Canadian Jewish Literary Award Winners!

Fania’s Heart by Anne Renaud, illustrated by Richard Rudnicki and To Look Nazi in the Eye by Kathy Kacer with Jordana Lebowitz are both winners of the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards!

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Fania’s Heart by Anne Renaud, illustrated by Richard Rudnicki is the winner of the Canadian Jewish Literary Award - Children/Youth category.

Ten-year-old Sorale discovers a tiny heart-shaped book among her mother’s belongings. Its pages are shaped like four-petaled flowers, upon which are written words in languages Sorale does not understand. Who wrote these words? Where did the heart come from? And why has her mother never mentioned this tiny book before?

Fania’s Heart reveals the true story of the crafting of this heart-shaped birthday card, against all odds, within the confines of Auschwitz, and of the women of immeasurable resilience, courage, and loyalty who risked their lives to create this gift for Sorale’s mother, their friend.

To Look Nazi in the Eye by Kathy Kacer with Jordana Lebowitz is the winner of the Canadian Jewish Literary Award - Memoir/Biography category.

The true story of nineteen-year-old Jordana Lebowitz’s experience attending the war criminal trial of Oskar Groening. Groening worked at the Auschwitz concentration camp and became known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz”. In 2015 he stood trial in Germany for being complicit in the deaths of more than 300,000 Jews.

A granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Jordana knew a great deal about the Holocaust and had travelled to Europe to visit Auschwitz. But she was not prepared for what she would see and hear at Oscar Groening’s trial, including how such an ordinary seeming man – who at first glance reminded her of grandfather – could be part of such despicable cruelty.

Listening to Groening’s testimony and to the Holocaust survivors who came to testify against him, Jordana felt the weight of being witness to history – a history that we need to remember now more than ever.

Allie Chenoweth