Jewish Book Festival

jewish book festival

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1607 90 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2V 4V7



Sunday December 4  |  
6:30 - 8:00pm

Celebrating Calgary Year of Music
Peace Concert by Vocal Latitudes World Music Choir

Enjoy our opening day with a musical journey dedicated to SHALOM! (Hebrew for peace). This mixed-voice community choir sings songs from all times and traditions; everything from Renaissance to African music, pop, jazz and world music. This performance will feature songs on the theme of peace in English, French, Latin and Hebrew.
Founded and directed by Frank Rackow with accompaniment by pianist Faye White, Vocal Latitudes celebrates more than 10 years performing in venues such as the Jack Singer Concert Hall, ProArts At Noon Series and other community events around the city.
Opening Number: Shalom Medley by the Voices Choir, led by Karina Szulc

Admission: JCC member: $10 | General Public: $15 | At the door: $20
Event code: 9426
Buy tickets at the JCC Customer Service or call at 403-253-8600.



Monday November 30  |  6:30 - 8:00pm

book clubs roundupBook Clubs Round-Up!

Calling all book club members and enthusiasts citywide! Come share your reading with like-minded people and discover which books you need to add to your “unputdownable” and must-read list.
Hosted by: Kara Goodwin

Kara Goodwinis an avid reader and lover of fiction and non-fiction alike. She is a member of the Editors’ Association of Canada, has worked as a professional writer and has taught professional writing for over 15 years. She lives in Calgary with her 3 children and husband, writer, poet and one of the winners of the Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature, Daniel Goodwin.


Tuesday December 6  |  6:30 - 8:00pm

Ellen SchwartzGet Lit! A Young Adult Book Presentation
Heart of Champion by Ellen Schwartz

A poignant coming-of-age story, set in 1941, about a young boy obsessed with baseball whose life changes drastically when World War II comes to his Japanese community in Vancouver.

Ellen Schwartz grew up in New Jersey, and moved to British Columbia in the 1970s, where she teaches creative writing at Simon Fraser University and at Douglas College. She is the acclaimed author of twelve books for children, including picture books, juvenile fiction, YA fiction and nonfiction and educational books. Stealing Home, her first novel about baseball, was chosen as a 2007 “Top 10 Sports Books for Youth” by Booklist magazine. Before becoming a writer, Ms. Schwartz taught special education and the primary grades, and worked as an environmental educator. In addition to her work as an author, Ms. Schwartz and her husband run a communications consulting company in Burnaby, BC.

In partnership with

BBYO is a the largest youth lead leadership movement. Comprised of student grade 9-12, members come together to provide more Jewish experiences for more Jewish teens! 



Wednesday December 7  |  6:30 - 8:00pm

Canadian Book Launch
Stolen Words by Rabbi Mark Glickman

Stolen Words is an epic story about the largest collection of Jewish books in the world—tens of millions of books that the Nazis looted from European Jewish families and institutions. Nazi soldiers and civilians emptied Jewish communal libraries, confiscated volumes from government collections, and stole from Jewish individuals, schools, and synagogues. Early in their regime the Nazis burned some books in spectacular bonfires, but most they saved, stashing the literary loot in castles, abandoned mine shafts, and warehouses throughout Europe. It was the largest and most extensive book-looting campaign in history.

Rabbi Mark Glickman is Temple B’Nai Tikvah current Rabbi. Since 1991 he has served at congregations in Ohio, Washington State, and Colorado. His first book Sacred Treasure—The Cairo Genizah: The Amazing Discoveries of Forgotten Jewish History in an Egyptian Synagogue Attic, appeared in 2011. Rabbi Glickman has also contributed regular columns for the Seattle Times and the Tacoma News Tribune. He is an accomplished public speaker and has served as Scholar in Residence for a number of congregations. Rabbi Glickman is married to Dr. Caron Nelson Glickman and they have four adult children. 



