The National Library of Israel at JBW 2021

In 2021 Jewish Book Week is delighted to be hosting three events in partnership with the National Library of Israel. NLI Reading Room subscribers get a special reduced price using the promotional code LIBRARY5


Sunday 28th February: German Jerusalem

4.15pm GMT – £9.50 £5 with promo code LIBRARY5

In the 1920s a group of German Jews settled in a garden city on the outskirts of Jerusalem. During World War II, their quiet community, nicknamed Grunewald on the Orient welcomed many notable residents including poet Else Lasker-Schüler and intellectual Gershom Scholem. It was an idyllic setting, if fraught with unique tensions on the fringes of the long-divided holy city. After the war, despite the weight of the Shoah, the neighbourhood miraculously repaired shattered bonds between German and Israeli residents. Thomas Sparr, editor-at-large at German publisher Suhrkamp, discusses his fascinating biography of those who lived and worked there with the National Library of Israel’s Humanities Collection Curator Dr Stefan Litt.


Monday 1st March: Travel Yearnings

1.30pm GMT – Register for Free

For millennia, Jews have embarked on pilgrimages to holy sites, often creating and collecting beautiful and moving materials to document and remember these journeys. The treasures of the National Library of Israel include fascinating journals, maps, souvenirs and artefacts from pilgrimages to Jewish holy places across the centuries – from Benjamin of Tudela to Moses Montefiore to Sammy Davis, Jr.  Dr. Yoel Finkelman, curator of the world-leading Haim and Hanna Salomon Judaica Collection at the National Library of Israel, will take us on a journey of discovery through the Library’s collections in Jerusalem.


Sunday 7th March: Prince of the Press

5.30pm GMT – £9.50 £5 with Promo Code LIBRARY5

David Oppenheim, Prague’s chief rabbi from 1702 until his death in 1736, built an unparalleled collection of Jewish books and manuscripts, which survive to this day at the Bodleian Library. Containing works of law and literature, prayer and poetry, his library of over 7,000 printed works and 1,000 manuscripts testifies to the myriad connections Jews maintained with each other across political borders and the contacts between Christians and Jews that books facilitated. Stony Brook history professor Joshua Teplitsky discusses his book on Oppenheim and his legacy with the National Library of Israel’s Head of Collections Dr Raquel Ukeles.