Announcing Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews

A word from Julia Pascal, Artistic Director of Pascal Theatre Company:

I am delighted to announce that Pascal Theatre Company has been successful in securing funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for our new project:

DISCOVERING AND DOCUMENTING ENGLAND’S LOST JEWS

I am a playwright and theatre director who is fascinated by how we view national and international narratives about ourselves and our family histories.

Sephardi Jews left Spain and Portugal to find refuge in the Ottoman Empire. They lived in the countries we now know as Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Greece as well as the former Yugoslavia, North Africa, Yemen and in India. Most of them absorbed the local culture and lived with a double heritage.

Sephardi Jewish couple from Sarajevo in traditional clothing. Photo taken in 1900.

Part of the excitement of our journey is learning about how these different waves of displacement influenced English life over the centuries and also today. This includes the experience of Jews who came from Arab countries where many lived peacefully alongside Muslims. As well as examining the Cromwellian and post Republican English history, the project will look at new immigrants – Jews arriving with elements of Arabic cultures in their histories.

I invite you to come with us.

There are many ways in which you can get involved:

On the 20th, 27th January and 3rd February we are running free morning drama workshops at Bevis Marks synagogue exploring three different aspects of Sephardi history and culture. The workshops include a tour of the synagogue. You can find out more information and book your tickets on our workshop page. Tickets are limited so book quickly.

We will also be looking for volunteers to help us document Sephardi oral histories and to participate in One Lost Stone, a site-responsive public performance at the Novo Cemetery, London. This performance will be the premiere of a new work written by me and others involved in the initiative as a response to the stories and histories we’ve uncovered. Sign up to our mailing list to ensure you’re first with the news on how to get involved.

During our September installation, we are inviting four speakers to explore their varied experience of this little known history.

Make sure you sign up to our mailing list, follow us on social media and through #LostJews, or contact us on info@lostjews.org.uk.

I look forward to sharing what we uncover.

Julia