“For anyone who is interested in the period of Jewish History starting with the Enlightenment and running up to the present day, I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Prof Shirli Gilbert is an inspirational teacher , and unlike many lecture courses, actively encourages pro-active participation. Reading material is provided for study before each session, and much enjoyment and knowledge is gained not only from Shirli’s teaching but also from debate between the participants under Shirli’s expert guidance.”


“Shirli’s history seminars are just the best. Incredibly conscientious in her preparation, Shirli has the ability to bring history to life so that it becomes amazingly relevant to our world today. Fight to secure a place!”
Susie and Simon


“These are history study groups with a difference!  Professor Shirli Gilbert builds extremely professionally researched curriculums which she delivers brilliantly. The subjects are covered in-depth; both lectures and the discussions that follow provide a most stimulating experience.”


“Jewish History made relevant, accessible and topical. Well led by Prof Shirli Gilbert, and well organised with pre-reading and quality discussion.”


“I have really enjoyed participating in the Modern Jewish History class at the SMGLC. The courses have been stimulating and challenging with a wide range of topics broadening my historical knowledge. I have appreciated the opportunity to discuss ideas and debate the evidence we have studied, and the depth and breadth of Shirli Gilbert’s knowledge enhances the class. The course definitely fulfils the mission statement of the SMGLC, ‘acquiring skills of historical enquiry.”


“Shirli’s classes are just great. I love them. We receive readings a week before so are able to build a background knowledge for her presentation. Shirli welcomes interventions from the 15 or so students; these are all a part of the illuminating experience. We end with an imaginative discussion which usually concludes with a recognition that history is about complexity and nuance, context and interpretation.The classes look at the journey of the Jews over the last 400 years as they have emerged and flourished through the enlightenment, the industrial revolution and into our multicultural societies of the digital age. They have helped me stand in the shoes of my ancestors and reveal the hundreds of ways to be Jewish; that go beyond the strict interpretation of the law; that each Jew chooses for themselves.”


I, and all the participants, look forward eagerly to Shirli’s Friday morning classes. She not only explains modern Jewish history in an intelligible and fascinating manner but she also puts it into a broader historical, political and philosophical context. If you are seriously interested in modern Jewish history, happy to do some great background reading and enjoy participating in lively discussions then this course is for you.