Yaniv Iczkovits, born in 1975, is an award-winning author and screen writer. He has published four novels and one novella, and is now working on developing TV content based on his novels for Keshet and KI, Yes Studios, Endemol Shine and more.
His books include Pulse (Hakibbutz HaMeuchad), which won Haaretz’s debut novel prize and was translated into Italian; Adam and Sophie (HaSifriya HaHadasha), which won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew Writers; Laws of Succession, a novella published in the anthology “There’s a Story Behind the Money” (Achuzat Bayit). His third novel, The Slaughterman’s Daughter, was published by Keter in August 2015 and is translated into 18 languages worldwide. The book was awarded the Agnon Prize – in honor of Israel’s only Nobel Laureate for Literature – the first time the prize has been granted in ten years (2016).
Iczkovits won the Ramat Gan Prize (2017) for literary excellence and the People of the Book Foundation Prize (2017), and the British Wingate prize (2021). The Economist and The Sunday Times chose the book as one of the best books published in Britain in 2020, and The New York Times and Kirkus chose the book as one of the best books to look forward to in 2021 in the U.S. In January 2022 the book was announced as a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.
In August 2020 Iczkovits published his recent book, Nobody Leaves Palo Alto (Keter) which immediately became a no.1 best seller in Israel, won critical acclaim, and is now translated to French (Gallimard) and Romanian (Humanitas Fiction). This book was also adapted to television by Iczkovits, and the TV series will premiere in Israel (Keshet) on November 2023.
Iczkovits studied at the Adi Lautman Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students at Tel Aviv University, and during his Master’s degree he spent a year at Oxford University as a Chevening scholar from the British Council. His doctoral dissertation dealt with Ludwig Wittgenstein’s thought and analyzed the interplay between ethics and language. He taught for eight years at the University of Tel Aviv, and After receiving his Ph.D., he went on to pursue postdoctoral research at Columbia University in New York, where he adapted his doctoral dissertation into the book Wittgenstein’s Ethical Thought (Palgrave Macmillan 2012).
He currently lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and three daughters.
Dr. Baruch Link (1947-2019) was a beloved and distinguished scholar, teacher, poet and father who approached the study and transmission of Modern Hebrew literature with lifelong romantic devotion.
Born in Palestine in 1947 to liberal Zionist parents who both served during Israel’s War for Independence, Baruch was shaped by a childhood that developed in tandem with the nascent Jewish State. His worldview was formed by enduring years of regional conflict and warfare, as well as ensuing economic austerity, even as his home was filled with a dynamic and passionate exchange of ideas about the cultural revival of an ancient language and the politics of Jewish statehood and power. Baruch voraciously consumed the burgeoning new genre of Hebrew literature, then defined by an array of writers and poets including, S.Y. Agnon, Uri Zvi Greenberg, Hayim Nahman Bialik, Leah Goldberg and Zelda.
At 17, Baruch was on the verge of joining the Israel Defense Forces when he contracted a virus that irreversibly compromised his kidneys. Despite his pursuit of an official appeal, he was denied the opportunity to serve in the Israeli army which catalyzed his matriculation to academia. Baruch enrolled at Tel Aviv University, where he completed both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. During this time, he volunteered to teach active duty soldiers during several war periods and began to correspond with prominent Israeli writers which inspired his early poetry.
After completing his M.A., Baruch was accepted to a PhD program at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where he would study under the tutelage of Professor Arnold Band, a world-renowned S.Y. Agnon scholar. Baruch received his PhD in comparative literature in 1976, turning his dissertation on Ezra Zussman, an early 20th century Hebrew poet, into the award-winning 1982 volume Studies in the Poetry of Ezra Zussman, published by Aleph. He followed that work with the poetry collection, Visions from the Hospital and Other Poems, also published by Aleph.
Baruch returned to Israel after completing his PhD with his new wife, Teri Cohan, a Los Angeles native and went on to teach in various seminars and at Israel’s elite colleges, including Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University. In 1985, Baruch and Teri had a son, Shmuel, born in Tel Aviv and later, a daughter, Tal, born in Los Angeles. The family returned to the United States in order for Baruch to attend a sabbatical at Harvard University before ultimately returning to L.A., where the family made their permanent home. There, Baruch taught at his alma mater, UCLA, the University of California San Diego and the University of Utah at Salt Lake City. He also held posts at the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) and Hebrew Union College (HUC).
In Los Angeles, Baruch and his family joined Temple Beth Am and its lay-led “Library Minyan,” establishing themselves as committed and engaged members of the community. The Link children, Shmuel and Tal, attended the Pressman Academy Day School. It was this community along with family and lifelong friends from Israel and throughout the world who resolved to honor Baruch’s memory by forming and funding a Scholar in Residence weekend.
Baruch is remembered by those who knew him as a loving, tender and compassionate man; a brilliant teacher, scholar and poet; and a deeply committed yet questioning Jew. He was also an avid sports fan; devoted to the UCLA Bruins, the English Premier League team Manchester United and his “home” teams in Israel, Hapoel Ramat Gan (soccer) and Maccabi Tel Aviv (basketball). Despite a lifelong battle with illness, Baruch exuded joy and optimism. He was always reaching out to those who were ailing, lonely or grieving, his own struggle against suffering forever awakening him to the pain of others.
A successful kidney transplant in 2007 gifted Baruch with almost 13 additional years of teaching, writing and scholarly research, and most especially, being a family man. He was truly beloved by those fortunate enough to enter his orbit and blessed to see his son marry just before he passed away. Baruch’s first grandson was born in 2021 and named in Hebrew Ezra Baruch.
Tuesday, September 19 at 7:30 PM on Zoom
Moderated by Joel Grossman
You will love The Slaughterman’s Daughter! It is a rousing adventure story, with a myriad of memorable characters. It’s a funny, tragic tale that takes place in the shtetl world of Easten Europe in the 1890’s. The author is Yaniv Iczkovits, an Israeli writer with a great flair for drama and irony.
Dorit Rabinyan is the bestselling author of the acclaimed Persian Brides and Strand of a Thousand Pearls. She is the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Prize, the Itzhak Vinner Prize, the ACUM award and the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Award. All the Rivers was named as a book of the year by Ha’aretz and awarded the prestigious Bernstein Prize.
In 2016, after 15 years of silence, Rabinyan published All the Rivers (also known as Borderlife), which became the center of a political scandal in Israel. The momentous novel, sensitive in its details and enthralling at its peaks, was banned from use in high schools curriculum by Israel’s Ministry of Education. The book tells a story crisscrossed by physical and emotional borderlines and courageously marks the deceit in the separation between “you” and “I,” between “us” and “them.” All the Rivers spent more than a year as #1 bestseller in Israel, and has been translated into 17 languages.