Jewish Lives Project

The lives of remarkable British Jews

Jewish Lives is a new project telling the stories of remarkable Jewish men and women who helped to shape British society.

With support from the Kirsh Charitable Foundation, this project takes the form of a six-part book series and interactive digital platform. Each book will focus on the contributions of individual Jews to a different sector.

The first of three volumes – Arts, Public Service and Commerce – are now available with a further three – Thought, Science and Sport – to be released in the near future.

The dedicated digital platform for the project is

You can purchase these books from our museum shop and online.

Jewish Lives: Arts

Jewish Lives - arts bannerAuthored essays by Marina Fiorato, Nathan Abrams, Naomi Games, Julia Weiner and Jo Kerr.

The contribution of over 250 Jewish figures to arts and entertainment with biographies of artists, photographers, actors, directors, broadcasters, comedians, musicians, writers, songwriters and performers including:

  • Gerry Anderson – pioneering puppeteer of Thundercats, Captain Scarlet and more
  • Ruth Prawer Jhabvala – the only person ever to have won both the BooKer Prize and an Oscar for writing
  • Lucian Freud – painter
  • Peter Sellers – actor and comic genius
  • Amy Winehouse – singer and songwriter

Jewish Lives: Public Service

Jewish Lives - public service banneAuthored essays by Daniel Finkelstein, Professor William D Rubinstein, Clare Mulley and Roz Currie.

The contribution of Jewish people to British public life be it as a philanthropist, soldier, lawyer, politicians, suffragist or SOE agents who risked their lives during the Second World War:

  • Rose Heilbron – Britain’s first female judge
  • Sir Hersch Lauterpacht – a lawyer who developed the concept of crimes against humanity
  • Krystyna Skarbeck – SOE agent honoured with OBE, George Medal and Croix de Guerre
  • Lenora Cohen – suffragette and bodyguard to Emmeline Pankhurst
  • Lionel de Rothschild – first practising Jew to as an MP

Jewish Lives Commerce

Jewish Lives - commerce bannerAuthored essays by Professor William Rubinstein, Nathan Abrams, Elizabeth Selby, Emmanuelle Dirix and Derek Taylor.

A compilation of extraordinary British Jews to the commercial sector including biographies of bankers, business men and women, financiers, hoteliers, publishers, industrialists and manufacturers:

  • Brian Epstein – legendary manager of the Beatles
  • Rachel Beer – first female to edit a Fleet Street newspaper
  • Jack Cohen – founder of Tesco
  • Nathan Mayer Rothschild – founder of the famous banking dynasty
  • Joseph Lyons – pioneer of mass catering and creator of ‘Lyons Coner Shops’

Jewish Lives Press Pack