Jewish Book Festival

2019 Festival Highlights

BOOK LAUNCH – PRE-FEST EVENT WITH THE ZACK GALLERY:
Thursday, November 15, 7:00-9:00pm

OLGA CAMPBELL: Whisper Across Time  Read more…


OPENING:
Saturday, February 9, 7:30pm

STAY TUNED!


ReissCLOSING:
Thursday, February 14, 8:00pm

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with irreverent humour!

MIKE REISS: Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons

Four-times Emmy winner shares stories, scandals and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family.


MorrillFOR BOOK CLUBS
Tuesday, February 12, 8:00pm

NATALIE MORRILL: The Ghost Keeper
Winner of the 2018 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Fiction. Taking place in Vienna around WWII, this debut novel will challenge and move readers now and for generations to come.


MIND, BODY & SOUL DAY
Wednesday, February 13

Goldman8:00pm

Dr. BRIAN GOLDMAN: The Power of Kindness: Why Empathy Is Essential in Everyday Life
The host of CBC’s White Coat, Black Art circles the planet and explores why kindness is so vital to our existence.

Herz6:00pm

RACHEL HERZ: Why You Eat What You Eat: the Science Behind Our Relationship with Food
Acclaimed neuroscientist explores the psychology of eating in today’s unprecedented North American pantry of abundance, access and excess.


SMASHING STEREOTYPES
Sunday, February 10,

Ingall11:00am

MARJORIE INGALL: Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children
Parenting expert and firecracker presenter smashes the Jewish mother stereotype with a witty hammer.

Singer6:00pm

MARGOT SINGER: Underground Fugue
Against the backdrop of the London tube bombings in 2005, this powerful debut novel interweaves four characters dislocated by personal and political shock waves.

Rothman6:00pm

CLAIRE HOLDEN ROTHMAN: Lear’s Shadow
A novel about aging fathers and their grown daughters, childhood scars and rewriting the script with a little help from Shakespeare.


bonnertIDENTITY AND HISTORY
Monday, February 11, 7:30pm

KENNETH BONERT: The Mandela Plot

From the winner of the National Jewish Book Award comes another bold and riveting novel stemming from South Africa and exploring migration, terrorism, revolution, identity and memory.


About the JCC Jewish Book Festival

The Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival is one of Vancouver’s leading cultural and literary events, attracting a large and varied audience of over 5,000 people of all ages. This highly popular community-wide event brings together prominent and emerging Jewish writers and non-Jewish writers on Jewish subject matter. Programs are selected from the following areas:

BIOGRAPHIES • BUSINESS • CHILDREN’S INTEREST • CELEBRITIES • CULINARY ARTS • EMERGING AUTHORS • FILM HISTORY • HOLOCAUST • ISRAEL • PARENTING • PHOTOGRAPHY • POETRY • POLITICS • POP CULTURE • SEPHARDIC HERITAGE • SPIRITUALITY • SPORTS • TEENS • YIDDISH CULTURE • YOUNG ADULT

PAST FESTIVAL PROGRAMS – click to download  2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Author Submissions

The JCC Jewish Book Festival’s mandate is to showcase Jewish writers or non-Jewish writers with Jewish interest subject matter. Read more…

Sponsorship Opportunities

The JCC Jewish Book Festival can help you maximize your message to a diverse demographic audience. Corporate and individual Sponsorships are available. Please phone 604-257-5156 or email jbf@jccgv.bc.ca

Click to download Sponsorship Form

Contact and join our mailing list

Dana Camil Hewitt, Director, 604-257-5156; jbf@jccgv.bc.ca

Featured Authors

Nathan Englander

OCTOBER PROLOGUE
NATHAN ENGLANDER / Dinner at the Centre of the Earth

Read more

Pnina Granirer

PNINA GRANIRER / Light Within the Shadows, A Painter’s Memoir

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OPENING GALA

ALISON PICK / Strangers With the Same Dream

Read more

DAN BAR-EL 

It’s Great Being a Dad

Read More

DEBORAH KATZ

Rare Is Everywhere

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RAFI AARON

In the Days of the Cotton Wind and the Sparrow

Read More

2017 Events

OCTOBER PROLOGUE
Sunday, October 22, 2:00–4:00pm

WRITERS SALON 
NATHAN ENGLANDER –  
Dinner at the Centre of the Earth
In conversation with MARSHA LEDERMAN, The Globe and Mail

Location: private residence (address will be communicated to ticket buyers)
Tickets: $72 (include copy of the book and reception)

Buy Tickets or by phone 604-257-5111

Join Pulitzer-prize finalist and best-selling author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What we Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank  in conversation about his latest novel – a political thriller that unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pivots on the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard. A tour de force from one of America’s most acclaimed voices in contemporary fiction.

