Read all you can at the 34th Annual Jewish Book Festival

Readers of all kinds need to read up on this festival


By: Winona Young

Calling all bookworms: the Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival is here! Running from February 9 to 14, this year’s festival is packed with entertaining events, reading and discussion panels, and more.

There are several notable events to look out for. Mike Reiss, a writer for The Simpsons for over 30 years, is talking about his book, Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons. Another speaker will be CBC’s Dr. Brian Goldman, presenting on his book about the importance of empathy, The Power of Kindness. Author Ellen Schwartz will appear for her book, The Princess Dolls, a tale of friendship set against Vancouver in 1942. Some events will also be in French and Yiddish!

When The Peak spoke with the festival’s director, Dana Camil-Hewitt, Hewitt felt that non-Jewish students would also be able to benefit from attending the festival.

“It is not a faith-based festival by any means,” Hewitt elaborated. “It has nothing to do with religion, it’s purely cultural.”

Hewitt emphasized that the featured authors don’t necessarily write about their Jewish experience, but about life overall.

“[Jewish authors] can also write about love, loss, the world, children, historical fiction . . . you name it, they write about it! So it is truly universal, anyone can have interest can find interest in our events, and we program with this very much in mind,” she concluded.

The festival is only six days long and is held at various venues, so check out their schedule and plan your trip now!

Tickets for single events range from $18 to $24