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Jewish Book Week takes place from March 3rd-11th | © Jewish Book Week
Jewish Book Week takes place from March 3rd-11th | © Jewish Book Week

Everything You Need To Know About Jewish Book Week

Picture of Matthew Janney
UK Books Editor
Updated: 2 March 2018

Starting March 3, London will host Jewish Book Week, an annual literary festival featuring writers and speakers from across the globe.

The programme will kick off on Saturday March 3, with ‘a live drama on the relationship between Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan,’ followed by an opening night Big Debate, addressing themes including the future of technology, geopolitics and liberal democracy.

The nine-day festival will host over 75 events, including talks, discussions and debates as well as live music and drama. Supported by the Jewish Book Council, the events will be held at Kings Place and London’s Jewish community centre, JW3.

Since its inauguration in 1952, Jewish Book Week has taken place every year in London, making it one of the capital’s longest-standing festivals. As well as drawing in members from the adult community, an important part of the festival has always been its schools’ programme.


Afua Hirsch 1 - c Urszula Soltys

Afua Hirsch will speak at JBW | © Urszula Soltys / Jewish Book Week

According to Jewish Book Week’s official website: “Most of the Jewish primary schools in London set aside half a day to bring their senior pupils for a special programme that ranged from a demonstration by a scribe, to films, mask-making, storytelling and music, and the children had the opportunity to buy books from the wide array on display.”

This year’s diverse programme features a variety of writers, tackling some of the most pertinent issues of today. These include “Anne Applebaum, Arkady Ostrovsky and Shaun Walker on Russia’s ghosts; Jonathan Freedland, Howard Jacobson and Simon Schama take on Trump; eminent psychiatrist Philip Graham, and leading psychoanalyst Rosine Perelberg, discuss men and sex; Douglas Murray, with Rod Liddle, argue against permeable European borders.”


John Simpson will discuss The Future of War at JBW | © Jonathan Ring / Jewish Book Week

Also featured is leading author and former barrister Afua Hirsch. Hirsch, who is of Ghanaian, British and Jewish descent, will speak about her new book Brit(ish) on Wednesday March 7 in conversation with Helena Kennedy. Elsewhere, John Simpson, the BBC’s World Affairs Editor, speaks with Lawrence Freedman, Professor Emeritus of War Studies at King’s College London, on the future of war. The event will take place on Thursday March 8 at King’s Place.

Other featured names include Francesca Segal, Elif Shafak and Rohan Silva.

For a full list of the festival programme and for more information on Jewish Book Week, including details on how to buy tickets and venue locations, click here to visit the festival’s official website.