Fundraising aspirations

In addition to finishing the statue, we are seeking to raise money to include a couple of illustrations in our book on Licoricia and the medieval Jewish community. These will be drawn by a professional artist and depict medieval Winchester and its Jewish population, perhaps interacting with the King in the Great Hall, or in a scene in Jewry Street. They will cost in the region of £2,000.

We are also fundraising to hold a small exhibition to accompany our unveiling, and publish leaflets to accompany the statue.

We hope to be able to put on a fun unveiling event, which could involve a Jewish food market with explanations of Jewish involvement (eg fish and chips, bagels, challah, hot chocolate), medieval minstrels and players.

After the unveiling, we hope to develop our activities further, for example creating more lessons for schools, holding a large exhibition at the library, helping improve permanent exhibits at the City Museum, holding an academic seminar on the medieval Jewish community and undertaking further research on Winchester’s Jewry. We might be able to utilise Virtual Reality to bring the period to life.

All this requires funds, so your help will be greatly appreciated.

Our December 2020 newsletter

December 2020 newsletter

Dear Supporter

Since our last newsletter in April, we have made good progress.

Fundraising

Of our £140,000 target, we have now raised £100,000 with over £50,000 having been raised since March.  We have fully-funded the lessons that Hampshire County Council are preparing for their schools, together with the book that is being written by Rebecca Abrams.  We are therefore in the final straight of our fundraising with the aim of unveiling the statue in the autumn of 2021.

In the last few months we have been fundraising hard, and have written to over 220 trusts in total.  We have received some very generous donations, although Covid-19 has made fundraising more difficult, and are continuing to work hard. 

New Patron

We are very excited that Dame Jenny Abramsky DBE has kindly agreed to become a Patron of the Charity, alongside eminent historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore.  Dame Jenny Abramsky has been Chair of the Royal Academy of Music since September 2014 and is also Chair of the Board of Governors of the Royal Ballet. From 2008 to 2014 she was Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund/National Heritage Memorial Fund, as well as Chair of the University of London, Board of Trustees.  She was the BBC’s Director of Radio and of Music, and before that, as Director of Continuous News, she ran all the BBC’s 24 hour news services on TV, Radio and Online.

Messages

The trustees are developing a series of messages that will be the core of our educational work for adults and children, and which complement our aims.  These messages are intended to be a concise representation of the key facts that we wish to promulgate:

Messages from history

  • Jews were part of the English community from 1067 until 1290, having arrived after the Norman Conquest in 1066 nearly a thousand years ago. They contributed to the building of iconic places of worship such as Westminster Abbey and Lincoln Cathedral, and also other institutions, as well as to trade and culture.
  • Licoricia (who died in 1277) was a leader in her community and one of a handful of Jews, including women, prominently involved in finance.  The Jews were restricted in the jobs they could do.  Other occupations included doctors, teachers, scribes, poets, vintners, metalworkers and tradesmen.
  • Licoricia was highly educated, like many Jewish women of her time, enabling them to be successful in their own right.
  • Jews were the property of the King, frequently persecuted by the Church, and taxed at will until they were too poor to be of any utility.  As a result, those who would not convert to Christianity were forced out of the country by the Edict of Expulsion issued by King Edward I in 1290.

Lessons for today

  • Jews of the Middle Ages are an early example of a religious minority in the UK, and their story highlights the danger of the majority limiting the freedom of the minority (“the tyranny of the majority”).
  • As a minority, the Jews made an outsized contribution to England’s society and economy.  Diversity of community creates cultural and commercial benefits. 
  • Many prejudices against the Jews originated in the Middle Ages, and shaped anti-semitism, which still exists today.  Education is the key to the elimination of prejudice.
  • Progress on religious and racial tolerance has been made in society – today the UK is a vibrant multi-faith, multi-ethnic and multi-racial society – but there is further work to be done.
  • The education of women has provided them with opportunity.  As a result, progress has been made by women in business and other areas of public life, but 800 years after Licoricia lived, women are still striving for equality.

Book

We have commissioned Rebecca Abrams (who wrote ‘The Jewish Journey:  4000 years in 22 Objects’ for the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and whose latest book ‘Jewish Treasures from Oxford libraries’ has just been published and is longlisted for the Wingate Prize) to write our book on Licoricia and Winchester’s Medieval Jewish Community.  This book is expected to be published in the summer of 2021, and will be on sale throughout the City and online.

Lessons for schools

We are making good progress in writing lessons for schools. We hope to release more details shortly.

