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Four presentations are offered in collaboration with Holocaust Education Week

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The legacy of city councilor Marvin Caplan is carried forward with the annual Jewish Book Festival in Hamilton

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The Second Annual Marvin Caplan Jewish Book Festival will be held this year in Hamilton from November 1 to November 12. Unlike last year’s live event which attracted over 400 people, it will be broadcast virtually. 

Despite the drawback of not being able to gather with friends and community to enjoy hearing authors read from popular and informative new books in person, this format will allow the program to be broadcast outside the Hamilton area and also make it readily available to elderly or homebound community members.

Held annually in celebration of Jewish Book Month, the festival was founded and is chaired by Judi Caplan, widow of the late Marvin Caplan. Mr. Kaplan, who died suddenly in January 2017, was “an avid reader and gregarious figure who left an indelible mark as a clothier, politician, realtor and volunteer” according to the Hamilton Jewish News.

Mr. Caplan moved to the city in 1978, where he owned and operated an award-winning menswear retail business, Marvin Caplan Gentlemen’s Apparel. He was elected as Ward 1 representative on council in 1994 and closed the shop two years later, going into a new venture with Judi as Coldwell Banker brokers.

He was the first Jewish member of Hamilton City Council, serving until 2003, and was described as “a proud, devoted and active Jew and a strong promoter of reading and literacy who loved to discuss and debate almost any subject, drawing material from his own reading.” According to an election website biography, Mr. Caplan led Hamilton’s Rotary Club to the largest fundraising campaign in the country to fight polio.   

Presentations by authors are $10 per talk and books can be purchased as well using the registration form which can be found on the festival website https://jewishhamilton.org/2020jewishbookfestival

There are many fascinating author presentations to choose from, among them three tremendous offerings to kick-off the festival: 

Red Sea Spies by Raffi Berg , BBC Journalist, that tells the true story of Mossad’s fake holiday resort on the Red Sea, a diving centre on the Sudanese coast run by secret service operatives that  attracted tourists from all over the world. Sunday, Nov. 1, 6 p.m.

The Night of the Assassins, by Howard Blum:  a NY TImes best selling author’s historical piece about  “the untold and true story of the Nazi plot to kill FDR, Churchill, and Stalin in 1943.” Monday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.

Nobody will ever tell you this but me, by Bess Kalb, an Emmy-nominated writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live. It is “a marvelous tribute to her beloved grandmother, Bobby. “ Tuesday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.

The moderators at each presentation have backgrounds that are often closely linked to the author’s theme or talk.  For example, Dani Limor, the moderator for Red Sea Spies, served 25 years in the Mossad, with activities including leading the secret operation that evacuated Ethiopian Jews from Sudan to Israel.  

For detailed information including date and time of each author talk, please refer to the festival website.

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There are four presentations that are being offered in collaboration with the annual Holocaust Education Week. The selections include The Brushmaker’s Daughter by renowned Canadian children’s author Kathy Kacer.

Her book tells the story of twelve-year-old Lillian and her blind father who are on the run from Nazi soldiers. When they meet a man who runs a factory that makes brushes for the Nazi army, he is determined to protect them.  

According to the Hamilton Jewish Federation’s CEO Gustavo Rymberg, the festival provides a “tangible and communal way for us to celebrate Jewish history and literature, as well as a way to stay focused and united as a community. It is also a way to do outreach and share experiences with the broader non-Jewish community.” 

It promises to be an exciting event and a very worthwhile way to spend time online and support the authors.

Judy Weinryb is a published author who facilitates a Creative Writing class on zoom at the Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living.

She has been a freelance writer for the Canadian Jewish News, the Jewish Tribune and the Markham Review. A social worker for many years, she has an interest in Jewish Community from both a professional and personal perspective.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

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