A prisoner in a secret cell. The guard who has watched over him a dozen years. An American waitress in Paris. A young Palestinian man in Berlin who strikes up an odd friendship with a wealthy Canadian businessman. And The General, Israel’s most controversial leader, who lies dying in a hospital, the only man who knows of the prisoner’s existence.

From these vastly different lives Nathan Englander has woven a powerful, intensely suspenseful portrait of a nation riven by insoluble conflict, even as the lives of its citizens become fatefully and inextricably entwined – a political thriller of the highest order that interrogates the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians, and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides. Who is right, who is wrong – who is the guard, who is truly the prisoner?

The popular Salon includes discussion, Q&A and a chance to mingle with the author and other bibliophiles over appies and refreshments.

Marsha Lederman is Western Arts correspondent for The Globe and Mail.

 

AN ARTIST’S LIFE – BOOK LAUNCH
with the Zack Gallery
Thursday, November 16, 6:00pm

PNINA GRANIRER  / Light Within the Shadows, A Painter’s Memoir

SPONSORED BY THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN

FREE

“The hackneyed phrase that ‘an image is worth one thousand words’ may well be true, but along with my paintings, now I need those thousand words to tell my stories.“ – Pnina Granirer

Light Within the Shadows: a painter’s memoir, is the story of Pnina Granirer’s life as a painter whose career spans almost sixty years. Conceived as a play in three acts, it unfolds from her hometown on the Danube River in Romania during the war and the Communist takeover, to art school in Jerusalem, followed by three years spent in the USA and finally arriving in Vancouver in 1965. Granirer candidly shares her successes and failures, addressing issues of dislocation, ‘otherness,’ and the uprooted soul’s wish for permanency and belonging.

Amidst the joys and restrictions of family life, Granirer created a large body of art, ignoring trends and searching for renewal and new ideas.  With wry optimism and humour she openly discusses the politics and obstacles encountered by artists and gives an inside view of how art is forged and released into the world.

“Granirer writes with a painter’s eye, vividly evoking cities from Jerusalem to Paris to Montreal, and landscapes from the coastal sand dunes of Israel to the far north of Canada.” – Graham Good, Professor Emeritus of English, UBC

Opening Reception and Art Exhibit  7:00-9:00pm

This exhibit is a celebration of Pnina Granirer’s newly published book; it follows the written words, becoming a small retrospective of works featured in the book. Drawings, wood engravings and watercolours from her life in Jerusalem, Illinois, Montreal and Vancouver that have never been shown before, will give the viewer a deeper understanding of her beginnings as an artist.

“…a lively and touching act of memory and affirmation, as vivid, theatrical and perceptive as Granirer’s paintings themselves.  It shows both an artist’s eye for the telling detail and a historian’s awareness of social and political context.” – Max Wyman, critic and cultural commentator.

WCJ Book Awards

Winners of the 2018 Western Canada Jewish Book Awards

Fiction – Diamond Foundation Prize 2018
Deborah Willis – The Dark and Other Love Stories
“The emotional range and depth of Willis’s stories, the clarity and deftness, are astonishing.”—Alice Munro

The characters in these thirteen masterful and engaging stories exist on the edge of danger, where landscapes melt into dreamscapes and every house is haunted.  The Dark and Other Love Stories announces the emergence of a wonderfully gifted storyteller whose stories enlarge our perceptions about the human capacity to love.

Deborah Willis’ first book Vanishing and Other Stories, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and named one of the Globe and Mail’s top 10 books of the year. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.


 

Non-Fiction – The Pinsky Givon Family Prize 2018
Tilar J. Mazzeo – Irena’s Children
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot comes an extraordinary and gripping account of Irena Sendler—the “female Oskar Schindler”—who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II.

