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Past Events

JACS – The Life & Times of Boris, the Photographer

Tuesday, February 23


Michael Bennett talked about the life and times of his late father, Boris Bennett. He had many entertaining tales to tell.

If you missed the meeting, you can watch the recording by clicking here.

Meet the Author – Nadia Ragozhina

Tuesday, February 16

On Tuesday Steve Levinson interviewed Nadia Ragozhina.

If you were not able to join us for the interview you can watch the recording here.

Nadia was born in Moscow and moved to the UK in 2000. She is a senior journalist at BBC World News and has also worked for BBC World Service Radio and France 24 in Paris. Nadia writes and blogs about sustainability and zero waste living, which, other than books and her family, is her passion in life. She lives in London with her husband and two daughters.

Worlds Apart is her first book  : Two brothers grow up on the Jewish streets of Warsaw. At the turn of the twentieth century, Adolphe leaves to seek work and start a family in Switzerland. Marcus moves east, inspired by his Communist beliefs. In Moscow, he is arrested and exiled. They would never see each other again.

A hundred years later, Marcus’ great-granddaughter, Nadia Ragozhina, rediscovers the missing part of her broken family. Could she piece together the stories hidden for generations?

Love and separation, hope and paranoia – the lives of the patriarchs, their daughters and granddaughters are set against the Russian Revolution, Stalin’s repressions, the persecution of Jews across Europe and the Second World War. Worlds Apart is a rare portrayal of the tumultuous events of twentieth century Europe, seen through the eyes of six women who fought for the survival and happiness of their families.

Nadia was also interviewed in Nov 27th 2020


Visual Story Telling with Robyn Wilson-Owen

Sunday, February 14

We were delighted that talented local resident and Pinner artist, Robyn Wilson-Owen, joined us on Sunday to talk about and show her wonderful illustrations.

Trained in theatre and puppet design, Robyn is an artist and illustrator specialising in hand drawn and hand made images.  She loves using dip pens, watercolours and pencil in bold but carefully chosen colours, and her work, however fantastical, is always rooted in everyday observations.

Robyn has illustrated both fiction and non-fiction including children’s books No Longer Alone by Joseph Coelho and Bloom by Anne Booth.

In 2021 Robyn’s  book Close Your Eyes will be published, her first as both author and illustrator.  You can see further examples of Robyn’s work on her website:

If you were not able to join us on Sunday, you can view the recording here.

JACS – Journalism – It’s Not All Fake News!

Tuesday, February 9


On Tuesday Jonathan Braude talked about, “Journalism; It’s not all fake news, sensationalism or biased reporting! …….At least: not unless the proprietor has an axe to grind (or money to make).

Jonathan, a business writer and former daily newspaper reporter,  presented anecdotes and sober judgements from behind the computer screen.

If you were not able to join us for this event, click here to view the recording.

Meet the Rocket Scientist – Sam Phillips

Sunday, February 7

Last Sunday we were delighted to meet Sam Phillips, who shared what it’s like to work on rockets and ionocraft and answered the key question – how hard is rocket science anyway? (easier than you think!).

Sam grew up at Mosaic and is an engineering student at UC Berkeley, California.  He is Business team lead and deputy propulsion team lead for STAR – UC Berkeley’s Space Technologies and Rocketry team.

If you were unfortunate to miss Sam’s talk, you can view the recording here.

For the children (including those who are young at heart) you can download the instructions and templates to make your own ‘straw rocket’ below:

straw rocket flyer

straw rocket sheet

If you are a year 9 to 12 student and would like to find out more then contact us and we’ll put you in touch with Sam and the STAR team to join one of their upcoming outreach events.

Meet the Author – Dr Peter Altman

Tuesday, February 2

Steve Levinson interviewed Peter Altman.  Peter qualified as a biochemist in the 1960s and spent 20 years in medical research, gaining a PhD and a DSc.  After being made redundant in the 1980s, he went into medical book publishing, setting up his own medical publishing company which Peter ran for some 10 years.