Thursday December 8  |  6:30 - 8:00pm

Jewish Book Festival Tribute
Elie Wiesel & Shimon Peres: A World of Peace

This year’s Jewish Book Festival celebrates the lives of Elie Wiesel z”l and Shimon Peres z”l, two giants of Jewish culture, politics, and history. Both Nobel Peace Prize winners – Wiesel 1986, Peres 1994 – dedicated their lives to deliver a message of peace and respect between people worldwide. Discover what these personalities mean to you, explore and reflect on their legacy in an evening with Shaiel Ben-Ephraim. As part of this tribute, enjoy as well heartfelt essay readings from CJA Junior High students.

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim, MA is a Doctoral candidate at the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. Lecturer at the University of Calgary, Department of History and Mount Royal University at the Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies where he teaches Israeli and Middle Eastern politics and international relations theory.

Hosted by: Ilana Krygier Lapides, Director of Human Rights & Holocaust Education, Calgary Jewish Federation.

Light Desert Reception

In partnership with



Friday December 9  |  11:00 - 11:30am

Welcome Shabbat
Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts by Jane Yolen and illustrator Sima Elizabeth Shefrin

Calling all young chefs! Author and illustrator Elizabeth Shefrin invites the children to a hands-on activity! Listen to one of these enchanting tales read by Elizabeth Shefrin and create your own traditional Jewish feast with “yummy” reproductions from the book and other images you create from your imagination! Activity appropriate for ages 3 to 6.


Saturday December 10  |  6:30 - 8:00pm

daniel goodwinHavdalah of Humor, Healing & Hot Chocolate!
Embroidered Cancer Comic by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin

As soon as the author’s husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, they started making cancer jokes. Every time they laughed, one of them would say “That goes in a comic”. There was no comic yet, but eventually Elizabeth, a long-time fabric artist, got out her needle and started embroidering the original illustrations which would become the Embroidered Cancer Comic. “It’s so important that we laugh as well as cry”, said Shefrin. Decreased libido is a common effect of cancer treatment, but it can be awkward to talk about it and it is often brushed under the carpet. Shefrin doesn’t shy away from these most intimate topics, and in this book she shares with gentle humour how her husband’s cancer treatment affected their sex life.

Elizabeth Shefrin is well known for her community art projects in the Vancouver area, especially the Middle East Peace Quilt, an international community art project which toured North America for ten years. She is also an acclaimed children’s book illustrator.

In partnership with

PROSTAID representatives will be in attendance to provide information about their organization. Their mission is to provide peer-to-peer support for men and their families on their journey with prostate cancer, to increase public awareness of the disease and to advocate for a strong provincial voice in matters relating to prostate cancer.

Light Dessert Reception



Sunday December 11  |  6:30 - 8:30pm

klezmer plus!Closing night show
Songs & Stories of Davy the Punk by Bob Bossin

Winner of the Western Canada Jewish Book Awards - Pinsky Givon Family Prize Davy Bossin, the author’s father, was born in 1905. Finding his way blocked by the rampant antisemitism of the time, Davy blazed his own path in a new, vibrant, international
industry: gambling. There he matched wits with cops and mobsters, crooks and judges, mensches and gonifs. A musical journey into the gambling underworld of the 1930s and 1940s. Discover the dark side of Toronto the Good and a missing chapter in Canadian Jewish history.

Bob Bossin has been writing about odd corners of Canadian life for 40 years. Circa 1970, he wrote poetry, but was tempted away by the bright lights and big bucks of Canadian folk music. With Marie-Lynn Hammond, he founded the iconic and long-lived Canadian folk group, Stringband. Davy the Punk, Bossin’s latest book won the the Pinsky Givon Family Prize for Non-Fiction works at the Western Canada Jewish Book Awards in Vancouver. Davy the Punk was short-listed for the Vine Prize for Canadian Jewish non-fiction. Bossin lives on Gabriola Island BC, with his son Davy and his partner, fabric artist Sima Elizabeth Shefrin.

Admission: JCC member: $10 | General Public: $15 | At the door: $20
Event code: 9190
Buy tickets at the JCC Customer Service or call at 403-253-8600.



For more information please contact Shula Banchik
403-537-8596  |  email