Highlights from the 2017 Festival

Supported with funding from Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council

Leeds City Council Leeds Inspired

Festival Sponsor

Manning Stainton

in association with


'From the Leylands to Leeds 17' Philippa Lester and Diane Saunders

A Month of Jewish Words for All

March 2017

Writing Comedy

We are delighted to welcome Ashley Blaker, the UK’s only Orthodox Jewish comedian, to launch this year’s Festival.

Described as ‘a Haredi Michael McIntyre’, he will shortly be touring Israel and then performing an all-new UK tour in 2017. His first stand-up tour – Ungefiltered –played to sell-out audiences the length and breadth of the UK and was seen by 5,500 people. Ashley is also a comedy writer and producer for radio and television. Ashley will be speaking about the process of writing for comedy, the skills required and challenges faced.

Ashley Blaker

Ashley Blaker

Ashley Blaker

Ashley Blaker- Meshuga Frum

Sport - A Yorkshire Story

Anthony Clavane will be presenting this talk based on sport in Yorkshire.

His latest book, A Yorkshire Tragedy, looks at the impact of de-industrialisation on sporting communities. It was recently described as “brilliant” by The Times and “compelling, illuminating, very human and often quite moving” by The Guardian. Born and brought up in Leeds, Anthony is a true Yorkshireman. His other works include Promised Land: A Northern Love Story and Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here? which was nominated for Football Book of the Year. He has also written two plays: Promised Land and Playing The Joker. As well as writing, he teaches a degree in sports journalism to university students.

Anthony Clavane

Anthony Clavane

Bounce Back Boy by Brian Daniels

Short play by Brian Daniels performed by Joey Taylor.

This short play by Brian Daniels was commissioned by the National Council for Palliative Care. It tells the true story of Josh, a severely disabled boy, told through the very personal accounts and challenges his adoptive mother experienced around 'joined up care' provision. It is performed by Joey Taylor.

Brian Daniels is a Yorkshire playwright and theatre practitioner whose work has been widely performed both locally and nationally. Between 1997 and 2011 he was the Artistic Director of the New End Theatre, Hampstead where he produced 200 new plays, musicals and cultural events. He was also the Artistic Director of the Shaw Theatre, Euston, producing large scale theatrical events. Recent work includes Don’t Leave Me Now, a play exploring the impact of early onset dementia. This has been performed throughout the UK and a full scale London production is planned for later this year.

Joey trained at Manchester School of Theatre and has worked for CBBC. He was selected to play the role of Josh in the world premiere of Bounce Back Boy and has performed the role several time including at the House of Commons in December 2016. He says: “I am very grateful to Brian Daniels for his faith in me to be the voice that Josh in Bounce Back Boy never had. I have learnt a lot about Josh and his wonderful mother Lynne, and about the great difficulties they encountered with obtaining palliative care towards the end of his life. It has been a privilege to be involved in this tremendous project”.

Brian Daniels

Brian Daniels

Joey Taylor

Joey Taylor

Bringing The Story Of Hatikvah To Life

Alex Marshall, author of Republic or Death! Travels in Search of National Anthems, will talk about Hatikvah – Israel’s national anthem

Alex Marshall is a music and politics journalist. His book, Republic or Death! Travels in Search of National Anthems, looks at the songs’ stories and their meaning taking in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas North and South.

Today he will focus on Hatikvah – Israel’s national anthem, about which he says: “If there’s one emotion that anthems normally steer clear of, it’s sadness. Most composers seem to think that anthems must sound boisterous and proud if they are to stir patriotism. Israel’s proves that’s wrong. It was written before the country existed and is filled with longing for a Jewish homeland, both in its words and its nostalgic music. It’s so sad, in fact, it seems more appropriate for a funeral than celebrating a gold medal. But if any anthem is going to make an athlete cry on the podium, it’s this…”

This event has been generously sponsored by Maureen & Michael Lewin

Alex Marshall

Alex Marshall

Rugby League & The Jewish Community

A Short History Of A Long Relationship

Tony Collins is Professor of History at De Montford University. He is the author of several books on the history of rugby league and sport in general, most recently The Oval World: A Global History Of Rugby (Bloomsbury 2015) which won the 2016 Aberdare Prize for Sports History Book of the Year. He is also on the steering committee of the National Rugby League Museum project.

