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POSTPONED: Melting Point: Family, Memory and the Search for a Promised Land

Thursday, 18 July, 2024 12 Tammuz 5784

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

This event has been postponed.
We will share the new date as soon as we have it.

Having established over Zoom that our grandparents/great grandparents were neighbours in Willesden a century ago, it will be a great pleasure to welcome Rachel in person to Kent House to talk about Melting Point. There will be much to discuss: the early Zionist congresses; how lives can converge and diverge; uncovering the past and unknown family history. I hope that you will join us in what will be a fascinating exploration of varied topics.
Edward Glover


Melting Point: Family, Memory and the Search for a Promised Land: A groundbreaking family history for fans of Edmund de Waal and Philippe Sands
On June 7th 1907, a ship packed with Russian Jews sets sail not to Jerusalem or New York, as many on board have dreamt, but to Texas. The man who persuades the passengers to go is David Jochelmann, Rachel Cockerell's great-grandfather. It marks the beginning of the Galveston Movement, a forgotten moment in history when 10,000 Jews fled to Texas in the lead-up to WWI.

The charismatic leader of the movement is Jochelmann's closest friend, Israel Zangwill, whose novels have made him famous across Europe and America. As Eastern Europe becomes infected by anti-Semitic violence, Zangwill embarks on a desperate search across the continents for a temporary homeland: from Australia to Canada, Angola to Antarctica. He reluctantly settles on Galveston, Texas. He fears the Jewish people will be absorbed into the great American melting pot, but there is no other hope.

In a highly inventive style, Cockerell uses exclusively source material to capture history as it unfolds, weaving together letters, diaries, memoirs, newspaper articles and interviews into a vivid account of those who were there. Melting Point follows Zangwill and the Jochelmann family through two world wars, to London, New York and Jerusalem - as their lives intertwine with some of the most memorable figures of the twentieth century, and each chooses whether to cling to their history or melt into their new surroundings. It is a story that asks what it means to belong, and what can be salvaged from the past.

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Sat, 20 July 2024 14 Tammuz 5784