Statue

We have received fascinating advice from the V&A, the British Museum, and the Jewish Museum about whether or not Licoricia would have worn rings, including wedding and betrothal rings, and concerning the brooch holding her cloak.  This advice will be incorporated into the life-sized sculpture, which Ian Rank-Broadley has just been commissioned to sculpt for us prior to being cast in bronze. 

Considerable progress has also been made on the plinth design with Ian Rank-Broadley and Hampshire County Council.

Thank you

Throughout, there has been so much goodwill around the project that it spurs us on with enthusiasm.  Thank you for your continued support. 

We look forward to keeping in touch. 

With best wishes from

The Licoricia of Winchester Team

Rebecca Abrams listed for the Wingate Prize

Rebecca’s book ‘Jewish Treasures in Oxford Libraries’ has been listed for the prestigious Wingate Prize. She is writing our book on Licoricia and her community:


https://www.thejc.com/news/uk/long-list-revealed-for-the-wingate-literary-prize-1.508917

Rebecca gave a fascinating talk to the Jewish Historical Society of England on her book ‘4,000 years in 22 objects’, which is worth listening to:


https://youtu.be/JmGSAKr_kwA

Over 2/3 fundraised!

We have raised over 2/3 of our budget, and are entering the home straight to erect the statue. Our lessons and book are fully funded and in production. Please do encourage your friends to contribute via our JustGiving page. Thanks to everyone who has helped us reach this important milestone.

Hampshire lessons

We are making good progress in writing lessons for Key Stage 3 pupils. These lessons will be distributed free to schools. These lessons will be educating about the English medieval Jewish community, its royal links, and its lessons for today in combatting prejudice and racism.

Rebecca Abrams commissioned to write our book

We are very excited that Rebecca Abrams, the well-known and respected author, has agreed to write our book on Licoricia and the medieval Jewish community. Rebecca has recently published ‘The Jewish Journey: 4000 years in 22 objects from the Ashmolean Museum‘ and ‘Jewish Treasures from Oxford Libraries‘ for the Bodleian Library. Her other works include Touching Distance, Three Shoes One Sock & No Hairbrush, The Playful Self, Woman In a Man’s World and When Parents Die. The book will be published in 2021.

Dame Jenny Abramsky DBE appointed Patron

We are delighted to announce that Dame Jenny Abramsky DBE has been appointed Patron of the Appeal. Dame Jenny has been Chair of the Royal Academy of Music since September 2014 and is also Chair of the Board of Governors of the Royal Ballet. From 2008 to 2014 she was Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund/National Heritage Memorial Fund, as well as Chair of the University of London, Board of Trustees.

Previously she was for ten years the BBC’s Director of Radio and of Music. Before that, as Director of Continuous News, she ran all the BBC’s 24 hour news services on TV, Radio and Online. At the BBC she created and launched more new services than any previous BBC executive, including Radio Five Live, BBC News Online and BBC News 24.

She is a Trustee of the Shakespeare Schools Festival and sits on the Board of Birmingham Royal Ballet. Previously she was Chair of Hampstead Theatre, a Governor of the British Film Institute, a trustee of Central School of Ballet and sat on the Economic and Social Research Council. Jenny was awarded a CBE in 2001 and made DBE in 2009.

Jenny will serve as Patron alongside eminent historian, Simon Sebag-Montefiore.

April 2020 Newsletter

Since our last newsletter in January, we have made good progress.

Of our £135,000 target, we have raised just over half so far.  In the last few months we have written to 150 trusts and have received some very generous donations although Covid-19 has postponed many of their trustee meetings.  We continue to receive donations via our website, where our supporter list now numbers seventy, up nearly 50% in the last couple of months.

We are commissioning Rebecca Abrams (who wrote ‘The Jewish Journey:  4000 years in 22 Objects’ for the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and whose latest book ‘Jewish Treasures from Oxford libraries’ is about to be published) to write our booklet on Winchester’s Medieval Jewish Community. 

Hampshire County Council education experts are working on a proposal for lesson plans on Licoricia and her community for Key Stages 1-3 for all Hampshire school children.

We have received fascinating advice from the V&A, the British Museum, and the Jewish Museum about whether or not Licoricia would have worn rings, including wedding and betrothal rings, and concerning the brooch holding her cloak.

Two eminent letter carvers have provided us with sample fonts for the inscriptions on the plinth, and we have been working with Hampshire County Council to finalise the plinth specification.

Throughout, there has been so much goodwill around the project that it spurs us on with enthusiasm.  Thank you for your continued support. 

We look forward to keeping in touch.