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Arts & Culture:
20th Annual
JCC Book Festival

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Special Events

The Mandel JCC is proud to present the 20th Annual JCC Book Festival. Over 25 events are presented throughout the year. The Signature Book Festival Luncheon attracts over 300 people at the Kravis Center each November, in honor of Jewish Book Month.

Join the Literary Society, your passport to the Book Festival, for tickets to all Book Festival events throughout the year, a collection of books by the presenting authors, and a special event. The Literary Society is committed to the continued quality of the festival and to strengthening our community through Jewish cultural arts.  


Novel Tea

In A Replacement Life, literary journalist Boris Fishman’s ambitious first novel, we enter a richly comic world of aging Russian Jewish immigrants, still fierce in their will to survive after so much misery wrought by Hitler and Stalin, and their spiritually lost new world grandchildren, displaced from the cradle of Brooklyn (where most of the emigres from the Former Soviet Union settled in the 1970s) to Manhattan, struggling to locate themselves, to figure out a city that remains alien, bewildering. Fishman’s hero is Slava Gelman, a young man wicked in satirizing his own self-absorbed, twenty-something hipster existence, yet also a deeply-feeling grandson whose life takes a serious turn after he hears about the loss of his cherished grandmother: “our first American death.”

Boris Fishman immigrated from the USSR at nine. He studied Russian Literature at Princeton, was on staff at The New Yorker, co-wrote the US Senate’s Hurricane Katrina report, and has received a Fulbright to Turkey. He’s written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Tablet, The Forward, The Jerusalem Report, and many others. He lives in New York.

>Tuesday; Dec 2, 2:00 pm
   Location: Winston Trails, Boynton Beach
   $18/Members; $25/Guests; $45/Includes signed book
   (price includes dessert reception)

Register now >>>


Author Event 

The Rise of Turkey: The Twenty First Century’s First Muslim Power is a guide to Turkey’s changes, both in their inspiring potential and in the grave challenges they pose. Structured as a travelogue, each chapter opens on a different Turkish city and captures a new theme of Turkey’s transformation. From the Kurdish issue to foreign policy, the book argues that Turkey needs to successfully balance its Muslim identity with its Western overlay in order to become a regional and global power.

Dr. Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. A historian by training, he wrote his doctoral dissertation at Yale University (2003) on Turkish nationalism. He has taught courses at Yale, Princeton University, Georgetown University, and Smith College on the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. From 2006–2007, he was Ertegun Professor at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies. Dr. Cagaptay’s work has been published in scholarly journals and major international print media, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He has been a regular columnist for CNN.com and Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s oldest and most influential English language paper, and he appears regularly on American and international television news programs.

> Thursday; December 4; 7:00pm
   Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens
   This event is free to the community

Register now >>>


Celebrating Sisterhood

Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Bold Living. When life hands you the unthinkable, you must find new ways to see. Such is the ground on which Nancy rebuilt her world after losing her husband to brain cancer when their twins were mere toddlers. Faith, too—combined with bold living—gave her the courage to risk love again with a former TV anchor who also happened to be widowed with two children. Both Sides Now centers around the universal question: How is it that you hold life and death in the same moment?

Nancy Sharp is an author, blogger and keynote speaker who frequently talks to large groups about bold living. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College and writes regularly for The Huffington Post. Both Sides Now is her first book.

> Tuesday; Dec 9, 10:00 am
   Location: Temple Beth David
   $36/Member of Mandel JCC and/or participating synagogues; $42/Guest

Register now >>>


Chopshticks

Knish: in Search of the Jewish Soul Food  When Laura Silver’s favorite knish shop went out of business, the native New Yorker sank into mourning, but then she sprang into action. She embarked on a round-the-world quest for the origins and modern-day manifestations of the knish. The iconic potato pie leads the author from Mrs. Stahl’s bakery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, to an Italian pasta maker in New Jersey—and on to a hunt across three continents for the pastry that shaped her identity.

Laura Silver is an award-winning journalist whose writing on food and culture has appeared in The New York Times and the Forward and on NPR. She is considered the world’s leading expert on the knish.

> Thursday; Dec 25, 4:00 pm
   Location: Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens

> Thursday; Dec 25, 6:30 pm
   Location: Temple Shaarei Shalom, 9085 Hagen Ranch Road, Boynton Beach, 33472

   $36/Person (includes dinner)

Register now >>>


Novel Tea

Invisible City: Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she’s also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. But getting to the truth won’t be easy - even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world in which her mother grew up.

Julia Dahl writes about crime and criminal justice for CBSNews.com. She was born and raised in Fresno, Ca. and now lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her debut novel, Invisible City (Minotaur Books), is now available.

> Monday; Jan 5, 2:30 pm
   Location: Palm Beach Country Club
   Series of 4 Novel Teas: $170/Member; $200/Guest

Register now >>>


Ladies Night Out!