He is also a Member of the Magic Circle and, rather impressively, and without the use of magic, Peter has held not one but two Guinness World Records (for the fastest journeys round the London Underground [1979]; and the Moscow Metro [1989]).

Peter started work on Mysteries at least 15 years ago, and came up with the approach of framing each of the 14 chapters as a question; Does Alien Life Exist? Is Time Travel Possible? How Did the Universe Begin? Does Payer Work? etc., and provides a personal ‘Best Guess’ answer to each unknown.

At the end, he has included his first attempt at science fiction.  This is a 3-part short story and, so as not to spoil the ending, Peter has hidden the last sentence in the Index.  It’s his thank you to those who buy the book……

If you missed this event, click here to view the recording.

2020 A Year in Turmoil in Israel. What Can We Expect in 2021?

Thursday, January 28

Paul Gross, son of our member Jacqueline, spoke to us directly from Jerusalem on this subject.

Paul Gross made Aliyah at the end of 2007 having worked for two years in public affairs at the Embassy of Israel in London and prior to that completing a Masters in Middle East Politics from SOAS. Today he is a Senior Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, with responsibility for developing educational programming and public events in English at the national institute commemorating Israel’s sixth Prime Minister. He lectures to a variety of groups on Israeli history and politics and has written on Israeli and Middle East current affairs for several publications in Israel, the UK, the US and Canada. He has also appeared as a political commentator on two Israeli English-language news channels, i24 and ILTV.

Paul lives in Jerusalem with his wife and three children.  He stays connected to the “old country” primarily by watching English football and getting depressed by the current state of Arsenal.

If you missed the event, please click here to view the recording.

If you wish to get in touch with Paul via email, please contact the office

Holocaust Memorial Day Talk by Fred Weil

Wednesday, January 27

To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day we learned from Fred Weil of the events that occurred to his Grandmother Helena when she was transported to Theresienstadt on January 29th, 1942.  While there she kept a diary on the backs of family photographs which she had taken with her. Fred’s grandmother perished, but the diary survived and was given to Fred’s aunt after the war. The presentation used some of the diary entries to give an insight into her life in Theresienstadt

Fred Weil’s parents were both refugees from Hitler and came to the UK from Czechoslovakia in 1939. They met and married in England where Fred was born. He grew up in Oxford amidst a refugee Jewish community.

Fred has been active in Holocaust education for several years helping at the annual Finchley Reform Synagogue Holocaust education sessions given to schools and to teacher training students from Middlesex University. He has given the presentation about his grandmother at The Wiener Holocaust Library, The biennial conference of the European Union for Progressive Judaism in Prague and at several synagogues.

If you missed the event you can view the recording by clicking here.

JACS -The Impact of the Holocaust on Jewish Music

Tuesday, January 26


On Tuesday, Viv Bellos, MBE, gave an overview of music in Synagogues, concert halls and the home before, during and after WW2 with musical illustrations

If you were not able to attend the event, you can watch the recording by clicking the link below:

Click here to view the recording of The Impact of the Holocaust on Jewish Music

Collecting Weird & Wonderful Objects!

Sunday, January 24

MOSAIC welcomed Maurice Collins OBE to talk about some of the items in his extraordinary collection and engaging you to  fathom out the functions of some the gadgets on display.

Maurice has earned himself a unique reputation as a collector of gadgets, distinguished by their eccentricity as well as the sheer enterprise of many British inventors through the last two centuries, determined to plug a gap in the consumer market.

Deservedly awarded the title “Britain’s Best Collector” of Victorian gadgets.

He has been amassing these marvellous items for over 40 years, sharing them, together with a wealth of ephemera and posters, many housed in museums including The British Library and talking about them to numerous audiences. As an author he has written several books on his Eccentric Collections and other subjects.

If you missed the event you can view the recording by clicking the link below:

View recording of “Collecting Weird & Wonderful Objects”