This year’s Jewish Book Week will be the most accessible yet, with its first fully online festival featuring Oscar-winners, internationally acclaimed writers and France’s most-famous female Rabbi.
Now in its 69th year, Jewish Book Week will be streamed live from London and the homes of speakers across the UK as well as France, Germany, Israel and the US.
The 27th February to 7th March festival is currently being preceded by the online-only Gamechangers series on Mondays throughout February, with speakers including Oliver Stone, Helena Kennedy and Shlomo Avineri, and a special family event with former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, his first live appearance since his long battle with COVID last year.
Over 50 Q&As, talks and debates will be available for audiences around the world to watch online, both live at time of broadcast and then until the end of March. In addition to the regular evening and weekend programme – which last year saw a record 15,000 tickets sold – this year’s festival features events throughout the day.
David Baddiel returns to the festival for the first time in a decade with his part-polemic, part-personal Jews Don’t Count, while Elif Shafak discusses her How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division. Following his BBC 1 series My Family, The Holocaust and Me, Rob Rinder joins Survivors author Rebecca Clifford while David Pryce-Jones shares a lifetime of literary encounters with Frederic Raphael. Authors appearing live from across the globe include France’s third-ever female rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, Nazi hunter Effraim Zuroff, award-winning American photographer Max Hishhfeld and former head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, Ami Ayalon.
Also featured in the line-up are Closer playwright Patrick Marber, Observer restaurant critic Jay Rayner, Tom Stoppard biographer Hermione Lee, Times columnist Oliver Kamm, poets Aviva Dautch and Jacqueline Saphra, film writer David Thomson, novelists Howard Jacobson and Lionel Shriver and Pulitzer-winning journalist Jonathan Kaufman.
Subjects covered across the week range from birds, The Godfather, oceans, poker and quantum physics, as well as iconic individuals including Gustav Mahler, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Lucian Freud, George Steiner and Karl Marx.
Festival director Claudia Rubenstein said: “After 69 years Jewish Book Week continues to both innovate and do what it does best: once again bringing our audience a wide range of the best speakers, thinkers and writers, but this time direct to wherever they are in the world, whenever they want to watch.”
Tickets are now on sale. To view the programme of over 50 events, visit Jewishbookweek.com.