Jewish Book Festival

jewish book festival

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jewish book festival hours


Sunday November 29

richard menkis2:00 - 3:30pm
Meet the Author – Richard Menkis
More Than Just Games: Canada and the 1936 Olympics

Held in Germany, the 1936 Olympic Games sparked international controversy. Should athletes and nations boycott the games to protest the Nazi regime? More than Just Games is the history of Canada’s involvement in the 1936 Olympics. It is the story of the Canadian Olympic officials and promoters who were convinced that national unity and pride demanded that Canadian athletes compete in the Olympics without regard for politics. In his presentation, Menkis will share this and other stories and images from his book.
Richard Menkis is an Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History, cross-appointed to the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies and the Department of History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He has published widely on antisemitism, and Jewish religious life in Canada. In the last ten years he has become involved in several public history projects, including publishing a CD-ROM on Canadian Responses to the Holocaust, 1944-1945. Richard has also served on the Human Rights Advisory Council at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Co-sponsored by
jewish historical society of southern alberta


Monday November 30

book clubs roundup6:30 - 8:00pm
Book 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” (must-read) list.
Renee Bogoch, will be moderating this event. For the past seven years, she has been the facilitator of the Balabusta Book Club.


Tuesday December 1

diane koven6:30 - 8:30pm
Meet the Author – Diane Koven
Who Am I, Really?

Many families have been touched by adoption, yet it is only in recent years that people have openly discussed it. Koven’s research and reporting have crossed barriers, invited disclosure, and opened up a dialogue. Diane, the mother of two adopted children, shares stories of adoptees she has interviewed, many of whom have asked the question: Who Am I, Really?
Originally from New Brunswick and now living in Ottawa, Diane Koven is an active volunteer in the Jewish and general communities. She is a certified financial planner with Sunlife Financial and has been a freelance writer for thirty years. Diane has written for a variety of publications and is the Ottawa correspondent for the Canadian Jewish News.

Panel Discussion
Nature vs. Nurture

A question that is often asked, about the importance of an individual’s innate qualities (genetics) compared with their personal experiences and environment.
Moderated by Marty Hornstein, Executive Director of Jewish Family Service Calgary, and joined by a panel made up of an adoptive mother and her daughter, a birth mother and a professional in the adoption services.

In partnership with
jewish family service calgary


Wednesday December 2

david a. poulsen6:30 - 8:00pm
Meet the Author – David A. Poulsen
Young Adult Novel Presentation – New this year!

Can Andy stand up to the teacher he likes the most? Mr. Reztlaff’s grade 10 social class is awesome! It’s the class that looks at World War II, Hitler, and the Holocaust. It’s the class Andy wants to ace, and make Mr. Retzlaff proud. But eventually, Andy begins to understand that acing the class might just have a greater cost than he is willing to pay. When it turns out that Mr. Retzlaff might not be so cool after all, Andy is faced with the most difficult decision of his life.
David A. Poulsen is the author of more than twenty books, including "Old Man", which was short-listed for the Forest of Reading White Pine award, and "Numbers" which won the Sakura Medal in Japan. He lives in the foothills west of Claresholm, Alberta.

In partnership with


Thursday December 3

aliza craimer6:30 - 8:30pm
Jewish Book Festival Tribute
70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps
Learning about Jews, Judaism, and Israel at School
A talk by Aliza Craimer Elias

We trust the education system to provide accurate historical information. In a world with growing antisemitism and anti-Israelism, unfortunately, this trust is sometimes misplaced. Aliza Craimer Elias will share surprising examples of bias and inaccuracy uncovered in Canadian social studies textbooks. Learn what has been done in the U.S. to transform the educational landscape, and how publishers have made almost 10,000 tangible changes for the better to textbook content on Jews, Judaism, and Israel. As we remember the past, it is imperative to know what our children are learning today and what we can do to ensure a better future.
Aliza Craimer Elias is the director of the Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS), the U.S. Resource Center for Accurate Jewish Content in Schools. She grew up in Calgary and has many fond memories of Jewish communal life and events at the JCC. After completing her Master’s in Modern Jewish Studies at Oxford, Aliza became the first staff member of ICS in 2006. Almost ten years later, she is fortunate to have a job that combines her passion for academic accuracy and her commitment to the Jewish people and Israel. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Berkeley, California. In addtion to speaking about the Institute’s work around the U.S., Aliza shared ICS’ international research at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Global Forum on Combatting Anti-semitism this past May.

Co-sponsored by
jewish community foundation of calgary


Friday December 4

pj welcome shabbat10:00 - 10:45am
Welcome Shabbat
Sammy Spider’s First Chanukah!

Bring your kids for a memorable time of storytelling, songs and a Menorah craft.

In partnership with
pj library


Saturday December 5

daniel goodwin6:30 - 8:00pm
Melaveh Malkah, After Dark Stories and Poetry Night
Meet the Author – Daniel Goodwin
Catullus’ Soldiers

Daniel Goodwin’s first poetry collection takes aim at traditional dichotomies: love and war, the personal and the public, high culture and pop culture, the ancient and modern worlds. Throughout the collection run three major currents: the poet’s love for his family; his ambivalent reactions to the wider world of politics and war; and his private, persistent, sometimes furtive relationship with the Muse as he wrestles with the limitations and triumphs of art in its ambiguous role of mediating between epic and domestic spheres. Conscious of the need to return poetry to its rightful place in our culture and collective consciousness, Goodwin has dispatched Catullus’ Soldiers to appeal to both confirmed poetry lovers and readers who might not usually pick up a book of verse.
Born in Montreal, Daniel Goodwin has worked as a teacher, journalist, corporate communicator, and government relations executive. His poems and essays have appeared in several Canadian journals and newspapers, including the Literary Review of Canada, Contemporary Verse II, The Antigonish Review, The Globe and Mail, and The Calgary Herald Goodwin’s first novel, "Sons and Fathers" was presented at the 2014 Jewish Book Festival with great acclamation. Daniel currently lives in Calgary with his wife and three children, and is part of the JCC family.

Light Dessert Reception


Sunday December 6

klezmer plus!6:00 - 8:00pm
Grand Concert Finale* – Klezmer Plus!
Kindle the first light of Chanukah
Jane Perry (piano) and Frank Rackow (clarinet)

Kindle the first light of Chanukah with the special sounds of some of the great composers of klezmer – Eastern European Jewish – music. The repertoire includes Bulgars, Horas, Terkishers, Chosidls and more! Dip into classic Jewish folk music, with compositions by legendary Srul Irving Glick, the challenging Musiker Suite as played by Sam Musiker, Macedonian folk melodies and even a John Zorn theme.

Opening Number – Fiddler on the Roof medley by Voices Choir

Jane Perry, a classically-trained pianist, spent twenty years in Ottawa as a music-maker before moving to Calgary in 2011. Perry is the music director at the Unitarian Church of Calgary and the artistic director of both Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players and One Voice Chorus. She holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Ottawa and an Associate diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In 1998, she was an Artist In Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Frank Rackow is a saxophonist and clarinetist. He is the founding conductor of Calgary’s Vocal Latitudes World Music choir, which celebrated its 10th anniversary recently. Rackow performs as a saxophonist with big and small bands, has played festivals and clubs across Canada, and is an active clinician on both instruments. He holds music and music education degrees from Concordia and McGill Universities.

Co-sponsored by
arlein & dov cheater family endowment fund

Adult: $10 or Family: $20 | At the door: $18 for everybody
Event code: 8144
Register online or call JCC Customer Service Desk at 403-253-8600, ext.0.


jewish book festival - new this year


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