Family connects first three authors speaking at Jewish Book Festival

by | Oct 27, 2022 | What’s Happening

Dan Grunfeld

Wednesday, November 2, 7:30 pm, Free

Alla Shapiro, MD

Monday, November 7, 12 pm, Tickets include lunch

Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Thursday, November 17, 7:30 pm, Free

Family is at the forefront in the minds of the first three authors of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival.

In By the Grace of the Game: The Holocaust, a Basketball Legacy, and an Unprecedented American Dream, Dan Grunfeld tells his family’s saga. In chronicling his grandparents’ journey from Hungary to the United States after World War ll, Grunfeld proves the power of perseverance and hope. Grunfeld’s father, Ernie Grunfeld, an immigrant and the son of two Holocaust survivors, went from being bullied for his background to NBA stardom. Basketball became the path to tying together generations of a fractured family.

Similarly, in her book Doctor on Call: Chernobyl Responder, Jewish Refugee, Radiation Expert, Dr. Alla Shapiro tells how her family immigrated to the United States. As a pediatric first responder to the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in Ukraine on April 26, 1986, Shapiro endured discrimination as a Jewish citizen and fled the USSR with her family, where she eventually became a leading expert in medical countermeasures against radiation exposure.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, also a descendant of European immigrants, explores family secrets and private and public shame—experiences all families can relate to in her latest book, Shanda: A Memoir of Shame and Secrecy. (See page 28)

All three authors will speak at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus.

Pre-registration is required for all events. For more information or to register, visit or contact Hunter Thomas, director of Arts + Ideas, at

The Lee & Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival is held in coordination with the Jewish Book Council, the longest-running organization devoted exclusively to the support and celebration of Jewish literature.

-Hunter Thomas