Jewish Book Festival day 1



Opening   |   Su Nov 27   |   Mo Nov 28   |   Tu Nov 29   |   We Nov 30   |   Th Dec 1   |   Su Feb 5

Su Nov 27 10:00-11:30am
in the Wosk Auditorium
by donation – includes a light brunch

The JBF shines its spotlight on a select group of writers in a delightful event we guarantee you’ll enjoy.  Likened to speed-dating, this fast-paced event gives each author exactly 180 seconds to make the audience fall in love with their book and bring it home to meet mother.

DANILA BOTHA / For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known
(Tightrope Books)
Danila Botha was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied Creative Writing at York University and at Humber College for Writers. Her debut collection, Got No Secrets, was published by Tightrope Books in 2010.
In this collection of 18 short stories,  Danila Botha explores the nuances and complexity of relationships, from love to betrayal.

MICHAEL J COOPER /The Rabbi’s Knight  Foxes in the Vineyard
Michael J Cooper studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and graduated from Tel Aviv University Medical School. He is now a pediatric cardiologist in Northern California. He is the author of 3 novels.
The Rabbi’s Knight
is set in the Holy Land in 1290 - the twilight of the Crusades and weaves a web of scholarly and religious intrigue. Foxes in the Vineyard, set in 1948 Jerusalem, won the 2011 Indie Publishing Contest prize.

LEORA FREEDMAN / The Daughter That Got Away
(Yotzeret Publishing)
Leora Freedman, based in Toronto,  is also the author of The Ivory Pomegranate (Gefen Publications), and YA novel  Parachuting.
The Daughter That Got Away was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards in the US.  The novel is about a sophisticated Jewish woman from Manhattan who travels to a small Jewish community in British Columbia to visit her daughter; the book has been described as “New York City meets the Canadian bush.”  

S.M. FREEDMAN / The Faithful / Impact Winter
S.M. Freedman is a top ranked Mystery/Thriller author published by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. She studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, and spent years as a private investigator and business owner.
Her debut novel, The Faithful, was a Quarter Finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The sequel, Impact Winter, was published in July 2016.

VALERIE FOSTER / The Risk of Sorrow - Conversations with Holocaust Survivor, Helen Handler
Valerie Foster is an educator and recipient of the Shofar Zakhor award for Holocaust Education. She taught high school English for thirty years and currently mentors future teachers at Chandler-Gilbert College in Arizona. Her previous writing includes the memoir Dancing With a Demon.
In The Risk of Sorrow, an 80-year-old Auschwitz survivor invites an Irish-Catholic schoolteacher to hear her final testimony. Through intimate conversations, two women of different generations, religions, and cultures forge a profound friendship as they examine deep questions of faith, love and survival.

MICHAEL SEIDELMAN / No One Dies in the Garden of Syn
Michael is an unapologetic bookworm and movie buff with a background in Online Marketing. This is his first YA novel.
No One Dies in the Garden of Syn
... but some fates are worse than death. (Syn) Wade is a teenage girl who struggles with cystic fibrosis, an incurable disease, and wakes up in a new world – a mysterious garden where illness and death don’t exist.

EVELYN H LAZARE / The Ladies Who Do Dinner / Temple Sholom Sifrei Torah
Evelyn spent much of her career writing strategic documents for the health care sector. She retired early and began publishing fiction, both on-line and in newspapers.
The Ladies Who Do Dinner
is the third in the series of The Ladies Who Don’t Lunch novels. It continues the stories of six women who meet for dinner at their homes in Chicago. There, they share great meals (with menus provided) and they continue the stories of their lives, loves and losses, including the men in each category.
Temple Sholom Sifrei Tora​h traces the history of the eight scrolls at Temple Sholom, Vancouver. It relates the back stories, telling how the information was found, as well as the details pertaining to each scroll. Written as a project celebrating the congregation’s 50th anniversary, the book is the first to unearth the identity of several scrolls at the synagogue.

