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Bangor University Researchers Invited To Present Flagship Project To Welsh Assembly Members

Bangor University researchers have been invited to present their work to an audience of Assembly Members for the second time this year. Dr Nathan Abrams and Dr Sally Baker, from the Schools of Creative Studies and Media and Social Sciences respectively, were awarded £19,000 from Beacon for Wales to hold a touring exhibition of Jewish Life of North Wales. Beacon for Wales promotes public engagement work by universities, bringing the general public and universities together. The exhibition has so far visited Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bangor and is currently in Pwllheli, having attracted visitors from across Wales, Europe and the US. Fifty people attended a reception with kosher wine and snacks in Bangor University’s Main Arts Library to mark the arrival of the exhibition in Bangor. Some of the visitors at the reception to mark the opening night of the exhibition in Bangor University Main Arts LibrarySome of the visitors at the reception to mark the opening night of the exhibition in Bangor University Main Arts Library

Gwilym Sion ap Gruffudd, a lecturer at Coleg Menai currently completing his PhD with the School of Social Sciences, recently invited Nathan and Sally to discuss their work with an audience of staff and students at Coleg Menai. Nathan and Sally, along with postgraduate student Cai Parri-Jones, have also been invited to talk about Jewish life in North Wales to pupils at Ysgol David Hughes, Ysgol Tryfan and to an audience at Llanberis Slate Museum. The exhibition has attracted widespread media attention, including features in the Jewish press, BBC Cymru and Radio Manchester, as well as in the US media.

Nathan and Sally are delighted at the interest that the work has generated both locally and internationally and commented: ‘This initiative has generated great interest among local people, many of them telling us of their memories of two prominent Jewish families, the Wartskis and Pollacoffs and these reminiscences have added to our knowledge of Jewish life in the region. Young people have been fascinated to learn how long Jewish people have lived in North Wales. An unexpected bonus has been the international interest among genealogists, historians and cultural specialists.’

Nathan and Sally are continuing their research into the oral history/life stories of both Jewish and non-Jewish people in North Wales and would be eager to hear from anyone interested in learning about or participating in this work.

Publication date: 4 November 2010