Family Day 2020 Sunday 02 February - Sunday 02 February | Tickets now on sale

Simon Schama

Simon Schama is Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. A writer, journalist and broadcaster, he has written and presented 40 films for the BBC, including The Story of the Jews (based on his two-volume work of the same name), Citizens and Rough Crossings. He recently curated The Face of Britain for the National Portrait Gallery and created the book and television series of the same name.
American Fervour
For most people outside the United States, America’s religious fervour conjures up images of intolerance and ultra-conservatism. But Barack Obama captured a large chunk of the evangelical vote and slavery would never have been abolished without the hot gospellers of the nineteenth century. The story of the way religion plays out in American politics is richer and more complicated than is usually understood. With his customary panache and incomparable knowledge of history strength...
Sex, Lies and Regal Japes; The story of Esther, the sex-crazed king and his evil counsellor
A Purim Spiel, with a contemporary twist, bringing a little bit of Persia to Bloomsbury, with a backbeat of Iranian rhythms and all hosted by our favourite modern-day Sheherazade, David Schneider. Unmasking the Book of Esther we revealed the story behind the story of Purim, hatching all-new conspiracy theories and, in the spirit of the festival, blurring boundaries between good and evil, sacred and profane. Bringing the world of inversions, masks and hidden meanings to life was our all-star c...
George Webber Evening: Sixty Years On
JBW 2012 celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Jewish Book Week. When the first Jewish Book Week took place, memories of the War were painfully fresh and Israel a fragile idealistic fledgling state; It was the year Queen Elizabeth came to the throne and The Diary of Anne Frank was published in English. The world has changed in more ways than we could have foreseen: religion is openly criticised, we live in a multicultural society, Israel has still not achieved peace with its neighbours an...
Simon Schama’s History of the Jews
The Story of the Jews and The Fate of the World is expected to be one of the most discussed books of 2013. Accompanied by a major BBC television series, it is a landmark history of a culture, a people, a world – from the time of Moses to our own. Simon Schama presented a special preview of the book and documentary at Jewish Book Week. It describes an intellectual territory reaching from the Hebrews’ invention of a single God to Jewish responsibility for killing the saviour, to curr...
Simon Schama’s History of the Jews
Due to popular demand, Schama returned for a second visit to Jewish Book Week 2013, for a conversation with Ian Black, The Guardian’s Middle East editor, about his book and TV series. This event was not recorded. The Story of the Jews and The Fate of the World is expected to be one of the most discussed books of 2013. Accompanied by a major BBC television series, it is a landmark history of a culture, a people, a world – from the time of Moses to our own. Simon Schama pr...
Otto Dov Kulka in conversation with Simon Schama
Otto Dov Kulka’s Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death is a memoir of astounding literary and emotional power, exploring the permanent and indelible marks left by the Holocaust and a childhood spent in Auschwitz. As one of the few survivors he has spent much of his life studying Nazism and the Holocaust, but always as a discipline requiring the greatest dispassion and objectivity, with his personal story set to one side. He has nevertheless remained haunted by specific memories and images, ...
Simon and Chloe Schama Unravel the Father-Daughter Bond

Biographer and journalist Chloe Schama dedicated her first book, Wild Romance, to her father “who taught me how to tell a story.” Simon and Chloe engage in an intimate and lively conversation about family bonds, parental expectations, intergenerational values and the nature of creativity. Their interviewer is writer Francesca Segal, daughter of Erich Segal.

This event has live subtitles by Stagetext

Roger Cohen, Michael Ignatieff and Simon Schama on Israel’s Future

Last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas sharpened perceptions of the long-standing Israel-Palestine conflict. With an ever-more uncertain future ahead, many potential scenarios – some more pessimistic than others – are debated in the region and across the world. Roger Cohen, Michael Ignatieff and Simon Schama will consider some of these scenarios and their implications for both Israelis and Palestinians.

The Jewish Face of Britain

Simon Schama returns with a unique event devised exclusively for JBW. In his recent book, exhibition and BBC TV series, The Face of Britain, Schama examines portraits by some of the UK’s greatest artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. In this talk, he looks at the works and legacy of several major Jewish artists.

The Big Debate

The Big Debate addressed the critical issues and challenges confronting Jews today.

Comedy Question Time

The ebullient Dan Patterson, co-creator of Mock the Week, presents an evening of irreverent entertainment. Dan and the audience pose the questions. Hugh Dennis, Maureen Lipman, Simon Schama and Sindhu Bee come up with the answers. Will this hotshot comedic crew have the spirit, stamina and chutzpah to outsmart us all?

In Praise of Forgetting
David Rieff poses hard questions about whether remembrance has – or indeed ever could – inoculate the present against repeating the crimes of the past. Collective remembrance can be toxic, he argues, and sometimes it may be more moral to forget. Ranging widely across some of the defining horrors of modern times – the Irish Troubles, the white settlement of Australia, the American Civil War, the Balkan Wars, the Holocaust and 9/11 – Rieff presents a pellucid examination of the us...
Trump ‘On Trial’

Freedland, Jacobson and Schama take on Donald Trump, at least figuratively, as they compete for bandwidth to expose the latest exploits of the Western World’s most powerful and contentious leader. The inspiration for a satire by Jacobson, a thriller by Freedland and steaming articles by Schama et al, Trump is the object of obsessive interest to everyone.

Belonging: The Story of the Jews
Simon Schama’s Belonging is alive with energy, character and colour. Written in his inimitable style, this is a magnificent cultural history. It spans centuries and continents, from the Jews’ expulsion from Spain in 1492 to the brink of the 20th century, telling the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers, but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice, a boxer in Georgian England, a general in Ming China and an opera composer in 19th Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the sta...
Amos Oz: A Tribute
Amos Oz, celebrated Israeli author, wrote over 30 novels and short stories, widely translated from the Hebrew, poignant expressions of the human condition. He was an ardent advocate for peace, who wrote passionately on the scourge of extremism. Oz famously said, ‘We can fold all the moral imperatives, the Ten Commandments, and the human virtues, into a single commandment: Thou shalt not inflict pain. That is all. Do not hurt.’ His daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger, joined by his trans...
Amos Oz: A Tribute – Live Relay
Please note this is a live streaming of the event in Hall One. Amos Oz, celebrated Israeli author, wrote over 30 novels and short stories, widely translated from the Hebrew, poignant expressions of the human condition. He was an ardent advocate for peace, who wrote passionately on the scourge of extremism. Oz famously said, ‘We can fold all the moral imperatives, the Ten Commandments, and the human virtues, into a single commandment: Thou shalt not inflict pain. That is all. Do not h...
Jewish Arguments: Then and Now
In a world riven with bitter divisions, perverting every opportunity for dialogue, Simon Schama examined the peculiar force of contradictory argument in Jewish tradition. From its distinctive place in the Bible, to the struggle to reconcile revelation with reason in the works of Maimonides and Moses Mendelssohn, at stake is not just the character and future of Israel, but the unity or division of Jews and Judaism world-wide. Sponsored by David and...