AGES 3-7
Su Nov 27 10:15-11:00am  FREE  
Illustrator RAE MATÉ shares her new book Crocs at Work in a creative activity.


In Crocs at Work, the team that created the children’s Crocodiles Play and Crocodiles Say tackle the world of work—again with laughs and poetry.
“Clear, cheerful colors, a sunshiny atmosphere and a pleasant, wicked ebullience make a perfect story-time choice.”—The Toronto Star
Rae Maté has been painting professionally for many years. Her first children’s picture books, Crocodiles Say and Crocodiles Play, were published by Tradewind Books. She and her husband Gabor have three children, a dog and two cats, and live in Vancouver.
The author of a dozen books for children, Robert Heidbreder has been enchanting children with his joyful poems and rhymes and his brilliant performances for more than two decades. Robert lives in Vancouver, BC.

Su Nov 27 11:15am-12:00pm  FREE
PJ Library presents    
RICHARD UNGAR / Yitzi and the Giant Menorah

Join us for a fun-filled morning of story-telling. The PJ Library is a Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver sponsored program. It supports families in their Jewish journey by sending them monthly, a free Jewish-content children’s book. 

A celebration of community, thoughtfulness and the magic of Chanukah.

“...this retelling of a Jewish folktale captures the traditional shtetl backdrop with lively words and bright watercolor-and-colored-pencil art that sets a sunny tone....” - Booklist

Richard Ungar balances the worlds of law, art and writing. A practicing lawyer by profession, he devotes his leisure hours to painting and writing. Richard studied painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design and his work can be found in private collections in Canada and the US. He lives in Toronto.


Su Nov 27 12:00-2:00pm     
Buy tickets online >> or by phone 604-257-5111

Participants will learn the basics of writing for the screen. We’ll discuss proper format, structure, how to develop great screen characters, how to develop an ear for dialogue and writing visually for film. Bring paper and a pen. Karen will lead participants in brief writing exercises.

Karen X. Tulchinsky is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter and director. A graduate of the prestigious Canadian Film Centre, she’s written for The Guard (Global) and Robson Arms (CTV). Her feature length screenplay, I Shot the Sheriff, will be directed by acclaimed director Clement Virgo (The Book of Negroes). Tulchinsky’s short film, Ms. Thing has screened at over 50 Film Festivals. She is also the winner of One Book One Vancouver for her novel The Five Books of Moses Lapinsky.


Su Nov 27 1:00-2:00pm    FREE
Saved in a  Picture (Shamur B’Tmunah)
Two stories interweave in Saved in a Picture. One follows three generations of a Jewish-Hungarian family, through the turmoil of the 20th century, between Budapest and Novi Sad, Haifa and New York. A famous Hungarian oil painter and Kata lead the story. In Tel Aviv in 2010, we follow Noa, an Israeli writer who has just returned home after living in the USA, where she heard of Kata family’s story.  Saved in a Picture is the answer to Noa’s questions.

Tali Geva was born in Israel and graduated from Haifa University with a MA in Literature. In 2002 Tali moved to Vancouver, where she lectured about Hebrew Literature and wrote Love Suddenly. In 2010 she returned to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv, where she wrote Saved in a Picture, published in 2016.

The book launch will take place in English on Monday, Nov 28, 2-3pm


Su Nov 27 2:00-3:00pm    at the JCC     $16
Buy tickets online >> or by phone 604-257-5111
Su Nov 27 4:00-5:00pm   
Location: Congregation Har El, North Shore Jewish Community Centre - 1305 Taylor Way, West Vancouver
by donation
TOM WAYMAN / The Shadows We Mistake for Love
Winner of the Diamond Foundation Prize for Fiction
The Shadows We Mistake for Love, his newest short story collection explores the intricate web of shared history, common needs and deep and complex relationships that evolve in isolated locations. In the tradition of shtetl literature, the tales feature strong rural characters: loggers and millworkers, practitioners of both legal and illegal agriculture, single mothers, equity refugees, artisans, skiers, tourism entrepreneurs, environmentalists and more struggle to build a life true to their values while experiencing the support, opposition and indifference of their fellow valley residents.

