Jewish Book Festival

book festival 2019 sponsors


Sunday, December 8

Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Shelly Christensen, MA, speaker, author, and consultant presents her book From Longing to Belonging: A Practical Guide for People with Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions in Your Faith Based Community. Q&A and light refreshments to follow.


Opening Night Event: In Conversation With… Series
Naomi K. Lewis – 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards finalist – shares insights from her book, Tiny Lights for Travellers with Lauren Krugel, Canadian Press journalist. Dessert reception to follow. Sponsored in part by:


Monday, December 9

Meet the Author Series
David Bickman, author of Patriarch, discovered that much of his father’s family historyis a microcosm of the history of Eastern European Jewry from 1774 to the present and– in this process – learned much more about himself.Co-sponsored by: 


2:00-3:30pm and 6:30-8:00pm
Book Club Marathon
Choose from a 90-minute, 180-minute or full-day ‘book sprint’ along the most fascinating book recommendations by Calgary literary clubs. Sessions hosted by ‘professional book clubbers’ Betty Sherwood, retired teacher and librarian, and Elaine Bucknum, psychologist.



Tuesday, December 10

Meet the Author Series
Goldie Morgentaler – 2019 Canadian Jewish Literary Award winner – introduces the world of Yiddish, and life before and after the Holocaust, through readings from her book Confessions of a Yiddish Writer and Other Essays by Chava Rosenfarb. Co-Sponsored by Calgary Jewish Federation:


Meet the Author Series
Jochebed Katan tells the story of five gentile families and individuals who enabled her family to survive the Holocaust in her memoir You’re are Not Allowed to Shoot Me. Co-Sponsored by Calgary Jewish Federation:



Wednesday, December 11

“Wordy&Worthy” Workshop Series
10 Secrets of Writing and Publishing a Memoir, Family History and Travelogues David Leach – author, university professor, and former magazine editor – will help you dive into the universe of creative non-fiction while offering hands-on writing tips for aspiring authors of every level. Free admission, please RSVP by email to Shula. 

Festival of Choirs
Enjoy a musical medley and storytelling evening with our resident ensemble: Voices Jewish Seniors Choir and special guest, Kingston Jewish Community Choir. An evening of liturgy, holiday, and folk songs, in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, and English.



Thursday, December 12
Jewish Book Festival Tribute to Amos Ozz”l

In Conversation With… Series
Fania Oz-Salzberger – Professor of History, University of Haifa; co-author with her father – of Jews & Words unravels the chain of words at the core of Jewish life, history, and culture, while sharing her father’s legacy through their personal and professional relationship. Live streaming video conference from Zichron Ya'akov, Israel.

Look Back to Galilee: Understanding Israel, Amos Oz, and Myself
Through the Spirit of the Kibbutz
David Leach will read from his book Chasing Utopia and discuss the complex and fascinating history of Israel’s kibbutz movement over the past 110 years. This talk will help to better understand its impact on former volunteers like himself, the image and reality of Israel as a nation, and the life and art of one of Israel’s most famous kibbutzniks, author Amos Oz. Light refreshments to follow.


Friday, December 13

Welcome Shabbat Storytelling Party
Join authors Jacqueline Mills and Ros Schwartz for a heartfelt Shabbat ceremony while listening to the Little Synagogue on the Prairie story and singing from the traditional children’s Jewish songbook. Grape juice and challah bread to share.



Saturday, December 14

Maleva Malkah – After Shabbat “Film, Debate, Coffee&Cake”
Join author Maurice Yacowar – University of Calgary professor in English and Film Studies – for the screening of A Tale of Love and Darkness (Israel, 2015, directed by Natalie Portman). Based on the late Israeli author Amos Oz’s childhood memoir, of the same title. The discussion will focus on the film’s independent structure and meaning. Light refreshments to follow.



Sunday, December 15

Israeli Pop Culture Series
‘Look at your pupik’ – Malka’s advice to Shulem in Shtisel, Season 2, Episode 1. Join author Maurice Yacowar – University of Calgary professor in English and Film Studies – for an excursion into his latest book, Reading Shtisel: A TV Masterpiece from Israel. Discover an interesting take on the acclaimed TV show and get an insight into the religious Haredi community, part of the diverse Israeli society.

Grand Finale Dinner Theatre – Amos Oz: Genetics of an Author
Solo drama performance written and directed by Emily Sztabzyb.
A young woman in a Jerusalem apartment, bids goodbye to her grandmother. In doing so, she delves into an exploration of memory, literature, and history… all linked within her,rooted in a deep connection with the late famed Israeli author, Amos Oz.
6:00pm: Buffet style dinner; 6:45pm: Performance. Adults: $36 • Students and Seniors: $28.
Purchase tickets by December 11 online at or call 403-253-8600, ext.0.


On-going Happenings

Stacks&Piles: A Visual Books-to-Read List Photo Exhibit
December 1-15 at Karen’s Café located in the JCC. Everybody wants to “see” what you are reading! Email your books photo to


Sifriya Library – Hebrew Book Exchange
Bring in your gently used Hebrew books, exchange them for something you haven’t read, and discover some hidden gems! Sponsored by: Jacob Renert.


Folded Art Books Workshop
Books can also be beautiful pieces of art. Learn hands-on, step-by-step, do-it-yourselffolded art books. By donation.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12:00-3:00pm & 6:00-9:00pm