The Jewish Journey: 4000 Years in 22 Objects
Chair Julia Neuberger
Sponsored by the Jerusalem Foundation
Consummate story-teller, Rebecca Abrams, offers tantalising glimpses into Jewish history through the prism of her personal selection from Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum. Many of the objects are little-known treasures and all 22 have remarkable stories spanning 4,000 years of history and covering 14 countries, they trace the evolution of Jewish life and culture from its earliest beginnings in Ancient Mesopotamia through time and space to the modern day. From objects such as a magic amulet used by Christian Kabbalists, a viola da gamba with links to crypto-Jews, and a forged Nazi banknote, Abrams extrapolates the lives of ordinary citizens, merchants, scholars, courtiers and kings.
Rebecca Abrams is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, regular literary critic for the FT and author of The Jewish Journey: 4000 Years in 22 Objects from the Ashmolean Museum. Her first novel, Touching Distance, was highly praised by Hilary Mantel, shortlisted for the 2009 McKitterick Prize, and won the MJA Open Book Award for Fiction. She is a tutor on the Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford and Writer-in-Residence at Brasenose College, Oxford.
Rabbi Julia Neuberger is Senior Rabbi at West London Synagogue, and was the second woman rabbi in the UK, the first to have a congregation of her own worldwide. She is a cross bench member of the House of Lords and a social commentator, writing and broadcasting on a variety of social and religious issues.