Thursday, April 30, 2009



We hope you will be interested in attending this exciting festival in Hamilton, taking place June 5-7, 2009 at Temple Anshe Sholom.

Registration includes workshops with authors, a panel discussion, klezmer storytelling, a literary anthology, and much more. Our program is below. For your convenience, there is a registration form at the end of the email. Please print and return it to Temple Anshe Sholom by non-electronic means. If you would like us to drop off paper copies of this flier, let us know. Please forward this e-flyer to your friends, family, and colleagues. We apologize for multiple mailings.


Lil Blume and Ellen Jaffe

Hamilton Jewish Literary Festival
From Sinai to the Shtetl and Beyond:
Where is Home for the Jewish Writer?
June 5 – 7, 2009
Temple Anshe Sholom
215 Cline Avenue North
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4A1
Friday, June 5
6:30 - 7:45 p.m.
Service with literary readings by guest authors
7:45 - 10:00
Oneg Shabbat featuring Steve Stern’s talk, Radical Nostalgia. For information about Steve Stern, see
Saturday, June 6
12:00 - 12:30 p.m.
Lunch, included in registration.
12:30 - 12:45
Songs and stories, performed by Allan Merovitz. Listen to one of Allan's previous great concerts, recorded by the CBC:

12:45 - 2:15
Panel Discussion: Where Is Home for the Jewish Writer? with
Isa Milman, poet, Victoria, BC,
Sharon H. Nelson, writer, Montreal, QC,
Edeet Ravel, novelist, Guelph ON,
J.J. Steinfeld, Charlottetown, PEI,
Steve Stern, Saratoga Springs, NY
The panellists will respond to the theme by reading from their works and discussing questions such as
· Does writing root you in a "home" land?
· Do you have a portable shtetl, or did you leave it in Bubbie's kitchen?
· How do themes in your writing link you to the Jewish community from Sinai to the shtetl to the kibbutz?
· Are you linked to the Yiddish writers of our past or the Jewish writers of today?
· What is your mameloshen? How does it speak in your writing?
· What voices speak to you when you write?
2:15 - 2:30
Songs performed by Allan Merovitz
2:30 Break
3:00 - 4:30
Concurrent Workshops I: Details below

7:30 - 10:00 p.m.
Literary Cabaret and Havdalah ceremony, with readings from the festival anthology (included in your registration package) and klezmer music performed by Allan Merovitz.
Our festival anthology includes poetry and prose selected from submissions we received from writers from across Canada. The writers tell us of homes lost and homes found. Their work speaks to our yearning for a home that might be found in our cultural traditions, in memories of our ancestors, in our identities as Canadians, in Israel, and elsewhere.
Sunday, June 7
10:00 - 11:15 a.m.
Concurrent Workshops II: Details below
11:15 - 11:30 Nosh

11:30 - 12:30
Dramatic reading of J.J. Steinfeld’s play, The Finest Performance of the Greatest Actor of the Yiddish Theatre, followed by Q and A with the author.
Concurrent Workshops
Workshop space will be limited so early registration will guarantee you a place.
I. -- Saturday, 3:00 - 4:30ish
  1. Reading/Discussion: Edeet Ravel reads from and discusses her novels.
  2. Presentation including slides and poetry: Isa Milman, The Making of Prairie Kaddish: The Story of Jewish Immigration to the Canadian Prairies.
  3. Presentation/Writing: Ellen S. Jaffe, Writing For Children: Passing on the Legacy. Ellen is the co-organizer of this conference. More information about Ellen can be found at
  4. Reading/Discussion: Steve Stern reads from his works and discusses his sources.
  5. Reading/Discussion: J.J. Steinfeld reads from and discusses his new book, Word Burials.
  6. Discussion/Writing: Karen Shenfeld, The Poet and the Child. Karen is a filmmaker, researcher, and widely published freelance writer and poet based in Toronto.
II. -- Sunday, 10:00 - 11:15
  1. Storytelling Presentation: Barry Rosen, Introduction to Jewish Storytelling.
    Presentation/Discussion: Twyla Hendry, On Being a Leonard Cohen Fan. Twyla ran this popular session at our previous festival.
  2. Presentation/Discussion: Sharon H. Nelson, Just Cooking: Reading and Writing About Food. .
  3. Presentation/Discussion: Ron Ruskin, Creativity and Pain: A writer/psychoanalyst explores and discusses humour. Ron is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and a co-chair of the Psychiatry and Humanities group at Mount Sinai Hospital.
  4. Discussion/Writing: Lil Blume, Writing Your Jewish Family Stories and Memoirs. Lil is the co-organizer of this conference. More information about Lil can be found at
  5. Presentation/Reading: Steve Mayoff, Turning Family Stories into Art. Steve Mayoff is joining us from PEI to read at the cabaret and present this workshop. More information about Steven can be found at

Registration Form
Name: ___________________________email: ____________________________
Phone # ________________________________
Please write name and contact information for all people included in this registration.
Workshop Preferences (if known) ________________________________________
Registration includes all sessions plus Friday Oneg, Saturday lunch, Saturday evening desserts, and Sunday bagel breakfast, and the Festival Anthology of poetry and fiction, by writers across Canada.
Please consider making a donation to the festival. A tax-deductible receipt will be issued for amounts $10.00 above registration.
Registration: $20 x __ = ________ ($25.00 after May 15, and at the door)
Donation to Festival: $____
Total: $--------
Please make cheques payable to Temple Anshe Sholom, with “Jewish Literary Festival” in memo line. Mail or bring to the Temple Office : 215 Cline Ave. North , Hamilton ON L8S 4A1 .


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