Join us for an engrossing discussion about food, identity, Judaism and writing.
Kosher Soul and the Cooking Gene:

How Award-Winning Writer Michael Twitty Explores Identity and History Through Food
Elissa Goldstein will be in conversation with Michael Twitty, a riveting storyteller and a 21st-century multi-hyphenate talent. Michael is a culinary historian and educator with a focus on African, African-American and Jewish cuisines; a Judaic studies teacher; and a historical interpreter who specialises in the foodways of enslaved people, which profoundly influenced contemporary America. 

Supported by our media partner, The Australian Jewish News
Tuesday 9th March 2021
8.30 - 9.30 pm AEDT 

FREE via Zoom — registration required
Register to Attend Online


The Cooking Gene is an illuminating memoir that traces Michael Twitty's ancestry across three centuries, both Black and white, through food from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom. He travels from civil-war battlefields in Virginia, to synagogues in Alabama, and to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia. In 2018, he was the first African-American author to win the prestigious James Beard Award for book of the year, as well as best narrative writing.

Michael W. Twitty is a renowned culinary historian and food writer from the Washington D.C. area. He’s the creator of Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African-American historical foodways and their legacy, and he writes and speaks on the overlap between Black and Jewish experiences relating to slavery and oppression. His new book, Rice: A Savour the South Cookbook, will be out in March.

Elissa Goldstein is a subeditor at Broadsheet, where she also writes about food, culture and books. Previously Elissa worked at Tablet in New York, where she co-produced the podcast Unorthodox. She has a BA in media and communications from Melbourne University and an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College.


MJBW Summer Bookclub — The Watermill by Arnold Zable

The conversation between Arnold Zable and Tali Lavi offered readers an insight into The Watermill, a quartet of true stories of displacement, of survival and and of resistance, and how Zable sheds a ray of light in the darkest of places.

Catch up on the broadcast

Subscribe to MJBW on YouTube     or     Find past broadcasts on our site


Melbourne Jewish Book Week joins the celebration of MIRKA, which is now showing at the Jewish Museum of Australia (14th Feb — 19th Dec.)

Hosted by the MPAVILION as part of its MTalk series, don’t miss this fascinating and FREE panel discussion MIRKA & FRIENDS, a special collaboration between MJBW and JMA.

Sabine Cotté and Kendra Morgan were lucky enough to have known one of our favourite artists intimately and with great affection. Mirka Mora’s charm, effervescence and style are revered in their books. This event is a tribute to a beloved, bright-eyed and deeply missed Melbournian. To be moderated by Jessica Bram, Director and CEO of the Jewish Museum of Australia.

Sunday 14th March
1.00 - 2.00 pm

Level 7, 34 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Wheelchair Accessible

FREE — bookings required


From our friends at JIFF

Hummus has no borders!

To continue our theme of stories associated with food, MJBW is thrilled to recommend a film from the wonderful program offered this year by the Jewish International Film Festival (17th Feb to 24th March).
Breaking Bread is a delicious documentary which follows a group of Jewish and Palestinian chefs who take part in a unique food festival in the Israeli city of Haifa. Breaking Bread is a mouth-watering film about hope, collaboration and exotic fare.

Watch the trailer and book your tickets
It gets even better! Win one of two double passes, which can be redeemed for any Jewish International Film Festival session except for Opening and Closing Night events. The winners will be selected randomly and notified by JIFF via email. 

Click here to enter by 5pm Monday 15th February.

From our friends at Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre

The Fig Tree Replanted

A reinterpretation of The Fig Tree, the award-winning show and musical companion to the popular book of short stories of the same name by beloved Melbourne author Arnold Zable.

Sunday 21st February 
Bookings required


MJBW is holding a virtual open mic event in 2021 — Tuesday 20th April at 8 pm.

Have you put your creative writing caps on yet?

This is your opportunity to read a short piece of original work (3-4 minutes) to an appreciative audience. You will not be judged on the quality of your work. Think of it as an opportunity to have your voice heard. It can be any genre: fiction or non-fiction, memoir or a poem. 

Participants will also have the opportunity to be published on the JWOW website.  JWOW will contact participants whose work they wish to publish. Please note: the MJBW open mic event is open to everyone.

Get your pieces ready, then use our submission form to send your work through.


MJBW has planned and presented FREE live-streaming events to its audience of the highest literary standard and is largely maintained by a small group of volunteers.

In order to continue the quality of MJBW events, we are asking you to help us support our literary community of writers, moderators and keynote speakers, local and international, which will assist us to keep everyone connected in the Melbourne Jewish Book World. We wish to say a big THANK YOU to each and everyone who has financially supported our literary community to this stage. 
Donate to MJBW
Melbourne Jewish Book Week is a not-for-profit organisation with registered charitable and Deductible Gift Recipient status. All donations over $2 are tax deductible. We appreciate your support and welcome all contributions.
Melbourne Jewish Book Week would like to express its gratitude to the continued support of the following sponsors:

Stay safe, stay well and keep reading everyone

If you wish to contact us, please email

Melbourne Jewish Book Week takes place on the land of the Kulin nation. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and future.
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