The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater & Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival is an annual celebration of Jewish authors, illustrators, and books, providing the community with opportunities to engage with some of the most popular writers and topics of the year.

 

Twenty authors, countless stories

This year’s festival features a first responder at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a former US congresswoman, journalists, doctors, novelists, and more.

 

Something for everyone

Whether it’s the intersection of basketball and the Holocaust, the history of Italy’s Jewish cuisine, the secrets our families keep, or solutions for ending bias in our community, everyone can find something to connect with at this year’s festival.

 

Connect in your own way

Attend events in person or from the comfort of your home or office. Get inspired at lunch with thought-provoking speakers, join us for free evening programs, or explore moving illustrations in the Leon Family Gallery.

 

Support the Festival

By purchasing books through BookShop.org, you can receive 10% off the regular retail price. In turn, UJFT and indie bookstores nationwide each receive 10% of the proceeds.

New this year

The Arts + Ideas Book of the Month is a collection of books with intriguing topics, characters, and stories for book-club-style conversations that will allow the community to engage personally with some of this season’s most exciting authors.

 

Whether joining us at the Simon Family JCC for Dr. Alla Shapiro’s discussion about her experience being dispatched to Chernobyl, at the Chrysler Museum of Art with New York Times bestselling author Lisa Barr to discuss the international art scandal in her novel Woman on Fire, or online with one of our other five Book of the Month authors, we hope you can find a book that speaks to you.

 

Have questions? Feel free to reach out for more information!
Hunter Thomas Director, Arts + Ideas HThomas@UJFT.org 757-965-6137

UPCOMING EVENTS

Unless otherwise noted, all events are FREE and open to the community and take place at the Simon Family Jewish Community Center on the Reba & Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community. Pre-registration is required for all events.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2
7:30 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

DANIEL GRUNFELD

By the Grace of the Game: The Holocaust, a Basketball Legacy, and an Unprecedented American Dream

Wednesday, November 2, 7:30 PM

The Simon Family JCC on the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus

 

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40 years after the game of basketball was first played at the Olympics in Nazi Germany, a young Hungarian-Jewish refugee, the child of Holocaust survivors, became a gold medalist in basketball, playing for the United States in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.

 

Dan Grunfeld, himself a former stand-out player at Stanford, will share the incredible story of his famous father, Ernie Grunfeld, and his family’s journey from Auschwitz to the NBA.

 

The family’s story traverses the spectrum of the human experience – how perseverance, love, and legacy can survive through generations, carried on the shoulders of the simple and beautiful game of basketball.

 

In partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater

 

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TESTIMONIALS

“Once I started to read this book, I couldn’t put it down. It’s a true story that showcases the best of America and the human spirit. I highly recommend this book.”

— Wolf Blitzer, CNN anchor and host of The Situation Room

 

“This story is the embodiment of the American Dream. It shows why we should never stop fighting and never give up.” — Ray Allen, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, two-time NBA champion, former United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Board Member

 

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

ALLA SHAPIRO, MD

Doctor On Call: Chernobyl Responder, Jewish Refugee, Radiation Expert

Monday, November 7, 12:00 PM

 

• $12 admission, $6 ages 55+ (lunch included)
• $32 for lunch & signed book
• Special pricing for lunch & book ends October 31

 

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April 26, 1986, will forever be etched in the memory of Dr. Alla Shapiro.

 

Dispatched to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in Ukraine, she recalls the eerie silence as she treated traumatized children amid an emerging nuclear nightmare. Forced to participate in what she refers to as a government-perpetrated misinformation campaign, and after enduring years of antisemitism in her workplace, she and her family fled the Soviet Union.

 

After a harrowing journey to the United States, and the complicated process of becoming a doctor for the second time in a new country, Dr. Shapiro is now one of the world’s leading experts in the development of medical countermeasures against radiation exposure.

 

A personal account of one of the world’s largest modern disasters, her story is almost beyond belief.

 

In partnership with Jewish Family Service of Tidewater

 

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TESTIMONIALS

 

 

“Alla Shapiro took me along on her odyssey, from the Soviet Union to the streets of Washington, DC, from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the while filling me with emotion and having me marvel at the human capacity to resettle and build a better life.”

— Boris Lushniak, MD former US Holocaust Memorial Museum Board Member

 

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17
7:30 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

LETTY COTTIN POGREBIN

Shanda: A Memoir of Shame and Secrecy

Thursday, November 17, 7:30PM

 

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Shanda / shan · da / Yiddish שאַנדע (noun): Shame, disgrace

 

Marital misery, abandoned children, religious transgressions, sexual identity, radical politics, and supposedly embarrassing illnesses are revealed through Letty Cottin Pogrebin’s exploration of the hidden lives of her parents and relatives—revealing truths never discussed before.

