Words inspire change at JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Fest

Words inspire change at JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Fest

Author Lisa Bloom

The 34th annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival brings more than a dozen acclaimed authors to our community to share the power of words that initiate conversations, inspire change and entertain us with their stories.

The festival begins Monday, Oct. 20, when award-winning journalist and legal analyst Lisa Bloom presents her compelling book Suspicion Nation. Bloom exposes mistakes made in the Trayvon Martin trial and raises questions concerning gun laws, race and violence in our country.

Gail Sheehy, whose New York Times bestseller Passages was named one of the 10 most influential books of our time by the Library of Congress, is the featured speaker at the Women’s Day Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the Coral Gables Country Club. In her memoir Daring: My Passages, Sheehy reveals the obstacles and opportunities encountered when she dared to blaze a trail in a “man’s world.

The rich mix of authors continues with Pulitzer Prize winner Kai Bird sharing his portrait of Robert Ames, one of the most important operatives in CIA history. Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, enlightens audiences to the agency’s mission of reducing the number of preventable deaths of children under the age of five from 19,000 to zero. And Dr. Soner Cagaptay. director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute, tells of Turkey’s dynamic economy, energetic foreign policy and the country’s role as a key player in the newly emerging world order.

Allen Salkin takes one inside conference rooms, studios, homes and restaurants in his book From Scratch and illuminates the people involved in the Food Network. It is an irresistible blend of business, television, pop culture, food and the American audience.

Words inspire change at JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book FestThree Israeli authors present their latest works — journalist Ari Shavit, whose riveting narrative My Promised Land has instigated heated discussions since it was published; Daniel Gordis, award winning author of Saving Israel, shares his fascinating biography about Menachen Begin, the complex and controversial sixth Israeli prime minister of Israel; and Gidi Grinstein explores what he believes is the secret of Jewish survival, resilience and leadership during the past millennia.

Two filmmakers appear at this year’s festival. Joshua Safran, author of Free Spirit, reveals how he overcame adversity and reconnected to his Jewish heritage. Ascreening of his critically acclaimed 2011 documentary Crime After Crime follows his presentation. Steven Pressman is a journalist and documentary filmmaker whose book Fifty Children brings to light the astonishing true story of how an American couple rescued fifty children from Nazi Germany during WWII.

Book Club Night brings works of fiction from the talented authors Alyson Richman and Pam Jenoff. In addition to sharing their latest novels, the two women have joined with eight other bestselling female historical fiction writers to create the anthology Grand Central.

The Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival runs through Dec. 10, with presentations at the J’s Robert Russell Theater, at synagogues throughout the community and at the Miller Center on the University of Miami campus.

For a complete schedule of events, call 305-271-9000, ext. 268, or go to www.alperjcc.org.

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