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the author of numerous works of cultural history and biography, including the New York Times bestselling The Widow Clicquot, The Secret of Chanel No. 5, and nearly two dozen other books, articles, essays, and reviews on wine, travel, and the history of luxury. The Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College, she divides her time between coastal Maine, New York City, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.


 

Children/Youth – the Jonathan and Heather Berkowitz Prize 2018
Irene N. Watts – Seeking Refuge
Kathryn E. Shoemaker (illustrator) – Seeking Refuge
ALSO WINNERS of the 2017 VINE AWARD FOR CANADIAN JEWISH LITERATURE

Seeking Refuge captures Irene Watts’ experiences when she was sent to England from Germany on the Kindertransport at the age of seven. This was a military operation that saved almost 10,000 Jewish children during WWII.

“Author and illustrator show their collaborative finesse in a wonderfully rendered marriage between text and art. A book that invites close reading, this will spark interest in the plight of all refugees.”IRENE N. WATTS has written poems, plays, novels and non-fiction books. As a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, she wrote and directed plays for young audiences to be performed at schools.

KATHRYN E. SHOEMAKER is the illustrator of more than 40 books for children. She has broad experience as an art teacher, curriculum specialist, filmmaker, fund raiser and event designer. She teaches children’s literature at UBC.


 

Holocaust – the Kahn Family Foundation Prize 2018
Roger Frie – Not in My Family : German Memory and Responsibility after the Holocaust
ALSO WINNER 2017 CANADIAN JEWISH LITERARY AWARD (in history)

In this extraordinary and highly absorbing book, Canadian author Roger Frie confronts an unspoken Nazi  history in his German family. With remarkable courage, he seeks to transform his family narrative into an understanding of the Holocaust’s forbidding reality. The son of German postwar immigrants who were children during World War II, and with grandparents who were participants in the War, he uses the history of his family to explore the moral and psychological implications of memory against the backdrop of one of humanity’s darkest periods.

ROGER FRIE is a psychologist and philosopher educated in London and Cambridge. He is Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University,  Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at UBC and Faculty and Supervisor at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology in New York.

Contact Us

FESTIVAL INFORMATION

Events take place at the JCC
950 W. 41st Ave., Vancouver

Dana Camil Hewitt
Director, Cherie Smith JCCGV Jewish Book Festival
Tel: 604-257-5156
Email: jbf@jccgv.bc.ca

PUBLICITY & MEDIA

Jodi Smith
JLS Entertainment
Tel: (604) 736 4939
Email: jls@jlsentertainment.ca

2017 Festival Supporters

Remembering Cherie Smith 
Cherie Smith founded the Jewish Book Festival in Vancouver in 1984. She passed away in July 1999. Cherie served as the Festival’s chairperson, literary inspiration and tireless worker for many years. Her lifelong love of books was evident in her career as an editor, publisher and author of her own family history, Mendel’s Children: A Family Chronicle. Cherie’s legacy lives on through the thousands of people who flock to the Festival each year.

FOUNDING PATRONS 
Julian (Buddy) Smith and family
Annette Rothstein (z’l) and family

EVENT SPONSORS
The Kirman Foundation for Yiddish Culture
National Council of Jewish Women
of Canada – Vancouver Section
The Lutsky Families
Nancy Brown Halpern
Esther Chetner
Daniella Givon & Bernard Pinsky
Beverley Kort & Ray Schachter
Helen Pinsky
Elie & Zev Shafran

PUBLISHERS
The Ben & Esther Dayson Charitable Foundation
Miri & Larry Garaway
Karen James
Andrea & Yossi Kowaz
Moshe Mastai

PUBLISHERS (continued)
Nancy Richler
Harley & Eleanore Rothstein
Barb Small & Leonard Schein
Judy & Isaac Thau

READERS
Anonymous
Alexander Hart and Kathryn Selby
Dana & David Hewitt
Bess Hirsch
Robert and Marilyn Krell
Janos & Noni Mate
Julie & Michael Seelig
Frieda Miller & Danny Shapiro

FRIENDS
Martha & Ron Burnett
Jane Cherry
Cathy Moss & Alvin Wasserman

FESTIVAL SPONSORS