Catch up with our online events

The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive

The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive powerfully chronicles the stories of the women who used their sewing skills to survive the Holocaust, stitching beautiful clothes in an extraordinary fashion workshop within the Auschwitz concentration camp.

At the height of the Holocaust twenty-five young inmates of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp mainly Jewish women and girls were selected to design, cut, and sew beautiful fashions for elite Nazi women in a dedicated salon. It was work that they hoped would spare them from the gas chambers.

Join historian Lucy Adlington to find out more about their lives and fates as she discusses her bestselling book The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: a remarkable true story of resilience, camaraderie and quiet heroism in the most extreme circumstances.

Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: a new biography of the old city

Jerusalem, what you see a what are two different things. The City never had “four quarters” as its maps proclaim. And beyond the crush and frenzy of its major religious sites, many of its quarters are little known to visitors, its people ignored and their stories untold. Nine Quarters of Jerusalem lets the communities of the Old City speak for themselves. Ranging from ancient past to political present, it evokes the city’s depth and cultural diversity.
Matthew Teller’s highly original “biography” features not just Jerusalem’s Palestinian and Jewish communities, but its African and Indian voices, its Greek and Armenian and Syriac communities, its downtrodden Dom Gypsy families and its Sufi mystics. It discusses the sources of Jerusalem’s holiness and the ideas-often startlingly secular-that have shaped lives within its walls. It is an evocation of place through story, led by the voices of Jerusalemites.

Matthew Teller writes for the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Times, Financial Times and other global media. He has produced and presented documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and World Service, and has reported for ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ from around the Middle East and beyond. He is the author of several travel guides, including the Rough Guide to Jordan. His previous book was ‘Quite Alone: Journalism from the Middle East 2008-2019’. Follow him Twitter @matthewteller and at matthewteller.com.


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The Incandescent Threads

The book launch of Richard Zimler’s new novel -The Incandescent Threads

From the acclaimed author of The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon and The Warsaw Anagrams comes an unforgettable, deeply moving ode to solidarity, heroism and the kind of love capable of overcoming humanity’s greatest horror.


Open Wide fifty glorious years as a dentist

With over 50 years’ experience as a dentist, Bernard Lester recalls the triumphs and disasters, the dramas and close calls of his work in both NHS and private practice, in an honest and humorous account. From medical school to practice owner, follow his story as he describes the characters-both staff and patients-who filled his life with laughter and tears as he pursued his career.


Bernard says “In my early teens, I knew I wanted to become a dentist. Working in the NHS and the private sector, I enjoyed all aspects of a unique profession. My wife, Sue, has been tremendously supportive in this project, together with my three children. I found that fishing on my local river for trout and salmon helped me through difficult times, a hobby that continues to this day. Growing vegetables and teaching karate, as a fifth dan black belt instructor, have also provided valuable relaxation. As I approach retirement, I can look back at some wonderful memories that are worth sharing, recalling the people I have met along my chosen path. All that has enriched my life.”

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The Island of Extraordinary Captives: The British Wartime Internment of Jewish Refugees Suspected of being Nazi Spies

Approximately 73,500 German and Austrian refugees from Nazism fled to Britain when war broke out. Initially, these refugees were received under such lauded schemes as the Kindertransport. But in the following months, the British media stoked national paranoia that a network of spies, posing as refugees, lurked among their ranks. The British government embarked upon a policy of mass internment of the very same people they had welcomed to our shores, and of the so-called ‘enemy aliens’ living in Britain, approximately 30,000 were sent to camps indefinitely.


Using exclusive new archive material, letters and diaries, Simon Parkin tells the story of history’s most extraordinary prison camp, where Britain interned thousands of refugees during World War II


Simon Parkin is a contributing writer for the New Yorker, regularly writes for The Guardian and The Observer newspapers. His previous nonfiction book, A Game of Birds and Wolves, shortlisted for The Mountbatten Prize, and optioned for film by Steven Spielberg. Named a finalist in the Foreign Press Association Media Awards and recipient of two awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. Simon Parkin lives in West Sussex, England.

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Type in ‘JQZTWHET’ at checkout where the message ‘Have a coupon?’ appears to apply the discount.

