Milim Spring 2019

Words for All
Leeds Literary Festival

Tim Marshall

Divided: Why We're Living in an Age of Walls

Money, race, religion, politics: these are the things that divide us. Trump’s wall says as much about America’s divided past as it does its future. The Great Firewall of China separates ‘us’ from ‘them’. In Europe, the explosive combination of politics and migration threatens liberal democracy itself. This interesting and informative talk will look at the past, present and future to offer an essential insight into one of the major factors that determines world history.

 Tim Marshall is a leading authority on foreign affairs with more than 30 years of reporting experience. He was diplomatic editor at Sky News and before that was working for the BBC and LBC/IRN radio. He has reported from 40 countries and covered conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel.

He is the author of the no.1 Sunday Times bestseller

Prisoners of Geography;

Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags;

Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls;

“Dirty Northern B*st*rds!” and Other Tales from the Terraces: The Story of Britain’s Football Chants;

Shadowplay: The Overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic (a bestseller in former Yugoslavia).

He is founder and editor of the current affairs site

Poetry Café

Once again we welcome our very popular Poetry Café to the Festival. James Nash, Emma Gordon and Nicola Hipps will be presenting an informal relaxed inter-generational evening of poetry, prose and lyrics, with performances by some of their students.

James Nash began his career as a teacher then decided to give it all up and become a writer. He now spends much of his time travelling around the country talking to and interviewing writers about their work.

Emma Gordon has been performing since the 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. She is also a LAMDA examiner.

Nicola Hipps has been teaching speech and drama for over 25 years.  She enters students into local competitive Drama Festivals and LAMDA examinations, where she is the Leeds representative. She is a qualified teacher and a member of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama. She teaches individuals and groups of all ages both at Moorfield School and at home, as well as public speaking training.

The Last Tribe

A film by Simon Glass

Emma Bright and the Superfood Fight

This is a closed event and is in conjuction with Leeds LitFest

To celebrate World Book Day Donna Harrison and Hayley Dodsworth will be running an event at Brodetsky Primary School for Years 1 to 6 based on their fun, healthy eating concept. Based on their book, Emma Bright and The Super Food Fight, the authors will lead the children through a world of life sized Super Food characters who need to solve a growing problem whilst exploring the importance of a healthy, balanced diet. Years 1 to 3 will have the opportunity to create their own characters and learn about the wonderful Island of Plenty. Years 4 to 6 will become the characters themselves as they explore the concept through physical theatre.

Hayley Dodsworth, co-author of Emma Bright and The Super Food Fight, began her author career back in 2011 when she overcame a parenting problem of fussy eating with her daughter, Emma, aged 5. Hayley was able to introduce Emma to the benefits of eating a wider variety of healthy foods through the super food fight concept, a fun and imaginative way to inspire and engage her.

Donna Harrison, co-author of Emma Bright and The Super Food Fight, started writing in 2000 when she penned her dissertation on the first English actresses and began looking at adapting the work into book format. She has also written 2 play scripts on the theme of time travel. When approached by long time friend, Hayley Dodsworth, with an idea to work together on a concept that Hayley had developed around helping to tackle fussy eating in children via a fun adventure story, Donna metaphorically dusted off the fountain pen! Donna is also a freelance drama practitioner.

Anthony Clavane

From Tragedy to Triumph – How Leeds (and Yorkshire) Leads the Way

This event is in conjunction with Leeds LitFest

After years in the wilderness Leeds United could be returning. Anthony Clavane, author of Promised Land and Moving The Goalposts, talks about this revival and what it means for the city and the county of Yorkshire. Anthony Clavane, author of Promised Land and Moving the Goalposts talk about this revival with fellow writer James Oddy, and what it means for the city and the county of Yorkshire.

Anthony has written three books about Leeds and named both Football Book of the Year and Sports Book of the Year by the National Sporting Club – as well as Sports Book of the Year by The Radio 2 Book Club.

James Oddy was born in Leeds and never left. He has written extensively about sport and culture for titles such as Prospect, the Yorkshire Post and Boxing Monthly. He also authored True Professional, The Clive Sullivan Story, a Guardian Sports Book of the Year in 2017.

