Welcome to the New Jewish Press

Welcome to the New Jewish Press

The New Jewish Press is the inaugural publishing program of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. This innovative program seeks to enhance the Centre’s reputation as one of the finest and most comprehensive Jewish Studies Programs in North America by fulfilling its core educational mission and building bridges to the community. Our goal is to make outstanding books on Jewish culture, history, philosophy, and religion available to the broader Canadian and international community. A complement to existing scholarly and trade publishing, the New Jewish Press brings the academy and the community together in a uniquely Jewish publishing venture.

In Canada’s publishing climate today, there is a tremendous need for a press that will produce books on Jewish themes for the general reading public. Bringing such a press together with the intellectual resources of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies is inspired.
— Harold Troper, Canadian writer and historian, co-author of None Is Too Many

The New Jewish Press would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the following donors:

Peter and Eleanor Daniels Charitable Foundation
Friedberg Charitable Foundation
The Ira Gluskin and Maxine Granovsky-Gluskin Fund
The B.A. Himel Family Foundation
Norine Rose
Samuel J. & Jean Sable Family Endowment Fund
The Sharp Foundation
Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation
Yaffe Feld Foundation

About the New Jewish Press

About the New Jewish Press

The principals of the New Jewish Press are co-publishers Malcolm Lester and Andrea Fochs Knight working with an editorial board of Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies faculty members.

Malcolm Lester, Co-Publisher
Malcolm Lester is one of Canada’s foremost publishers of significant Jewish-themed titles known both in the academy and among the general reading public. He has published under several imprints—the best known of which is Lester & Orpen Dennys, one of Canada’s most distinguished publishers. The Literary Review of Canada named three of L&OD’s books as among the most important Canadian books of the twentieth-century.

Andrea Fochs Knight, Co-Publisher and Chair of the Editorial Board
Andrea Fochs Knight has twenty-five years experience as a skilled editor and publisher. For almost ten years she worked with Malcolm Lester as Managing Editor on many of his projects. In 2008, she took on the position of Managing Editor for the prize-winning Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs and developed it into the highly respected publishing program that it is today.

Professor Anna Shternshis, Ex-Officio
Director of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies and Al and Malka Green Associate Professor of Yiddish Studies at the University of Toronto, Anna Shternshis is the author of two books and more than 20 articles on the Soviet Jews during World War II, Russian Jewish culture, and post-Soviet Jewish diaspora, as well as co-editor-in-chief of East European Jewish Affairs and a stand-in board member of Oxford Bibliographies Online in Jewish studies.

Professor Doris Bergen
Doris Bergen is the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto and the author and editor of five books and numerous articles on issues of religion, gender, and ethnicity in the Holocaust and World War II. She is also a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Professor David Novak
David Novak holds the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies as Professor of Religion and Philosophy in the University of Toronto. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Academy for Jewish Research, he is a founder of the Panel of Inquiry on Jewish Law of the Union for Traditional Judaism, a founder and board member of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, and an advisory board member of its journal, First Things. Professor Novak is the author of sixteen books and more than three hundred articles and reviews.

Professor Harold Troper
Author and co-author of a number of books and monographs on Canadian Jewish history, immigration, and multiculturalism, Harold Troper teaches at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Ethnic and Pluralism Studies Collaborative Graduate Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs and was awarded the 2012 Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award.


Winter 2017 Catalogue

The New Spice Box: Canadian Jewish Writing, Vol. I
Edited by Ruth Panofsky
How does the past shape contemporary Jewish experience in Canada? How does it feel to be Jewish today? These are the questions that inform Volume 1 of The New Spice Box, an aromatic blend of poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction by a mix of writers who probe all matters Jewish.
Nora Gold dares to reconceive the biblical story of Joseph as Yosepha. For Seymour Mayne, an aunt’s comforter transported from Poland to the New World evokes a lost past. Chava Rosenfarb’s Bergen-Belsen diary takes us back to the almost unimaginable moment of liberation, while Yiddish is a vital force for Karen Shenfeld’s father.
Across this collection, the past is given new life and meaning by authors who write from their Canadian experience and sensibility. This is a new window on Canadian Jewish writing: its vista is expansive and the view, unmatched. Come take a look.
Ruth Panofsky is a professor of English at Ryerson University where she specializes in Canadian literature and culture. She recently edited the award-winning Collected Poems of Miriam Waddington.

