In a mental climate such as this, the very act of writing a story or a poem - even if you're not at that moment writing about "the situation" - instantly becomes a tiny act of protest, of defiance; an act of personal definition within a reality that threatens to wipe us out…
Maverick director and writer Mike Leigh has had a huge impact on British cinema and theatre.
In association with the London Jewish Cultural Centre
Remember your bar mitzvah? Not the important religious rite of passage but the party!
All My Friends Are Superheroes
Celebrating 350 years of Jewish life in England, we embark on an oral history project involving families from across the Jewish community.
Children of the Ghetto is Israel Zangwill’s epic tale of Jewish life in London, published in1892, describing both the poverty of the East End and the wealthy lives of the established Jews in the West End.
Meg Rosoff is one of the most talked about authors in the world of teen fiction. Set in an indistinct future, How I Live Now is an unforgettable and gripping novel about war, family, love, sex, terror and loss.
Mordecai Richler is one of Canada’s best known writers. His satirical fiction includes Saint Urbain’s Horseman and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. For Jewish Book Week, his daughters discussed the family man behind the legend.
In an illustrated talk based on his book on Jaffa, Adam Le Bor told us the stories of six families from 1920 to today: the Christian Arab car-dealer; the Jewish coffee-and-spice merchant; the Palestinian exile who tried to bring modern business methods to the Arafat era, and the Jewish schoolgirl
Little girls put on their tutus and enjoyed a fun afternoon with Katherine Hollabird.
Shas is the movement which changed fundamentally the relationship between religion, ethnicity and politics by leading a religious and ethnic revival among Israel's North African and Middle Eastern Jews.
Linda Grant presented Israel as you have never seen it before.
Published in 1892, Israel Zangwill's Children of the Ghetto became the first Anglo-Jewish bestseller. It documents, with affectionate honesty and wryness of humour, the lives of immigrant Jews.
From Abraham, journeying from one land in search of another, to modern travellers, Jews have traversed countries and continents.
ERETZ-ISRAEL [(Hebrew) - the Land of Israel, Palestine] was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped.
Fran Beauman’s passion began with a childhood visit to the pineapple-shaped garden retreat at Dunmore Park in Scotland, and since then it has taken her across the world.
The distinguished former editor of the Jewish Chronicle shared with Jenni Frazer some of the anecdotes from his autobiography Tea With Einstein.
A wonderfully funny and poignant portrait of a refugee couple making strudel as they argue about their life in 1950s London, as seen through the eyes of their young nephew.
Angela Levin who writes for the Daily Mail and has written biographies of Max Clifford and the Spencers, revealed how she persuades the rich and famous to tell more than they would.
In his book, Occidentalism, Ian Buruma shows that the dehumanising picture of the West painted by its enemies is not a new phenomenon, though it cannot be attributed solely to either the right or left, nor to an Islamic source.
Vasily Grossman, author of Life and Fate, is considered one of the unsung geniuses of the twentieth century. Antony Beevor’s fascination with Grossman was triggered whilst researching his masterly book on Stalingrad.
Is Shalom Auslander taking the name of God in vain when imagining Him as a big chicken? Is Naomi Alderman’s story of a lesbian relationship in Hendon blasphemous?
Either Side of Winter
Set in America, a middle-aged man comes to terms with mortality – his own, his mother’s and that of his long-dead baby brother – a story full of mordant humour as well as pathos.
Schools were invited to bring their pupils to meet Morris Gleitzman who spoke about storytelling, Joe Craig, exciting new author of a thriller that raises questions of ethics, politics and genetics and take part in a session on the graphic novel with Mari
Carl and Leonie Gombrich remembered their grandfather, the legendary Ernst Gombrich, author of the best selling art book of all time, the Story of Art. His Little History of the World, written for children in 1935, was published for the first time in the UK in 2006.
In the last 30 years, Professor Khalili has assembled 20,000 objects documenting much of the artistic production of the Islamic lands over a period of some 1400 years.
The ninth commandment –Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour – features large in the dialogue between Rabbi David Rosen and evangelical Christian preacher RT Kendall in their exchange of letters,The Christian and the Pharisee.
