Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Gabriela Avigur-Rotem  \ 

Mozart Was Not a Jew

Gabriela Avigur-Rotem
This first novel is a fantastic-lyrical family saga set in Argentina at the turn of the century, beginning when two Jewish families from Eastern Europe emigrate to Buenos Aires and the rural Mar de Oro. Of the story’s two branches, the first is the family of Leon and Ida Gidekel. Worn down by time and the demands of living, Leon abandons his dream to be a great singer and passes his ambition to his nine children, buying a piano for each. Ida tries to draw the line when Leon brings a piano for two-year-old Salomon. "Even Mozart began at three," she says. But Leon replies: "Mozart was not a Jew."
The other branch is Isaac and Fanny Gurman`s family, which eventually links with the first when their offspring marry. The story depicts the alienation of the East European Jews in South America, and the connection of these Jews to the emerging national center in Israel. Each of the sixty characters has a distinct shape and color, from the wild, raucous children of the Pampas to Bengo`s half-caste son and the half-Indian Regalo, who moves to Palestine.
The story is told through family letters, written against the historical background of the early days of political Zionism, Baron Hirsch`s support for a Jewish colony in Argentina, the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War.

Is this really a first novel? Everything is here: stunning verbal wealth, and experience rich in color, sound and taste.
Critic Yehudit Orian

I am amazed at the rare epic sweep of Avigur-Rotem’s writing.
Author Batya Gur

English translation available (for publishers only)

Avigur-Rotem Mozart Was Not a Jew
Title Mozart Was Not a Jew
Author’s Last Name Avigur-Rotem
Author's First Name Gabriela
Language(s) Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1992
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Kinneret, Zmora-Bitan
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2008
No. Pages 306 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Motzart Lo Haya Yehudi
Representation Represented by ITHL


Italian: Milan, Tartaruga, 1997; pback: Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1999
Portuguese: Rio de Janeiro, Imago, 1997
Chinese: Guangzhou, Flower City, 1998
Arabic: Cairo, Al Dar al-Arabia, 2001
Congratulations to Barabara Harshav for the 2018 PEN Medal for Translation!
The prize is given to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of their work. Barbara Harshav has been translating works from French, German, Hebrew and Yiddish for over twenty years and has currently published over forty books of translation. Among the many Hebrew authors she has translated: Yoram Kaniuk, Agnon, Yehudit Hendel, Yehuda Amichai and many more.
The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Ronit Matalon, the recipient of the 2017 Brenner prize for her book 'And the Bride Closed the Door". And, congratulations to Amir ziv, the recipent of the first ever Brenner prize for debut novels.
Ronit Matalon's book tells the story of Margie, a young bride, who shuts herself up in her mother's bedroom and declares that she won’t get married. Her family gathers at the locked door, not knowing what to do. Amir Ziv tells a story that begins as an apparently routine correspondence between a prying citizen, secretly in love with his neighbor, and a conscientious municipal clerk, and developes into an uncovering of a great underlying drama.
The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop November 4th to 10th, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: November 4th 2018 until November 10th, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award! The books on the longlist are selected by 400 libraries worldwide. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.
Yitzchak Mayer's personal website goes live
English edition of Yitzchak Mayer's amazing "Silent Letter" is about to come out with Mosaic Press. Learn more about the author's incredible life story on his brand new website.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!