 

By unmasking their charades and disguises, Pogrebin showcases her family’s remarkable talent for reinvention in a narrative that is by turns, touching, searing, and surprisingly universal. Everyone’s family harbors secrets, but Pogrebin’s story may make you question why some of those are secrets at all.

 

Letty Cottin Pogrebin is a cofounder of Ms. Magazine, and a nationally acclaimed writer, activist, and public speaker. She is the author of twelve books and numerous articles and essays. She is a cofounder of the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Ms. Foundation for Women, a past president of the Authors Guild, and the recipient of numerous honors and awards.

 

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TESTIMONIALS

 

“ With wit, erudition, and searing honesty, Shanda unfolds like a riveting mystery novel—you can’t stop reading until the very end. A powerful subject, treated with sensitivity and grace.”

—Francine Klagsbrun, Author of Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel

 

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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

MIRA Z. AMIRAS

Malkah’s Notebook : A Journey into the Mystical Aleph-Bet

Tuesday, November 29, 12:00 PM

 

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Malkah is a child when her father tries teaching her to read Torah. As Malkah studies, she embarks on a lifelong journey in search of her beginnings—into Jewish mystical texts, far-off places, archaeological digs, ancient gods, and ultimately into the nature of existence itself. With highly evocative illustrations, Malkah’s Notebook is a love letter to the Hebrew alphabet that unlocks life’s greatest mysteries.

 

On exhibit November – December 2022.

 

In partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of idewater and UJFT's Konikoff Center for Learning

 

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MONDAY, DECEMBER 5
7:30 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

BENEDETTA JASMINE GUETTA

Cooking Alla Giudia: A Celebration of the Jewish Food of Italy

Wednesday, December 5, 7:30 PM

 

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Join Milan-born food writer and photographer Benedetta Jasmine Guetta on her mission to tell the story of how Jews have impacted Italian food.

 

Did you know that deep-fried Roman artichokes, Venetian sweet and sour sardines, Apulian orecchiette pasta, and Sicilian caponata - some of Italy’s best-known dishes - are Jewish in origin?

 

From the comfort of your own kitchen, Guetta will help you prepare a traditional dish as she discusses Italy’s Jewish history, her goal to preserve the recipes dear to the hearts of Italy’s Jewish families, and the stories behind the extraordinary dishes they prepare.

 

Cook along with Benedetta! Registrants will receive the recipe and grocery list in advance.

 

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TESTIMONIALS

 

“Benedetta Jasmine Guetta shows us the ways Jewish and Italian cooking overlap historically, culturally, and—most important—deliciously.”

—Adeena Sussman author of Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen

 

 

 

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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

LYNDA COHEN LOIGMAN

The Matchmaker’s Gift

Tuesday, December 6, 12:00 PM

 

Is finding true love a calling or a curse?

 

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8
7:30 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

JESSICA NORDELL

The End of Bias, A Beginning :How We Eliminate Unconscious Bias and Create a More Just World

Thursday, December 8, 7:30 PM

 

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Unconscious bias: Persistent, unintentional prejudiced behavior that clashes with our consciously held beliefs.

 

It exists everywhere: in medicine, the workplace, education, policing, and beyond. When it comes to uprooting our prejudices, we still have a long way to go. With nuance, compassion, and years of immersion in the topic, Jessica Nordell, award-winning author, science writer, and speaker, will explain how minds, hearts, and behaviors can change. Nordell will provide us with the tools needed to spark that change so that we can begin to remake ourselves, our community, and the world.

 

In partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, and Virginia Wesleyan University’s Robert Nusbaum Center

 

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TESTIMONIALS

 

“Despite revolutions in our understanding of bias, we’re still much better at documenting the problem than solving it. When it comes to prevention and cure, Jessica Nordell’s powerful book is a breakthrough. With state-of-the-art science and gripping narratives, she reveals what concrete steps individuals, groups, and institutions can take to fight prejudice.”

—Adam Grant author of Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know and host of the TED podcast WorkLife

 

 

 

“Full of real-life examples and evidence-based interventions, The End of Bias: A Beginning demonstrates that change is possible. In need of some hope? Start here!”

