Fertig’s new poems

“Poet, publisher and long-time supporter of the writing community, Salt Spring Island-based Mona Fertig (left) has released her first collection of poems in 14 years.” FULL STORY


Jewish Book Festival update

December 08th, 2022

The JCC Jewish Book Festival (Feb. 11-16, 2023) is bringing authors from across Canada, USA, Israel and Germany for in-person events. Authors and audiences are being welcomed back to in-person events for lively conversations after the past few challenging pandemic years!

The big themes emerge organically from the world around us: the focus on mental health and a better understanding of our inner selves, the incredible diversity within the Jewish communities in Canada and around the world, the increasing relevance of political reality in literature, new waves of generational fiction and the treasure trove of authors we have here in BC.

Gabor Maté

Opening Night will be GABOR MATÉ, MD with his latest bestselling book The Myth of Normal Trauma, Illness & Healing in a Toxic Culture, in conversation with Marsha Lederman. As a trusted and compassionate authority on stress, trauma and mental well-being, the acclaimed author and speaker offers a ground-breaking investigation into the causes of illness, a critique of how our society breeds disease, and a pathway to health and healing.

In a visually arresting Prologue on Jan 26, acclaimed US/Israeli photographer JASON LANGER will present his book Berlin: A Jewish Ode to the Metropolis surrounded by an exhibit of photographs from the coffee table book; while in a different but also Germany-themed pre-fest event on Jan 19, writer MAX CZOLLEK will launch the English version of De-Integrate! A Jewish Survival Guide for the 21st Century, a polemical, often humorous examination of Jewish life in contemporary Germany that speaks to the position of minorities the world over.

Our annual Book Clubs event will feature bestselling Iranian/American author DORA LEVY MOSSANEN with her novel Love and War in the Jewish Quarter, a tender and tension-packed story of forbidden love in Tehran during WWII.

For our Closing Night, bestselling investigative journalist ISABEL VINCENT’s Overture of Hope uncovers the amazing story of the British spinsters who masterminded a plan to spirit dozens of Jewish stars of the German and Austrian opera to England and save them from a terrible fate under the Third Reich. There will be singers too!

On Valentines Day, February 14, NYC bestselling author LYNDA COHEN LOIGMAN will present her charming novel The Matchmakers Gift while Montreal’s GINA ROITMAN will bring forth a different love story in her literary thriller Dont Ask; in the evening, YOSEF WOSK and ALAN TWIGG will discuss their latest collaboration in Gidal: The Unusual Friendship of Yosef Wosk and Tim Gidal.

For our event Jews in Trench Coats, we invited former CIA operative DOUGLAS LONDON with his book The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence, together with former CSIS operative ANDREW KIRSCH, who wrote I Was never Here: My True Canadian Spy Story of Coffees, Code Names and Covert Operations in the Age of Terrorism. Israeli author YISHAI SARID will talk about his book Victorious, a provocative novel of the psychology and morality of war. In One Hundred Saturdays, MICHAEL FRANK will bring to life the lost Jewish community of Rhodes and the life of one of the oldest living Holocaust survivors.

S.M. Freedman

The festival has an incredible abundance of BC authors this year: DANIEL KALLA will avoid spoiler alerts when talking about his latest thriller The Darkness in the Light, in a panel together with S.M. FREEDMAN: Blood Atonement and SAMANTHA BAILEY: Watch for Her; TAMAR GLOUBERMAN and MARGOT FEDORUK will be discussing their quirky and very BC memoirs Chasing Rivers and Cooking Tips for Desperate Fishwives; CHARLOTTE SCHALLIÉ will be sharing the artistic process involved in But I Live, the intimate co-creation of 3 graphic novelists and 4 Holocaust survivors, with the artists MIRIAM LIBICKI, BARBARA YELIN and GILAD SELIKTAR; HELGA HATVANY, ELIANA TOBIAS, KAREN McKINLAY KURNAEDY, GLORIA LEVI, GEORGE HALPERN, Rabbi LAURA DUHAN KAPLAN, LEO BURSTYN, MARJIE ZACKS, and JEFFREY GROBERMAN will be presenting their latest books in the popular Literary Quickie; filmmaker HART SNIDER will share his graphic novel The Basketball Game with high school students, while former Vancouverite and acclaimed illustrator SELINA ALKO will launch Stars of the Night: The Courageous Children of the Czech Kindertransport at the JCC, as well as bring it to elementary school children; and, in a Feb 28 Epilogue that will connect our Jewish community with the general Vancouver and national ones, former federal cabinet minister and senator The Hon. JACK AUSTIN will launch his memoir Unlikely Insider: A West Coast Advocate in Ottawa, which comes as a welcome reminder of the value of public service as a force for economic progress, social justice, and nation-building.

The Hon. Jack Austin. Photo by Richard Freeman.

The Jewish Book Festival is forging ahead with many other authors, events and genres, so stay tuned.

​“We look forward to welcoming our live audiences to the joyful experience of a shared literary event!” says festival director, Dana Camil Hewitt. “The Jewish Book Festival strives to reflect and showcase recent literature that revels in the lively and pivotal ideas stemming from the modern world, and in the process expose our city and community to meaningful and captivating conversations about the written word in every shape and form. And while the nucleus of our festival is Jewish-themed, our speakers, events and audience happily represent a diversity of experiences and cultures that defy narrow categorization. We are attuned to timely and universal themes and we thrive on the interdisciplinary, always inviting visual arts and performance art into our events.”

Mark your calendars now. Regular updates can be found on the website at www.jccgv.com/jewish-book-festival where a digital program guide will be available after December 28, 2021.


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