Leo Baeck Institute Lecture Series, London 2019-20

Acting Jewish: Between Identity and Attire


A lecture series organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.

This season’s lecture series investigates the complex nature of what it means to act or appear Jewish and for whom this appearance is important. Examples are drawn from a wide range of performative settings: on stage, on screen, in daily life. Under which conditions do certain elements of fashion and attire appear ‘Jewish’? How do Jews consciously showcase or hide their identity by way of ‘acting’ and dressing in certain ways? And how were these elements conceptualised in the wider discourse: as ‘natural’ – self-expressions of an ethnical identity, as attire communicating a social role, or ‘prejudiced’ – as a ‘costume’ hiding the wearer’s true identity?

For more information on the lecture series please refer to the leaflet here.

Dr Daniel Wildmann (Director, Leo Baeck Institute London) has the pleasure of inviting you to the third lecture in the series:


Adi Heyman

‘Modest Fashion’ blogger and founder of the ‘Jewish Fashion Council’, USA

The Big Cover-Up: Modest Fashion

6.30pm, 4th March 2020

What started out as religious niche has matured into a 250 billion-dollar industry largely pioneered by a group of diverse women embracing unique identities on social media. Fashion stylist turned blogger, Adi Heyman’s inspiration behind launching a Jewish fashion and lifestyle blog in 2010 stemmed from her personal and professional experience as an Orthodox Jew working in the fashion industry.

In her talk, Heyman explores the possibility of being an ‘Orthodox Fashion Influencer’, and reflects on the lack of authentic content highlighting modest fashion and the underrepresentation of women from minority cultures. As one of the leading religion focused Jewish influencers, she promotes conservative silhouettes with a contemporary twist that resonates with the religiously observant consumer. Her work interprets Western identities alongside religious belief in a way that enables women to feel empowered by personal fashion and lifestyle choices.

In 2019, Heyman founded the Jewish Fashion Council (JFC) to build a global community of Jewish fashion professionals and to provide funding and support for the Jewish student life at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Parson’s School of Design.


 Lectures will be held at the German Historical Institute London, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NJ and begin at 6.30pm.

Admission is free but places are strictly limited and must be reserved in advance via adiheyman.eventbrite.com or by contacting the Leo Baeck Institute, London (email info@leobaeck.co.uk or phone 020 7882 5690).

Underground: Holborn, Russell Square; Bus: 1, 7, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 59, 68, 91, 98, 134, 168, 171, 188, 242, 243, 521, X68