The Many Faces of the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea has a long, fascinating and multifaceted history. Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world, was built near its shores. The Dead Sea features in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. For many centuries it was believed to be the site of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroyed by fire and brimstone because of the sins of their residents. In addition to its religious significance, through the centuries the area also served as a seat of war, a source of wealth, superstitious beliefs and fear, a tourist resort, and the epicentre of an ecological disaster. Today, the Dead Sea is dying. Receiving only about five percent of the water it did a hundred years ago, the lake’s level is receding by more than a meter per year.


Nir Arielli is Associate Professor of International History at the University of Leeds. His most recent book, From Byron to bin Laden: A History of Foreign War Volunteers, was published by Harvard University Press in 2018. He is also author of Fascist Italy and the Middle East, 1933-1940. His current work examines the human history of the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea.


Nazi Billionaires

Three weeks after Hitler seized power in Germany he called a meeting. He had summoned twenty-five of the most prominent businessmen in Germany and then arrived late. German big business had not helped Hitler seize power. Most corporate tycoons saw him as loud and violent. A failed painter who made brutish comments, to be laughed at. Nevertheless, these men would become profoundly, fiscally entangled in the Nazi effort.

This book investigates and casts stunning new light on how the families and companies of the men who bought into Hitler’s vision have prospered and monopolised.

David de Jong is a correspondent in the Middle East, where he writes for the Dutch Financial Daily, among other publications. For the research and writing of Nazi Billionaires he reported from Berlin for four years. Before that, de Jong was a reporter at Bloomberg News in New York, where he wrote about hidden wealth, and in Amsterdam, where he wrote about European banking and finance. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg Businessweek. De Jong was born and raised in Amsterdam and currently lives in Tel Aviv

There Was A Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream

There Was a Fire takes readers on a wild ride through American popular music history, discovering the voices, sounds and sentiments of Jewish immigrants and telling the story of how popular song defined the American Dream. This is an updated, second edition; the first edition was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.


BEN SIDRAN has recorded thirty-seven solo albums, produced recordings for numerous artists including Van Morrison, Diana Ross, Mose Allison, and Jon Hendricks, and is the music producer of the acclaimed film Hoop Dreams; he hosted “Jazz Alive” and “Sidran on Record” for National Public Radio and “New Visions” for VH-1 television. Sidran is the author of four previous books and holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Sussex University.

Yellow Star-Red Star

What is the role of memory in history? Dr Agnes Kaposi, MBE, FREng, is an Hungarian-born British engineer, educator and author. In 2020, Dr Kaposi published her autobiography Yellow Star-Red Star. The narrative is underscored by the historian Dr László Csősz and illustrated by maps, documents, archival images and family photographs. This memoir is a candid account of life in Hungary before, during and after the Second World War, and her escape to Britain.

Over the course of only two months, aided by the Hungarian gendarmerie, the Nazis murdered almost half a million Hungarian Jews. Agnes was there, witnessing the events. As a young girl she survived the Debrecen ghetto, worked as a child labourer in the camps of Austria and lost half her family. Liberated from the camps by the Soviet army, Agnes returned to Hungary where a Stalinist regime followed. In 1951, she graduated from the Technical University of Budapest with a degree in electrical /electronic engineering, contributing to the development of the Hungarian TV broadcasting infrastructure. After the 1956 Uprising against Communist rule, she escaped from her native Hungary and obtained a labour permit to work in England as an industrial researcher in the Telecommunication and Computer industries. In 1971, Dr Kaposi obtained her PhD in Computer Aided Design. She is a Churchill Fellow and was the third woman to have been elected as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She worked in research, education and as consultant to industrial organisations and universities in the UK and overseas. She is a role model for women in Science and Engineering

When the spirit of Judah Maccabee hovered over Whitechapel- The March of the Jewish legion

Just before leaving to fight in Israel, parts of the Jewish Legion were ordered to march through Whitechapel and the City of London in February 1918 to ‘show the flag’ and acknowledge the Jewish contribution to winning the war especially in the Jewish heart of London. Very little was written or even mentioned about this major historic Anglo-Jewish event

Author and AJEX archivist Martin Sugarman has pieced this together through detailed research in newspapers of the time, which remain the only source of information about what happened

Prison Minyan

The scene is Otisville Prison, upstate New York. A crew of fraudsters, tax evaders, trigamists and forgers discuss matters of right and wrong in a Talmudic study and prayer group, or ‘minyan’, led by a rabbi who’s a fellow convict.

