Diverse authors, varied subjects planned for Jewish Book Festival

September 22, 2022

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The annual Lee & Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival begins on November 2 with author Dan Grunfeld (see page 10), kicking off a series of events that will run through June.

This year’s festival features 20 authors from around the world and from a variety of backgrounds who will discuss an array of topics. Most events are free and open to the community and take place at the Sandler Family Campus.

The community will hear from a first responder at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a former U.S. congresswoman, journalists, doctors, and novelists. From the intersection of basketball and the Holocaust to the history of Italy’s Jewish cuisine, and from the secrets that families keep to ending bias in the community, there is something for everyone at this year’s festival.

Authors were chosen with a few things in mind. The festival committee (consisting of 15 volunteers along with United Jewish Federation of Tidewater staff) looked for authors who were engaging speakers—determined after participating in an online three-day “watch party” of more than 250 authors—and whose books, whether fiction or nonfiction, had a theme or topic that was interesting. “We looked for dynamic, engaging speakers as well as good books,” says Hunter Thomas, director of Arts + Ideas at UJFT.

Most of the author events are “talk-show style,” with a moderator and questions from audience members.

“It’s important that we engage the community as much as possible during these events,” says Thomas, “and we want the community to know that while the festival celebrates Jewish books and authors, the events are open to the public. We hope that everyone can find something in these books and topics that interests them, regardless of their faith or cultural background.”

Additional details about the festival will be published in the next issue of Jewish News. For more information about the festival or to sponsor or volunteer, contact Hunter Thomas, director of Arts + Ideas, at HThomas@UJFT.org.

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.

-Staff Report


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