Diverse lineup for JCC’s annual Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival

by | Oct 16, 2015 | Featured

Sunday, Nov. 1–Sunday, Nov. 15

Eight authors will speak at the Simon Family JCC as part of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival, enlightening the minds of the young and old, history buffs and environmentalists.

Seth M. Siegel will kick off the Festival Sunday, Nov. 1, discussing his recent release, Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water Starved World, which conveys how Israel set the example for others to follow with innovations in water usage. This program will appeal to anyone interested in the environment as well as those who take pride in Israel’s many underpublicized accomplishments. It is presented in partnership with the UJFT’s Community Relations Council.

A positive spin on her bouts with cancer and a blood disorder is the subject of the luncheon Tuesday, Nov. 3, when Deb Ebenstein shares her memoirs through humor in her book Mani-Pedi Stat. This event is presented in partnership with Jewish Family Service and Beth Sholom Village.

Norfolk native Allan Goodman returns home to present his book Father, Son, Stone on Wednesday, Nov. 4. As Hal Sacks wrote in a review for the Jewish News last year, “this former lawyer and judge used his spare time to write an historical novel. The book opens in the future, year 2035, as the narrator, Nuri ibn Hamid, begins describing his 90-year-old grandfather unfolding a perplexing story to him when he was 18 years old. Goodman has created an historical mystery that, though complex, moves smoothly backward and forward from the seventh century, cleverly weaving the fictional and historical—replete with events (and characters) with which we should all be familiar.”

It’s all about kids and breakfast on Sunday, Nov. 8. This PJ library and Children and Family Departmentsponsored event will feature a book read in both English and Hebrew by a favorite character…all while eating a delicious breakfast at the JCC.

This year’s community read, Henna House, will be presented by its author on Tuesday, Nov. 10. An evocative and stirring novel about a young woman living in the fascinating and rarely portrayed community of Yemenite Jews of the mid-20th century, its author, Nomi Eve, is the acclaimed author of The Family Orchard. Henna tattoos from a designer will be available.

Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind, is Sarah Wildman’s quest to know more about the lost love of her grandfather who escaped from Austria. This lunchtime event, on Thursday Nov. 12, is presented in partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT.

Hear a retelling of Aesop’s famous tale, Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel, by children’s author Laura Gehl on Friday, Nov. 13. In this interactive program, presented in partnership with Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center, preschool and elementary age children will be treated to a reading as well as a bit of Israeli geography and culture.

For the 5th annual Global Day of Jewish Learning, the theme is “Love: Devotion, Desire and Deception.” Two authors will present their recent works to conclude the book festival, Sunday, Nov. 15. For adults, Anthony David will discuss An Improbable Friendship: The Remarkable Lives of Israeli Ruth Dayan and Palastinian Raymonda Tawil and Their Forty-Year Peace Mission, along with breakout groups lead by area rabbis. Young adults can simultaneously hear about Love and Miss Communication, when Elyssa Friedland’s heroine tosses away her computer and promises herself a break from the online world.

A vast array of books will be on sale in the Cardo of the JCC. Browse for pleasure and for holiday books for family and friends. All events are free and open to the public, with a charge only for the two lunch events. To purchase a lunch, or for additional information, call 321-2338.

View the full schedule of events here.

*of blessed memory

The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.