This event has been generously sponsored by Geraldine & Bernard Shooman and supported by The Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Rhinos logo
Tony Collins

Tony Collins

What Ends Up On The Cutting Room Floor: The Stories A Writer Never Tells

Following her very successful appearance at the Festival last year Vanessa Rosenthal is back, this time to tell us about the stories we never get to hear.

Vanessa is a widely experienced actor and writer for theatre and broadcast. For the BBC she originated and devised Writing The Century for Radio 4 and has also written for Woman's Hour, Afternoon Theatre and Saturday Afternoon Theatre. Vanessa Rosenthal

Vanessa Rosenthal.jpg

Tracing Jewish History in Leeds

An interactive workshop with Antony Ramm and Ross Horsley.

An interactive workshop with Antony Ramm and Ross Horsley from the Leeds Local and Family History Library, using online resources and items from the Leeds Libraries collections.

The Journey Of A Play

A talk by Deborah Freeman will focus on her play The Song Of Deborah.

Deborah Freeman is a playwright and poet. She originates from Bristol and has lived in Leeds, Israel and Manchester before settling in London. Her plays have been staged in several London fringe venues and her poems have featured in Jewish Renaissance, Jewish Quarterly and Poetry Review. Following completion of her new play Remedies, Deborah will be researching a collaborative theatre project with a play she hopes will be performed partly in English and partly in Hebrew. Her talk today will mainly focus on her play The Song Of Deborah, which has been performed at several locations in the UK and was recently translated and performed in Jerusalem.

Deborah Freeman

Deborah Freeman

The Big Debate: What is Culture?

Panel led discussion on culture in today's world in anticipation of the Leeds bid for European Capital of Culture 2023.

What do you think of as culture? How has culture changed over the past decades? What does culture mean to you? What does the future hold? This will be an opportunity to explore a range of ideas and opinions on this fascinating subject.

This event has been generously sponsored by Trisha Mack

The Big Debate: What is Culture

Iran Partially Unveiled

Joy Mitchell- Kardasz will be talking and answering questions about her recent trip to Iran in October 2016.

Joy Mitchell- Kardasz is a teacher and Blue Badge Guide for Yorkshire. She is an inveterate traveller and lived in France, Italy and Spain before settling in Yorkshire with her husband Andy Kardasz. She will be talking and answering questions about her recent trip to Iran in October 2016. This will be a fascinating illustrated talk giving an insight into aspects of Iranian culture, including the Jewish community.

Joy Mitchell-Kardasz

Joy Mitchell-Kardasz

Sports Scandals

David Conn, multi-award-winning journalist, will be presenting this insight into the world of football.

He has been awarded the UK's sports news reporter of the year a record three times and sports journalist of the year in the British Journalism Awards in 2013. He has three times been named football writer of the year by the Football Supporters Federation. He is the author of three acclaimed books critically investigating and chronicling English football's commercial transformation since the formation of the Premier League: The Football Business (1997), The Beautiful Game?: Searching For The Soul Of Football (2004), and Richer Than God: Manchester City, Modern Football And Growing Up (2012). His 2009 article for the Guardian detailing the bereaved Hillsborough families' continuing campaign for justice prompted the then Labour ministers Andy Burnham and Maria Eagle to press for all official documents relating to the disaster to be released, leading to the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, quashing of the first inquest and the holding of new inquests. David covered the two year -long new inquests extensively for the Guardian and was widely acclaimed for his in-depth coverage and analysis following the conclusion of the proceedings and verdicts of unlawful killing. David has been a key part of The Guardian’s coverage of the Fifa scandals, and has written a book about it, due out in June 2017.

David Conn

David Conn

Poetry Café

One of the stellar events of last year's Milim festival returning.

