The Jewish Journey Launch at The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Ashmolean Museum, 16th November 2017


"The Jewish Journey takes 22 of the great riches of the Ashmolean Museum and with the guidance of Rebecca Abrams, the model of learned story-teller, provides a route through time and its objects to moments of illumination."  Simon Schama

The launch of this book, the culmination of almost 8 years work by the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee, written by Rebecca Abrams, and published by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford took place at the Museum on the evening of 16th November 2017.   A reception in the lower ground floor of the museum was attended by over 160 invited guests, comprising representatives of: the Oxford Jewish Congregation, the UK Jewish Community, Oxford University, Oxford City Council, local and national journalists with particular interest in religious and literary journalism.     The attendees were able to hear from the Director of the Ashmolean Museum, Xa Sturgis, The Convenor of the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee, Evie Kemp, and Rebecca Abrams the author, and were entertained by musical representations of the three main eras of the Jewish Journey as described in the book; The Temple Era, The Diaspora and the Emancipation,  including the first permrmance of a new composition by Jeremy Arden performed by the Appel String Quartet, followed by Matthew Faulk on the Lute.    The author was available for Book Signing.

Images taken at the event:

Rollover with Mouse to see Legend

  evie                      rebecca                    the three

 Appel_String_Quartet          lutist       Attendees_at_the_Launch

view across         view down


Jewish Chronicle's Secret Shul-Goer


      At the end of October 2017 the Jewish Chronicle's

      Secret Schul Goer visited Oxford and our OJC

      became No:10 in the series



       You can read their glowing report by clicking here



November 2017      SecretSchulGoer

Oxford Martyr's Memorial - two Years on


Its only taken two years for the Oxford City Council to wake up!   Luckily we had Pam to sound the bell.   Her pushing the Council might pay off when the station is rebuilt!

Read the story which appeared in the Oxford Mail  here

The Jewish Journey.

The Jewish Journey: 4000 years in 22 Objects from the Ashmolean Museum

  THE_JEWISH_JOURNEY_cover  Published on 10th October 2017 by the Ashmolean
                   Museum, price £15
               (ISBN 9781910807033)

       The Jewish Journey tells the 4000 year history of the Jewish people through 22 little-known treasures from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.   Spanning 14 countries from Ancient Mesopotamia to the modern day, the collection offers a rare insight into the material culture of Jewish life through the ages. JewJourFly2An exciting collaboration between the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee (OJHC) and The Ashmolean Museum, this is the first time a major British national collection has identified and highlighted its Jewish holdings, with 22 objects chosen with special significance for Jewish people.

Weaving together the stories of these fabulous objects, most of which have never been written about before, is award-winning Oxford author and OJHC member, Rebecca Abrams, described by Simon Schama as “‘the model of learned story-teller”. Her groundbreaking book brings Jewish history out of the ghetto of Jewish museums and into the mainstream of one of the greatest and oldest public galleries in the world.

Rebecca will be talking about The Jewish Journey at the OJC, Richmond Road, Oxford on Sunday 19th November 2017, as part of the OJC’s 175th anniversary celebrations.   

Books can be pre-ordered on Amazon and copies will be available from Oct 10th from the OJC, the Ashmolean Museum, and from all good booksellers.
Hidden Oxford

Hidden Oxford on BBC1’s South Today - Evening News

Thursday 3rd November 2016



Jeremy Stern investigated some of the hidden underground secrets of central Oxford.   This Link will take you to a YouTube version of this segment and includes a conversation between Jeremy and OJHeritage's own medievalist, Pam Manix

Memorial Resited

Rose Garden Memorial Resited after 4 years


1st November 2016



The memorial to the medieval Jews of Oxford which was installed in the Rose Garden of the Daubeny Building, July 2012, in front of the entrance to the Botanic Gardens, was resited after only four years. This became necessary when it was realised that a horizontal stone, meant to represent the tombstones of the unamed medieval Jews, was suffering as a result of both the Oxford Climate and the footfall of numerous vistors.    It's transfer to a semi-vertical position, only a few feet to one side, took many months of planning since the Rose Garden falls withing an subject to planning and listed buildings consent.   With the help of the Planning Dept of the City of Oxford and the Bursar and Council of Magdalen College it was reinstalled this week, and we hope will now remain legible to those who wish to stop and read its moving inscription.    Funding for the resiting was made possible by a generous donation to the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee.







