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BNJC
17 May 2021

Meet the team: Nelly Lewis

Meet our Events Executive, Nelly Inbal Lewis. Nelly has over 20 years of experience working on events around the world and has joined our BNJC team to help build our own exciting events programme. Most recently, Nelly worked in the fitness industry as a Pilates instructor and a studio owner and has had a long and successful career as a performing artist. We asked Nelly about her new role as Programming Events Executive and what she’s looking forward to most when BNJC opens next year.
Tell us a bit about your new role at BNJC.
My role as the Programming Events Executive means that I’ll be working on planning BNJC’s events programme in the lead up to the grand opening next year, whilst also working on the daily events programme we’ll have on site once we open our doors in 2022. It’s a very exciting role and I am so looking forward to meeting and collaborating with many lovely people through it!

Can you tell us more about your experience running events around the world?
As an international director, choreographer, and performer, I gained lots of practical experience in creating and organising events over the years. But more than anything else, I’m a producer at heart. I’ve been programming and producing shows and festivals both offline and online for over 20 years now. I’ve performed all around the world with two solo shows, one which actually won the Broadway Baby Award at the Brighton Fringe Festival in 2015! (Read Broadway Baby's 5-star review of Nelly's show here). I also produced the first Zoom festival back in 2017, before Zoom became a platform for the arts in the last year. I think I have produced around 100 different shows and events up to now and still counting!

How long ago did you move to Sussex from Israel and what's it like being Jewish and Israeli in Brighton?
I heard about Brighton from an Israeli friend of mine who already lived here, and after visiting a few times, I totally fell in love with the city! It had such a fun vibe and the beach gave me a real feeling of freedom. In December 2014 I made the big move to Brighton from Haifa, Israel, and I’m here to stay.
I think Brighton is a great place to be Jewish. There is a feeling of welcoming and accepting people for who they are or they want to be. There’s also a lovely Israeli community here and I have many Israeli people that I absolutely adore.

What has been the biggest cultural difference between British and Israeli culture?
I have been in Brighton for quite a while now, so I think I’m pretty used to the British mentality and have even started to see it as normal, but if I really look back to remember how things were when I first moved, there were definitely things I found ‘’strange’’. I remember I was amazed by the patient queue for the bus or in the supermarket! I actually really like and appreciate the calmness and politeness of people here.

What are you looking forward to most when BNJC opens in 2022?
BNJC will be a place to connect with one's roots in the way that they feel is right. A place to connect with others, and a place that feels like home. I’m really looking forward to seeing families have fun, enjoying each other’s company and friendship In the café, the restaurant and enjoying the events we’ll run regularly throughout the week. I’m also excited to run bigger special events that will bring us all together around the Jewish holidays.

What's your favourite thing about Brighton?
As a vegan, I love that Brighton is so vegan friendly! There are so many small and cosy places I love to sit at such as the Gardener Cafe, the Red lion, We Love Falafel in the Laines and so many more. I also love that Brighton hosts the annual Brighton Festival and the Fringe Festival each spring, plus so many other cultural events. I love that Brighton’s slogan is ‘Never Normal’. It feels good to know there is a place in the world that is so inclusive and accepting.