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Siegal Lifelong Learning

Ayelet Tsabari Lectures

Ayelet Tsabari Lectures

Ayelet Tsabari was born in Israel to a large family of Yemeni descent. She grew up in a suburb of Tel Aviv, served in the Israeli army, and traveled extensively throughout South East Asia, Europe and North America. Ayelet was first published at the age of ten in an Israeli children’s magazine, and worked as a freelance journalist from the age of fifteen, mostly writing for Maariv. In 1998, Ayelet moved to Vancouver, Canada. She looked into other ways to tell stories and studied film and photography in Capilano University’s Media Program. She directed two documentary films, one of which won an award at the Palm Spring International Short Film Festival. She wrote her first story in English in 2006.

ayelet tsabari

Photo by Elsin Davidi

Her debut story collection The Best Place on Earth, won the 2015 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and was nominated for The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The book has been published internationally to great acclaim.

Ayelet was named by CBC Books as one of ten Canadian Writers to Watch and was awarded a Chalmers Arts Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council. Her work has won a National Magazine Award, a Western Magazine Award, and an Edna Staebler Award. She is also a two-time winner of the Event Creative Non-Fiction Contest . She is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio, and the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph.

Ayelet teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto‘s School of Continuing Education.

Ayelet Tsabari's visit is generously supported by the Herbert and Mariana Luxenberg Siegal College Lecture Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and the Israel Arts Connection of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland

Tuesday, May 9 | 7 p.m.


Ayelet Tsabari, Author


Ayelet Tsabari, author of award winning The Best Place on Earth will speak about growing up as an ethnic minority (Mizrahi) in Israel, and about reclaiming her Yemeni identity through writing. She will share the unique challenges she has faced as an immigrant author in North America, writing about Israel in English, her second language.

Landmark Centre | Members: free (advanced registration recommended); Nonmembers: $5 | REGISTER >

Wednesday, May 10 | 10 a.m.


Ayelet Tsabari, Author


Israeli literature has long been dominated by Ashkenazi authors. Likewise, Israeli school curriculums often dismiss the work of Mizrahi authors (those of non-European descent) from the canon. But today, a new generation of Mizrahi writers are determined to carve out their own space, and perhaps even change the landscape of Israel’s literary scene. Reflecting on her own work and those like her, Ayelet Tsabari will shed light on the changing face of Israeli literature, and introduce some of the new Mizrahi voices who are making their mark.

Landmark Centre | Members: free (advanced registration recommended); Nonmembers: $5 | REGISTER >

Wednesday, May 10 | 4-6 p.m.


Ayelet Tsabari, Author


An informal discussion for Cleveland's Hebrew speakers. Join author Ayelet Tsabari who will speak about her work and life growing up Mizrahi in Israel and as an Israeli writer in North America. Registration Required by May 3. Tea and pastries will be served.

Landmark Centre | Members and Nonmembers: $5 | REGISTER >

Thursday, May 11 | 10 a.m

Ayelet Tsabari, Author


How do writers turn lived experience into literary art? What makes for a great true life narrative? Do you have to live an extraordinary life to write nonfiction? Learn to locate the stories in your lives, apply fiction techniques to enhance your work, and experiment with form, structure, tense and voice. Discussion and writing exercises will focus on finding your theme, identifying the conflict, confronting your fears, and falling in love with revision. In this workshop, Ayelet Tsabari offers ten practical tips to help you refine your prose, deepen your understanding of the genre, and create stronger and more compelling non-fiction. Space is Limited


Landmark Centre | Members: $10; Nonmembers: $15 | REGISTER >