Latkepalooza: A family celebration

by | Dec 6, 2019 | Other News

Ina and Jeffrey Garten host the book launch party for Sheryl Haft’s Goodnight Bubbala, a #1 Amazon Best Seller. A joyful parody of the classic Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Bubbala celebrates family, Hanukkah, Jewish culture, Yiddish, and the universal values of expressing gratitude and cherishing loved ones.

A community celebration of Hanukkah, Latkepalooza features three children’s books and authors, a camp extravaganza, light lunch and latkes, raffle, crafts, and live music.

Latkepalooza 2019 is a family-friendly mini-book festival filled with group activities, camp reunions, virtual tours, latkes, music, crafts, sports, and storytellers.

it doesn’t get more magical than children’s book authors Sheryl Haft, Jane Bernstein, and Leslea Newman delivering delight in their own special way.

Consider, for example, the touching story of Gina from Siberia. Author Jane Bernstein tells the story from the perspective of Victor, a kind and gentle dog who rescues Gina from extreme loneliness. The book is about fitting in and adjusting to change. A surprise four-legged visitor will come alive off the page and is sure to make everyone smile.

In Goodnight Bubbala, Sharyl Haft’s story about a bubbala and latkes makes the perfect recipe for fun and gratitude.

And, Gittel’s Journey by Leslea Newman tells the heart-tugging story of a young girl starting over in a new country, all alone. Each story has a meaningful mes- sage for children and adults.

Summer camps will bring a different kind of light to the Hanukkah celebration. Visiting sleepaway camps such as Camp Perlman, Camps Airy and Louise, and Zeke and Ramah will provide information and virtual tours. Adding to the ‘festival’ theme will be trivia games, a prize wheel, scratch art dreidels, cornhole and ring toss. information about PJ library, Strelitz international Academy and Jfit will also be available.

The event is part of the Lee & Bernard Jaffee Family Jewish Book Festival and One Happy Camper’s Camp Extravaganza, with PJ Library. Support is from United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, and One Happy Camper Foundation. RSVP (required) to For more information, contact Sierra Lautman at 757-965-6107 or


 Leslea Newman shares a family story about a brave little girl

Sadie Gringrassh.

Learn about the real Gittel from Gittel’s Journey: an Ellis Island Story at Latkepalooza. Leslea Newman grew up knowing that her aunt’s mother, Sadie Gringrass, traveled to America alone when she was a young girl. All that she carried with her was a piece of paper with an address and the name of a relative written on it. When Newman decided to write her great aunt’s story, she called her Aunt Phyllis and asked about her mother.

Leslea and her Aunt Phyllis.

Shortly after her Aunt Phyllis’s 90th birthday, Newman presented her with Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story. One hundred and eight years after Sadie Gringrass, the real “Gittel,” traveled to the United States, hear the remarkable story of a small girl going on a big journey.




 Jane Bernstein and four-legged friends

Rozzie the dog.

Gina, the little terrier featured in Gina from Siberia, may have inspired Jane Bernstein to get a furry friend of her own.

Rozzie, another small dog with a big personality, was welcomed into Bernstein’s home just before the book was published. Rozzie travels just as well as Gina. However, instead of being wrapped in a blanket and disguised as a baby, Rozzie is usually comfortably nestled in a little bag by Bernstein’s feet.

Hear more about Gina’s excursion. While Rozzie isn’t able to make it to Latkepalooza, a couple of other four-legged friends will be there.