Highlights from the fourth annual Jewish Book Festival

Nora Gold will talk about her book The Dead Man

The Jewish Book Festival features top works from the year’s most sought-after Jewish authors on topics including Israel, fiction, Holocaust, children, family, parenting, cooking, health and Jewish identity.

This year, nine authors will be visiting Toronto for the festival which runs Nov. 10 to 20.

All events and lectures will take place at either the Schwartz/Reisman Centre (SRC) or the Prosserman JCC.

The festival opens on Nov. 10, with Armando Lucas Correa, speaking about his book The German Girl. It is about a Jewish-German woman, Hannah Rosenthal and her best friend Leo’s charmed life in Berlin before 1939, and where life takes them – from the infamous ship Saint Louis to New York City decades later, bringing together the pain of the past with the mysteries of the present.

Admission is $18 and includes a reception with Ana Maria Gordon, a survivor from the St. Louis, an exhibit, and a copy of the book. Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Prosserman JCC.

Another book about this period is The Nazi Titanic – The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II, by Robert Watson.


Built in 1927, the German ocean liner Cap Arcona was the greatest ship since the Titanic. When the Nazis seized control of the vessel, she was stripped down for use as a floating barracks and troop transport. In the Third Reich’s final desperate days, the Cap Arcona was mistakenly bombed by the RAF, killing the concentration camp prisoners packed aboard.

Admission is $30 and includes a reception with the author and a copy of the book. Nov. 2, 4 p.m. at the SRC .

Steven Rothfeld, a world-class travel photographer, will present his book, Israel Eats, an intimate portrait of Israel through its cuisine. It is a celebration of Israeli creativity, daring thinking and colourful mosaic of cultural influences and traditions in Israel’s history to create fresh, contemporary culinary fusions and flavours. 

Admission is $40 and includes a presentation, dinner with the author and a signed copy of the book Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m.  Prosserman JCC.

Janice Kaplan will talk about her New York Times bestseller book The Gratitude Diaries, about the concept of thanks that is expressed in the many blessings Jews say every day that make us appreciate the specialness of what we have.

A mix of serious research study, personal memoir, and prescriptive advice, Kaplan takes readers on a smart and witty journey to discover how gratitude can transform every aspect of life: marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness.  Admission is $25 and includes lunch with the author and a copy of the book. Nov. 14, 12:30 p.m. Prosserman JCC.

Montreal-native Nora Gold will talk about her book The Dead Man, a part romance, part mystery, that tells the story of Eve, a composer of Jewish sacred music and a music therapist with an unconquerable obsession – she cannot recover from a brief relationship she had five years ago with Jake, a world-famous music critic.   

Admission is $20 and includes a reception with the author and a copy of the book. Nov. 13, 2 p.m. at the SRC.

Bring your eight- to 12-year-old children to these two presentations.

Award-winner Jeff Gottesfeld will talk about his book The Tree in the Backyard – Looking Through Anne Frank’s Window. The tree in the Amsterdam courtyard shaded a little girl as she played and laughed and wrote in a diary. The tree watched as she and her family were taken away, and when her father returned after the war, alone. The tree died the summer Anne Frank would have turned 81, but its seeds and saplings have been planted around the world as a symbol of peace. This is the story of the tree and a girl who have passed into history–and through it, still live on.


Admission is $10 and does not include the book.  It will take place at the SRC on Nov. 13, 10 a.m.

Courtney Tisch will present her children’s book The Number on Her Arm, based on the true story of the author’s grandparents, both Holocaust survivors. It shows how sometimes those who endure the worst fates in life come out the strongest. Admission is $10 and does not include the book.  Nov. 20, 10 a.m. at the SRC.

There are also two events geared for families.

I Am Not Your Average Teen by 18-year-old Toronto writer Brittany Krystantos is about the difficulties of being a teenager. It is about celebrating who you are and finding the confidence to stand apart from the crowd.

Admission is $20 and includes a reception with the author and special guest, Todd Shapiro – host of The Todd Shapiro Show, and a copy of the book.

It takes place at the SRC on Nov. 13 at 5 p.m.

In her book, Ketchup is My Favorite Vegetable – a family grows up with autism, author Liane Kupferberg-Carter will talk about how to sustain an ordinary family life while dealing with the extraordinary needs of a disabled child.

The author offers a mother’s insight into what really goes on in the two decades after the diagnosis of her autistic child, Mickey.  Admission is $18 and includes a reception with the author and a copy of the book. Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. at the Prosserman JCC.

Tickets are available  at www.srcentre.ca and onsite prior to each presentation, or call 905-303-1841.