Social & Cultural Jewish Events

Spiro Ark hosts regular events showcasing the best of Jewish & Israeli artists and performers. The showings are open to everyone so no matter your cultural or religious background ! Please check our website regularly, to see what we have on offer. You can book tickets to our events below, by telephone or by emailing us at

You can read about past events by reading our Jewish Event reviews.


Michael Harris will discuss his "Faith without Fear" book which examines key unresolved philosophical, theological and ideological issues in the Modern Orthodox Jewish world. In addition to topics such as the status and role of women in Judaism and the challenge to traditional faith posed by modern biblical scholarship, Harris also explores issues which have received little scholarly attention such as Modern Orthodoxy s relationship with Jewish mysticism, its hopes for the messianic era, and the fundamental nature and commitments of Modern Orthodoxy. Each chapter offers a clearly-argued position.

Complex issues in Jewish law (Halacha) and thought are summarized so as to be accessible to the general and specialist reader alike, as well as students of Judaism and comparative religion. The comprehensive notes and references allow scholars to delve more deeply into the sources and secondary literature, and open up new areas for debate. Faith without Fear does not provide easy or neat responses. A thought-provoking book, it offers some controversial approaches to key issues in contemporary Jewish society, seeking to open debate and develop further discussion.

Paperback copies of the book will be available at the event at the discounted price of £24.

To Sing Away the Darkest Days - Poetry inspired by Yiddish Folksongs

Spiro Ark and Holland Park Press are delighted to invite you to a remarkable evening of poetry and Yiddish folksongs hosted by Central Synagogue.

Norbert will introduce the folksongs that especially inspired him and recite a few of his poems in his own inimitable style.

Steven Leas, Arjang and Stefan Byron will provide an atmospheric musical setting by playing and singing some of the folksongs which inspired Norbert Hirschhorn.


Shimon Cohen will discuss politics around Shechita. From the first recorded legal ban in 19th century Switzerland to the modern day. He will address how the anti Shechita lobby has nothing whatsoever to do with animal welfare and never has. Shimon will elaborate on how the UK legislated to protect Shechita and why and how the EU afforded some protection and now the post BREXIT concerns.

Along the way Shimon Cohen will explain how the Jewish method of slaughtering animals for food differs from conventional methods and will address labeling moves as well as various legal restrictions.


This is Philip Sassoon, the Babylonian Jew, the grandson of David Sassoon, head of the famous dynasty that fled Baghdad to the Far East and made a huge fortune. Handsome and dandy, a patron of the arts, he had a passion for flying and golf. Like his famous cousin, the poet Siegfried Sassoon, he never married.

Sassoon was an MP, like his father Edward before him, for Folkstone and Hythe. Damian Collins, the current MP, was so intrigued by Sassoon and his Kent mansion that he decided to write a book. Collins himself will give us a unique talk about his predecessor and will sign his new book titled Charmed Life - the Phenomenal World of Philip Sassoon.

Introduction: Dr. Saul Zadka


During WWII some 3,600 Jewish women from Palestine volunteered to serve in the British armed forces in the Middle East. For the first time ever Jewish women joined the army, wore uniform, left home to defend their homeland and to support the Jewish people around the world. The Council of Women's Organizations, headed by Hadassah Samuel, spearheaded the recruitment. This recruitment was in defiance of all conventional male thought. Not least because these women were joining the British Army - a foreign and colonial army - and this created a unique situation that cast gender and nationalist issues in a new light, these subjects are tackled here for the first time. Using archival research and 60 'last voice' interviews, Hacohen tells the story of these women: their reasons for enlistment; their social background and status; the arguments over recruiting them at all. Their military roles are analysed from a gender perspective. She also discusses the locations where they were stationed and the nature of their service there; their relations with their British colleagues; their involvement with illegal activity as members of underground organizations and the Jewish and national identity which they developed during their service. Although this female initiative was conceived in the spirit of equality, and the women who served developed positive views on the roles of women in society during their service, after the war there was disappointment as to the lack of change to how women were treated in Palestinian, and later, Israeli society.

A pathbreaking book of interest to scholars and general readers alike.

Anat Granit-Hacohen has a PhD from Bar Ilan University. She is an Israeli born to Holocaust survivors, and she served as an officer for Culture and Education in the Israeli Air Force, and as an emissary to the Jewish community in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has published several articles in academic journals and lectured at numerous academic forums.



  • Central Synagogue - 36, Hallam St, London W1W 6NW - easily reached by public transport - Centre, Victoria and Bakerloo Lines
  • HGSS - Norrice Lea, London N2 0RE - East Finchley Underground Station- Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines, buses 102, H2
  • Liberal Jewish Synagogue - 28 St. John's Wood Road, London, NW8 7HA - St John's Wood Underground Jubilee Line, buses: 13, 82, 46, 113, 139, 187, 189, 274
  • Tikun - 1117 Finchley Rd, Temple Fortune, NW11 0QB - Golders Green Underground, Northern Line, busses: 82, 102, 460
  • The Spiro Ark at Hampstead Shtiebel - 10a Canfield Gardens, London NW6 3JS - one minute behind Finchley Road Underground Station Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines and Waitrose, busses 13, 82, 113, 187, 268
  • The Spiro Residence - Kidderpore Avenue - NW3 - Finchley Road Underground Station, busses 13 82, 113


T: 020 7794 4655
F: 020 7794 4650

The Spiro Ark, Flat 106, 15 Kidderpore Ave.
London NW3 7SJ T: 020 7794 4655 E:

Registered Charity No 107 0926. A company limited by guarantee.
Registered No 361 3280. Registered office 788-790 Finchley Road London NW11 7TJ