British comedian and best-selling author David Baddiel will headline the Sydney Jewish Writers Festival (SJWF) and the Melbourne Jewish Book Week (MJBW) next month.
Baddiel, who wrote the non-fiction polemic Jews Don’t Count, has been at the forefront of tackling antisemitism in the media. The book became The Sunday Times Politics and Current Affairs Book of the Year in 2021 and enjoyed critical acclaim across the UK, Europe and US. In 2022 it was adapted into a documentary for Channel 4 in the UK.
Baddiel has created and presented several acclaimed documentaries, including The Trouble with Dad, Confronting Holocaust Denial, and Social Media, Anger and Us. He has published 10 children’s books, as well as four critically acclaimed adult novels.
With the theme ‘Identity’, sessions at this year’s SJWF will cover a range of topics, from climate change to existentialism, Holocaust and antisemitism, aging and the body, to grief and laughter.
Festival director Miriam Hechtman said: “At this year’s Sydney Jewish Writers Festival we welcome you to explore the word ‘identity’ – from the personal to the cultural, the atlas to the mirror. With books as our compass … we present you with an exceptional gathering of storytellers, thinkers and experts from Australia and abroad to speak to this theme. If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that we need each other and we need to stay in conversation about what makes us tick. Books offer us the framework to converse, commune and create.”
Baddiel will discuss “Jews Don’t Count”, and he will be part of a panel discussion covering the themes of “Identity” and “Antisemitism” (a JCA-partnered event). He will also join Alex Ryvchin in a discussion about antisemitism, before discussing his latest work, The God Desire on the closing night of the festival. In this philosophical essay, he attempts to reconcile his lack of faith with his Jewish identity, which places him in an intriguing position.
Baddiel will headline the MJBW for one night only.
The SJWF runs from August 23-27. Bookings: shalom.edu.au.
For the Melbourne Jewish Book Week: mjbw.com.au