Get Ready for the 36th Annual JCC Jewish Book Festival

Get ready for a literary treat at the JCC or from the comfort of your living room! The Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival (Feb. 20-25, 2021) will warm up your winter nights with an exciting roster of writers from across Canada, the US, Israel, Great Britain and Chile.

Hoping to welcome local Vancouver authors to limited-capacity in-person events and we’re inviting faraway authors straight into your homes for virtual conversations. We have taken the most current guidance and recommendations of health authorities to create an environment in which community safety is our highest priority. Inspired by the idea of “Together But Apart” that pervades our current lives, the festival will bring forth themes of family and connections and stories born of quests and questions. Times are uncertain. Community is not.

Featured 2021 Festival authors will include: ​

Opening Night with Eshkol Nevo, one of Israel’s most successful living writers, whose novel The Last Interview is a literary and psychological page-turner.

Eshkol Nevo

For Closing Night the festival will welcome beloved firecracker actress Tovah Feldshuh, whose heartwarming and funny memoir Lilyville is the mother-daughter story reflecting America’s cultural changes and the world’s shifting expectations of women.

Tovah Feldshuh

In keeping with an overarching Mothers & Daughters theme, bestselling author Myla Goldberg will unpack her latest novel Feast Your Eyes, a daringly inventive parable of female creativity and motherhood.

Myla Goldberg

Ilana Masad will counter with her debut novel All My Mothers Lovers, a tender and biting portrait of sex, gender, and identity, challenging us to acknowledge how difficult it is to know our parents.

Ilana Masad

The annual Book Clubs event will feature Anna Solomon with her novel The Book of V, an exploration of feminism through the ages in a bold, kaleidoscopic novel intertwining the lives of three women across centuries.

Anna Solomon

From Britain, historian, cultural commentator and novelist: Norman Lebrecht will discuss his latest book Genius and Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947.

Norman Lebrecht

From Chile, Carla Guelfenbein brings her novel In The Distance With You, winner of the Alfaguara Novel Prize.

Carla Guelfenbein

Two literary debuts will come from the same local creative family: Myriam Steinberg will launch her visceral, tragicomic graphic novel Catalogue Baby: A Memoir of (In)fertility and storyteller Naomi Pommier Steinberg will present her travelogue and memoir Goosefeather: Upon a Cartographic Adventure.

Left: Myriam Steinberg. Right: Naomi Pommier Steinberg

Another highly creative family will be represented by author and activist Seth Klein with his timely and gripping A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency.

Seth Klein

Award-winning filmmaker and author Bonnie Sherr Klein, with her children’s book tackling our perception of disability Beep Beep Bubbie.

Bonnie Sherr Klein

Local Renaissance man and 2020 Order of Canada recipient Yosef Wosk will launch his new book Memories of Jewish Poland: The 1932 Photographs of Nachum Tim Gidal in a pre-fest event on February 11 in the Zack Gallery at the JCC.

Yosef Wosk

The Jewish Book Festival strives to spark meaningful and captivating conversations about the written word in every shape and form” says Festival Director, Dana Camil Hewitt. “While the nucleus of our festival is Jewish-themed, our speakers, events and audience all defy narrow categorization: we provide an interactive forum and showcase for recent publications that revel in the lively and pivotal ideas stemming from the modern world and current reality. We are attuned to timely and universal themes and we thrive on the interdisciplinary, inviting music, photography and performance art into our events. We also have great fun in the process, there will always be humour amongst our offerings, we need it more than ever!

Mark your calendars now! Regular updates can be found on the website at where our digital program guide will be available.


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