MAY 28, 2017
288 pages • 6 X 9
Paper • $229781988326023
epub • $129781988326030


The Riot at Christie Pits
Cyril Levitt and William Shaffir
Ethnic tensions had been rising in Toronto throughout the hot summer of 1933. Hitler had recently come to power in Germany and some residents of the eastern beaches community had formed “Swastika Clubs” to protect their neighbourhood from “undesirable elements.”
On August 16, at Toronto’s Christie Pits, a baseball game between two local teams — one made up of Jewish players — ignited the simmering resentments. Some troublemakers unfurled a huge swastika flag, shouting, “Heil Hitler!” Retaliation from Jewish spectators and players was swift and reinforcements for both sides poured into the park. The result — never experienced in Toronto before or since — was a four-hour race riot.
The riot at Christie Pits remains a disturbing, even legendary part of the city’s history. Authors Cyril Levitt and William Shaffir, carefully sifting fact from fiction, provide a compelling perspective on how ordinary Canadians reacted to the intensifying antisemitism in Europe.
With a new Foreword by Marcus Gee
Cyril Levitt and William Shaffir are professors in the Department of Sociology at McMaster University.

320 pages • 6 X 9
8 pages of photographs
Paper • $209781988326085
epub • $99781988326092
HISTORY/ Social Science/Canadian/ Jewish


Come Back for Me
Sharon Hart-Green
Loss, trauma, memory, and, above all, the ties of family and being Jewish are the elements that weave together this panoramic story. Come Back for Me travels through time and place only to bring us, ultimately, to the connections between generations. Artur Mandelkorn is a young Hungarian Holocaust survivor whose desperate quest to find his sister takes him to post-war Israel. Intersecting Artur’s tale is that of Suzy Kohn, a Toronto teenager whose seemingly tranquil life is shattered when her uncle’s sudden death tears her family apart. Their stories eventually come together in Israel following the Six-Day War, where love and understanding become the threads that bind the two narratives together. Like Sarah’s Key, Come Back for Me deals evocatively with the scars left by tragedy and the possibilities for healing.
Author Sharon Hart-Green has taught Hebrew and Yiddish literature at the University of Toronto. Her short stories, poems, translations, and articles have appeared in a number of publications. Come Back for Me is her first novel.

"Evocative and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Come Back for Me is a must read for anyone with a moral conscience and a soul."
   - Leah Kaminsky, winner of the Voss Literary Prize for her debut novel, The Waiting Room

"Writing with an historian's luminous clarity and a fictionist's hard-won freedom to imagine the past, Sharon Hart-Green takes the modern Jewish novel to new heights. Come Back For Me both captivates and rewards the reader"
   - Maxim D. Shrayer, author of Yom Kippur in Amsterdam

"With tenderness and clarity, Sharon Hart-Green's novel tells the story of how one generation transforms inherited trauma into a hopeful future . . . a lovely debut"
   - Amy Gottlieb, author of The Beautiful Possible

MAY 30, 2017
288 pages • 6 X 9
Paper • $209781988326061
epub • $109781988326078


Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military, and World War II
Ellin Bessner
“He died so Jewry should suffer no more.” These words on a Canadian Jewish soldier’s tombstone in Normandy inspired the author to explore the role of Canadian Jews in the war effort. As PM Mackenzie King wrote in 1947, Jewish servicemen faced a “double threat” — they were not only fighting against Fascism but for Jewish survival. At the same time, they encountered widespread antisemitism and the danger of being identified as Jews if captured. Bessner conducted hundreds of interviews and extensive archival research to paint a complex picture of the 17,000 Canadian Jews — about 10 per cent of the Jewish population in wartime Canada — who chose to enlist, including future Cabinet minister Barney Danson, future game-show host Monty Hall, and comedians Wayne and Shuster. Added to this fascinating account are Jews who were among the so-called “Zombies” — Canadians who were drafted, but chose to serve at home — the various perspectives of the Jewish community, and the participation of Canadian Jewish women.
Ellin Bessner is a journalist and a professor of journalism at Centennial College in Toronto.

