Jewish Book Festival

by | Oct 22, 2018 | Uncategorized

The annual celebration of Jewish writers, books, and ideas, Simon Family JCC’s Lee & Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, provides an opportunity to engage with talented authors about their latest books. The month-long Festival also offers the latest titles on the top of Jewish booklists for purchase.

The Simon Family JCC is a member of the Jewish Book Council, a group that supports more than 120 organizations across North America, including JCC’s, synagogues, Hillels, Jewish Federations, and cultural centers—giving more than 250 authors a platform to share their books each year.

More than 100 different books by prominent and emerging authors will be featured in a popup bookstore in the Simon Family JCC’s Copeland Cardo. Emmy Award-winning writers, New York Times bestselling authors, brilliant visual artists, and popular journalists are all part of the Festival’s 2018-2019 lineup.

October 30-December 2

Israeli Innovation, Grandparenting, Murder Mystery, Getting into Financial Order, and Repairing Humanity

Gone to Dust: A Novel

Matt Goldman
Wednesday, November 7, 7:30 pm

Emmy Award-winning writer Matt Goldman brings his signature storytelling abilities to his debut novel, Gone to Dust.

The page-turning story involves a rare murder in a tranquil suburban neighborhood in the dead of winter. Goldman uses his talents to create a memorable, irreverent PI named Nils Shapiro who explores the cold winter landscape of Minnesota to solve a twisted tale in a sleepy, well-off suburb.

Gone to Dust: A Novel is a book club pick**

Thou Shalt Innovate: How Israeli Ingenuity Repairs the World

Avi Jorisch
Thursday, November 15, 7:30 pm

Israel plays a disproportionate role in helping solve some of the world’s biggest challenges by tapping into the nation’s soul: the spirit of Tikkun Olam, the Jewish concept of repairing the world. Thou Shalt Innovate profiles 15 wondrous Israeli innovations that are changing the lives of billions of people around the world, while exploring why Israeli innovators of all faiths feel compelled to make the world better.

Avi Jorisch previously served in the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Defense. He is the author of five books, and has had articles published in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Forbes, and Al-Arabiya.

In conjunction with the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, and community partners’ Israel Today series, including UJFT’s Society of Professionals.

This is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order

John Schwartz
Friday, November 16, 8:30 am

A New York Times reporter, John Schwartz thought he’d grow up to be a financial maven. In fact, at 13, he put his bar mitzvah money into IBM. Soon after, the stock tanked, and Schwartz realized he was no money genius. Flash forward to his late 50s, and he realized he hadn’t gotten much smarter; not knowing whether he and his wife had enough saved for a comfortable retirement, or whether he had enough life insurance.

Part financial memoir and part research-based guide to attaining lifelong security, This is The Year I Put My Financial Life in Order is the book that everyone who has never wanted to read a preachy financial guide has been waiting for.

Light breakfast and networking at 7:45 am, in partnership with the Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today

Jane Isay
Wednesday, November 21, 12 pm

$12 Lunch/$30 Lunch and signed book Bundled registration for lunch and a signed book closes November 13

For many, a grandchild offers the opportunity to be the parent they didn’t have the time or energy to be with their own children. Wonderfully intimate, psychologically astute, and often humorous, Jane Isay’s Unconditional Love is an emotional guide to being a grandparent.

Isay shows how a grandparent—though no longer in charge—can use his/her unique perspective and experience to find a way to keep the love flowing.

Isay is the author of Secrets and Lies, Walking on Eggshells, and Mom Still Likes You Best

In partnership with Beth Sholom Village and Hebrew Academy of Tidewater.

The Lost Family: A Novel

Jenna Blum
Tuesday, November 27, 7:30 pm

The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us, Jenna Blum creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II that spans three decades. Set in 1965 Manhattan, The Lost Family follows Auschwitz survivor, Peter Rashkin’s life as a restaurant owner. His work consumes him, as does his guilt over surviving Auschwitz, while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters, perished. June Bouquet, a young fashion model, pierces his guard and the two begin a passionate courtship and marry. Over the next 20 years, however, Peter’s indelible anguish haunts him, June, and their daughter Elisabeth—transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.

