May 25 to June 1, 2014
Various venues around the GTA

The Toronto Jewish Literary Festival returns! A full week of top-quality literary programs geared towards diverse audiences in different locations and in partnership with other Jewish organizations across the city.

All events are FREE or pay-what-you-can (PWYC). Registration is required.

2014 Toronto Jewish Literary Festival Venues

  • Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw St.
  • Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd.
  • Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.
  • Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Ave.
  • Temple Emanu-El, 120 Old Colony Rd.

Golde-headshot2_enewsSUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014 | 4:30 PM
TJLF @ Yidishtog, Annual Simcha Simchovitch Lecture:
Goldie Morgentaler on Chava Rosenfarb
Miles Nadal JCC, Room 318, 750 Spadina Ave. | FREE

“‘I Am Still There’: The Recreation of Jewish Poland in the Canadian Novels of Chava Rosenfarb,” a lecture on one of the most important Yiddish writers of the 20th Century. Readings by Eileen Thalenberg in Yiddish and English. Presented together with UJA Federation’s Committee for Yiddish and as part of Ontario Jewish Heritage Month.

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This event takes place as part of Yidishtog, a day of lectures and music, celebrating the mameloshn. Click here for more information and to register.

Goldie Morgentaler, Professor of English at the University of Lethbridge, is the translator of much of Chava Rosenfarb’s work, including her seminal Holocaust novel The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto and the book of short stories Survivors: Seven Short Stories. Morgentaler is the winner of a 2005 Canadian Jewish Book Award and the Modern Language Association’s Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies. She is the editor of Rosenfarb’s book of poems in English translation, Exile At Last: Selected Poems of Chava Rosenfarb (2013) and is currently at work on Rosenfarb’s biography.

Matti-Friedman-2_Photo-Credit-Sebastian-Scheiner_enewsMONDAY, MAY 26, 2014 | 7:30 PM
Matti Friedman: The Aleppo Codex
Temple Emanu-El, 120 Old Colony Rd. | PWYC

Matti Friedman, hailed by the Canadian Jewish News as a “modern-day Indiana Jones,” speaks about his book The Aleppo Codex and the thousand-year old mystery surrounding this precious copy of the Hebrew Bible.

Toronto-born Matti Friedman’s work as a reporter has taken him from Lebanon to Morocco, Cairo, Moscow and Washington, D.C., and to conflicts in Israel and the Caucasus. He has been a correspondent for the Associated Press and the Jerusalem Report, where he specialized in religion and archaeology in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The Aleppo Codex, his first book, won the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish literature, was selected as one of Booklist’s top ten religion books of the year, was awarded the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Medal and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for History, and was a finalist in the Religion Newswriters Association’s award for best book of the year. He lives in Jerusalem.


TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014 | 8 PM
Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards
Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St. | FREE
The 26th annual Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards ceremony, celebrating excellence in Canadian writing on Jewish themes and subjects. Hosted by Cynthia Good. Full details here.


ira-robinson-august-2012_enewsWEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014 | 7:30 PM
Ira Robinson, Canada’s Jews: In Space, Time and Spirit
Temple Emanu-El, 120 Old Colony Rd. | PWYC
Ira Robinson speaks on his latest book, a collection of essays about the history, geography, and spirit of one of the world’s largest Jewish communities.

Ira Robinson is Professor of Judaic Studies and Interim Chair, Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies at Concordia University. He has edited many books, including An Everyday Miracle: Yiddish Culture in Montreal (1990), The Interaction of Scientific and Judaic Cultures (1994), and Renewing Our Days: Montreal Jews in the Twentieth Century (1995), which won a Canadian Jewish Book Award. Among his recent books is Rabbis and Their Community: Studies in the Eastern European Orthodox Rabbinate in Montreal, 1896-1930 (2007) which won a J.I. Segal Prize. He is president of the Canadian Society for Jewish Studies, and is past president of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies (formerly the Canadian Jewish Historical Society) as well as the Jewish Public Library of Montreal.