320 pages • 6 X 9 with photographs
Paper • $269781988326047
epub • $109781988326054
HISTORY/ Jewish / Canada / Military


The Evidence Room
Anne Bordeleau, Donald McKay, Sascha Hastings, Robert Jan van Pelt
It was the greatest crime ever committed by architects.
In 2000, historian Robert Jan van Pelt authoritatively refuted Holocaust denial in a libel trial by detailing the role of architecture in constructing the gas chambers at Auschwitz. In 2016, at the Venice Biennale, The Evidence Room exhibition makes that defining evidence chillingly material. The Evidence Room book — a companion piece to the exhibition — uses visual and written essays to evoke the historical testimony presented at the trial that Auschwitz was a purposefully designed factory of death. “[The Evidence Room] is a remarkable achievement, among the most important works on the Nazi ‘project’... extraordinarily compelling.” Berel Lang

176 pages • 5.5 X 9
80 pages of photographs
Hardcover • $309781988326009 • Available
epub • $15 9781988326016 • January
ARCHITECTURE / History / Modern History / Holocaust


General inquiries Individual orders
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New Jewish Press Submission Guidelines

The New Jewish Press, as the publishing program of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies, is seeking titles that add significantly to the Canadian Jewish cultural landscape. We are not an academic press. The focus of the Press is to make a selection of outstanding fiction and nonfiction books dealing with themes of Jewish culture, history, philosophy, and religion available to the broader Canadian and international community. While our emphasis is on Canadian authors and subjects, we will also consider international submissions on Jewish themes.

We accept submissions either electronically by email, or by regular mail, but prefer submissions by email. In either case, please include:

  1. A cover letter that describes your work and explains why you think it’s a good fit for the New Jewish Press.
  2. A brief bio and publication history (if applicable).
  3. Your contact information.
  4. A sample chapter of your work.
  5. For nonfiction, please also include the Table of Contents or a complete outline of the work.
  6. Please indicate whether you are simultaneously submitting your manuscript elsewhere. We will consider manuscripts that have been submitted to other publishers, but we would prefer to know this at the beginning of the process.
  • Please do not send complete manuscripts. If we decide to consider your work further after reading the sample, we will request the rest of the manuscript.
  • Please do not send us the only copy of your work or any original artwork or images. We cannot assume responsibility for your manuscript or artwork.
  • Please do not resubmit the same proposal multiple times.
  • Please be patient. We will make every effort to respond promptly, but as we consider every submission we receive, it may take several months for us to get back to you.
  • Please include your name on all the materials you send, not just the envelope and cover letter.
By email
Please send proposals to: submissions@newjewishpress.ca
Please send all documents as Word files or PDFs.

By regular mail
Please include a SASE and send hard copy proposals to:
New Jewish Press
Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies
170 St. George Street, Room 218
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8



Cover your bookcases with rugs and linens of fine quality; preserve them from dampness and mice and injury; for it is your books that are your true treasure.
—Ibn Tibbon (1120-c.1190), Spanish Jewish Scholar

The New Jewish Press is underwritten by tax receiptable donations to the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies that are earmarked for its publishing program. We welcome the support of donors who wish to contribute to the New Jewish Press in its endeavour to bring the academy and the community together in a uniquely Jewish publishing venture.

To make a donation, please follow the link below to the University of Toronto's donation page for the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies and choose the option:


We thank you for your support.


New Jewish Press
Malcolm Lester, Co-Publisher
416 921 6637  -  416 819 7254

Andrea Fochs Knight, Co-Publisher
416 884 8188

Geneva Bokowski, Communications & Social Media
Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies
170 St. George Street, Room 218
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8