Cultural historian Hilary Pomeroy revealed the enchanted world of abducted princesses and power-crazed kings of the ballads sung by Moroccan Sephardi women, based on poems from Spain before the expulsion of Jews 500 years ago. Israeli diva Yasmin Levy will sing some of them.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala 'A Bithday in London'
Radio 4 listeners recently voted Karl Marx the greatest philosopher of all time – a decision with which historian Eric Hobsbawm would not disagree.
Mark Leonard believes in Europe with a faith rarely seen in Britain.
Matches is the Israel Defence Force codename for a soldier: someone who strikes, burns and dies. Alan Kaufman, has written a moving novel based on his experiences which comes recommended by David Mamet and Amos Oz.
Five Amber Beads
Clive Sinclair's 'Wingate Football Club' story is an elegiac account of an English Jewish childhood. Exploring questions of diaspora Jewish identity, the pain of growing up and, of course, football.
The multi-talented author spoke about her return to the countries of Turkey, Lebanon and Morocco in search of old and new recipes, and to find out how cooking has evolved since the 1960s.
Poet and translator Fiona Sampson chaired this session which took us into the worlds of two very special poets. Amir Or combines the mysteries of the spirit with the joys of the flesh, curious about mythology while carefully examining the Hebrew language.
Poets and translators Elaine Feinstein, Amir Or and Daniel Weissbort led poetry translation workshops from Hebrew, Russian and French. People came and discovered the quandaries translators experience when trying to convey music and meaning from a foreign language into English.
In the 1960s Carmen Callil visited the psychiatrist Anne Darquier and they forged a close bond, tragically broken when Anne committed suicide.
SESSION ONE : Suspense
They are shared by all the religions of the Book but how resonant are the Ten Commandments in our lives today? Even such apparently obvious ones like thou shalt not kill are being questioned by the supporters of euthanasia.
Who better than a thriller writer to explore the sixth commandment?
Judith Rotem’s journey took her from an Orthodox Hungarian lifestyle, through a concentration camp as a baby, to life on an Israeli moshav and later in the religious town Bnei-Brak.
“Nothing has happened since Auschwitz that could reverse or refute Auschwitz. In my writingsthe Holocaust could never be present in the past tense.”
Dora B and her eight year old daughter were expelled for vagrancy from France to Israel. Convinced that she was the victim of a conspiracy, Dora gradually lost her grasp on the world.
In Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, Laurel Leff examined the many decisions that were made along the chain-of-command of the New York Times that ultimately resulted in minimising, misunderstanding and diluting the reporting of the Holocaust.
Horrid Henry is definitely not mending his ways! Find out more about his naughty adventures.
The wonderfully witty writer and broadcaster, born in Copenhagen, told the story of her novel inspired by the true acts of courage of the Danish population united in saving its Jewish population from the Nazis.
Isabel Kershner presented a riveting exploration of the impact of Israel’s controversial security barrier. She offered rich and insightful portraits of the people and places along the Wall's route and beyond.
At the intersection of literature and art, the blending of high satire and low caricature, the graphic novel is an elusive genre. Propelled to new heights by Art Spiegelman, the form has many proponents who explore a range of Jewish preoccupations from the sublime to the horrific.
Once there was a boy his parents tried to protect.
Once he escaped to find them.
Once story telling helped him survive.
Morris Gleitzman told the wonderful story of a boy who knew the power of stories.
Fatelessness, the title of Imre Kertesz’s novel, refers to what he calls “the dreary trap of linearity”. Having to accept one event after the other, powerlessly, is what befalls Georgy, a fourteen year old boy confronted with his Jewishness, the camps and their aftermath.
In The Orientalist, Tom Reiss tells the remarkable tale of Kurban Said, aka Lev Nussimbaum, a Jew with a passion for the Arab world and bestselling author of Ali and Nino, a captivating love story set in Azerbaijan.
Sunday 5 March was the final day of Jewish Book Week 2006. The main festival ran from 25 February to 5 March at London's Royal National Hotel. More than 50 challenging and entertaining speakers took part in 56 sessions, presenting arguments and many different points of view.