Previous events and event reports

This page details of previous meetings and some reviews on these events:

Tuesday 25 April 2017: Ralli Hall 7.45 pm

Demystifying the kabbalah: Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz, the Maharal and Prague in the sixteenth century

Yoseph Citron (University College, London)

Grave of Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz in Tiberias
Grave of Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz in Tiberias

Yoseph spoke about his current work –preparing for a Ph.D. thesis on the Shelah (an abbreviation for Shenei Luḥot Ha’Brit – which in turn is Hebrew for the Two Tablets of the Covenant)

The Shelah is a major work written by Rabbi Horowitz (1558-1628) which was first published by his son in Amsterdam in 1648.  It was a highly important work in the popularisation of Kabbalistic ideas in the seventeenth century and contains an encyclopaedic compilation of ritual, ethics, and mysticism. It was originally intended as an ethical will – written as a compendium of the Jewish religion.

Yoseph originally studied the phenomenon of the false messiah Shabbatai Tzvi for his undergraduate dissertation.   As one of the most widely read works of the period, he is excited to work on an analysis of the Shelah to describe its potential influences on the Sabbatian movement and popular religion in the 17th Century.

Yosef graduated with a first class honours degree in history from Manchester University and has a masters in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from University College, London.


Tuesday 28th March 2017: Ralli Hall

Eleanor Rathbone – Rescuing the Refugees

Dr Susan Cohen, Honorary Fellow at Southampton University

Susan Cohen was awarded her PhD by the University of Southampton in 2005 for her thesis on Eleanor Rathbone and her refugee work, having graduated as a mature student from Middlesex University in 1992, followed by a M Phil in 1998. She has a wide variety of research interests, including Victorian and Edwardian social history, but her main area of research is related to the welfare and rescue of refugees from Nazi Europe undertaken by organisations in Britain from 1933 – 1946.

Besides her recently published monograph, Rescue the Perishing. Eleanor Rathbone and the Refugees, Susan has contributed to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, given many talks on the subject, written articles for scholarly and popular journals and appeared on BBC Woman’s Hour. She is currently looking at the role of women activists in Britain working on behalf of refugees.

Eleanor Rathbone portraitPortrait of Eleanor Rathbone. James Gunn, 1933. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery
Eleanor Rathbone portraitPortrait of Eleanor Rathbone. James Gunn, 1933. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

Event report to follow.