Knight Out With Chamberlain
Sir Bernard began writing in 2002 when he published his first book, “Knight out with Chamberlain”. This was a reflection on a long and distinguished career as an elected Councillor in Britain’s great industrial City of Birmingham, culminating with his election as Lord Mayor of the city. The book is a conversation spanning a century going back in time with the author ‘meeting’ his most famous and illustrious predecessor, Joseph Chamberlain, and then bringing him into the 20th century to compare life in the regenerated city. Sir Bernard is now working on the development of a feature film about this unique and influential politician whose impact on the British political and colonial heritage has yet to be told.
Sir Bernard’s second book, published in March 2008, “Herzl’s Journey…… conversations with a Zionist Legend”, follows a similar format, this time tracing the life of Dr Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism and the visionary of the modern State of Israel who was born in 1860 and died at the young age of just forty four, exactly the same number of years before the realisation of his dream.
After many years in attempting to tell the amazing story of Theodor Herzl on screen development is now under way with a young team pf film makers to create a documentary-drama inspired by Sir Bernard’s book and hopefully to be screened in 2024.
In his second book, Bernard Zissman takes another imaginary journey back in time, over one hundred years, to meet Theodor Herzl, the visionary Hungarian born journalist and founder of Zionism. Zissman and Herzl discuss the impact of anti-Semitism in France in the eighteen nineties around the famous case of Jewish army officer Captain Alfred Dreyfus, wrongly convicted and sent to Devil’s Island. Together they travel across Europe from Vienna to Paris and from Basel to London as Herzl makes his case for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.
Spanning over a century of European history and the ravages of war, Herzl meets up again with Zissman who is growing up in England as the Nazis begin to march. Following the end of the Second World War, they watch as the State of Israel is born out of a narrow and critical vote in the United Nations in 1947.
Herzl’s journey nominated for prestigious literary award
Sir Bernard Zissman’s new book, “Herzl’s Journey” was nominated for the Sophie Brody Medal, an award presented by the American Library Association – “to the author of the most distinguished contribution to Jewish literature for adults published in the United States”.
The award, which is a ‘special medal for the winner and citation for the honour books’, is named for Sophie Brody, a philanthropist and community volunteer and is given to encourage, recognise and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature.