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Milim, Leeds’ Jewish Literature Festival, Returns for 2020

By February 18, 2020 Leeds Community News
Norman Lebrecht at Milim

Marking an impressive five years since Milim, the Jewish literary festival, began, the 2020 programme will commence in March, kicking off a month of wide-ranging events across the city.

This year’s Milim festival will be sponsored by Manning Stainton and kicks off on 4th March with Helen Taylor at Leeds Playhouse, discussing her latest book, Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives, drawing on responses and interviews with women readers and writers, including Hilary Mantel, Helen Dunmore, Louise Doughty, Katie Fforde and Judy Finnigan. The following day, American author Richard Zimler will be in attendance at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton, talking about his latest thriller The Gospel According to Lazarus.

Other events include a free cross-community International Women’s Day (8th March) panel of speakers at MAZCC, chaired by Paula Grizzard, while over at the David Lloyd Club, Myra Kersner will discuss her prequels of the early days of Coronation Street under the nom de plume Maggie Sullivan.

The Jewish Historical Society will host a talk on the history of Jewish people in Belfast at UHC synagogue on 18th March, followed by a chat with William Miller, son of the recently passed Jonathan Miller, speaking about his adolescent years in Gloucester Crescent, where their neighbours included Alan Bennett, George Melly and many influential thinkers of the day on 17th at David Lloyd Club. An event to celebrate the centenary of Leeds United at the Grammar School at Leeds on 19th March is sure to be popular.

On 22nd March, commentator on music and cultural affairs Norman Lebrecht, who published Genius and Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World 1847-1947 last year will be a guest at BHH Synagogue, while on 24th, Milim stalwart and local playwright Vanessa Rosenthal will be performing her one-woman show, Nina Queen of Bohemia, inspired by her fascination with Roger Fry’s portrait of Nina that hangs in the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery. Closing the festival on 25th March will be historian and writer Paula Kitching, discussing her book Britain’s Jews in the First World War.

For more up-to-date information about all the events, including how to buy tickets, visit

Featured Image: Milim

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