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

Jonathan Straight

VEGANS IN ICELAND – Photo book virtual launch event.

Join the virtual launch event for Vegans in Iceland, the latest book of photography by Jonathan Straight.

This book documents a visit to the volcanic island, made in 2019, to photograph members of the vegan community there.

The black and white portraits are interspersed with other vegan-inspired  images taken on the trip.

Jonathan will explain how he came to to produce this book and will talk about some of the people he met and photographed as well as talking more generally about his photographic practice.

Jonathan will be in conversation with Sydney Thornbury, CEO and Artistic Director of The Art House in Wakefield.

Dr Jonathan Straight FRSA is a British photographer based in Yorkshire. He specialises in documentary, portrait and street genres.  He had no formal training in photography, instead learning at the knee of his late father, who was a keen and talented amateur. Receiving a 35mm camera for his 10th birthday and carefully watching his father work in a home darkroom gave his sufficient grounding to produce his own work.


Having enjoyed a former career as a successful environmental entrepreneur, he now continues to work on various photographic projects as well as being involved with different businesses and charities.


He was shortlisted for Portrait of Britain 2019, has had photographs published in various places and has held several exhibitions of his work. In 2018, he published Blood, Sweat, Tears and Helicopters, a documentary study of the Israeli Ambulance Service. Now out of print, copies occasionally come up as collectables on Amazon. This is his second book of photography.


Jonathan’s book can be ordered at

£10 discount with code



Lesley Urbach

Josiah Wedgwood and his response to the fate of the Jews.

Josiah Wedgwood (1872-1943) was MP for Newcastle under Lyme from 1906 until 1942 when he was elevated to the House of Lords. He was the great, great grandson of the popper and came from a non-conformist background in Staffordshire.


 Throughout his parliamentary  career Wedgwood spoke out on behalf of Jews.  He  was a keen and active supporter of Zionism and worked closely with Vladimir Jabotinsky.  Lesley Urbach will not focus on this during her talk but will speak about Wedgwood’s efforts to persuade the British Government to allow Jews from Germany and Austria into Britain and Palestine; and  on his involvement in the parliamentary campaign against internment.  As with Eleanor Rathbone, Wedgwood’s efforts are largely unknown, and Lesley hopes to do something to rectify this  in her talk.


Since retiring  in 2013 Lesley Urbach has graduated with a Mres(distinction) in Jewish History and Culture from Southampton University (Parkes Institute). During the course, Lesley developed an interest in the response of MPs and government ministers to the persecution of the Jews in and from Nazi-occupied Europe. Her dissertation examined the Labour politician, Herbert Morrison’s response to the fate of the Jews.


This is a talk organised jointly by Milim and the Leeds branch of the Jewish Historical Society of England

Hadley Freeman

House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth Century Jewish Family

When Hadley Freeman found a shoebox filled with her French grandmother’s treasured belongings, it started a decade-long quest to find out their haunting significance and to dig deep into the extraordinary lives of her grandmother, Sala, and her three siblings, Henri, Jacques and Alex Glass. The search takes Hadley from Picasso’s archives in Paris to a secret room in a farmhouse in Auvergne to Long Island and to Aushwitz.

Hadley had only really known that her grandmother had met her American grandfather through her brother Alex in Paris, and that she travelled to America to marry him in the late 1930s. But by piecing together letters, photos and an unpublished memoir, Hadley is able to thrillingly recount the full story of all the Glass siblings – Alex’s past as a fashion couturier and friend of Dior and Chagall, trusting and brave Jacques, a fierce patriot for his adopted country, the brilliant Henri who hid out in place after place in occupied Paris – and about each of their bids for survival during the Second World War. She discovers her great uncles’ extraordinary acts of courage in Vichy France alongside her grandmother’s equally heroic but more private form of female self-sacrifice.

Addressing themes of assimilation, identity, and home this powerful story of the past explores issues that are deeply relevant today. A moving memoir following the journey of the Glass siblings throughout the course of the twentieth-century, House of Glass is a thrilling account of love, loss, family and belonging.


Hadley Freeman grew up in New York City and London. She has been a staff writer at the Guardian since 2000 and has contributed to many other publications, including Vogue (US and UK.) This her fourth book. She lives in London with her partner and their three children

Rosie Whitehouse

The People on the Beach

A vivid history tracing Holocaust survivors who risked everything again for a new life in Palestine.


One summer’s night in 1946, over 1,000 European Jews waited silently on an Italian beach to board a secret ship. They had survived Auschwitz, hidden and fought in forests and endured death marches—now they were taking on the Royal Navy, running the British blockade of Palestine.

From Eastern Europe to Israel via Germany and Italy, Rosie Whitehouse follows in the footsteps of those secret passengers, uncovering their extraordinary stories—some told for the first time. Who were those people on the beach? Where and what had they come from, and how had they survived? Why, after being liberated, did so many Jews still feel unsafe in Europe? How do we—and don’t we—remember the Holocaust today? This remarkable, important book digs deep and travels far in search of answers.


Rosie Whitehouse is a journalist specialising in Jewish life after the Holocaust. She writes for BBC Online, the Observer, The Independent, Tablet magazine, The Jewish Chronicle, Haaretz and others. A graduate of the London School of Economics, she is an historical advisor at the Vienna-based Centropa, a Jewish history institute.


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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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