Gordon Black

From Bags to Blenders - The Journey of a Yorkshire Businessman

When Gordon joined Peter Black Limited in 1965, the company was already a supplier of bags and shoes to Marks & Spencer and Boots and turned over approx £2m. During the following few years Gordon and his brother Thomas expanded the range of products they supplied to M & S to include leisure wear, toiletries, cosmetics and homeware and by the time the company floated on the  stock exchange in 1972 sales had reached £47m (£94m in today’s money). The company was taken private on 2000 and sold in 2007 to a Chinese purchaser by which time turnover had reached £300m (£600m in today’s money) and had several thousand employees.

Since the sale Gordon has invested in variety of ventures including the fast growing High Street TV Limited and written a book, From Bags to Blenders-The Journey of a Yorkshire Businessman.

Leeds Jewish Local and Family History Workshop

The library team will be on hand to showcase relevant treasures from the collections at the Central Library, as well as offering advice and assistance about beginning – or continuing – your Jewish genealogy search. We’re also keen to speak to anyone who can contribute materials or memories, as we seek to expand our Jewish archive at the Central Library.

Drop-in, no need to book

We are grateful to Leeds City Library for partnering with us for this event


Professor Griselda Pollock

Charlotte Salomon and the Theatre of Memory

Charlotte Salomon and the Theatre of Memory is a cultural and art historical study of a monumental project, Life? Or Theatre?  created in exile between 1941 and 1942 by the Berlin-born painter, Charlotte Salomon (197-1943) who was captured during her exile in France and transported to her death in Auschwitz in October 1943. She was 26 at the time. This single work, comprising 784 paintings with music is tapestry of philosophy, opera, cabaret, cinema and a wide range of traditions of painting from Michelangelo to Chagall. It is presented as both a Brechtian play and a memory book. This talk will explore this exceptional work and explain the challenges of writing about the artist and her work, which was created in the darkest of political times while it also dared to expose the crimes of the domestic violence against vulnerable women.

Griselda Pollock is Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis at the University of Leeds. She has written extensively on the multi-cultural histories of artist-women from the nineteenth century to the present. Her recent book on Charlotte Salomon (1917-43) is the product of this life-time of research into women’s creativity and contributions to culture notably with reference to women in Jewish modernity. She is also a specialist in trauma and cultural memory, notably of the Shoah, and is currently writing about gender and nationalism through a study of the agency of Marilyn Monroe. Her books include Old Mistresses (with Roszika Parker), Mary Cassatt: Painter of Modern Women (1996); After-affects /After-Images: Trauma and Aesthetic Transformation (2013) and Concentrationary Memories: Totalitarian Terror and Cultural Resistance (2014).

Paul A. Mendelson

Life, Art and Heinz Spaghetti

How a writer’s life and work inevitably intertwine

After gaining a first in law from Cambridge Paul A. Mendelson went on to run a family law department in the city. He then spent 17 years as an award-winning advertising copy writer before turning his hand to scriptwritng.

He has created several hit BBC comedy series, including the BAFTA-nominated May to DecemberSo Haunt Me and the hugely popular My Hero, starring Ardal O’Hanlon. For ITV he wrote the much-acclaimed Martin Clunes cancer drama Losing It. He co-created Neighbors From Hell for DreamWorks Animation and writes regularly for BBC Radio 4 Drama. His first novel, In the Matter of Isabel, has been bought by a major Hollywood producer.

Admission: £5

Ariel Kahn

Raising Sparks

Come hear prize-winning writer and academic Ariel Kahn discuss the stories behind his award winning debut novel Raising Sparks, a magical-realist love story set in modern Israel. Full of the sounds, scents and flavours of the Middle East, it gives the reader access to the worlds hidden behind the headlines. Told in the voices of teenagers Malka and Moshe, Raising Sparks is a celebration of mystical texts, discovering your own inner power and the highs (and lows) of first love. It offers a glimpse of a Middle East hidden behind the headlines. It is for anyone who loves food, colour, and discovering new cultures, and still holds on to the possibility of love.

