2009 Jewish Festival of the Book

[Archived from October 9, 2009]

From November 4-22, you are invited to join the Jewish Community of Louisville in celebrating the 2009 Jewish Festival of the Book. This year’s program includes a wide variety of presentations from six distinguished authors, as well as a month-long new and used book sale.

The festival begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4, at the Jewish Community Center with Benyamin Cohen, author of My Jesus Year. This son of an Orthodox rabbi, finding himself growing apathetic toward his Judaism, took the unusual course of exploring Christianity in churches large and small across the Bible Belt in his spiritual quest. In the end, the experience drew him closer to Judaism.

Cohen is the recipient of many awards and has been a guest on CNN and NPR.

Admission for this event is $8.

Louisvillian Fred Gross is next on the agenda. On Wednes-day, November 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the JCC, Gross will discuss his memoir, One Step Ahead of Hitler, which tells the story of a young boy coming to know his own story as a grown man. Beginning in Belgium and continuing through France, the author reveals the tortuous decisions that led his family to freedom in America.

This book is the result of many years of struggling to find the truth, dealing with conflict among his siblings, not all of whom thought the book should be written, and Gross’ resolute determination to share his family’s story.

Gross’ book has been accepted for sale in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and some of his story is included in a soon to open exhibit about Louisvillians and World War II at the Frazier Museum of History.

There is no charge for this event.

In partnership with the University of Louisville, JCL’s Jewish Festival of the Book will present Matthew Biberman, author of Big Sid’s Vincati: The Story of a Father, a Son, and the Motorcycle of a Lifetime, on Sunday, November 15, at 7 p.m. in the Chao Auditorium in U of L’s Ekstrom Library.

Following his father’s heart attack, local author Biberman promises his motorcycle mechanic father that they will build a Vincati together. They not only succeed in building a legendary motorcycle that features them with Jay Leno, but they also reconstruct their relationship along the way.

There is no charge for this event, which will also include a dessert reception spronsored by the U of L Division of Humanities.

Martin Fletcher is a journalist who is now serving as NBC’s News Bureau Chief in Tel Aviv. He’ll be in Louisville at the JCC on Monday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m. to talk about his memoir, Breaking News: A Stunning and Memorable Account of Reporting from Some of the Most Dangerous Places in the World.

Each of the extraordinary, real-life adventure stories found in this book examines everyday dilemmas facing a foreign correspondent. Fletcher, winner of four Emmys and an Overseas Press Club award, has covered every event of consequence in the Middle East and Africa for the last 30 years.

Admission for this event is $8.

No Jewish Festival of the Book is complete without at least one novelist in the mix. This year, that novelist is Pam Jenoff, who will speak about her newest novel, Almost Home, on Thursday, November 19, at the JCC. The author of The Kommandant’s Girl and The Diplomat’s Wife, Jenoff combines mystery, romance and spy thriller. She utilizes her career in the U.S. State Department and student years at Cambridge University as a springboard for Almost Home.

Admission for this event is $8.

The Festival of the Book will conclude with a foray into the kitchen as cookbook author Tina Wasserman will discuss her book, Entrée to Judaism, complete with a demonstration and sampling. This program will be Sunday, November 22, at 2 p.m., in a private home.

Wasserman leads a culinary journey around the world and across the ages, sharing history and recipes from Spain, India, Russia and Italy. Entrée to Judaism includes over 275 recipes and dozens of full-color photos.

Admission for this event is $20, and advance reservations are required. Space is limited.

Tickets may be purchased in advance by phone, 459-0660, or in the JCC lobby.

The Jewish Festival of the Book is sponsored in part by the Mayer and Frances Shaikun Lecture Fund.

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