Lee & Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival Wednesday, Nov. 9–Sunday, Nov 20

Sherri Wisoff

Hundreds of books will soon fill the Cardo at the Simon Family JCC.

Immigrant stories are part of Jewish history, so it is fitting that on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 pm, the annual Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival begins with such stories and also ends with one. A comforting reminder that the truly important things are carried on any journey, always reside in one’s heart.

Ricki Rosen, a renowned photojournalist, shares her insights and compelling images (on display throughout the Festival) of Ethiopian Jews rescued by Israel during Operation Solomon. Her work, Transformations from Ethiopia to Israel records their journey from rural villages to a vibrant, modern Israel.

That same evening, Daniel Sahalo, marketing manager of Megemeria Jewelry and an Ethiopian Jew, will share his transformative experiences starting from a young age, through his current position with Yvel, the Israeli jewelry company that set up the first corporate/social initiative to provide vocational skills for immigrants through the Megemeria School of Jewelry and Social Business. Sahalo will also introduce the Megemeria jewelry line, which will be on sale throughout the festival.

Leaving Iran: Between Migration and Exile written by local author, Farideh Goldin, is this year’s community read, and will close the festival on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 pm. Goldin shares an intimate portrait of her family’s displacement after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Her touching memoir brings the theme of the immigrant experience full circle.

Enjoy a catered lunch by Beth Sholom Village while listening to author Robert Wittman share details of his new book, The Devil’s Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich, on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 12 pm. Offering closure to a historic debate, Wittman will provide details of the concrete evidence of the influence Rosenberg’s ideologies had on Hitler’s twisted agenda culminating with the Final Solution.

Author Avi Melamed will share details from his latest book, Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 pm. He will challenge the widely- accepted perceptions about the region, while providing a gripping and enlightening guide to making sense of the events unfolding in the Middle East.

This year, young adults have two opportunities to take advantage of local restaurant venues offering both social and engaging nights out with authors.

Elizabeth Gold shares the hilarious and sometimes poignant antics of her Brooklyn women friends in The Mommy Group: Freaking Out, Finding Friends, and Surviving the Happiest Time of Our Lives at Roast Rider Coffee & Tea at Hilltop in Virginia Beach on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 pm.

A Guy’s Night Out takes place at Bite Restaurant in downtown Norfolk on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 pm as Robert Rosenthal, a former ad executive and food humorist lights up the ovens to help attendees prepare a delicious recipe from his book, Short Order Dad: One Guy’s Guide to Making Food Fun and Hassle-Free. This should be a sidesplitting, evening of comedy, cooking, eating and a contest.

Jacqueline Suskin, performance artist and poet, will lead a workshop based on her latest book, Go Ahead and Like It. Part scrapbook, part how-to, this is an opportunity to work with Suskin on creating a personal list of things you like—a simple yet profound way to collect and remember the good in daily life. Suskin will be at the Simon Family JCC creating with teens on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1 pm and at 4 pm at Paper Source in Town Center. (Tickets $30 for the Paper Source event. Call 757‑456‑2000 for reservations, space is limited.)

Children will sing and dance as Mama Doni and Eric Lindberg engage them in the joys of Jewish learning with their children’s book Sing-Along Alef Bet on Friday, Nov. 18 at 9:30 am at Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. Or head over to Ohef Sholom Temple that same day at 5:30 pm for a Family Friendly Shabbat service featuring Mama Doni. Stay to enjoy Shabbat dinner, which is open to the entire community, and then children can engage in a workshop with Mama Doni at 7 pm. (Shabbat dinner $10/person, children under 12 free, RSVP to reservations@ohefsholom.org.)

This year’s book festival offers eight authors, 10 events, hundreds of books, and hand-crafted jewelry to explore and lift spirits.

Visit SimonFamilyJCC.org/BookFestival for all event details or contact Michele Goldberg, director of cultural arts at mgoldberg@simonfamilyjcc.org or 757-321-2341.

*of blessed memory