newNora_webTHURSDAY, MAY 29, 2014 | 7:30 PM
Nora Gold: Fields of Exile
Artscape Youngplace, Flex Studio, 180 Shaw St. | FREE
Nora Gold launches her new book, Fields of Exile, the first novel about anti-Israelism in the academe. It has received enthusiastic advance praise from Phyllis Chesler, Irwin Cotler, Alice Shalvi, Steve Stern, Thane Rosenbaum, Naim Kattan, Nava Semel, and Ann Birstein, and was picked by The Forward as one of the “5 Jewish Books to Read in 2014.”

Dr. Nora Gold writes fiction, edits the online journal Jewish, does academic and professional work, blogs for Haaretz, and engages in community activism. Her first novel, Fields of Exile will be published in May 2014 by Dundurn Press. Her previous book, Marrow and Other Stories, won the Louis Lockshin Prize for Short Fiction, a Canadian Jewish Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award, a prize for the best first short story collection in Canada. Dr. Gold’s academic career includes ten years as a professor of social work and numerous scholarly publications and funded projects. She is currently the Writer-in-Residence and an Associate Scholar at the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education (CWSE) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (OISE/UT).


Ringuet_pic_12_HR_adjusted_enewsSUNDAY, JUNE 1, 2014 | 1 PM
Chantal Ringuet: Voix Yiddish de Montreal
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd. | FREE
Chantal Ringuet presents her recent French-language anthology of Canadian Jewish writers.  Introduction by Lazer Lederhendler. Lecture in English, readings in English, Yiddish and French.  Presented together with UJA Federation’s Committee for Yiddish, Friends of Yiddish, and the Toronto Workmen’s Circle.

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A scholar, poet and translator, Chantal Ringuet holds a Ph.D. in Literary Studies from UQÀM and is a research associate at the Concordia Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies. She is the author of many publications, including À la découverte du Montréal yiddish (Fides, 2011). Ringuet is also the editor of Voix yiddish de Montréal (Moebius, no 139, 2013), the first French language anthology of Yiddish literature in Canada featuring her translations. Ringuet’s first book of poetry, Le sang des ruines, was awarded the Jacques-Poirier 2009 literary prize. Her bilingual (French/English) collection of poetry, Under the Skin of War, is to appear next year.  She writes a column entitled “Lettres d’Israël” for the literary Canadian magazine Salon .II.


BG-color-port-300dpi_enewsSUNDAY, JUNE 1, 2014 | 3:30 PM
A Basket of Apples: Stories by Shirley Faessler
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd. | PWYC Publisher Bill Gladstone launches a new edition of Shirley Faessler’s beloved A Basket of Apples, a group of short stories about Jewish characters in Kensington Market in the 1920s and 1930s. Karen Hines, the author’s granddaughter, reads from the stories and is introduced by Lily Poritz Miller, the author’s former editor.

Bill Gladstone is a Toronto-based journalist, author, publisher, public speaker and noted genealogist. As a journalist, he has written extensively for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Maclean’s, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, New York Forward, LondonJewishChronicle, WeekendMagazine and many other publications. He has been a regular contributor to the Canadian Jewish News for 25 years. His books include A History of Beth Tzedec Congregation of Toronto (upcoming), The Story of Beth Lida Forest Hill Congregation (2012), A History of the Jewish Community of London Ontario (2011), One Hundred Years in Canada: the Rubinoff-Naftolin Family Tree (2008), and Roots and Remembrance: Explorations in Jewish Genealogy (2006). Gladstone founded the publishing company Now and Then Books in 2008. Among its most successful titles are Kitty Wintrob’s I’m Not Going Back, S. M. Shapiro’s The Rise of the Toronto Jewish Community, and Yuri Suhl’s novel of Jewish immigrant life, One Foot in America.