-Beverly Daniel Tatum author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race

 

 

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BOOKSHOP.ORG

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

MARJORIE MARGOLIES

And How are the Children?: Timeless Lessons from the Frontlines of Motherhood

Wednesday, December 14, 12:00 PM

 

• $12 admission, $6 ages 55+ (lunch included)
• $29 for lunch & signed book
• Special pricing for lunch & book ends December 7

 

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Marjorie Margolies’ father always said everyone should aspire to change another’s life. From an early age, she was determined to apply that concept to her own family, and she did – many times over.

 

Prior to serving in Congress, Margolies adopted two girls from Vietnam and Korea. She married Congressman Ed Mezvinsky, who had four daughters. Together, they had two sons, and sponsored a Catholic refugee family from Vietnam, bringing the number of kids under their roof to eleven.

 

They kept a Jewish home while instilling in all their children respect for all faiths. The family celebrated Hanukkah and Christmas, spent Sunday mornings at Catholic and Jewish religious school, held Passover seders, and attended Catholic masses. It was an organic way to make everyone feel included and respectful of other belief systems.

 

Margolies will share the story of this journey, and the wisdom, life lessons, advice, and inspiration that came along with it.

 

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 17
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

JAI CHAKRABARTI

A Play for the End of the World

Tuesday, January 17, 12:00 PM

 

Torn between guilt and love, a Holocaust survivor must decide how to honor both the past and the present, and how to accept a happiness he is not sure he deserves.

 

In partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater

 

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 19
7:30 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

ZACK BODNER

Why Do Jewish? A Manifesto for 21st Century Jewish Peoplehood

Thursday, January 19, 7:30 PM

 

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Insisting that taking action is what matters most, Zack Bodner proposes a creative new framework for doing Jewish based on an acronym from the Yiddish word TACHLIS, which means “getting down to brass tacks.”

 

T – Tikkun Olam (repairing the world)
A – Art and Culture
C – Community
H – Holidays and Rituals
L – Learning
I – Israel
S – Shabbat and Spirituality

 

Through a combination of personal stories, insights from some of the world’s greatest teachers, and contemporary analysis, Bodner provides an accessible guide for anyone looking for answers to life’s most important questions.

 

Bodner is the CEO of the Oshman Family JCC and the former Pacific Northwest Regional Director for AIPAC. He’s a seeker, writer, storyteller, community organizer, and above all else, a doer.

 

In partnership with the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Konikoff Center for Learning

 

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TESTIMONIALS

“Zack Bodner has done that rare thing — written a book that makes those of us who love being Jewish want to revisit the tradition anew, and those who have written off Judaism want to take a second look. Why Do Jewish explains our magical inheritance in concrete, accessible, relevant terms, and gives us a roadmap to explore it, understand it, practice it, and pass it on.”

—Abigail Pogrebin author of My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew

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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

HEIDI SKOLNIK

The Whole Body Reset: Your Weight-Loss Plan for a Flat Belly, Optimum Health & a Body You’ll Love—at Midlife and Beyond

Wednesday, January 25, 12:00 PM

 

• $12 admission, $6 ages 55+ (lunch included)
• $38 for lunch & signed book
• Special pricing for lunch & book ends January 18

 

Gaining weight as you age is not inevitable. It’s avoidable and even reversible. In fact, you can help stop—and even reverse— age-related weight gain and muscle loss.

 

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 31
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

JEAN-PIERRE WEILL

Evolve: A Children’s Book for Adults

Tuesday, January 31, 12:00 PM

 

Who am I? With this question as its guide, Evolve takes readers on a philosophical and pictorial adventure into the nature of the self. Through the artistic exploration of three foundational biblical stories, Evolve interlaces words with pictures that delve deep into the emotional core. It is a modern midrash told with imagery.

 

On exhibit January – February 2023.

 

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AMAZON.COM

 

 

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

DEBBIE APPLEGATE

Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age

Tuesday, February 7, 12:00 PM

 

A colorful and unusual history of Jewish life told through the perspective of a “good Jewish girl” from a Russian shtetl who immigrated to Brooklyn and rose to become “the Female Al Capone.”

 

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

MICHAEL F. ROIZEN, MD

The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code to Be Younger Today and Even Younger Tomorrow

Wednesday, February 15, 12:00 PM

 

How can current science and technology revolutionize our ability to live longer, younger, and better? How will longer life spans improve our culture, our economy, our work lives, and our finances?

 

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

MICHELLE SEGAR

The Joy Choice: How to Finally Achieve Lasting Changes in Eating and Exercise

Wednesday, March 15, 12:00 PM

 

• $12 admission, $6 ages 55+ (lunch included)
• $37 for lunch & signed book
• Special pricing for lunch & book ends March 8

 

Discover the easy, flexible, and three-step joy-infused decision tool that works with the chaos of daily life, guiding you to achieve your eating and exercise goals once and for all— and enjoy doing it!