Come join other like-minded women for a night of laughing, mingling, and noshing! Hear from best-selling writer Iris Krasnow, author of Sex After...: Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes. Wine and light bites will be served.

Iris Krasnow, the bestselling author of The Secret Lives of Wives offers an honest, candid, and intimate guide to enjoying a long, satisfying sex life.

> Wednesday; Jan 7, 7:00 pm
   Location: Mandel JCC Palm Beach Gardens
   $18/Member; $25/Guest

Register now >>>


Sunday Series

An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course is a hilarious and poignant memoir of a Harvard student who comes of age as a caddie on St. Andrews’ fabled Old Course.

Oliver Horovitz is a writer, filmmaker, and caddie on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. He has written feature articles about his rounds in Sports Illustrated, Golf World, Golf Digest, and Golf Week. He is the son of playwright Israel Horovitz, and brother of Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz. Oliver lives in New York City.

> Sunday; Jan 11, 11:00 am
   Location: Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens
   $21/Member; $25/Guest

Register now >>>


Novel Tea

Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Lucinda interviewed Robert Morgenthau, and before she walked out his door the two had fallen in love with each other. Morgenthau was one of the most prominent Jews in America, son of FDR’s Treasury Secretary and now New York’s iconoclastic District Attorney—and he was twice Lucinda’s age. This is an intimate story of their 35-year marriage, in which Lucinda and Robert shared early success, a love of Jewish culture, a visceral horror of the Holocaust, and a determination to build the city’s first Holocaust museum. The couple took trips to Israel, where they visited with Ariel Sharon and various well-known figures, and became passionately pro-Israel.

Lucinda Franks Morgenthau is a writer for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other publications. She won the Pultizer Prize for National Reporting and is the author of four books: Timeless, My Father’s Secret War, Wild Apples, and Waiting Out A War. Taught at Yale, Princeton and Vassar. Married to Robert M. Morgenthau, former District Attorney of New York.

> Tuesday; Jan 13, 2:00 pm
   Location: Boynton Beach Woman's Club
   $18/Member; $25/Guest; $45/Includes signed book

Register now >>>


Author Event

Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times, Andrew D. Kaufman

Kaufman argues that the lessons taught in Tolstoy’s epic are lessons that remain relevant in today’s world. Kaufman shows how Tolstoy’s wisdom can reframe modern readers’ understanding of what it means to be alive in troubled times, and to survive
them. An innovative, award-winning teacher of Russian language, literature and culture, Kaufman holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Stanford University and currently lectures at the University of Virginia. He’s the author of 
Understanding Tolstoy and co-author of Russian for Dummies. Kaufman created and teaches a renowned community-based literature course, Books Behind Bars, in which students lead discussions about Russian literature with incarcerated youth at juvenile correctional and treatment centers in Virginia.

> Wednesday, Jan 14, 5:30 pm
   Location: Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens
   Free to community

Sponsored by    

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Norton Luncheon

Unstill Life is a daughter’s memoir of a larger-than-life father known as Mr. Modern Art. Born into a Jewish family in Munich in 1919, Peter Selz watched the ascension of the Third Reich. Forced to wear a star, forbidden to attend school, his home destroyed and the art he loved labeled degenerate, Selz escaped to America, eventually becoming the chief curator of the Museum of Modern Art. His daughter, Gabrielle, grew up in a home full of celebrated artists in the heyday of Abstract Expressionism, from Rothko and de Kooning to Christo. Selz offers a unique window into one of the most illustrious periods in art history.

Gabrielle Selz has published in magazines and newspapers including More magazine, The New York Times, Newsday, Fiction, and The Huffington Post. She is the recipient of a fellowship in Nonfiction Literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a Moth Story Slam winner. She lives with her son in Southampton, New York.

> Monday; Feb 2, 11:00 am
   Location: Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach
   $72/Member; $85/Guest; includes lunch

Register now >>>


Author Event

Pam Jenoff is the internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the Kommandant’s Girl and The Winter Guest. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Cambridge University and George Washington University, she previously served at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for State Department in Krakow, Poland specializing in Holocaust issues.

Alyson Richman is the author of The Mask Carver’s Son, The Rhythm of Memory, The Last Van Gogh, The Lost Wife and her newest book The Garden of Letters. Her novels have been published in ten languages and have received both national and international critical acclaim. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and a former Thomas J. Watson Fellow.