 MW Nov 2016

New Catalogue of Hebraica March 2016

On 7th March 2016 A Descriptive Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts of Corpus Christi College, Oxford  edited by Prof Peter E Pormann, Professor of Classics and Graeco-Arabic Studies and Director of the John Rylands Research Institute at the University of Manchester. was launched at an event in Corpus Christi College.   Prof Pormann, than gave a lecture about the Hebrew manuscripts held at the College.

More about the Collection of Hebraica at Corpus Christi College can be found on this site here
Shelter from the Storm

Oxford gave sanctuary to many who fled Nazi persecution, and the refugees in turn made a colossal contribution to the University’s intellectual life, as a forthcoming book reveals.   Victoria Bentata, one of the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee members, and a well known local author has had this article published in Oxford Today, a Oxford University publication.      The exhibition, Persecution and Survival open from  Jan - March 2012, was reported on this website, and the OJHCommittee was involved in the official opening.

Our thanks to the Author and Editor of Oxford Today for permission to refer to it here

You can read Victoria's article by clicking HERE
Persecution of Elizabethan Oxford Jews
This article appeared in the Oxford Times of 7th May 2015

It appears by kind permission of the Editor, Mr Tim Hughes, and the Auther, Dr William Poole

Calls for Jewish Martyr's Memorial
This article appeared in the Oxford Times of 31st April 2015

It recounts an approach by a member of the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committe, DR Pam Manix, Medieval Archeological Architect to erect a memorial to the Oxford Martyrs

It appears by kind permission of the Editor, Mr Tim Hughes

Wall Street Journal and Medieval Oxford

An Article appeared in the Wall Street Journal Sept 23rd 2014 by the President of Corpus Christie College, Richard Carwardine about the Medieval Siddur held in the archives of Corpus Christie - click HERE to link to it.

Stonesetting Delayed 62 Years!

The Stonesetting for Franz Baerman Steiner took place at 11am on Sunday October 19th 2014 in the Jewish Section at Wolvercote Cemetery.   Dr Steiner was alone at his death all his family having perished in the Holocaust.   The stone has been funded by an appeal to an International Groups of Scholars.  The community is grateful to them.

The organiser of this mitzvah, Prof Jeremy Adler, Emeritus Professor of German, Kings College London. read a eulogy at the graveside after the stonesetting which is available to read on the OJC website.   They two dozen or so attendees, mostly distinguished scholars from British Universities, but also some from the University of Siegen in Germany, then attended a scholarly gathering in the Haldane Room at Wolfson College where they discussed Steiner's life and work.   The president of the OJC and three other members of the community were in attendance also.   The President expressed his thanks to the group for carrying out this important duty of rememberance. 

An article about this famous polymath and academic's tragic and productive life can be found on the Notable Jews Page

Jewish Heritage Europe
A new organisation has just appeared and is commended to those interested in our field:


Jewish Heritage Europe aims to facilitate communication and information exchange regarding projects, initiatives and other developments concerning Jewish heritage and Jewish heritage sites: restoration, funding, ongoing projects, best-practices, advisory services and more. They hope to foster contacts among Jewish communities, private individuals or bodies, foundations, state and civic organizations, monuments protection authorities and other stakeholders and interested parties.

As a project of the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe, their goal is for JHE to be a clearing house for a variety of such information and a go-to online resource for people involved or interested in Jewish heritage to find addresses, contacts and news.

The Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee hopes to work with JHE to our mutual benefit.

To see their website click to   A monthly eNewsletter is published and can be applied for.

Oxford Jewish Heritage Facebook page is up live and running. If you are on Facebook then 'like' the page and you should be notified whenever there is a new entry on our website. 

We are constantly updating the site and adding interesting historical information and links about Jewish Oxford.           f_logo

Museum of Oxford News Jan 2014

Museum of Oxford News

This item appeared on the Museum of Oxford's Website and can be seen in situ by clicking below

The Museum Team

Thursday 17 October 2013

Uncovering Oxford's Jewish Heritage

The Museum of Oxford was proud and indeed delighted to host Oxford Jewish Heritage's Sunday School at the Museum and Town Hall on Sunday 13 October 2013. Over 100 people attended this event to celebrate the unveiling of new educational panels in the Explore Oxford galleries and the Medieval Cellar as well as a new journey on our interactive tour of Oxford. This was a celebration of Jewish heritage, particularly medieval, which is so well preserved and recorded in Oxford. 

