The Joyful Child

Illustration by Melanie Boyle

KlezKanada Laurentian Retreat

August 20 to 26, 2012

This summer experience a local treasure -- one of the top Jewish and Yiddish cultural festivals in the world is just a short drive away! KlezKanada is an exciting cultural destination hosted a Camp B’nai Brith - fun for all ages and stages with hands-on workshops lead by an international all-star faculty, multiple daily concerts from cutting-edge to traditional Jewish and world music, Yiddish languages classes, lectures, poetry readings, film screenings and more. Our own Prof. Norman Ravvin is part of this summer's faculty. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2012: Going Back to the Main – rediscovering the sites, sounds and shuls of Yiddish Montreal, the launch of the first Jewish poetry intensive in North America, a celebration of yiddishkayt in Latin America with Carnival, and the Grammy-winning the Klezmatics in concert. Space is limited, register early. Come for a concert, a day or the whole week with passes starting at just $25! For more info: | 514.316.7280


Copies of The Joyful Child will be available at the following events.

Myths of Montreal: Irving and Leonard, Jewish Writers and their Mainstream Audience

Thursday, August 23, 3:45 - 5:15 PM

Both Montreal poets Leonard Cohen and Irving Layton found broad, varied audiences in the 1960s and '70s. However, it is yet to be examined with care how they were received as groundbreaking Jewish writers amidst a largely Toronto-based, Anglo-Protestant literary tradition. This talk, making substantial use of the poets' work, will address Jewishness as a motivating element in their writing, and as a complicating factor in their reception in this country.

“Returning” to Poland, Friday

August 24, 10:45 am - 12:15 pm

For many Jews of Polish heritage, the place continues to contain endless fascination and deep emotional resonance. This session explores the work of three Canadians who have recently travelled to Poland for various creative endeavours. Filmmaker and architectural photographer, David Kaufman will share photographs from his numerous trips to document cemeteries, synagogues and other buildings, award-winning fiction writer Norman Ravvin is working on a new novel partly set in Poland, and independent curator and art historian, Evelyn Tauben will spend this July in several immersive projects in Poland including painting panels for the replication of a 17th century wooden synagogue. 

Mordecai Richler and his Peers: The Canonization of Canadian Jewish Literature

Friday, August 24, 3:45 - 5:15 PM

This talk will take an idiosyncratic look at what we've come to know as "Canadian Jewish literature," exploring the dynamics of canon building: the way certain books, like Richler's novels, attain dominant status, while competing novels of equal importance fade from sight. It will examine the particular presentation of Jewish identity found in key novels and poetry, to account for how timing, audience, the non-Jewish market and shifting popular tastes make or break a book's reputation. A writer's views on the Old World, Yiddish, the Holocaust, immigrant identity and assimilation contribute to these outcomes. We will also consider how a tradition is shaped by publishers, critics, reviewers, professors and, of course, the shifting taste of readers. 

Other publishers via  for Lola by Night and Sex, Skyscrapers, and Standard Yiddish for Red Deer Press to order Hidden Canada: An Intimate Travelogue, Not Quite Mainstream: Canadian Jewish Short Stories and The Canadian Jewish Studies Reader.