One of the stellar events of last year's Milim festival was Poetry Cafe, an informal, relaxed evening of poetry, prose and lyrics. The event, returning by popular demand, will be facilitated once again by Yorkshire poet James Nash, and will see a stream of eclectic communal poetry lovers gather together to wax lyrical on the art form they cherish. Emma Gordon will be performing as will drama pupils from the Nicola Hipps school of drama. Gillian Rosenhead who has uncovered some poetic gems from a late lamented Leeds historian will also be contributing. James Nash began his career as a teacher then decided to give it all up and become a writer. James spends much of his time travelling around the country talking to and interviewing writers about their work. Emma Gordon has been performing since the tender age of 3. She is now working as a Creative Practitioner, offering drama tuition for LAMDA and Arts Award, education, community and enrichment projects as well as corporate training packages and one-to-one professional coaching.

This event has been generously sponsored by Brian Daniels

James Nash

James Nash

Emma Gordon

Emma Gordon

Tuesdays With Morrie

Play reading performed by Andy Price and Stephen Brown

Adapted from his memoir of the same name, this play reading is based on the meetings, every Tuesday, between Mitch Albom and his ageing college professor, Morrie, who had taught him nearly twenty years earlier. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final ‘class ’: lessons on how to live. It is performed by Stephen Brown and Andy Price Stephen has been involved in amateur dramatics for many years, appearing mainly at the Ilkley Playhouse and Bingley Little Theatre. He has played in a variety of productions and sees himself as a character actor. Andy has been acting professionally for the last two years and has appeared in shows in West Yorkshire, The Edinburgh Fringe and London.

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd.

Andy Price and Stephen Brown

Andy Price and Stephen Brown

Why and how the Seder night should not be a boring book read?

A discussion with Rabbi Shimon Glickman

He was born in Glasgow. He grew up and attended Yeshiva in Gateshead. During his seven year stint in Israel he managed to receive several Rabbinical ordinations form The Jerusalem Kollel, whilst he was teaching and mentoring in various institutions, including the Aish World Centre and Ohr Samayach. Rabbi Glickman spent two years as an Associate Rabbi for the Jewish community in Munich, before moving to Leeds to help found the Leeds Kollel. As part of his role at the Kollel, he also teaches Jewish Studies at Brodetsky Primary School and LJFS.

Rabbi Shimon Glickman.jpgn

Rabbi Shimon Glickman

Tales From An Environmental And Tribal Lawyer

A talk by Jerry Pearlman MBE- a solicitor with a difference.

Jerry Pearlman is a solicitor with a difference. Based in Leeds, his work has included many cases of national and international importance. He is an Honorary Vice President of the Ramblers, a Parish Councillor and Chairman of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Access Forum. His sixty years of legal practice in Leeds have provided him with a host of tellable tales. He has a passion for rambling and the stories in his book centre on environmental cases that led to key decisions, safeguarding or extending the public’s rights in the countryside.

This event has been generously sponsored by Cllr Dan Cohen from his Mice money

Jerry Pearlman

Jerry Pearlman MBE

Les Parisiennes

Please join us at this interesting event when Anne Sebba will be talking about her book and answering any questions.

This in-depth account examines the choices Parisienne women had to make – to become collaborators or resistors, or just to try and continue a normal existence. She also explores the aftershock of the Second World War to consider how those who survived to see the Liberation of Paris came to terms with their actions and the choices they had to make. Anne Sebba read History at King’s College London then joined Reuters as a foreign correspondent based in London and Rome. She is the acclaimed author of Jenni Churchill: Winston’s American Mother, the international bestseller That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor and seven other works of non-fiction.

This event has been generously sponsored by Lisa and Les Baker

Anne Sebba

Anne Sebba

"From the Leylands to Leeds 17"

Philippa Lester and Diane Saunders


Milim, meaning words in Ivrit, is made up of a group of like-minded people who came together in 2016 to promote, stimulate and encourage reading and writing on aspects of Jewish thought, life, literature, history and culture for all in Leeds. 2017 is our second Festival and we hope you enjoy it