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Cape Town Jewish Literary Festival 2020 programme announced

17 February 2020 - 11:41
The third edition of the Jewish Literary Festival is taking place in Cape Town in March.
The third edition of the Jewish Literary Festival is taking place in Cape Town in March.
Image: Supplied

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy the third Jewish Literary Festival (JLF) on March 15. You just have to love words, reading and conversation. While the heart of the festival is Jewish-themed, the speakers, events and audience all defy narrow categorisation and many of the talks will be of universal interest.

Taking place at Cape Town's Gardens Community Centre, home to the iconic Jacob Gitlin Library, the SA Jewish Museum and the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre, all of which partner the event, JLF2020 will run from 9am to 5pm. 

At the event, visitors can engage with more than 70 wordsmiths, poets, journalists, filmmakers and educators in more than 40 sessions. The presenters all have a Jewish connection or are engaged with subjects of Jewish interest and, with multiple sessions running simultaneously throughout the day, the JLF covers everything from fiction, sport, food and memoir to politics, journalism, the arts and more — a wide choice to suit all tastes.

The list of outstanding authors due at the festival includes award-winning UK author Thomas Harding; Australian writers Joanne Fedler and Alan Landau; SA's Jonny Steinberg and Tamar Hodes, out from the UK; and local literary luminaries such as Joanne Jowell, Steven “Boykey” Sidley, Jonathan Ancer, Alan Paton award-winner Terry Kurgan, Marilyn Martin, Albie Sachs, Dennis Davis, Thuli Madonsela, Diane Awerbuck, Anastacia Thomson, Alex Latimer, Tanya Farber, Barry Cohen, Gail Schimmel and Hedi Lampert, among others. Each presenter will bring their special way with words to the event. With interviewers such as Pippa Hudson, Nancy Richards, Lisa Chait, John Maytham, and Helen Moffett, visitors are in for lively discussion.

The full programme is available here and tickets can be purchased via Quicket

Expect debates, launches, panel discussions, readings, presentations and book-style activities. The authors will be happy to autograph their books, all of which will be on sale, on site, through The Book Lounge, the festival's associated bookseller.

This year, in partnership with Herzlia Middle and High schools, the JLF boasts a customised Young Adult programme, with interactive sessions designed to pique the interest of teens. For the four- to 11-year-old age group, a full children’s programme is on offer next door to the JLF campus, at Gardens Commercial High, in partnership with PJ Library© and Herzlia School. Puppets, music, book-writing and a PJ Library Story Walk are some of the creative activities from 10am to 1pm. A full day of supervised fun, with sports and reading activities in the afternoon, is promised.

Building on the success of the previous festivals, the JLF programme is again brimming with literary activities.

Its aim is to promote constructive dialogue and discussion in the true spirit of Jewish life without promoting any single political or religious agenda.

The ticket price includes admission to all sessions, lunch from Cafe Riteve and access to bespoke coffee bars that will be open throughout the day.


Date: Sunday March 15

Venue: Gardens Community Centre, Hatfield Road, Cape Town

Time: 9am to 5pm

Day ticket prices: R380 per person

Children under the age of 12: R100

Teenagers: R115

Article courtesy of the Jewish Literary Festival