Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage is seeking a freelance Volunteer Research Coordinator to support the development of our Shalom Sussex – Jewish People in Sussex project.
Volunteer Research Coordinator
Shalom Sussex – The Jewish Community in WWI project
Freelance position 10 days (80 hours ) 30th April – 30th December 2019
Total Fee: £1400
Job Description
Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage CIC is based in Sussex and works with people’s life stories and memories to engage a wide range of groups in creative and heritage activities, making art to transform public and private spaces.
Project information:
The Shalom Sussex – The Jewish Community in WWI Project will profile the contribution Jewish people in Sussex made during the First World War – both on the home-front and abroad on the battlefield.
It will work in partnership with the Centre for German-Jewish Studies, Jewish Historical Society of England and Jewish Lewes District Council, and support from Gateways to the First World War.
The project will be developed through the engagement of new audiences will be through training, archival research, community heritage events, visits, workshops using archive material, reminiscence sessions, a bespoke website, postcards and case studies.
This role is for a Volunteer Research Coordinator who will engage with and support our project volunteers to develop their research during the life of the project, and to collate and file this research into usable formats which can then be easily formed into an exhibition by the Project Manager.
This work will be done through volunteer archival visits, email contact with volunteers, liaison with the Shalom Sussex Project Manager and compiling folders using Google Drive to enable easy access to relevant research and findings.
Key Responsibilities
1. To engage, coordinate, plan, train, support and execute the heritage research side of the Shalom Sussex- Jewish People in WWI project over an eight month period (80 hours).
2. To manage this time in a responsible and relevant manner between 30th April 2019 and 30th December 2019.
3. Making visits with project volunteers to The Keep archive, Hastings Library and other venues in Sussex including West Sussex Record Office to support the gathering of information which will serve to inform a series of events for the project
4. To gather research and archive this in a usable format through a series of clearly labelled Google Drives which volunteers can upload their findings to and which the Project Manager can access.
5. Ensure clear labelling of all research and images for use and to ensure copyright can be traced
6. Maintain regular email discussion with volunteer researchers about the project and its research an findings
7. Through the uncovering of information, to create useable information which the Shalom Sussex Project Manager can then use to develop the project website, feed into a series of downloadable resources and help inform a community history conference in January 2020.
8. To write two event reviews in The Shalom Sussex project blog.
9. Keep a clear time log of hours worked
10. Comply with relevant legislation and best practice, ensuring that good working practices are employed at all times, particularly in interactions with vulnerable adults and in compliance with health and safety policies and procedures.
Person Specification
The Volunteer Research Coordinator will have the following skills:
• Extensive knowledge and understanding of the heritage sector.
• Research and methodology experience
• Knowledge and experience of working with volunteers
• Experience of working on and engaging with local and national archives
• Experience of working on funded projects
• Knowledge and experience of volunteer management
• Compilation of research into relevant formats for use in exhibition and digital outputs
• Excellent written and communication skills
• Comprehensive IT skills
Desirable but not essential
• Understanding of Jewish History
To apply:
Submit CV and covering letter responding to the person specification by 21st April 2019 (midnight).
Those shortlisted must be available for informal meetings on 23rd or 24th April 2019 with a view to the successful candidate starting on 30th April.
For a copy of the brief, please contact Project Manager, Nicola Benge –

Shalom Sussex – The Jewish Community in WWI will profile the contribution Jewish people in Sussex made during the First World War – both on the home-front and abroad on the battlefield.

 Jewish people make up a small part of the Sussex demographic, and with partners and participants we have realised how little information is available about this topic. We seek to research, explore and share this hidden history.

Through this year-long project we will explore local Jewish lives between 1914-1918, researching family experiences, traditions and religious memories. We will focus on investigating military service through archival publications such as the British Jewry Book of Honour to ensure stories aren’t lost for future generations, whilst seeking insight into Jewish life in Sussex at this key moment in history.

We will research turbulent events during this time: Internment, women in domestic and military life, military experiences and keeping kosher during this time of hardship.

We will highlight lives such as Florence Oppenheimer, who trained as a nurse (later a celebrated Jewish cook) at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in 1914, receiving a citation from Winston Churchill, Secretary of State for War, Capt. Joseph Friend of the Sussex Yeomanry, Leonard George Marks who served with the Royal Sussex Regiment and was killed in France, as well as children’s lives and school days too.

We seek to uncover and promote Jewish history related to World War I and share this with both Jewish and non-Jewish people to commemorate and celebrate this faith group and local lives.

The main focus of our project will be the creation of a community history website to collect new archive material, as well as to share this heritage publicly. In keeping with Jewish tradition, this site will enable visitors to respect ancestors so that their passing can be commemorated.

We will explore the Jewish Chronicle archive, Jewish Care archives, local conscription and hospital documents as well as synagogue records including those at Middle Street Synagogue, Brighton.

Over the next year, we will train volunteer researchers to find and collect new information, contextualising existing material to create a new community resource which will then be archived at The Keep, Brighton. Gateways to the First World War will support us to provide archival training specifically to develop this theme enabling volunteers to gain new skills.

We are organising a community history conference to offer a further engagement which the Jewish Historical Society of England will support. This will focus on themes such as – Internment in Sussex, Reprisals against Sussex based German and Austrian Jews, Jewish soldiers and nurses and conscientious objectors identifying as Jewish.

Jewish people have been in Sussex since the 1700s, and the contribution in WWI made by Jews to the area has been significant. Follow our website to find out about events and activities between March 2019 and March 2020..

Our project partners are Jewish Care, Centre for German-Jewish Studies, and the Jewish Historical Society of England.

This project is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund through a First World War – Then and Now grant. Thanks to National Lottery players for their charitable support to help deliver this project.

We have also received funding from Jewish Care and the Sussex Record Society.