Ariel Kahn has an MA in African and Indian literature and a PhD in Creative Writing and currently lives in North London. He initially trained to be a rabbi in Israel, where he discovered a love of mystical texts such as the Zohar.


Admission: £5

Lyn Julius

Uprooted: How 3,000 Years of Jewish Civilisation in the Arab World Vanished Overnight

Almost a million Jews from Arab countries and Iran have been forced to flee from the 1940s onwards, forced out by state-sanctioned terror.  Many were airlifted to Israel. Those who fled did not consider themselves refugees. They rebuilt their lives and were granted full civil rights in Israel and the West. This is in contrast to the original Arab refugees numbered only 70000 and to whom UNRWA gives successive generations permanent refugee status, including those with other nationalities.

Lyn Julius is the British-born daughter of Iraqi-Jewish refugees. She graduated in International Relations from the University of Sussex. A journalist and blogger, her work has appeared in the Guardian, Jewish News, Ha’aretz, Standpoint and Huffington Post, among other media. She is also the founder of Harif, the UK Association for Jews from the Middle East and North Africa.

Admission: Free

Ian Vellins

My Family Right or Wrong

This session, My Family Right or Wrong, will involve a reading of some hilarious short stories written by Ephraim Kishon, a Hungarian-born Israeli humourist whose stories, in English translation, have appeared in Haaretz and other Israeli publications.

Ian Vellins was educated at Roundhay School Leeds and then took a law degree at Oxford University and practised as a solicitor for 45 years. He was appointed as a part-time Immigration Judge, and after his retirement gained MA degrees at Manchester University and Leeds University in Holocaust Studies and Modern History. He is a frequent lecturer and his interest in theatre led to over 30 appearances as actor and director in amateur theatre.

Professor Sue Vice

British Jewish Television Drama: From Jack Rosenthal to the Present

In this interesting and illuminating talk, Sue Vice will discuss the innovative image of British Jewish life in Jack Rosenthal’s BBC Plays for Today: The Evacuees (1975) and Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976). She will trace the influence of Rosenthal’s distinctive writing on such recent television drama as Simon Amstell’s Grandma’s House (2010-12) and Robert Popper’s Friday Night Dinner (2011-). In each case, such staples of the British sitcom as class and religion are given a Jewish twist, by centring on young Jewish men and their place in the family versus the wider world.

Sue Vice is Professor of English Literature at the University of Sheffield. Her recent books include Jack Rosenthal (2009) and Barry Hines: ‘Kes’, ‘Threads’ and Beyond (2015, with David Forrest), and she is working on a study of the outtakes from Claude Lanzmann’s 1985 film Shoah.

Admission: £4 / JHSE members Free    Pay at the door

This is a joint event with the National Jewish Historical Society as part of the JHSE’s Jewish History Month and celebrates 50 years of Beth Hamidrash Synagogue on its present site.

Natasha Solomons

House of Gold

In her latest novel, House of Gold, Natasha Solomons explores the divisions which threaten to tear apart the wealthy and influential Goldbaum family. Their influence reaches across Europe. They are the confidants and bankers of governments and emperors. Little happens without their say-so and even less without their knowledge. However with the Great War looming, and even the Goldbaums unable to alter its course, for the first time in two hundred years the family find themselves on opposing sides.

Natasha Solomons is a screenwriter and novelist. She lives in Dorset with her husband, the award-winning children’s author David Solomons, and their two children. She is the New York Times best-selling author of four novels and her work has been translated into seventeen languages.

Madeleine Kingsley is a journalist and writer who’s reviewed fiction for the Jewish Chronicle for 40 years. She is also a relationship counsellor and therapist for couples, children and young people, families, individuals and problem gamblers. She grew up in North West London as the daughter of refugee parents who left Vienna after hearing the cry ‘Beat the Jews’ at a local football match. She now lives in the Dales with her husband of 52 years, their daughter, horses, dogs and cat.

Admission: £5