JCC Annual Book Festival
Centered on creating a strong Jewish community via high-quality programs close to where people live, the Jewish Community Center of the Greater Palm Beaches (JCC) hosts a number of outstanding Jewish cultural arts activities throughout the year. One such example is the JCC Annual Book Festival.
Through a partnership with the Jewish Book Council in New York, the JCC has access to over 150 books and their Jewish authors. Thanks to the Annual JCC Book Festival, more than 5,000 Palm Beach residents are given the opportunity to participate in an array of programs that reflect Jewish culture and history, as well as religious, social, and political issues - all through the latest literary offerings.
This season, the JCC’s cultural committees and professional program staff scheduled an exciting season. A total of 16 authors, each of whom are sure to inspire, encourage and entertain, are scheduled to participate and speak to their unique literary texts. A diverse cross-section of content is included in this year's book selection in order to appeal to all readers: young and old, men and women, and community members of all backgrounds. Included in this season's dynamic author events: the profile and story of a former Major League Baseball player; a parent raising a child with autism; and a breast cancer survivor. Each of the books are sure to share stories of spirituality, love and wellness. Events are scheduled at venues throughout Palm Beach County, including several partner synagogues. New this year is a literary series called "Novel Teas," which will highlight some of today's top Jewish writers within the intimate setting of someone's home.
Each year, the JCC Annual Book Festival is headlined by two events, in addition to the Book Fair:
- In November, a book luncheon, featuring Ariel Sabar, author of "Heart of the City," which tells the remarkable true stories of nine ordinary couples -- from the 1940s to the present -- whose matchmaker was the City of New York, was held at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts' Cohen Pavilion in West Palm Beach. Linda Golden and Zelda Mason co-chaired the event, which was sponsored by PNC Bank, JCC Grand Business Patron of the Arts.
- Also in November, the JCC Book Fair featured more than 300 titles, ranging from The New York Times bestsellers to those on Jewish cultural, religious and historical topics, and recently released books by Jewish authors, as well as many children's books. The JCC also collected gently used books, which will be donated the the Veterans Hospital.
- In January, a book luncheon at the Delaire Country Club in Delray Beach featured Cokie & Steve Roberts. The New York Times Bestselling authors and acclaimed political commentary celebrities discussed their new book "Our Haggadah: Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families," based on their belief that the very heart of Passover is coming together to celebrate freedom. They shared the chronicle of their own marriage and family life.
The JCC North (Palm Beach Gardens) Book Festival Committee includes Gwen Boykin, Edie Broida, Marilyn Cohn, Sally Feniger, Nancy Halpern, Rosemary Gensler (co-chair), Brenda Seligman Himelstein, Staci Lampert, Alice Oberman (co-chair), Shelley Platt, Erika Simon, Nancy Sims (Cultural Cabinet Chair), Carolyn Sloane and Arleen Wayte.
The Ross JCC (Boynton Beach) Adult Cabinet includes Barbara Arnold, Sandy Gottesman Breger, Gloria Dube, Dennis & Anita Fader, Renalee Freedman, Lucille Goldberg, Harriet Karp, Risa Kiam, Barbara Kleppel (Adult Cabinet Chair), Renee McKible, Joan Moss, Clair Sirof (co-chair), Edith Steindler (co-chair), Sunny Stern and Stan Taffet.