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Festival Archive

Jewish Book Week 2004

Saturday, 28 February 2004 to Sunday, 7 March 2004
more videos

Events

02-28 Saturday

Confronting Terror: Bernard-Henri Lévy & Salman Rushdie
Saturday, 28 February 2004 - 1:30pm

In 1989 Salman Rushdie was sentenced to death for blasphemy after publishing The Satanic Verses, a fictional and imaginative portrayal of Islam, which the Iranian government described as a 'provocative American deed.' He lived in hiding for nine years and saw his literary collaborators a

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02-29 Sunday

The Boundaries of Heresy: Geoffrey Alderman, Louis Jacobs, Clive Lawton and David-Hillel Ruben
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 11:15am

"The Jacobs Affair" was triggered when Rabbi Louis Jacobs' appointment as Principal of Jews College was vetoed by the then Chief Rabbi on the grounds of heresy. In 1964 Rabbi Jacobs founded the New London Synagogue, which led to the creation of the Masorti movement.

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Liberated Fiction: A B Yehoshua
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 11:30am

In this session, the celebrated Israeli writer A B Yehoshua launched his latest novel, The Liberated Bride.

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Give it up! A spoken-word poetry workshop: Leah Thorn
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 12:30pm

Teenage Event for 11-18 year olds

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Kabbalah Connections: Adin Steinsaltz
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 12:30pm

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is regarded as one of the greatest rabbis of our time. Scholar, teacher, mystic, scientist, he is best known for his monumental translation of and commentary on the Talmud.

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Love and Sex: The Women's View: Claire Calman, Anna Maxted & Freya North
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 12:45pm

Many of the women writing popular novels about love, sex and relationships today are Jewish. Their books are witty, stylish and energetic, with a strong emotional centre and appeal to men and women, old and young.

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Horrid Henry - Here!: Francesca Simon
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 12:45pm

Children's Event for 6-10 year olds 

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Bible Story House: Hanna Orenstein
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 1:00pm

Children's Event for 3-5 year olds

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Wrestling with God and Men: Steven Greenberg
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 1:00pm

Wrestling with God and Men is a ground-breaking book, challenging Judaism's traditional rejection of homosexuality. It is the product of Rabbi Greenberg's ten-year struggle to reconcile his two warring identities, as the first ever openly gay and orthodox rabbi.

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A Yiddish Sister Revealed: Dafna Clifford, Dorothee van Tenderloo
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 1:15pm

Esther Kreitman was the talented elder sister of Isaac Bashevis and Israel Joshua Singer. She was the first of her siblings to write, and the inspiration for I B Singer's story Yentl. But she had to defy her orthodox Hasidic family to pursue her own career in writing.

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Reading Groups: Shelley Weiner
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 1:15pm

Jewish Book Week presented two opportunities to experience a reading group. Hosted by author Shelley Weiner.

On 29 February the group discussed Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss (Abacus 2001), a tale of finance, murder and religion set in 18th century Jewish London.

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Intimate Impact: Moris Farhi & Richard Zimler
Sunday, 29 February 2004 - 1:15pm

Moris Farhi's Young Turk is a sensuous tale of love, courage and the forging of conscience, set in a multi-racial Turkey giving sanctuary to many of Europe's Jews fleeing Nazism.

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03-1 Monday

The Language of Others: Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida
Monday, 1 March 2004 - 10:45am
Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous are two of the world's most celebrated figures in the fields of philosophy and literature. Both occupy crucial positions in European thought, and share a common experience of a childhood in Algeria, although they only met in Paris in 1962.
 
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My Bible: Tony Benn
Monday, 1 March 2004 - 11:00am

In this session, Tony Benn, who was brought up on the Bible by his mother, a self-taught biblical scholar, spoke about the profound influence of Biblical teaching on his own thinking and its relevance for the contemporary human condition.

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Diaspora: Frédéric Brenner
Monday, 1 March 2004 - 11:00am

The celebrated photographer Frédéric Brenner has spent the last 25 years capturing Jewish life and culture in more than 40 countries. Witty, moving and uplifting, his photographs document communities that no longer exist as well as a new, vibrant world of Jewish life.

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Meet the Author: David Cohen
Monday, 1 March 2004 - 11:15am

David Cohen's People Who Have Stolen From Me (2004) is the story of two Johannesburg businessmen surviving violence and corruption.

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East End Evocation: Jerry White
Monday, 1 March 2004 - 11:15am

Jerry White's award-winning Rothschild Buildings: Life in an East EndTenement Block 1887-1920 (1980, re-issued 2003) is a fascinating evocation of the Jewish East End combining social history with powerful personal testimony.

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03-2 Tuesday

Imperfect Justice: Elazar Barkan
Tuesday, 2 March 2004 - 10:30am

In Imperfect Justice (2003) Stuart Eizenstat recounts the inside story of the global mission he spearheaded throughout the 1990s to bring belated justice to the victims of the Holocaust.

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03-3 Wednesday

An Irish-Jewish Journey: Maureen Lipman, Stanley Price
Wednesday, 3 March 2004 - 9:45am
Somewhere to Hang My Hat, Stanley Price's memoir of Irish-Jewish life, introduces us to a varied cast of characters including his eccentric grandfather, who was once famously asked by a Dublin policeman whether he was "a Catholic Jew or a Protestant Jew;" his ageing spinster aunts; a wind obses
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Meet The Author: Michael Mail
Wednesday, 3 March 2004 - 10:45am

Michael Mail's psychological literary thriller, Exposure, is set in the UK exploring the legacy of the Holocaust.

