|Toronto Jewish Literary Festival
Saturday, June 1 – Sunday, June 9, 2013 | Various venues
For 35 years, the Toronto Jewish Book Fair was a signature cultural event in Toronto’s Jewish community, bringing people together with authors and the most exciting publications from around the world. In 2012, the annual event evolved into the Toronto Jewish Book Festival, successfully combining the Book Fair and the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards under the same brand to create a full week celebrating excellence in Jewish Literature.
Understanding that the ways in which we produce and engage with literary materials have shifted, combined with a dynamic Jewish community spread across the GTA, we are once more taking the traditional Book Festival in a new direction: one that aims to focus more on authors and audiences. Accordingly, the Book Festival is being re-envisioned with a focus on presenting top-quality literary programs geared towards diverse audiences in different locations and in partnership with other Jewish organizations across the city. We hope to see you in June at the 2013 Toronto Jewish Literary Festival!
Toronto Jewish Literary Festival Venues:
Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Ave. (map)
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd. (map)
Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay St. (map)
Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge St. (map)
Schwartz/Reisman Centre, 9600 Bathurst St. (map)
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TORONTO JEWISH LITERARY FESTIVAL:
SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 10 PM
Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Ave. | FREE
Join local authors Benjamin Hackman, Ronna Bloom, and Jacob Scheier for an intimate night of poetry and wine as they read excerpts from their works exploring grief, love, and loss from a contemporary, and sometimes humorous, perspective.
Ronna Bloom has published five books of poetry, most recently, Cloudy with A Fire in the Basement (Pedlar Press, 2012). Her poems have been broadcast on CBC, displayed on billboard walls, and recorded by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Ronna has hosted writing workshops across Canada and abroad. She is currently Poet in Community at the University of Toronto and Poet in Residence at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Benjamin Hackman is a poet and lyricist who has published in periodicals including Canadian Literature, The Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and The Literary Review of Canada. He is the co-founder of The Molotov Rag, Toronto's Anarchist Quarterly. In 2011, he was the recipient of the Ted Plantos Memorial Award from the Ontario Poetry Society. His audio poetry has appeared online in The Collagist, and is currently being serialized throughout 2013 in Carte Blanche. He lives and writes in his hometown, Toronto, where he teaches creative writing at the Miles Nadal JCC, and is a student of psychotherapy.
Jacob Scheier is a Toronto-born poet, essayist and journalist. He was the winner of the 2008 Governor General’s Award for poetry (More to Keep Us Warm, ECW Press) and co-winner of a 2009 New York Independent Media Alliance award for best feature article. His second full length collection of poems, Letter from Brooklyn was published with ECW Press this Spring 2013. His poems have also appeared in journals and magazines across North America, including Rattle, Descant and Geist, and NOW Magazine. He is the former co-editor-in-chief of York University's literary journal, existere and currently teaches a course of his own design called Writing About Grief at The Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto.
Presented together with the Miles Nadal JCC.
SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2 PM
The Exile Book of Yiddish Women Writers, with Frieda Forman, Theresa Tova, and Gloria Brumer
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd. | $5
Join us for a vunderlekhn multidisciplinary afternoon celebrating the launch of the Exile Book of Yiddish Women Writers, featuring Yiddish translator and editor Frieda Forman and dramatic readings in Yiddish and English with the special participation of Yiddish expert Gloria Brumer; actress, singer and Yiddish Diva Theresa Tova; accompanied by acclaimed pianist Matt Herscowitz.
This important anthology presents new translations of short stories, excerpts, and personal essays of 13 influential Yiddish women writers including Canadians Chava Rosenfarb, Rachel Korn and Ida Maze. The texts, many of them never before translated into English, focus on subjects such as family life, longing for independence, yearning for learning, creative expression, the aftermath of the Holocaust, immigration, and the conflicted entry of Jewish women into the modern world. These powerful accounts provide a vital link to understanding the Jewish experience at a time of conflict and tumultuous change.
Presented together with the Committee for Yiddish, Friends of Yiddish, and the Toronto Workmen’s Circle. Additional support by ShaRna Foundation.
SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 7 PM
Jews and Words:
Fania Oz-Salzberger in conversation with David Layton
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd.
