The Jewish Public Library announces its Spring 2019 Cultural Programmes calendar, with highlights including world-class authors Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Michael Ondaatje, Montreal film premieres of Israeli documentary Desert Wounds and Slovakian Academy Award entry The Interpreter, and a special collaboration with Bloomsday Montreal on Jews in Irish literature.
All JPL events start at 7:30 pm (unless otherwise indicated) and take place at the Jewish Public Library, 5151 Côte-Ste-Catherine Rd in Montreal. Information and ticket purchase: (514)345-6416 or www.jewishpubliclibrary.org .
Here is the line-up by month:
March 27 The Prince and the Dybbuk
Film in English Italian, Spanish, Polish and German with English subtitles.
Directed by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski (Poland/Germany, 2017, 82 min)
The film explores the life of cinematic enigma Moshe Waks, the son of a poor Jewish blacksmith from Ukraine who died as Prince Michael Waszynski in Italy, after having made over 40 films as a director and producer during Hollywood’s golden era.
April 3 Desert Wounds
Montreal film premiere, in English and Hebrew with English subtitles
Directed by Nili Dotan (Israel, 2018, 59 min)
Montreal premiere of an award-winning documentary that follows the journeys of two Christian women from Sudan and Eritrea fleeing war, dictatorship, and religious persecution to seek asylum in Israel. Introduced by director Nili Dotan, followed by a panel discussion with Nili Dotan, Irwin Cotler OC, David Berger and Zoë Freedman.
April 10 Simon et Théodore
Film in French with English subtitles
Directed by Mikael Buch (France, 2017, 84 min)
Simon is a troubled young man; Theodore is a difficult adolescent. A chance encounter between the two sparks a dramatic clash and ultimately heals wounds. A tough and tender film about mental illness and love, and how to live with both.
April 15 Mary Morris: Gateway to the Moon
New York Times bestselling author Mary Morris speaks about her novel, a multi-generational family saga in which she traces her family’s history from the Spanish Inquisition to modern-day New Mexico.
April 18 ‘Books & Booze’ with Bethany Ball & Spencer Wise
Our ‘Books & Booze’ series presents a lively discussion with two young American authors. Ball’s What to do about the Solomons explores the secrets and gossip-filled lives of a kibbutz community. Wise’s The Emperor of Shoes tells the story of a young Jewish American expat who assumes the helm of his family’s shoe factory in China and his relationship with a seamstress intent on inspiring dramatic political change.
May 2 The Interpreter
Montreal film premiere, in German and Slovak with English subtitles
Directed by Martin Šulík (Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Austria, 2018, 114 min)
A bittersweet tragicomedy about two old men who depart on a road trip, weighed down by unresolved conflicts that have plagued their lives. The film was Slovakia’s 2019 Academy Award entry. Presented in collaboration with the Montreal Holocaust Museum.
May 5 Orly Castel-Bloom: An Egyptian Novel
*7 pm Author event in Hebrew
Israeli author Orly Castel-Bloom blends faction and fiction in this unconventional telling of her family’s migration from Egypt to Israel, expulsion from a kibbutz and life in modern-day Tel Aviv. Castel-Bloom is thrice winner of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Award.
May 6 Denise Bombardier: “Une vie sans peur et sans regret”
Author interview with journalist Elias Levy, in French
Prominent Quebec journalist, novelist and essayist, Denise Bombardier will discuss her life and decades-long career. In collaboration with the Cummings Centre.
May 13 Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “Islam, Muslims and National Security”
The controversial human rights activist, former politician and author of Infidel states that it is important to understand the distinction between Islam, a set of ideas and principles, and Muslims, the diverse individuals that constitute one fifth of humanity. In recent decades Muslims have, at one point or another, been discussed as a threat to national security. Hirsi Ali will give her perspective on this incredibly thorny topic.
May 16 Georgia Hunter: We Were the Lucky Ones
When New York Times bestselling author Georgia Hunter was 15 years old, she discovered that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors. We Were the Lucky Ones follows her family as they scatter across continents, determined to survive and to reunite. Her book has been translated into 13 languages.
May 23 Yiddish Café
Music and storytelling event
Our annual evening of stories and songs in Yiddish and English by a group of talented Montrealers honouring Yiddish author and playwright Sholem Aleichem’s wish for his name to be recalled with laughter”. The musical Fiddler on the Roof was based on the stories of Sholem Aleichem, known as the “Jewish Mark Twain”.
May 30 Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Hyphenated Identities: Irish-Jewish Autobiographies”
Lecture and exhibition in collaboration with Bloomsday Montreal
Irish scholar Pól Ó Dochartaigh explores questions of identity, Irish and Jewish, through six twentieth-century autobiographies by Irish Jews. The touring exhibition Representations of Jews in Irish Literature will be presented in the main lobby of the Federation CJA building (just outside the entrance to the Jewish Public Library) from May 27 to June 17, 2019.
June 11 Michael Ondaatje: Warlight
One of Canada’s most renowned living authors, Michael Ondaatje will be in conversation with Joseph Rosen about his mesmerizing new novel, set in the decade after World War II. Ondaatje’s previous work has been awarded the Booker Prize, the Golden Man Booker Prize, the Giller Prize, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Prix Médicis.
And our courses, workshops and literary clubs:
Yiddish for Beginners: starts March 26
Intermediate Yiddish: starts March 26
Advanced Yiddish: starts March 25
Russian for Beginners: starts March 7
American Sign Language: starts March 4
Genre Writing Workshops with author Michelle Franklin: starts March 6
Jewish Genealogical Society Lecture Meetings: March 11, April 1, May 6, June 3, Aug 12
Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshops (Jewish Genealogical Society): March 3, April 14, May 12, June 2, Sept. 8
Russian Literary Club: Sunday March 17, April 28 and May 19
Hebrew Literary Club: on Tuesdays