As the only prison in the federal system with a kosher deli and sabbath services, Otisville is the real-life penitentiary of choice for white- collar Jewish offenders, many of whom secretly like the place. They’ve learned to play the system, so when the regime is toughened to punish a newly arrived celebrity convict who has upset the 45th president, they find devious ways to fight back.

Shadowy forces up the ante by trying to ‘Epstein’ – ie assassinate – the newcomer, and visiting poetry professor Deborah Liston ends up in dire peril when she sees too much. She has helped the minyan look into their souls. Will they now step up to save her?

Stone brings the sensibility of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth to a sharply comic novel that is also wise, profound, and deeply moral.

Jonathan Stone has published nine mystery and suspense novels, including Die Next, Days of Night, The Teller, Parting Shot, and the bestseller Moving Day. Several of his books have been optioned to Hollywood, and Moving Day is set up as a film at Lionsgate Entertainment. His short stories have appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2016New Haven Noir, and four Mystery Writers of America anthologies: The Mystery BoxIce Cold: Tales of Intrigue from the Cold WarWhen A Stranger Comes to Town; and Crime Hits Home.  He is married, with a son and daughter.


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What does a Jew look like?

Earlier this year, Keith Kahn-Harris published a book called What does a Jew look like?, a collaboration with the photographer Rob Stothard. The book tries to challenge the use of stock photos of strictly orthodox Jews in the British media, by presenting portraits that capture the diversity of British Jews. But demonstrating diversity carries its own dilemmas. In this talk Keith Kahn-Harris will explore the challenges in explaining Jewish diversity to the wider world

Keith Kahn-Harris is a writer and sociologist. He is a senior lecturer at Leo Baeck College and a Fellow of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. What does a Jew look like? is his eighth book.

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Being frum in post-war Britain: Making sense of changing religious culture and traditions

Most historians have understood changing religious practice in post-war Britain in terms of a sharp polarization between those becoming more religious and the growing numbers of secular/non-practising Jews.


This talk will explore what really happened to religious practice in post-war Britain and question whether the changes experienced might in fact point to a community where people have more in common than they realise.


Gavin Shaffer  is a social and cultural historian specialising in the history of race and immigration in the twentieth century. He spent several years researching the place of race in science, which led to his 2008 monograph, Racial Science and British Society. Subsequently, he has written a book about racism and the media, looking in detail at television’s attempts to deal with multiculturalism in the 1960s and 1970s. As part of his longstanding interest in Jewish

Shooting paramedics and refugees.


Shooting paramedics and refugees.

Adventures with my camera and Magen David Adom the Israeli ambulance service.

In March 2022, photographer Jonathan Straight was invited on a flight from London to Warsaw to document the rescue of 54 Ukrainian orphan refugees. His involvement was due to a longstanding relationship with the Israeli ambulance and blood service, Magen David Adom who unlikely partner in the mission.

In 2017 and 2018, Jonathan spent several days working ambulance shifts volunteer and photographing what he saw. The result has as been he the publication of two photo-books as well as his work featuring on advertisements, publicity materials and even greetings cards for the London-based fundraising branch of the organisation.

Beginning by taking candid photographs of strangers, Jonathan has established himself as a documentary and portrait photographer a one of the many hats of he currently wears. Working with charities has been way of giving something back while gaining an international audience In to for his work. In addition to his projects for MDA, he has published a study of the vegan community in Iceland, has recently completed a paid commission in the South Elmsall museum hub for Wakefield Council and exhibited his work several galleries.

Illustrated with many of his trademark black and white photographs, this evening promises to give a fascinating insight into Jonathan’s artistic practice.

Jews by the Seaside - The Jewish Hotels and Guest Houses of Bournemouth

Social Historian Pam Fox will be talking about the rise and decline of Bournemouth’s Jewish hotels and guest houses within the context of Anglo-Jewish history, the growth of Bournemouth as a premier resort and the evolution of its Jewish community.
Starting with the appearance of the first small Jewish boarding houses in the late nineteenth century, which gradually became larger and more comfortable guest houses, her recently released book Jews by the Seaside charts the emergence of evermore luxurious hotels during the inter-war years
The book explores the decline and changing nature of Bournemouth’s Jewish holiday trade before examining different aspects of hotel and guest house life, the kosher food, religious activities, and entertainment.


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