Livestream - Being Jewish in Modern Britain

Kings Place, London

Long called ‘the luckiest community in Europe’, Jews have existed here peacefully since 1656, when Oliver Cromwell allowed a small number to be re-admitted following their expulsion by Edward I in 1290. Over time, the Jewish community has become a fully integrated part of society.

But amid unprecedented intimidation and fear, is there a future for Jews in Britain? To open Book Week 24,Times columnist Hugo Rifkind is joined by Woman’s Hour host Emma Barnett, Booker-winner Howard Jacobson and Sally Berkovic, author and CEO of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe to discuss their own experiences and those of the wider community.

This event will be livestreamed into the St Pancras Room at Kings Place.

Buy a copy of What Will Survive Of Us by Howard Jacobson

Sponsored by Dangoor Education

Speaker biography

Sally Berkovic

An epistolary romance brought Sally to London after growing up in Melbourne and living in Jerusalem and New York. Her first book, Under My Hat, is social commentary-cum-memoir focussed on the challenges to Orthodoxy by the increased engagement of women in Talmud study, ritual life and religious leadership.. Her more recent book, Death Duties, is a personal account of her involvement on the Chevra Kadisha, the Jewish burial society, set against her own experiences of loss and mourning. Since 2009, she has been the CEO of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, a grant-making body supporting Jewish communities and cultural heritage institutions across Europe. 

Speaker biography

Emma Barnett

Emma Barnett is an award-winning broadcaster, journalist and author. She presents Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4, the longest running women’s programme in the world and the BBC’s most downloaded show podcast, and hosts an international interview TV series for Bloomberg, Emma Barnett Meets. Emma is the author of It’s About Bloody Times. Period, wryly presenting the history, cultural norms and women’s stories about menstruation with humour and sorrow.

Emma is a proud patron of Smartworks, the charity helping economically disadvantaged women back into the workplace through styling and interview training. She formerly presented BBC Two’s Newsnight and her eponymous three-hour daily morning news programme on BBC Radio 5 Live. Originally from Manchester - she has lived in London for nearly 20 years, now with her husband and two small children. Emma is regularly on a mission to find the best salt beef sandwich and latkes, washed down with a strong cup of tea.

Speaker biography

Howard Jacobson

Howard Jacobson has written seventeen novels and six works of non-fiction. He won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Award in 2000 for The Mighty Walzer and then again in 2013 for Zoo Time. In 2010 he won the Man Booker Prize for The Finkler Question; he was also shortlisted for the prize in 2014 for J. His latest book, What Will Survive of Us, will be published in February 2024.

Chair biography

Hugo Rifkind

Hugo Rifkind is an award-winning Edinburgh-born journalist who writes columns for The Times, The Spectator and GQ. He writes the satirical Times column My Week on Saturdays and is a frequent panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz.

Book Week supporters

Dangoor Education
Eduard Shyfrin and Family
Genesis Foundation
Klein Family Foundation
The National Library of Israel
Pears Foundation
The Edith & Ferdinand Porjes Charitable Fund