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Activism Without Limits featuring David Grossman
Sunday, September 11, 2016, 1:00-4:00 PM
Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street, Toronto
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“There are some writers in whose words one recognizes the texture of life. David Grossman is such a writer.”
— Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi
Internationally recognized as one of the most important literary and civic voices in Israel today, David Grossman will be the exclusive guest of New Israel Fund of Canada for the Sixth Annual Shira Herzog Symposium. Together, we’ll explore the passion and commitment of major change-makers in Israel and why Grossman takes the risk to fight for change in Israel.
Joining Grossman will be New Israel Fund CEO Daniel Sokatch, feminist and human rights activist Nabila Espanioly, author Ayelet Tsabari and The Walrus editor-in-chief Jonathan Kay. The MC for the event will be Holy Blossom Temple Senior Rabbi Yael Splansky.
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Born in Jerusalem in 1954, David Grossman is a leading Israeli writer of his generation and his work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He is the author of eight internationally acclaimed novels and two powerful journalistic accounts, as well as a number of children’s books and a play. His latest book, Falling Out of Time, was released in March 2014 to wide critical and reader acclaim. The genre-defying drama tells the story of bereaved parents setting out to reach their lost children. Concise and elemental, Falling Out of Time is a powerfully distilled experience of understanding and acceptance, and of art’s triumph over death.
Daniel J. Sokatch is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Israel Fund (NIF), the leading organization committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis. Before joining NIF, Sokatch served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Prior to his tenure at Federation, he served as the founding Executive Director of the Los Angeles based Progressive Jewish Alliance.
In recognition of his leadership, Sokatch has been named to the Forward newspaper’s “Forward 50,” an annual list of the fifty leading Jewish decision-makers and opinion-shapers, in 2002, 2005 and 2008 and 2010.
Nabila Espanioly was born in Nazareth in 1955. For more than three decades, she has been an energetic campaigner for the civil rights of the Palestinian minority in Israel, for peace between Israel and Palestine on the basis of the two-state solution, and for equal rights for women. Espanioly received a B.A. in Social Work from Haifa University , and an M.A. in Psychology from Bamberg University in Germany . In 1989, she founded Al-Tufula, the Pedagogical Center and Multipurpose Women’s Center in Nazareth, and has served as its director since then. In 2003, Espanioly received the international Aachen Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts to promote peace and human rights in the Middle East . She lectures on topics including early childhood education, Palestinian women in Israel , violence against women, sex education, women in the media, and women’s political participation.
Rabbi Yael Splansky is the Senior Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple. She came to Toronto in 1998 after ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. She served first as Assistant Rabbi, concentrating on youth and young families from 1998-2000, then as Associate Rabbi from 2000-2013.
From the Boston area, Rabbi Splansky completed her undergraduate studies in Anthropology and Jewish Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her rabbinical thesis is entitled, “All is Forseen and Freewill is Given: A Debate in Rabbinic Literature.”
She is the immediate past chair of the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto. She is the editor of the new prayerbook, Siddur Pirchei Kodesh, author of the Union for Reform Judaism’s “Reform Voices of Torah: 2012 Commentary on Deuteronomy,” and monthly contributor to The Canadian Jewish News.
Ayelet Tsabari was born in Israel to a large family of Yemeni descent. Her first book, The Best Place on Earth, won the 2015 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and has been published internationally. Her work has won a National Magazine Award, a Western Magazine Award, and and The New Quarterly ‘s Edna Staebler award. In 2014, she was awarded a Chalmers Arts Fellowship. She is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA Program at Guelph and lives in Toronto.
Jonathan Kay is editor of The Walrus Magazine. In addition, he is a columnist for the National Post op-ed page, and a blogger for the National Post‘s FullComment web site. His freelance articles have appeared in various U.S. publications, including Commentary magazine, the New York Post, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic and Newsweek. He has received Canada’s National Newspaper Award, both for Critical Writing and Editorial Writing. His book “Among The Truthers” was published by HarperCollins in 2011.
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