Jewish Historical Society – Programme

Jewish Historical Society of England – Sussex Branch

Outline Programme of Meetings 2015 – 2016


Note: all lectures take place on a Tuesday


27 October 2015.              “Pogroms in late Tsarist Russia”. Beryl Williams, Emeritus Reader in Russian Studies, University of Sussex. Beryl Williams is an expert on Russia and the author of many articles on Russia under both the Tsars and the Soviets including books on “The Russian Revolution 1917-21” and “Lenin. Profiles in Power Series”.  The lecture will look at new ‘revisionist’ work on pogroms in late Tsarist Russia.

24 November 2015.      “Wiener Library- family research” Dr Christine Schmidt, International Tracing Service Archive Researcher at the Wiener Library, London. The unique International Tracing Service Archive held at The Wiener Library contains over 100 million pages of Holocaust-era documents relating to the fates of over 17.5 million people who were subject to incarceration, forced labour and displacement during and after World War II.

26 January 2016.           “The History of the Bar Mitzvah” Rabbi Michael Hilton, Kol Chai Synagogue. Rabbi Hilton has recently published a book on the History of the Barmitzvah. This ceremony of bar mitzvah was first recorded in thirteenth-century France.  Rabbi Michael Hilton has sought out every reference to bar mitzvah in the Bible, the Talmud and numerous other Jewish texts spanning several centuries, extracting a fascinating miscellany of information, stories and commentary.

23 February 2016.         “The Jews of the Persian Gulf”. Daniel Lowe, Curator of Islamic Collections, the British Library.  Daniel Lowe is an Arabic language and Gulf history specialist working at the British Library  which has one of the world’s largest and evolving collections of relevant material in the form of books and journals, newspapers, manuscripts, archives, and paintings, sound recordings and moving images, electronic resources, theses, and maps.

29 March 2016.             “Jewish Suffragettes – to the booth, to the gallery” Rachel Kolsky – a prize-winning London Blue Badge Tourist Guide.  The Jewish League for Women’s Suffrage was the first organisation to link Judaism with suffrage and with support from key members of the male Anglo-Jewish elite they succeeded in breaking down barriers to political and religious emancipation.

Rachel won the Membership Achievement Award from the Special Libraries Association and is a prize winning London Blue Badge Tourist Guide.

There is no charge for members and students, but we must charge only £4 to any most welcome visitors.


10 May 2016    A special lecture to commemorate 250 years of Jewish settlement in Brighton

Dr Sharman Kadish, Director of Jewish Heritage UK, will speak on “Middle Street Synagogue and the Architectural Heritage of Brighton and Hove”. This is a special lecture to commemorate 250 years of Jewish Life in Brighton and Hove.

Dr Kadish is the Director of Jewish Heritage UK and a research fellow and lecturer at the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester.   She is the foremost and acknowledged expert on the architecture and origin of synagogues in the UK and her most recent book “The Synagogues of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” traces the architecture of the synagogue in Britain and Ireland from its discreet Georgian and Regency-era beginnings.  Her other numerous publications include the companion guidebooks “Jewish Heritage in England” and “Jewish Heritage in Gibraltar”.

There is no charge for members of the Jewish Historical Society, but for most welcome visitors there will be a charge of £6 for this lecture.

All meetings are held at Ralli Hall, Denmark Villas, Hove, commencing at 7.45 pm. Lectures are followed by questions, discussion and light refreshments. There is no charge for members and students, but we must charge only £4 to any most welcome visitors.

More information can be obtained from Arthur Oppenheimer  01273 770094 and Godfrey Gould 01273 419412.