The 35th Annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival continues through December, and features TV journalist David Gregory, international bestselling authors Alice Hoffman, Naomi Regan and Kristin Hannah, plus Michael Bar-Zohar and Jennifer Teege.
A theme of tales and triumphs — stories of sacrifice, betrayal and the resilience of the human spirit, along with powerful accounts of personal achievements and lifechanging discoveries, runs through many of the works of both fiction and non-fiction.
The Jewish Book Festival has presentations at the Alper JCC’s Robert Russell Theater, at synagogues throughout the community and the Miller Center on the UM Campus. For a complete schedule of events call 305-271-9000, ext. 268, or visit www.alperjcc.org.
The festival’s Book Club Night features Kristin Hannah, author of the heartbreakingly beautiful novel The Nightingale, a book that has reigned at the top of the New York Times bestselling list for most of 2015.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, the author celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. The story follows two sisters during WWII who are separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France. Thursday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. at the Alper JCC.
Naomi Ragen is an iconoclast, a fiercely outspoken Orthodox woman who advocates for gender equality. She is the author of nine international bestsellers and has become one of the Jewish world’s most controversial novelists and political commentators. Her latest work The Devil in Jerusalem is an eye-opening glimpse into the global kabbalah phenomenon. Wednesday, Nov. 4, 11 a.m., Bet Shira Congregation.
Personal triumphs are revealed in Michael Bar-Zohar’s latest book No Mission is Impossible, with personal stories of the fighters, commanders and politicians behind the 26 most death-defying missions of the Israeli Special Forces. Bar-Zohar wrote the official biographies of David Ben-Gurion and Shimon Peres. He is one of Israel’s foremost experts on espionage and was an advisor to General Moshe Dayan. Tuesday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m., Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at UM.
Jennifer Teege was born to a German mother and a Nigerian father, given up for adoption and taken in by a foster family. Although she had contact with her biological mother, she was never told that the brutal Nazi commandant Amon Goeth, the “Butcher of Plaszow,” was her grandfather. In her internationally bestselling memoir My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me, Teege chronicles how she chose to respond to this life-changing discovery. Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., Alper JCC.
The Festival concludes on Thursday, Dec. 3, when former NBC newsman and Meet the Press moderator David Gregory shares his spiritual autobiography and probes various religious traditions to better understand his own faith.
While covering the White House as a news correspondent, he had the unusual experience of being asked by President George W. Bush “How’s your faith?” Although his answer was just emerging, the president’s query reminded him that this might indeed be the most import question you can be asked. Thursday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m. at Temple Judea.
For more information call 305-271-9000, ext. 268. Tickets are $10 and includes author presentation and refreshments.