The Town Hall and Museum was a real hive of activity. Children of varying ages were entertained with craft activities, creative writing, and story telling in the Cellar whilst parents and adults were engaged with enjoying the new exhibits and an informative talk by Pam Manix, member of OJH committee, about Oxford's Jewish heritage. The Lord Mayor, Dee Sinclair, was here to cut the ribbon as was Jon Rowland, president of OJH.

The Museum of Oxford's Explore Oxford galleries play host to a range of objects, alongside these new exhibits, that highlight the city's ties with Jewish heritage. Such as a Medieval carved cross base that the members of the Jewish community were forced to carry through the streets for interrupting a Christian procession. The Museum also holds a medieval lamp found when the Town Hall was being built! Lots to see and the Museum is really proud to work closely with this worthwhile and important heritage group.


Sir Michael Moritz

Michael Moritz and Oxford

Moritz     Philanthropists Sir Michael Moritz and his wife, the writer Harriet Heyman, gave Christ Church its largest ever donation (£25m) in 2008 and in 2012 they gave a £75m donation to the University of Oxford for the support of the University’s poorest students.  It is hoped that a match-funding scheme will eventually increase the value of the £75m gift, the largest donation for Undergraduate support in European History, to £300m.  Those undergraduates with parental incomes of less than £16,000 p.a. (approx. 1,000 students each year) will receive ‘Moritz-Heyman Scholarships’ ensuring reduced tuition fees, help with living expenses and automatic internships. They will be expected to give 25 hours of community volunteering or outreach work every year.
Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum - SOFO

This new museum is being built within the ground of the existing Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, which is currently housing its ongoing exhibitions. It has approached the Oxford Jewish Heritage (OJH) Committee to work with it on several projects. The recent exhibition entitled "Children at War" included information about child victims of war at Bergen Belsen, and children who came to Oxfordshire in the Kindertransport. This exhibit closed at the end of June 2013.

The Museum has collaborated with Oxford Jewish Congregation through OJH over the planned Bergen-Belsen exhibition opening in mid 2014. The Camp was 'liberated' by the Oxfordshire Yeomanry in April 1945 who found piteous conditions. The Museum will include direct knowledge of the liberation of the camp from members of the OJC who have responded to requests to contact them via the OJH.   More information on this upcoming exhibition wioll appear on this site when available.
New Blue Plaque in Oxford
We were delighted to learn that the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) is undertaking an initiative to erect plaques to well known figures from amongst Jewish refugees who achieved particular success and that their first one would be for Sir Hans Krebs here in Oxford on the side of the newly rebuilt Department of Biochemistry.  On 20th May a group of about 50 guests from various departments of science in Oxford and members of the Oxford Jewish Congregation and the Oxford Heritage Committee gathered to hear Professor Raymond Dwek and Frank Harding, a Director of the AJR welcome Lord John Krebs, son of Sir Hans, to speak and unveil the plaque to honour his father.

Krebs_AJR                                 KrebsAJR1

The work of Sir Hans and his discovery of the Krebs cycle has had a lasting impact on the world  and the Department of Biochemstry was particularly delighted with this plaque as their new building programme will mean removal of the existing Krebs Tower and in this way the memory of a remarkable scientists can be perpetuated.

Kathy Shock 2013

Respect is Due to a College Jew - JC

The article below was featured in the Jewish Chronicle of 15th March 2012:

Respect is due to a college Jew, by Peter Rosengard


Click the article name to view.

The following response appeared in the 23rd March edition:


Bodleian Manuscript

800 year old Hebrew manuscript published online by Bodleian Library

Bod_Manusc  One of the pages is signed by the author and scholar Maimonides

An ancient Hebrew manuscript which has been stored in an Oxford library for more than 300 years has been made available online.

For me information see the report on the BBC News Website  or read the Bodleian's own report on the Oxford University site

To see the manuscript go to
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