A resident of BC’s West Kootenay region, Tom Wayman has published 3 books of fiction as well as more than a dozen collections of poems, essays and anthologies.

Su Nov 27 2:00-3:00pm   
Location: White Rock South Surrey JCC
#32, 3033 King George Blvd., Surrey   
by donation
BOB BOSSIN / Davy the Punk
Winner of the Pinsky Givon Family Prize for Non-Fiction
‘A life so fascinating, hilarious and outrageous, it’s worthy of a Mordecai Richler novel.’
- Andreas Schroeder, Canadian poet.

Bob Bossin spent much of his life searching for his father Davy Bossin who died in 1963, when Bob was a teenager. While he remembers a quiet, conservative man who was an arresting storyteller, Davy was better known as one of Toronto’s most wanted men. Davy the Punk is the story of his father’s life in Toronto’s gambling underworld of the 30s and 40s. Funny, moving and insightful, the book reveals a city rife with anti-Semitism at the time.

In 1971 Canadian folk musician Bob Bossin co-founded an unplugged folk group called Stringband who crisscrossed the country endearing themselves to legions of fans. They played their last gig in 1986 and Bob went on to an ongoing solo career as a performer, writer and environmental activist.

Also appearing Mo Nov 28 7:00–8:00pm   
location: Burquest Jewish Community Centre     by donation

Su Nov 27 3:30-4:30pm  
or phone 604-257-5111

ELLA ZELTSERMAN – small things left behind  
Winner - Betty Averbach Foundation Prize for Poetry 2016 Western Canada Jewish Book Awards
Ella is a Soviet-born poet and a member of the Edmonton poetry community. small things left behind is her first collection, a lyrical and authentic account of Russian-Jewish immigration to Canada during the Cold War. Deftly modulating language, imagery, the events of past and present, comfort and tyranny, home and war, she touches readers emotionally, drawing them into the journey.

ROBYN SARAH – My Shoes Are Killing Me 
Winner of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Awards for Poetry in the English Language
and the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for poetry.

“Robyn Sarah’s My Shoes Are Killing Me is a lyrical power.  A richly inventive, precise, meditative collection (…)  This is a transformative work that continuously surprises the reader.”     - Governor General’s Award Jury Citation

 “The nostalgia encompasses memories of the Jewish diaspora alongside the motto of the poet’s province: ‘a past continuous, a past as presence. / Je me souviens.”

A poet, writer, literary editor, and musician, Robyn Sarah has lived in Montreal since early childhood. Author of several poetry collections, she has also published two collections of short stories and a book of essays on poetry. She is also poetry editor for Cormorant Books.

Perfect Answers to Silent Questions
A film-maker by day, a poet by night, Tom Konyves gives us elegant moments poised between tongue-tip and camera lens.

His work as a video artist has enriched his work as his poetry is both visually articulate and expressively cinematic.

COLIN BROWNE is a writer, documentary filmmaker and film historian, Professor Emeritus in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of Abraham and the critically acclaimed collection of poetry Ground Water, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award.

Su Nov 27 5:00–6:00pm    
ROBIN ESROCK / The Great Global Bucket List
or phone 604-257-5111


“He’s been everywhere, he’s done everything.” – 60 Minutes
From cruising down the Amazon River to camping in Zanzibar, searching for his Jewish roots in Lithuania to cage diving with crocodiles, Robin’s bucket list offers inspiration for readers of all ages and interests. Here is a bucket list full of characters, trivia, history and humour, proving that modern travel is so much more than over-trafficked tourist attractions.

Robin Esrock is a Vancouver bestselling author, journalist, TV host, public speaker and producer. Having travelled to over 100 countries on 7 continents, his stories and photography have appeared in major publications, including National Geographic Traveler, The Guardian, etc. He is the creator and co-host of the television series World Travels  and bestselling author of The Great Canadian Bucket List series.