Jewish Writers’ Festival in Sydney next month

July 21, 2014 by Sharon Berger
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Books are just the beginning at this year’s Sydney Jewish Writers Festival 21-24 August which features film, theatre, television, ideas and much more.

The festival presents writers from multiple genres and types speaking about a range of topics, including Israel, homosexuality, Holocaust memorialisation, cooking, spirituality, publishing tips and much more over three days of varied programming.

John Safran

John Safran

The SJWF kicks off on Thursday 21 August with John Safran’s one-man live show, ‘Murder in Mississippi’, at 8.00pm at the Bondi Pavilion Theatre. Safran tells the true story of how he met a white supremacist, befriended his black killer and wrote a book. Using excerpts from his bestselling book of the same name, he will share tales of his unique escapades in the Deep South.

The festival continues on Saturday 23 August at Shalom College, UNSW, with a provocative evening delving into different aspects of Israel. ‘Secrets and Lies?’ features visiting Israeli scholar Dr Yoaz Hendel, an expert on Israel-Iran relations, and Rafael Epstein, the author of Prisoner X about Australian Ben Zygier who died in an Israeli prison. This will be followed by a one-woman show, ‘Four Faces of Israel’, by Israeli performer Helen Gottstein.

The full-day program on Sunday 24 August is packed with a range of stimulating sessions including The New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum, Oscar-winning film producer Emile Sherman, bestselling author Alan Gold and prominent journalist David Leser. There are sessions for aspiring writers as well as architecture fans with Harry Seidler’s biographer, Helen O’Neill, in conversation with his wife, Penelope Seidler.

The Monday Morning Cooking Club will wrap up the SJWF with a session called ‘Taste the stories (literally)’. They share inspirational stories and recipes from their second cookbook, The Feast Goes On, while the audience samples some of their favourite creations.

“This year’s Sydney Jewish Writers Festival is very dynamic with broad appeal. It is as much a festival of ideas and creativity as a festival of writing, and we are excited to feature over 40 diverse presenters,” said Festival Director Michael Misrachi.

Full program details and ticket information are available at or call 9381 4160. More information available on the SJWF blog, Facebook and Twitter @SJWFestival #SJWF2014

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