Agile Cymru grant for project exploring lived experiences of Jews in Wales and Ireland

Issues of antisemitism, nationalism, identity, belonging and language are the focus of a joint Welsh-Irish research project that will be funded by the LSW-managed Agile Cymru Grant Scheme.

The project, which was selected from a strong set of applications, receives £12,500 to run a series of workshops. These will bring together leading scholars in Irish- and Welsh-Jewish

History, with the longer aim of developing a research network.

The lead researchers are Professor Nathan Abrams, Professor in Film at Bangor University, and Dr Zuleika Rodgers, Associate Professor in Near and Middle Eastern Studies, at Trinity College Dublin.

Professor Abrams said:

“I am delighted to have won this prestigious grant and look forward to the exciting discussions with colleagues working on Irish- and Welsh-Jewish history. I’m not sure anything like this has been done before.”

The workshops and ongoing collaborations will challenge the Anglo-centric and London-centric focus of much of the study of Jews in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The bid was shaped with the aim of increasing mutual understanding and, as a result, contributing to the cohesive communities and vibrant cultures strands of Wales’ Well-Being of Future Generations Act.

Collaboration is at the heart of the project, with the involvement of Jewish Heritage organisations in both locations. Research opportunities for MA and PhD students and early career researchers will also follow on from the workshops.

Looking more broadly, the project will serve as a basis for other case studies of minority communities. It will demonstrate best practice by asking what lessons can be learned from this kind of research when applied to other contexts, not least methods of collecting information about minority heritage, language and culture.

The first workshops are expected to run in January 2024.