Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Fest celebrates 36 years

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Andy Cohen, the mega popular host of Watch What Happens: Live and executive producer of The Real Housewives franchise presents his latest release Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries, at the 36th annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival, Oct. 27 to Dec. 3.

The evening features Cohen in conversation with South Beach Food & Wine founder Lee Schrager, as he shares many star-studded and sidesplitting accounts of his escapades — personal, professional, and behind-the-scenes. Each ticket for this event includes a copy of Cohen’s book.

The Jewish Book Festival brings more than a dozen acclaimed authors to South Florida. The subjects of their books range from non-fictional accounts of homegrown terrorism, women’s health and Israel’s relationship with Egypt, to the fictional world of thrillers, comedies and novels.

Ronald H. Balson author of the international bestsellers Once We Were Brothers and Saving Sophie opens the festival with his spellbinding novel, Karolina’s Twins. Inspired by true events, the story follows a Holocaust survivor’s quest to fulfill a promise to return to Poland and find two sisters lost during the war.

New to the festival is a morning focusing on women’s health. Dr. Mache Seibel, an international expert on women’s wellness and a former Harvard Medical faculty member, helps to eliminate confusion regarding estrogen replacement and make women more informed partners with their healthcare providers. The Vitamin Solution co-authors Drs. Romy Block and Arielle Levitan offer an indispensable guide to safely incorporating vitamins and supplements into any lifestyle, and also explore a variety of women’s health issues including migraine, hair loss, fatigue and hot flashes. Complimentary osteoporosis and blood pressure screenings are being provided by Baptist Health South Florida.

Women’s Day on Thursday, Nov. 10, features Martha Hall Kelly, author of the New York Times bestseller Lilac Girls. The acclaimed novel is based on true events and reveals the compelling power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances. In addition to the author’s presentation, the day offers a pop-up boutique shopping arcade and lunch.

Comedy is covered at this festival when Sarge shares I’m Still Standing Up, his hilarious, painful and awe-inspiring journey through biracial challenges, addiction and homelessness, to a successful career as multi-talented star of a comedy show that he performed at Radio City Music Hall.

Shep Gordon, the publicist to Hollywood’s A-list, keeps the humor going with his engaging memoir Supermensch. Gordon gives readers a peek into the worlds of music and entertainment from one who has worked with, and befriended, an impeccable roster of stars from Raquel Welch to Groucho Marx and Jimi Hendrix to Sylvester Stallone.

Peter Bergen, the acclaimed journalist and CNN security analyst, takes a riveting look at homegrown Islamist terrorism in his latest book, United States of Jihad. Eric Trager, a Fellow at the Washington Institute, discusses the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood and the rise of Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and their relations with Israel in his probing account, Arab Fall.

Novels and thrillers are in the festival lineup. New York Times bestselling author Andrew Gross presents his riveting, historical thriller, The One Man, set during WWII in Poland. In addition to his own work, Gross has coauthored five No. 1 bestsellers with the legendary James Patterson. Lynda Cohen Loigman’s debut novel The Two-Family House is an evocative, multigenerational story, woven around the deepest of secrets. The festival continues into the spring with novels and an evening of music, A Book In Concert.

Author appearances for the 36th annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival are at the Alper JCC and throughout the community.

For tickets and location information, call 305-271-9000, ext. 268, or visit

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