Leeds Literary Festival

A Festival of Words and Ideas



We are delight to bring you some of our planned talks online to help you through these difficult times.

If you have missed any of our online talks or want to watch them again go to our CATCH UP page.


MiliM is non-profit making and run entirely by volunteers, we are proud to be able to offer an exciting programme of webinars during the Covid-19 crisis.

To be able to do this, we do need help to replace event revenue we have lost this year.

Every penny helps, goes directly towards events and we are very grateful for your contribution.


Milim Spring 2019

Anna Koch

Coming Home? Jews’ return to Germany after the Holocaust

The vast majority of Jews who had escaped Nazi Germany had no interest in a return to their former home country after 1945. Most rebuilt their lives elsewhere, far from the place they now associated mainly with persecution, violence and murder.

Yet some chose to return and to rebuild their lives in Germany, out of a variety of reasons. Many looked fearful at the future; the past still looming strongly. Could they feel at home after their experiences of persecution, the theft of their property, and the murder of relatives and friends? In this talk, I will look at the myriad, highly individual responses to this question and shed light on the various ways in which German Jewish returnees reclaimed their home in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust in both East and West Germany.


Anna Koch is the Montague Burton Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at the University of Leeds. She received her PhD from New York University in May 2015 and has taught European and Jewish history at the Universities of York, Southampton and University College London. She is currently completing her book manuscript Home after Fascism: Italian and German Jews after the Holocaust. Her research has been supported by the British Academy, the Social Science Research Council, the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, among others. She has held fellowships at the Center for Jewish History in New York City and the German Historical Institute in Rome, and in 2017/18 she was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah.


Richard Evans

Protocols of the Elders of Zion


This talk focuses on the notorious antisemitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. It uses recent research to ask some key questions: where did this tract originate, why was it so widely distributed, and was it really a ‘warrant for genocide’, providing the impulse that drove Hitler to launch the Holocaust? Does it provide a classic example of the dangers of conspiracy theories if they are left to proliferate and spread across the world? The Protocols are often seen as the most important conspiracist text of antisemitism, raising the question of how far antisemitism itself is a conspiracy theory. Beyond this, the Protocols point to a further, often overlooked issue: to what extent, and in what way antisemitism was, and is, different from other kinds of racism.

Richard J Evans is Regius Professor Emeritus of History at Cambridge University and the author of many books on modern German history, including ‘The Coming of the Third Reich’, ‘The Third Reich in Power’ and ‘The Third Reich at War”. His book “The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914”, a volume in the Penguin History of Europe, was published in 2016. He was the principal expert witness in the libel action brought by David Irving against Deborah Lipstadt in 2000 over allegations of Holocaust denial and the falsification of evidence, as depicted in the movie “Denial”. He was knighted in 2012 for services to scholarship.

Richard J. Evans’s latest book, “The Hitler Conspiracies: The Third Reich  and the Paranoid Imagination” was published by Allen Lane (The Penguin Press) on 1 October


Ian Vellins

Kristallnacht (November 9-10 1938) The Day the Holocaust Began

In this illustrated presentation Ian Vellins will examine the history of the events that night, what preceded them, and the after-affects on the Jewish populations.
Ian Vellins is a retired lawyer,immigration judge, and tax judge. He was educated at Roundhay School and Oxford University graduating with a 1st class degree in law.  He subsequently practised as a solicitor in Bradford and then Leeds. He was appointed as a part-time Immigration Judge and VAT and Taxes Judge for some 20 years. On retirement he studied for an MA degree at Manchester University in Holocaust Studies under Jean-Marc Dreyfus and then for a further MA degree at Leeds University in Modern History, where his Dissertation on The Kindertransport gained a distinction.
He has lectured to many organisations on Holocaust-related themes, on Jewish literature and Looted Art.

Lord Michele (Michael) Righetti and Lady Hadassah Broscova Sarunac-Righetti Count and Countess of Vrelo

Cooking and Chat with Lord Michele (Michael) Righetti and Lady Hadassah Broscova Sarunac-Righetti, Count and Countess of Vrelo

In the company of Claire Brown, we are off to Brora, a small industrial village in the Highlands of Scotland , and  the home of Lord Michele(Michael) Righetti and Lady Hadassah Broscova Sarunac-Righetti, Count and Countess of Vrelo. We will be learning how to make  traditional Italian pasta al forno and hearing about the challenges of living an Orthodox Jewish live in one of the remoter parts of the British Isles





1 can of stewed tomatoes diced

1 onion

Black pepper half tea spoon

Chilli peppers according your taste

Salt a tea spoon

Olive oil a tsp.

Making the sauce

Sauté onion black pepper chilli pepper and olive oil. When onions are gold add tomato sauce and chilli pepper. When it’s thicker is ready. While cooking adjust with salt.