The Lost Family: A Novel is a Book Club pick** and is in partnership with the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission and Women’s Cabinet

The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity

Sally Kohn
Thursday, November 29, 12 pm

$12 Lunch/$30 lunch and book Bundled registration for lunch and a signed book closes November 19

As a progressive commentator on Fox News and now CNN, Sally Kohn has made a career of bridging political differences and learning how to talk civilly to people whose views she passionately  opposes. Although Kohn gave a TED Talk about what she termed ‘emotional correctness,’ even she has found herself wanting to breathe fire at her enemies. In The Opposite of Hate, Kohn interviews leading scientists and researchers, investigating the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate and how simple incivility can be a gateway to much worse.

Kohn is a writer, activist, political commentator, and host of the podcast, State of Resistance. Her TED talks have garnered over three million views.

Discussion with Panelists

Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Congregation Beth El Reverend
Dr. Antipas Harris, Urban Renewal Center
Doron Ezickson, regional director, Anti-Defamation League, Washington D.C. Region

In partnership with the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council, the Holocaust Commission, Advocates for Racial Justice, Hands United Building Bridges (HUBB), Advocates for Racial Justice, Hampton Roads Pride, and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

PJ Library’s Latkepalooza and Camp Extravaganza with Rick Recht LIVE

Sunday, December 2, 12:30–3:30 pm

Sadie’s Almost Marvelous Menorah & Sadie’s Snowy Tu B’Shevat

Jamie Korngold.
1 pm

Sadie accidentally breaks the Hanukkah menorah she made for her mother at school in Sadie’s Almost Marvelous Menorah. Sadie realizes that the shammash candle remains unbroken, and a new family tradition is born.

In Sadie’s Snowy Tu B’Shevat, Sadie wants to plant a tree for Tu B’Shevat, but it’s the middle of the winter. With help from her brother, Ori, and grandmother, Sadie learns why the tree-planting holiday takes place in winter and finds her own special ways to celebrate.

Rabbi Jamie Korngold is the author of 11 books, including the beloved Sadie and Ori series. Known as the “Adventure Rabbi,” she brings her innovative take on Judaism to students around the world via, the online school she founded in 2003.

The Spy Who Played Baseball

Carrie Jones
2:15 pm

Moe Berg is not a typical major league baseball player in the 1930s. He’s Jewish, has a law degree, speaks several languages, and loves traveling the world. He also happens to be a spy for the U.S. government, and when World War II begins, Moe trades his baseball career for a life of danger and secrecy. A picture book for both sports and spy lovers, The Spy Who Played Baseball is also about a Jewish immigrant’s son using brilliance and persistence to adapt to his new culture.

Carrie Jones is a quirky, internationally and New York Times bestselling author from Maine who longs to somehow save the world. An award-winning editor, photographer, and on-call firefighter, she wears many hats, but her passion is story.

Generously funded by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, in partnership with One Happy Camper.

For more information on the weekend with Rick Recht, visit

Beyond the Festival


Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food

Rachel Herz
Thursday, January 10, 2019, 12 pm

$12 Lunch/$30 Lunch and book Bundled registration for lunch and a signed book closes January 3



Parsha Posters

Hillel Smith
Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 12 pm

Discussion and gallery tour with the artist $12 Lunch/ $50 Lunch and book Bundled registration for lunch and a signed book closes February 4.


Husbands and Other Sharp Objects

Marilyn Simon Rothstein
Monday, March 18, 2019, 12 pm

$12 Lunch/$20 Lunch and book Bundled registration for lunch and a signed book closes March 11

Tidewater Together

presented by the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholarin-Residence Fund, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, and the Tidewater Synagogue Leadership Council

Words that Hurt, Words that Heal:How the Words You Choose Shape Your Destiny—Revised edition

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
Friday, March 29–Sunday, March 31, 2019




How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love, and Life

Janice Kaplan
Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 7:30 pm


All events, unless otherwise noted, are free and open to the community with RSVP required, and will take place at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach

For more information about the Festival, to sponsor, or volunteer, contact Callah Terkeltaub at 75-321-2331 or

The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival is held in coordination with the Jewish Book Council, a national organization whose sole purpose is the promotion of Jewish books.

** Register a community book club and receive: Discounts on group tickets, reserved group seating at author events, recognition during program welcome remarks, and a special ‘Book Clubs Only’ reception with a book club author. Contact Callah Terkeltaub at for information or to register a book club.