetian Ghetto, including the production in Italian of The Merchant of Venice. Paulo Gnignati is current President of the Venetian Jewish community; Jacqueline Nicholls was one of the eight artists commissioned to design the etchings for a new Venice Haggadah; and Aviad Stollman, who was involved in last summer’s events, is Head of Collections at the NLI. With many visual images on ...
Year of the Mad King

Antony Sher played the title role in Gregory Doran’s critically acclaimed RSC production of King Lear and his stupendous performance was designated ‘a crowning achievement in a major career’. Sher describes his year researching, rehearsing and performing one of the greatest roles in English theatre, in conversation with Doran.

Of Places and People, Art & Literature

Alba Arikha and Janet Wolff present their stunning and idiosyncratic coming-of-age memoirs, exploring their family backgrounds, from post-war Manchester to 1980s Paris. They write of lives intellectually and emotionally enriched by those they encounter – in person, on canvas or through books – among them the leading thinkers, artists and writers of their days. Yet both grew up in the shadow of the Shoah, aware of family members lost, of war and of exile.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, a German-Jewish refugee, educated in England, made her name as a novelist in India. Married to a Parsi architect, she saw, from the inside, the many layers of Indian society. She eventually moved to New York, where she remained a shrewdly observant outsider, ‘always a cuckoo in the nest’. This event weaved together two of her finest stories, the Booker Prize-winning novel Heat and Dust, and scenes from the film Autobiography of a Princess. B...
Angels: A Visible and Invisible History
In a 2016 poll, one in ten Britons claimed to have experienced the presence of an angel, while one in three remain convinced that they have a guardian angel. Angels takes a modern look at what was once referred to as ‘angelology’, but which has its real roots in Judaism and in the mighty, sometimes comforting, sometimes terrifying angels who inhabit the books of Daniel, Tobit and Enoch in post-Babylonian exile literature. The event features Stage...
Bertolt Brecht: The Poet Now
David Constantine and Tom Kuhn have, for the first time, translated and edited the complete poems of Bertolt Brecht, the greatest German playwright of the 20th century, whose works include The Threepenny Opera, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and Mother Courage. In this stunning live performance, David and Tom are joined by actor Janet Suzman, singer Sarah Gabriel and pianist Joseph Atkins, as they breathe life into the work of an artist whose unquenchable ‘love of l...
Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943 with Max Hastings
Max Hastings offers his fascinating new perspective on one of the most extraordinary episodes in British history.   Operation Chastise – the overnight destruction of the Mohne and Eder dams in north-west Germany by the RAF’s 617 Squadron during the Second World War – has passed into national legend. Hastings grew up embracing the story, immortalised in the classic 1955 movie. In the 21st century, however, he urges that we should review the Dam...
Add Your Story to the National Library of Israel Archives
Making a Simcha?  Mazeltov! Would you like to invite the National Library of Israel? Don’t worry, we won’t show up, but we would love to receive the invitation, menus, benchers and any other printed materials relating to your special events, past and present. The National Library of Israel is the prime repository of the history of the Jewish people.  Our collections include books, archives, manuscripts, photographs, maps, mu...
Gloucester Crescent: Me, My Dad and Other Grown-Ups
We are all aware of the legendary Dr Jonathan Miller – Beyond the Fringe, theatre and opera director, television presenter and former medical doctor – now we meet his middle child, William.  William Miller grew up in Gloucester Crescent, Camden. His mother was a busy GP. Alan Bennett was their lodger, Claire Tomalin, Michael Frayn, Shirley Conran, George Melly, Kingsley and Martin Amis their neighbours – not to mention the legendary Miss Shepherd (Lady in the Van).  H...
Explore Your Family Story
Visit our specialists from the Jewish Genealogical Society to discuss your family history at JBW 2020. The Board of Deputies of British Jews is celebrating the stories told by the archives about Jewish life in this country. Archives with documents or artefacts of Jewish interest will be showcasing these through a series of events for the public, throughout the country. Today’s genealogy pop-up will give you a taste of the family-history records that let you trace your family’s hist...