Jewish Literary Festival  – face to face with words


When it comes to cultural conversations the Jewish literary Festival 2018 (JLF) on Sunday 17 June will satisfy the most discerning of tastes. The inaugural JLF in 2016 was a smash hit and the JLF2018 promises to be even more exciting as it offers face to face interaction with more than 100 wordsmiths over a day full to the brim with fascinating events. With the aim  of promoting constructive dialogue and discussion in the true spirit of Jewish life without promoting any single political or religious agenda, this is day to immerse yourself in words.


From international to local, meet such luminaries as Lyndall Gordon, Stephanie Urdang, Damon Galgut , SJ Naude, Dennis Davis, Albie Sachs,  Jennifer Friedman, Dr Eve, Diane Awerbuck, Jane Raphaely, Ken Barris, Ian Mann, Jennifer Ancer, Jonathan Ancer, Rosemund Handler, Mandy Wiener, Anton Harber, Nechama Brodie, Rahla Xenopolous,, Joanne Jowell and many more of the stellar wordsmiths who have availed themselves for the day to inspire and entertain.



Authors, poets, illustrators, journalists, writers and educators, who have a Jewish connection or are engaged with subjects of Jewish interest, have come together to present a wide ranging programme of more than 60 events which explore a variety of genres. Memoir, comedy,  art and writing, fiction, magical stories, cyber-infidelity, poetry, women writing about women, deception, crime, politics, history, sport, food, script writing, journalism and more are all on the agenda. Immersed in conversations from the contrary to the controversial, the political to the creative; panel discussions, book launches, readings, debates, presentations and book-style activities  explore subjects that will resonate with anyone who loves books, Jewish literature, and culture.


And if that wasn’t enough – a full children’s programme is on offer for ages 4–11 featuring authors, teachers, entertainers and carers interacting, reading and work-shopping to keep the young ones occupied as parents enjoy the vast array of sessions on offer. And for the not-so-little ones: this year, we are delighted to be offering a Young Adults track, with inspirational and enticing content facilitated by experts in that genre.


The venue is the Gardens Community Centre in Cape Town, home to the acclaimed Jacob Gitlin Library and the Cape Jewish Chronicle, key partners of the JLF. From 09h00 to 18h00 the various sites comprising the centre will be humming with events.


 JEWISH LITERARY FESTIVAL has a jam-packed Children’s programme

The Jewish Literary Festival on Sunday 17 June has a jam-packed Children’s Programme running alongside the more than 60 adult sessions.
What a bonus for parents! This superb offering allows them to attend their favourite adult sessions while the children are safely occupied under the watchful eyes of teachers, educators, entertainers and children’s authors.  
From 10am to 13:00, sessions will include storytelling, drawing, drumming, comics and more, ensuring a programme that is alive with creative events to inspire every age group.  Sessions will be suitable for age groups 4 to 6, 7 to 9 and 10 to 11 years old, with something to delight everyone.

And look what will be happening in the various venues around the Gardens Community Centre.
Music is such a wonderful way of telling a story and musician June Hayman’s special way of using instruments provides an interactive space, allowing the children to participate in storytelling. Using Djembe Drums and various other non-melodic percussion instruments, her story of The Elephant and the Mouse will have you tapping your feet.
Andy Cohen will be Making Connections with her book Wish you were here – A book about missing someone, as well as a second well-known story called The Invisible string (by Patrice Karst). This will then be followed an interactive group activity and light discussion to help children visualise the connections we all have with the ones we love.
If you love drawing, Bumble Books’ Lucy Stuart-Clark, illustrator of My Great Expedition, the story of 6-year-old Justin Fox and his trip, will delight with An Adventure in Book-Making –  what it takes to turn a story into an illustrated book.
Journaling is such a wonderful way of keeping track of your life and the ‘Kids with a Vision’ workshop with Helene Pam will start you on a journey of self-discovery, learning how to live a fulfilled and happy life.

Hayli Geffen will bring to life some of Anthony Horowitz’s books for young adults – Action, Adrenaline, Alex Rider and Anthony Horowitz is her workshop, while Barbara Novick will entertain with her dynamic stories Barbi and Wheezy Sneezy in her special way.
Naledi award winner and two-time SAMA nominee Alan Glass brings songs and books from Beautiful Creatures which will give the tots a fun-filled session.
Join composer and musician Rus Nerwich and hear how One Fine Day, Love Came to Visit told in his own creative way. A session with Su Opperman and Roberto Millan promises that the kids will create a visual autobiography in the form of a comic strip, with themselves as the Superhero in The wonderful world of Biographix!
Finally, popular author and storyteller Nicole Levin will bring to life a Shtetl Story enacted in the
shtetl at the SA Jewish Museum.        

The afternoon programme will feature the  PJ Library (‘PJ’ standing for ‘Pyjama’) which launched in Cape Town earlier this year and is inspiring and encouraging children and parents to read Jewish bedtime stories together. Children can also enjoy outdoor activities with a sports coach, and stories in the Children’s room at the Gitlin Library.

Also in the afternoon there are sessions for young adults as part of the main programme. Marilyn Honikman talks about There should have been five, and Lauren Palte presents Maus the graphic novel by Art Spiegelman

If all of that weren’t enough to tickle your fancy and keep your little ones busy, the famous Morah Gaby and her team will be on hand all day in the Sukkah Hall to draw, paint, read and create, so those creative juices can flow steadily from 09h00 to 18h00.


The Book Lounge is our associated bookseller and any of our authors will be more than happy to autograph their books, all of which will be on sale onsite.  Come and enjoy the browsing space and take home some choice and unexpected finds.


Ticket price includes admission to all sessions, a delicious lunch at Café Riteve, and access to bespoke coffee bars that will be open throughout the day for that brief pause between sessions.


JLF2018 offers the opportunity to meet an assortment of wordsmiths, make new friends, engage with ideas and pick up some great reads.Don’t miss it.


The Jewish Literary Festival – For lovers of literature and Jewish life.


Sunday June 17 2018

 Gardens Community Centre, Cape Town



For a full line up of authors and the programme visit


Booking: And at the Jacob Gitlin Library Tel: 021 462 5088.

Cost: Adults R275; Teens R100: Under 12s R85. Ticket prices Include lunch and two drinks vouchers.