The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Gathering Grains of Sand: My Search for Samuel Jacobs

"Almost eighty years after Samuel Jacobs died in Glasgow, only two of his original seventeen grandchildren remained, and his life story was at dire risk of being lost to the sands of time. But fate thought differently. When following the death of his own father, Jeff Kaye stumbled on his great-grandfather Shmuilo, he began to track him down to find out how he got from his birthplace in a farm beside Vievis, Lithuania to Glasgow, Scotland.

During over a decade Kaye researched the family journey and their first decades in Glasgow, and travelled back and forth between Scotland, Lithuania and Israel to do so. While the journey itself unfolds in his book Gathering Grains of Sand - My Search for Samuel Jacobs, Gefen Publishing, House, the book is also no less than an honest account of the author grappling with core questions of Jewish existence, Israel and the human condition.

Jeff Kaye serves as a Vice President at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. He moved to Israel from Scotland in 1981 and is the co-founder of the Israel Academy of Philanthropy