Political activist, broadcaster and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress wins 2011 Canadian Jewish Book Award

TORONTO, April 21, 2011 – Koffler Centre of the Arts announces that Tarek Fatah, political activist, broadcaster and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, has won the 2011 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award in the Politics & History category.

The Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards is a program of the Koffler Centre of the Arts. The Awards ceremony takes place in Toronto on Monday, May 30 at 8 PM at the The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. This FREE event is open to the public and all are welcome.

Tarek Fatah’s critically acclaimed second book, The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism, debunks the anti-Jewish writings of Islamic literature and argues that hating Jews is against the essence of the Islamic spirit.

The Jew is not My Enemy is one of six winners of the 23rd annual awards. The panel of judges chose from a wide variety of submissions from books published in 2010 with significant Jewish content by Canadian authors in categories including Fiction, Biography & Memoir, and Youth Literature.

Other winners include Far to Go in the Fiction category by award winning Toronto-based author Alison Pick. Called “one of the best books of the year” by CBC Radio’s Shelagh Rogers, Pick’s novel is an epic historical novel tracing one family’s journey from Czechoslovakia to Canada during the Second World War. Mordecai: The Life and Times, Charles Foran’s definitive, detailed, intimate portrait of legendary Canadian author Mordecai Richler, has won in the Biography & Memoir category.

“The Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards honour important contributions to writing on Jewish-related subjects, stimulate publishing in Canada on Jewish subjects, and advance the careers of writers of Jewish themes and content,” says Lori Starr, Executive Director, Koffler Centre of the Arts and Vice President for Culture, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. “The Koffler Centre of the Arts is thrilled to present these important awards which celebrate the very best in Canadian Jewish literature.”

“This year’s six award-winning books truly reflect the impact Jewish culture has had on all aspects of Canadian society,” adds writer Edward Trapunski, who chaired the distinguished judging panel that includes writers, academics, editors and experts in the literary field. This year’s jury members are Adam Fuerstenberg, Marjorie Gann, Judith Ghert, Alain Goldschläger, Sara Horowitz, Judy Stoffman, Edward Trapunski, and Judy Wolfe.

Full details on the event and all the winners are available at www.kofflerarts.org

The 2011 winners are:

FICTION
Alison Pick, Far to Go Published by House of Anansi Press Inc.

POLITICS & HISTORY
Tarek Fatah, The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism Published by McClelland & Stewart

HOLOCAUST LITERATURE
Robert Eli Rubinstein, An Italian Renaissance: Choosing Life In Canada
Published by Urim Publications

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Charles Foran, Mordecai: The Life and Times Published by Random House Canada

SCHOLARSHIP
Harold Troper, The Defining Decade: Identity, Politics, and the Canadian Jewish Community in the 1960s Published by University of Toronto Press

YOUTH LITERATURE
Judie Oron, Cry of the Giraffe Published by Annick Press

Support for the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards is provided by the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto.

Author biographies, winning book descriptions, citations, jury list and biographies are posted on the Koffler website at www.kofflerarts.org

About the Koffler Centre of the Arts

Koffler Centre of the Arts is Canada’s only cutting-edge contemporary, multidisciplinary Jewish cultural institution. It has a broad mandate to serve all, and present a wide range of artistic programs through a global lens in a specifically Canadian context. The Koffler Centre of the Arts is an agency of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Planning is underway on a brand new, architecturally innovative Koffler Centre of the Arts on the Sherman Campus. In July 2009, the Koffler’s administrative offices and all classes opened in the Prosserman JCC on the Sherman Campus. More information at http://tomorrowcampaign.com

Koffler Centre of the Arts acknowledges the support of its patrons and members, Cultural Season Sponsor CIBC Wood Gundy, Print Media Partner National Post, and the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. The Koffler Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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