Sunday 5th December, 12.15pm – 1.15pm

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Join us for an hour of stories and music, bringing aspects of Scottish Jewish history to life. We will take you of a tour of the ‘Jewish quarter’ of Edinburgh and of the Gorbals in Glasgow, where we will listen to the sounds of the streets, the tenements and synagogue music of the early twentieth century. Original poetry by Ellen Galford locates the Golem’s haunting resonances in the Scottish landscape.

Hannah Holtschneider teaches Jewish studies at the University of Edinburgh. She completed her PhD at the University of Birmingham, UK, and held post-doctoral fellowships at the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (Cambridge, UK) and the University of Cambridge (UK). She is the author of three monographs: German Protestants Remember the Holocaust (Lit. Verlag, 2001), The Holocaust and Representations of Jews: History and identity in the museum (Routledge, 2011), and Jewish Orthodoxy in Scotland: Rabbi Salis Daiches and Religious Leadership (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2019), and a range of articles on related topics.

Phil Alexander is a British Academy ECR Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. His monograph Sounding Jewish in Berlin (OUP 2021) looks at klezmer music and urban space in today’s German capital. He has also published articles on Scottish salsa, Holocaust memorial silence, and accordions. In his other life Phil is a busy musician, playing and recording regularly with many of the UK’s finest folk and jazz performers.

Although born in New Jersey, Ellen Galford has spent most of her life in Scotland. She has published four novels: Moll Cutpurse: Her True History (Firebrand Books, 1985), The Fires of Bride (Firebrand Books, 1988), Queendom Come (Virago Books, 1990), and The Dyke and the Dybbuk (Seal Press, 1994)—the last of which was the recipient of a Lambda Award for Gay and Lesbian Literature from the American Publishers Association. Galford has also contributed to anthologies on Jewish and LGBTQ themes. She is currently learning Yiddish, and some of her early experiments with Yiddish poetry have appeared in the US-based journal Afn Shvel. She has also collaborated with composer Phil Alexander to create Among Others: 200 Years of Jewish Lives in Edinburgh, a performance piece marking the bicentenary of Scotland’s oldest Jewish community.

Elisa Koch studied Theology at the Universities of Heidelberg and Munich and Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Currently, she is a PhD student in Ethics and Practical Theology at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focusses on Jewish-Christian comparative theology and the concept of vulnerability in contemporary Jewish and Christian thought. Although Elisa ended up as a theologian, the violin was the first big love of her life. Since 2018, she is a regular participant at the world-leading festival on Ashkenazic Jewish music and culture ‘Yiddish Summer Weimar’. The pandemic has given her the opportunity to enhance her knowledge of Klezmer and Yiddish music through intense online learning.

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