 

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TUESDAY, MARCH 21
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

LISA BARR

Woman on Fire

Tuesday, March 21, 12:00 PM

at the Chrysler Museum of Art

 

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Woman On Fire is a gripping tale of a young, ambitious journalist embroiled in an international art scandal centered around a Nazi-looted masterpiece—forcing the ultimate showdown between passion and possession, lovers and liars, history and truth.

 

After talking her way into a job with the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, Jules Roth is given an unusual assignment: Locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire.

 

Lisa Barr is a New York Times bestselling author of three novels. In addition, she served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, among other publications, and has been featured on Good Morning America and Today. Actress Sharon Stone is set to produce and star in the upcoming film adaptation of Woman On Fire.

 

In partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Chrysler Museum of Art Book Club.

 

Sponsored by Klein, Rowell, & Shall, PLLC, Attorneys at Law

 

TESTIMONIALS

“Incredibly fast-paced and savvy, Lisa Barr takes readers into the high-stakes world of art theft through the eyes of a young, gutsy journalist. Thick with history, scandal, romance, and deceit, Woman on Fire is a truly compulsive read.”

— Mary Kubica New York Times bestselling author of Local Woman Missing

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TUESDAY, MAY 9
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

MICHAEL FRANK

One Hundred Saturdays: In Search for a Lost World

Tuesday, May 9, 12:00 PM

 

The remarkable story of ninety-nine-year-old Stella Levi, the vibrant world of Jewish Rhodes, the deportation to Auschwitz that extinguished ninety percent of her community, and the resilience and wisdom of the woman who lived to tell the tale.

 

In partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater

 

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 17
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

IRA ROSEN

Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes

Wednesday, May 17, 12:00 PM

 

• $12 admission, $6 ages 55+, (lunch included)
• $27 for lunch & signed book
• Special pricing for lunch & book ends May 10

 

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Two-time Peabody Award-winning writer and producer Ira Rosen reveals the intimate, untold stories of his decades at America’s most iconic news show. His story is a 60 Minutes story on 60 Minutes itself. When producer Ira Rosen walked into the 60 Minutes offices in June 1980, he knew he was about to enter television history. His career catapulted him to the heights of TV journalism, breaking some of the most important stories in TV news. But behind the scenes was a war room of clashing producers, anchors, and the most formidable 60 Minutes figure: legendary correspondent Mike Wallace.

 

Rosen has won every major award in broadcast journalism, including 24 national Emmy Awards, placing him in the top ten all-time news Emmy winners in broadcast history. His report on who is responsible for the opioid epidemic won more awards for 60 Minutes than any segment in the show’s 52-year history.

 

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TUESDAY, JUNE 6
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

MEG WAITE CLAYTON

The Postmistress of Paris

Tuesday, June 6, 12:00 PM

 

This haunting novel revisits the dark early days of the German occupation of France, both a love story and a tale of high-stakes danger and incomparable courage.

 

In partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater

 

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WEDNESDAY JUNE 14
12:00 PM

ABOUT THE EVENT

 

 

TAMAR HASPEL

To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard

Wednesday, June 14, 12:00 PM

 

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Journalist and self-proclaimed “crappy gardener” Tamar Haspel shows us that raising or gathering our own food is not as hard as it seems. Haspel will take us on a journey as she goes from cluelessness to competence, learning to scrounge dinner from her surroundings and discovering that a connection to what we eat can change the way we think about food – and ourselves.

 

Haspel writes the James Beard Award-winning Washington Post column “Unearthed,” which tackles food from every angle: agriculture, nutrition, obesity, the food environment, and DIY. She has also written for Discover, National Geographic’s The Plate, Vox, Slate, Eater, Fortune, and Edible Cape Cod.

 

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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.

 

 

Thank you to the Lee & Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival Committee

Wendy Juren Auerbach, Chair
Gail Flax
Anne Fleder
Helen Goldsticker Sissel
Anne Kramer
Joan Laderberg
Sandra Porter Leon
Mark Robbins
Judy Rosenblatt
Annie Sandler
Nikki Shapiro Roth
Patricia Shelanski

THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS PATRONS OF THE ARTS AND SPONSORS:

 

 

 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FESTIVAL, TO SPONSOR, OR TO VOLUNTEER

 

Contact Hunter Thomas, Director of Arts + Ideas, at HThomas@UJFT.org or (757)965-6137.

 

 

 

 

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