Boil the pasta (fresh tagliatelle or what you prefer) when ready mix the sauce.

Take a pan and make a layer of pasta then a layer of double cream or besciamella repeat until pasta is over. On the top spray some Parmesan or cheddar cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 min 180^C . Oven pre heated.

Larry Gould

The Making of Mr Irresistible

I was inspired to write my book for three reasons. Firstly, it is the 40th anniversary of my business. Secondly, I wanted my children and grandchildren to know more about our family history, and lastly, I was inspired by my journeys back to Eastern Europe. From my research through Ancestry.com, I discovered all the small towns and villages where my family came from. Investigating what happened to the Jews in those places, I learned that most were killed or driven out by the locals or sent to Nazi death camps. Those who survived ended up in the UK or the US, where the majority created new and successful lives. As I grew up, I was often troubled by the stories of their suffering, but perhaps it was their suffering that impelled me to deal with my own failures. These survivors constantly reminded me how lucky I was despite some of the very difficult experiences I had.


In my memoir, I take you on a journey from one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Leeds to one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in the Hamptons, New York. You will laugh and you will cry. From starting my career as a 15-year-old school dropout to creating two multi-million pound businesses. I  experience many bumps in the road in both my personal and business life as I travel around the world from the Soviet Union to the United States, Israel to Ethiopia, and more. Through it all, I overcome hardships by making myself irresistible—a word that is my driving force in business and in life. In recalling my life story, I also give readers a fascinating look at the formation of my Jewish identity in a Christian culture.

Larry J Gould is a high school dropout who went on to receive an honorary doctorate. Born in Leeds, England, he is the founder, Chairman, and Irresistible Consultant for thebigword Group, which he formed in 1980, now one of the largest Language Technology companies in the world. He is a business mentor at Cornell Tech, delivering sales and marketing courses for post-doctorate entrepreneurs, challenging them to become irresistible.

The Making of Mr Irresistible is available on

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-Mr-Irresistible-Larry-Gould/dp/1665580003/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1600937645&refinements=p_27%3ALarry+Gould&s=books&sr=1-1

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-making-of-mr-irresistible/larry-j-gould//9781665580007


Ruth Dayan Wolfner

Ruth Dayan Wolfner

Getting a divorce can bring out monsters and malice, lack of compassion and vindictiveness in the person with whom you shared a bed for years and established blood ties by bringing children into the world.

This behavior, however, will usually find its way back to the wrongdoer, sooner or later, and hit with a vengeance. After all, it is a well-known fact that Karma is a Bitch.

This book is a close examination of the institution of marriage and the process of divorce, providing valuable insights that might preserve your marriage—or at the very least, allow you to go through divorce procedures wisely, manage the proceedings effectively, with legal and personal humanness. It also answers the following critical, burning questions:

  • What are the monsters that gnaw away at your marriage?
  • How can you protect your children as much as possible during the process?
  • Can you prevent divorce wars, and are there any that end well?
  • Can cheating save the institution of marriage?
  • What does refusal to sign a financial settlement mean?


Adv. Ruth Dayan Wolfner, holds an LL.B. degree cum laude from the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law, as well as a B.A. in Criminology, Sociology and Anthropology from Bar Ilan University. As the founder of the largest and one of the most prestigious law firms in Israel specialised in family affairs, she has accumulated extensive experience by representing hundreds of clients in divorce cases and settling other kinds of family disputes in the civil Family Affairs Courts, Rabbinical Courts and other courts in Israel. Ruth has obtained diplomas in several training courses in the area of Family Law in Israel, as well as an advanced course in Collaborative Divorce, in New York. Ruth is the co-author of the book The Israeli Guide to Divorce, published in 2003. She is also the initiator and founder of Get Up, one of the leading websites in its field, as well as the “Lareshet” website, which deals with inheritance law.





Silvana Botbol

From the Polish Rynek to Costa Rican Pura Vida

Silvana Botbol tells of the birth and development of the Costa Rican Jewish Community from its founders and its evolution through successive immigration waves and the building of its institutions.

Silvana Botbolam from Venezuela and migrated with my family to Costa Rica 15 years ago. She have a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Law degrees both in Venezuela and Costa Rica from Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and University of Costa Rica (UCR) . Silvana specialize in international corporate law and all her life has been actively involved in the Jewish life of the communities in which she lived. From 2015 till this year Silvana was the Director of Institutional Relations of the Jewish Community in Costa Rica, enrolled under its umbrella institution the Jewish-Zionist Center of Costa Rica.


Private: sponsors

Milim acknowledges the support given by


Councillors Dan Cohen and Neil Buckley

Front Row Legal

Lisa & Les Baker

Mitchell Wealth Management

Phil & Marcia Goldstone


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