Jerusalem Foundation Hosts London Mayor Boris Johnson for First Annual Sir Winston Churchill Lecture

Jerusalem Foundation Hosts London Mayor Boris Johnson for First Annual Sir Winston Churchill Lecture at Mishkenot Sha'ananim


Highlights from Mayor Boris Johnson at Mishkenot Sha’ananim 


Last night (Nov 11), the Jerusalem Foundation inaugurated the first of an annual lecture series at Mishkenot Sha’ananim dedicated to Sir Winston Churchill, someone whose perseverance, innovation and determination are embodied by the State of Israel. A long-time Zionist, Churchill was profoundly dedicated to the mission of founding a Jewish State. The annual Sir Winston Churchill lecture series was established by the Jerusalem Foundation UK Trustee Anthony Rosenfelder and inspired by Sir Martin Gilbert, a long-time friend of the Jerusalem Foundation and Sir Winston Churchill’s official biographer.


The Mishkenot Sha’ananim Cultural Center, established in 1973 by the Jerusalem Foundation in the historic complex built by Sir Moses Montefiore over 150 years ago, serves as an oasis of tolerance and dialogue. It brings together members of Jerusalem’s diverse population, as well as leading figures, authors and scholars from around the world, to engage in joint cultural and intellectual explorations through a series of performances, lectures and discussions.


The lecture was given by London Mayor Boris Johnson, with an introduction by Daniel Taub, former Israeli Ambassador to the UK. The hall was packed to the gills; even standing room was scarce.  


Jerusalem Foundation Hosts London Mayor Boris Johnson 3


Mayor Johnson, a captivating and prominent figure in British politics, fondly recalled Churchill’s drinking - much to the amusement and laughter of the audience.  However, the lecture also took a more serious turn, as Johnson discussed Israel’s technological innovations, including,  “a crucial advance for humanity — the epilator Lady Shave”,  and praised Israel’s open-market economy, as well as its democratic and open society.


Johnson also mused about Churchill’s Zionist legacy, saying:

“If we look at the history of modern Israel, there is no doubt that… there is something Churchillian about the country he helped to create. There is the audacity;the bravery, the willingness to take risks with feats of outrageous derring-do.”, adding that if Churchill visited Israel today, he “would still be hopeful that one day, with common sense and imagination on both sides, the Israeli economic miracle – that he foresaw – would spread to the whole region”.


After the lecture, Johnson posed for a photo next to the bronze bust of Churchill that graces Yael’s Garden at Mishkenot Sha’ananim. The sculpture was dedicated by JFUK Trustee Anthony Rosenfelder - and stands, along with the annual lecture series - as a monument to Sir Winston Churchill’s profound commitment to the Jewish State.


The event received press-coverage in Israel’s leading English-language newspapers, including Haaretz and  the Jerusalem Post as well as in the British Jewish press, including the  Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish News.

Click here to watch the lecture in its entirety.