The Irish, The Jews, and Irish Literature •

Exhibition, Readings, Panel Discussion • October 5th, 6.30pm – event at 7pm. The Los Gatos Lodge, Los Gatos, CA

Tickets $20/$12 Early Bird (book by September 10)
Eventbrite - The Irish and the Jews - Irish Writers Festival Los Gatos


Just announced: Steven J. Zipperstein is the Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University, and has taught at Oxford University and universities in Russia, Poland, France, and Israel. Zipperstein joins us to talk about how the work on his upcoming book Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History (due in 2018) included extensive research into Irishman Michael Davitt’s 1903 book Within the pale: The True Story of Anti-Semitic Persecutions in Russia . Davitt’s book was the first bestselling work in any western language on the fate of Russia’s Jews.


Representation of Jews in Irish Literature is a landmark project between Ulster University and the National University of Ireland, Galway. It examines the portrayal of Jewishness through an exhibition of publications which include a selection of key Irish-Jewish writing and Irish literature about Jews. Adopting a thematic and chronological approach, it investigates the depiction of Jews and Jewishness in Ireland from the Annals of Inisfallen in the medieval period, through centuries of poetry, prose and drama to the present day. Exhibition will be on view in lobby from 6pm.

Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh is a German scholar whose work in literature and history is interdisciplinary in a German-Jewish-Irish triangle. He has worked on the legacy of the Holocaust, the German involvement in Celtic Studies and, more recently, on Jews in Irish literature and history. Pól has published five monographs, including the first comprehensive study of Jews in GDR literature, a biography of the Austrian Celticist Julius Pokorny, and a study of relations between Germans and Jews since the Holocaust, as well as six edited collections and over forty articles and chapters.


Ruth Gilligan is an Irish writer, journalist and university lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Gilligan has also worked in acting for theatre, TV commercials and short film roles. Her fourth novel, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan, follows three cross-sections of Irish-Jewish life throughout the last century, starting with Lithuanian eight-year-old Ruth in 1901 and continuing until, almost, the present day. The book was published in Ireland in 2016, and will be published in the U.S. in 2017.



Simon Lewis’s debut poetry collection Jewtown was a 2015 Hennessy Poetry Prizewinner. The collection chronicles the experiences of Lithuanian Jews who in the late 1880s-90s settled in an area of Cork known as ‘Jewtown’. A small but thriving community, they set up shops and synagogues and quickly became established within the Cork Community. One of the most famous names was Gerald Goldberg, who became the Lord Mayor of Cork in 1973.
Simon lives and works in Carlow Town and is the principal of the local Educate Together primary school.


Valerie Lapin is a producer, director, and writer. Her award-winning documentary Shalom Ireland, about Ireland’s remarkable, yet little known Jewish community, has screened at more than a hundred festivals, universities and synagogues around the world. The film features Irish dignitaries including the Herzog family and the Briscoe father and son, who both served in Irish parliament and as Lord Mayors of Dublin.


Tonight’s panel discussion will be moderated by Mashey Bernstein.

Mashey Bernstein was raised in an orthodox Jewish family in Dublin. He earned a BA in English Language and Literature from Trinity College and a PhD on the work of Norman Mailer from the University of California, Santa Barbara( UCSB.) He recently retired from the Writing Program and Film and Media Studies Dept at UCSB. He has published extensively in academic and popular journals focusing on Jewish aspects of the media.