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DJC Reading Circle: The King of Warsaw

March 8, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

The King of Warsaw, by Szczepan Twardoch, facilitated by Kalman Weiser

It’s 1937. Poland is about to catch fire.In the boxing ring, Jakub Szapiro commands respect, revered as a hero by the Jewish community. Outside, he instills fear as he muscles through Warsaw as enforcer for a powerful crime lord. Murder and intimidation have their rewards. He revels in luxury, spends lavishly, and indulges in all the pleasures that barbarity offers. For a man battling to be king of the underworld, life is good. Especially when it’s a frightening time to be alive.

Hitler is rising. Fascism is escalating. As a specter of violence hangs over Poland like a black cloud, its marginalized and vilified Jewish population hopes for a promise of sanctuary in Palestine. Jakub isn’t blind to the changing tide. What’s unimaginable to him is abandoning the city he feels destined to rule. With the raging instincts that guide him in the ring and on the streets, Jakub feels untouchable. He must maintain the order he knows―even as a new world order threatens to consume him.

Kalman Weiser is the Silber Family Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at York University in Toronto, where he is also director of the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies (sabbatical 2022-2023). He is the author of several studies about Jewish nationalism, Yiddish language and culture, and eastern Europe Jewry. His most recent book is the co-edited volume Key Concepts in the Study of Antisemitism (Palgrave, 2021). He is currently finishing the manuscript for a book about the relationship of seminal Jewish linguists Max Weinreich and Solomon Birnbaum to each other, to the German and Yiddish languages, and to German colleagues who served the Third Reich.


Now in its twentieth glorious year, the Danforth Jewish Reading Circle is a favourite among our book loving members, bringing us together throughout the year for interesting and animated discussions about a variety of books that touch on Jewish themes. And of course, when we’re done there’s always a little nosh. After all, this is a Jewish book group! The Danforth Jewish Reading Circle is open to all – no charge for members, $10 for non-members. To attend a meeting, all you have to do is drop us a line at djcreadingcircle@gmail.com – but please do so early. Space fills up quickly and names are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. You will receive a confirmation email with time and place details.


March 8, 2023
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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