Koffler Members $15, General $20
Why are words so important to so many Jews? Join historian Fania Oz-Salzberger in conversation with Award-winning author David Layton as they explore Oz-Salzbeger’s new book Jews and Words, co-written with her father Amos Oz. Through a blend of storytelling and scholarship, conversation and argument, father and daughter tell the tales behind Judaism’s most enduring names, adages, disputes, texts, and quips. These words, they argue, compose the chain connecting Abraham with the Jews of every subsequent generation.
Framing the discussion within such topics as continuity, women, timelessness, and individualism, Oz and Oz-Salzberger deftly engage Jewish personalities across the ages, from the unnamed, possibly female author of the Song of Songs through obscure Talmudists to contemporary writers. They suggest that Jewish continuity, even Jewish uniqueness, depends not on central places, monuments, heroic personalities, or rituals but rather on written words and an ongoing debate between the generations. Full of learning, lyricism, and humor, Jews and Words offers an extraordinary tour of the words at the heart of Jewish culture and extends a hand to the reader, any reader, to join the conversation.
Presented together with the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation.
MONDAY, JUNE 3, 8 PM
Bill Gladstone: Introducing ONLY YESTERDAY, Collected Pieces on the Jews of Toronto
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd. | FREE
Toronto journalist and editor Bill Gladstone gives an illustrated talk on his new book ONLY YESTERDAY: Collected Pieces on the Jews of Toronto, featuring articles by Ben Kayfetz and Stephen Speisman. Kayfetz was the longtime head of community relations for Canadian Jewish Congress and Speisman the founding director of the Ontario Jewish Archives; both were avid historians of the Toronto Jewish community. Gladstone will also present highlights from the Stephen Speisman Collection, an important photograph collection of old synagogues and other subjects taken or collected by Speisman between 1966 and c.1972, many of which are published in ONLY YESTERDAY.
Presented together with the Ontario Jewish Archives.
TUESDAY, JUNE 4 , 8 PM
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd. | FREE
The 30th anniversary of None is Too Many with co-author Irving Abella.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 5, 7:30 PM
Writing and Publishing Jewish Fiction in Canada: Past, Present and Future
Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay St. | FREE
Moderated by Dr. Nora Gold, this panel will include Martin Levin, Cary Fagan, and Beverley Slopen, three distinguished figures from the Toronto literary community, who will all discuss the challenges of writing and publishing Jewish fiction in a Canadian context.
Presented together with Jewish Fiction.net
THURSDAY JUNE 6, 8 PM
Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge St. | FREE
The 25th annual Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards ceremony, celebrating excellence in Canadian writing on Jewish themes and subjects.
SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 10 AM – 5 PM
Schwartz/Reisman Centre, 9600 Bathurst St. | FREE
KidLit! An extraordinary day devoted entirely to children’s Jewish literature programming with a make-your-own-book station, a puppet theatre, authors’ readings, and tons of hands-on literary activities for all ages, all day!
Presented together with the Schwartz/Reisman Centre and PJ Library. Additional support from Menchie's Frozen Yogurt and the National Council of Jewish Women.
SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 4 PM
First Annual Simcha Simchovitch Lecture
Pierre Anctil: Jacob-Isaac Segal 1896-1954, A Montreal Yiddish Poet and His Milieu
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd. | FREE
Join historian and author Pierre Anctil for the Toronto launch of his new book Jacob-Isaac Segal 1896-1954: Un poète yiddish de Montréal et son milieu (A Montreal Yiddish poet and his milieu), winner of the 2013 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award in Yiddish Literature. Anctil’s talk will be in English and will feature special poem readings in English by J.I. Segal great-grandson Mattan Lustgarten, in French by Chantal Ringuet, and in Yiddish by Eileen Thalenberg.
The great Montreal poet J. I. Segal arrived in Montreal in 1910 where he earned a reputation as an important Yiddish poet both in Canada and abroad. In his book, Anctil not only traces Segal’s development as a poet during the great wave of Jewish immigration from Russia, the Ukraine and Poland at the beginning of the 20th century, but also introduces the reader to Segal’s literary work through previously unpublished translations into French.
Presented together with the Committee for Yiddish.
Simcha Simchovitch Lecture Series is supported by:
Anna Miransky Fund
New Fraternal Jewish Association Endowment Fund
Simcha and Freda Simchovitch Fund for Yiddish Education and Culture
at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto
Please check back soon for full programming details. Books will be available for purchase at each program and focused on publications by the participating authors, children’s literature, and winners of the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards.