A Literary Feast at Alper JCC Book Fest

One fashion icon, two U.S. Ambassadors and four Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winners add up to an eclectic list of presenters at the 38th Annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival. The event begins in October and runs through

March 2019, and also features National Book Award recipients, journalists, scholars and humorists.

Norman L. Eisen opens the festival on Tuesday, Oct. 16th at the Alper JCC, with his novel The Last Palace, about life as U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, a land his mother fled as a Holocaust refugee. When he moved into his new residence and found swastikas hidden beneath the furniture, he wanted to find out who were the other occupants who had called this palace home.

Jamie Bernstein, daughter of Leonard Bernstein, offers a rare look at her father on the centennial of his birth. Her memoir Famous Father Girl, reveals the life of a multifaceted man who conducted the New York Philharmonic, was a composer, humanitarian and friend of the powerful. Included in the evening is a musical presentation of Bernstein’s work by members of Civic Chorale of Greater Miami with Grammy Award-winning conductor Paul Hoyle.

Martin Fletcher, a five-time Emmy Award winner and former NBC Israel Bureau Chief, presents Promised Land, about the turbulent early years of Israel. The story is told through the eyes of German Jewish brothers, one who survived the Holocaust in Europe, and the other who was chosen for the Kindertransport and sent to America.

Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi  is a pop culture icon, a cabaret singer and a QVC talk show host. His memoir I.M., offers a candid look back on his life – growing up gay in a sheltered Syrian Jewish Orthodox family. It is pure Mizrahi, and is filled with poignant stories from his teenage years, to becoming a budding fashion designer, to being anointed the wunderkind of the international fashion world.

As a progressive commentator on FOX News and now on CNN, Sally Kohn has made a career out of bridging political differences and talking with others with opposing viewpoints. In The Opposite of Hate, she travels the world and investigates the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate and how simple incivility can be a gateway to horrific situations.

Women’s Day Luncheon is November 8th and features Susie Orman Schnall sharing her engaging novel, The Subway Girls, about two strong women, although living generations apart, face the same struggle to find balance between love, happiness and ambition.  Women’s Day also includes a delicious lunch and shopping at specialty boutiques.

Steven Levenson, the Tony Award-winning co-creator of Dear Evan Hansen, Broadway’s 2017 Best Musical, presents his show inspired novel. This big-hearted coming-of-age story follows a teenager who is inadvertently drawn into a family’s grief, and is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this tale.

Rachel Kadish’s novel The Weight of Ink, is set in London in both the 1660s and the early twenty-first century.  The ingenious work on non-fiction is the winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award, and tells about two women separated by centuries and the choices and sacrifices they make.

Recently seen on Megyn Kelly Today, Yvette Corporon shared her book, Something Beautiful Happened, about her grandmother’s roots in Greece and the people who hid a Jewish family from the Nazis. She brings this bittersweet story of survival and courage to this year’s Alper JCC Jewish Book Festival.

Author appearances are at the Alper JCC and throughout the community. For tickets and locations call 305-271-9000 ext. 268 or visit alperjcc.org.

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