In this session, Michael discussed how he came to write this book, read extracts and answered questions from the audience.

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Resisting Exile: André Aciman & Naïm Kattan
Wednesday, 3 March 2004 - 4:30pm
Out of Egypt (1994) is André Aciman's richly coloured memoir chronicling the exploits of his flamboyant Jewish family from their bold arrival in Alexandria in 1905 to their defeated exodus three generations later.
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Status Anxiety: Alain de Botton
Wednesday, 3 March 2004 - 4:45pm

There are few more powerful desires than the wish to be thought of as a success, worthy of dignity and respect. We long for status and dread its opposite. But such aspirations and anxieties are rarely spoken about, or at least not without sarcasm, embarrassment or condemnation.

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Women at Heart
Wednesday, 3 March 2004 - 5:00pm

Mordecai's First Brush with Love: New Stories by Jewish Women in Britain (2004), edited by Laura Phillips and Marion Baraitser, includes stories by prominent writers including Lana Citron, Joan Michelson, Elizabeth Russell Taylor and Erica Wagner.

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Meet the Author: Mira Hamermesh
Wednesday, 3 March 2004 - 5:00pm
The River of Angry Dogs is the dramatic and intimate memoir of Mira Hamermesh, the Polish-born filmmaker, painter and writer.
 
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03-4 Thursday

Literary Lunch: Obsessions
Thursday, 4 March 2004 - 1:00pm

In an intriguing session, Ronald Harwood shares a writer's obsessions of childhood and adolescence and their refusal to be appeased.

In association with the Anglo-Jewish Association.

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Re-inventing the Jewish Man: Daniel Boyarin, Michael Gluzman
Thursday, 4 March 2004 - 3:30pm
In his provocative Unheroic Conduct: The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man (1997), Daniel Boyarin argues that gender roles are not universal and traces the early Jewish ideal of the gentle, receptive male as the object of female desire in Di
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My Maimonides: Stefan Reif
Thursday, 4 March 2004 - 3:30pm

"From Moses until Moses there was none like Moses."

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My Wounded Heart: Ilse Doerry, Martin Doerry
Thursday, 4 March 2004 - 3:45pm

My Wounded Heart by Martin Doerry is the story of his grandmother, Lilli Jahn, a gifted doctor and mother of five. Divorced by her Aryan husband, she was sent to a labour camp in 1942, and from there to Auschwitz in 1944.

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Meet The Author: Benjamin Markovits
Thursday, 4 March 2004 - 4:30pm

Benjamin Markovits' novel, The Syme papers, is about genius and failure, and the possibilities and pitfalls of discovery.

In this session, to mark the launch of The Syme Papers, Benjamin read from his book and discussed the genesis of it with the audience.

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03-6 Saturday

Building the Dream: Zvi Efrat, Ilan Troen & Eyal Weizman
Saturday, 6 March 2004 - 3:15pm

For hundreds of years Jews dreamed of returning to Zion. At the end of the 19th century, the dream became reality, and between 1880 and the end of the 20th century the Zionist movement built nearly 700 villages, towns and cities.

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03-7 Sunday

Desert Island Books: Edwina Currie
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 10:30am
In a lively and entertaining final session, Edwina Currie, novelist, diarist and broadcaster, spoke about her life and times, from her orthodox childhood in Liverpool to her years in the House of Commons and beyond.
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Football Crazy: Simon Kuper, Amy Raphael, Colin Shindler
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 10:45am
In a classic Book Week 3:1 formation, some of the most talented writers on the game discussed the Jewish obsession with football and the most important questions of the moment: Why are there so few good Jewish players?
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Mourning a Lost Father: Avraham Balaban
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 10:45am
(Hebrew Session)
 
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The Fab Four: Tracy Chevalier, Jeremy Gavron, Charlotte Mendelson & William Sutcliffe
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 11:00am
In September 2003 the Jewish Chronicle published its list of the "Fine Nine" most talented young Jewish authors in Britain today.
 
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The Genius of Joseph Roth: Michael Hofmannn
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 1:45pm

The first in a series on 20th Century Jewish Writers.

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Jacob's Gift: To be a Jew: Jonathan Freedland
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 2:30pm

Jacob's Gift is Jonathan Freedland's family memoir, about Jewishness, identity and belonging.

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Behind the Gossamer Wall: Micheal O'Siadhail
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 2:45pm
The Gossamer Wall (2002) is a collection of poetry that bears witness to the trauma of the Holocaust. The result of many years of immersion in the testimonies of survivors, it offers a fresh voice and a narrative style of great intensity.
 
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Reading Group: Shelley Weiner
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 3:00pm

Jewish Book Week presented two opportunities to experience a reading group. Hosted by author Shelley Weiner.

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Fables from the Distant Past: Raphael Loewe
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 3:00pm
Isaac Ibn Sahula's fables in Meshal haqadmoni comprise a series of debates, rich in contemporary satire, placed in the mouths of animals.
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Jewish Book Week 2004
Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 11:45pm

Sunday 7 March was the final day of Jewish Book Week 2004. The main festival ran from 28 February to 7 March at London's Royal National Hotel. More than 50 challenging and entertaining speakers took part in 43 sessions, presenting arguments and many different points of view.

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Contributors

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Video

J Safran Foer

 
Jonathan Safran Foer discusses his novel Here I Am with Hephzibah Anderson at an out-of-festival event.