> Monday; Feb 9, 11:00 am
   Location: Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens
   $31/Member; $36/Guest

> Tuesday; Feb 10, 11:00 am
   Location: Indian Spring, Boynton Beach
   $50/Member; $60/Guest; includes lunch

Register now >>>


Sunday Series

We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry by Dr. Gary Philip Zola

Over the course of American history, Jews have held many American leaders in high esteem, but they maintain a unique emotional bond with Abraham Lincoln. From the time of his presidency to the present day, American Jews have persistently viewed Lincoln as one of their own, casting him as a Jewish sojourner and, in certain respects, a Jewish role model. This pioneering compendium, the first volume of annotated documents to focus on the history of Lincoln’s image, influence, and reputation among American Jews— considers how Lincoln acquired his exceptional status and how, over the past century and a half, this fascinating relationship has evolved. Gary Phillip Zola is an esteemed author and the executive director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and a professor of the American Jewish experience at Hebrew Union College.

> Sunday; Feb 15, 11:00 am
   Location: Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens
   $25/Member; $30/Guest; includes light brunch

Register now >>>


Author Event

With Heart in Mind: Mussar Teachings to Transform Your Life by Alan Morinis

Mussar is a practice that draws from the vast storehouse of Jewish wisdom, law, revelation, and text and brings it home in a way that is completely tangible. Judaism teaches that Torah (the collective wisdom of the tradition) provides the blueprint for human experience, so the more of it we acquire, the more we gain a clearer, truer perspective on life and learn how to navigate its pathways. In short, accessible chapters, this book describes forty-eight methods through which one can acquire Torah, and turns them into a straightforward weekly practice. 

Alan Morinis completed his doctorate at Oxford University, which he attended on a Rhodes Scholarship. He is the author of Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, Every Day, Holy Day, and Everyday Holiness. Alan is the founder and director of the Mussar Institute, and resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.

> Wednesday, Feb 18, 7:00 pm
   Location: Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens
   $12/Person

Sponsored by: Palm Beach County Board of Rabbis, Chair: Rabbi Howard Shub

Register now >>>


Novel Tea

Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer

Lorca spends her life poring over cookbooks to earn the love of her distracted mother, a chef, who is now packing her off to boarding school. Desperate to prove herself, Lorca resolves to track down the recipe for her mother’s ideal meal. She signs up for cooking lessons from Victoria, an Iraqi-Jewish immigrant profoundly shaken by her husband’s death. Soon these two women develop a deeper bond while their concoctions, cardamom pistachio cookies, baklava, and masgouf, bake in Victoria’s kitchen. In Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots we see how food sustains not just our bodies, but our hopes as well. Jessica Soffer earned her MFA at Hunter College. She teaches fiction at Connecticut College. Her father, a painter and sculptor, immigrated from Iraq to the United States in 1948.

> Tuesday, March 3, 2:00 pm
   Location: Atlantis Country Club, Lake Worth
   $18/Member; $25/Guest; includes dessert reception

> Wednesday, March 4, 2:30 pm
   Location: Frenchman's Creek, Palm Beach Gardens
   Pricing: Series of four PBG Novel Teas, $170/members $200/guests
   Single tickets sold after 12/8/2014 pending availability.

Register now >>>


Literary Society Event

Fugitive Colors by Lisa Barr

Fugitive Colors is a historical novel inspired by what the Nazis called Entartete Kunst. Stolen art, love, lust, deception, and revenge paint the pages of veteran journalist Lisa Barr’s debut novel. Fugitive Colors asks the reader: How far would you go for your passion? Would you kill for it? Steal for it? Or go to any length to protect it? International journalist Lisa Barr served as an editor at The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Moment and Today’s Chicago Woman, a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, and the creator of the popular blog GIRLilla Warfare (www.girlillawarfare.com). She earned her master’s degree from Medill School of Journalism - Northwestern University, and lives in Deerfield, Illinois, with her husband and three daughters.

> Monday, March 11, 5:30 pm
   Location: Private Home, Palm Beach Gardens
   Attendance is limited to Literary Society members

Register now >>>


Novel Tea

The Riddle of Solomon, is a fast-paced, exciting story set largely in Israel and deals with the biblical stories and legends surrounding King Solomon. Archaeologist Sarah Weston and anthropologist Daniel Madigan team up for another adventure which begins with the discovery of an ancient scroll, composed as a riddle. The pair must journey through the worlds of the occult, corporate greed, geopolitical conflict, Judaic mysticism, and biblical archaeology, in order to uncover the hidden message which could have an explosive impact on modern Israel.  

Daphne Nikolopoulos writes archaeological and historical thrillers under the pen name D.J. Niko. Nikolopoulos is an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer. She is known not only for the Sarah Weston Chronicles, her fictional works, but also for her non-fictional efforts.  Her book, The Storm Gourmet: A Guide To Creating Extraordinary Meals Without Electricity, is the Floridian’s guide to eating well when the power goes off. Daphne is the editor in chief of Palm Beach Illustrated magazine, and the editorial director of Palm Beach Media Group. 

> Wednesday; March 18, 2:30 pm 
    Location: Private Home, Palm Beach Gardens
    Pricing: Series of four PBG Novel Teas, $170/members $200/guests
    Single tickets sold after 12/8/2014 pending availability.

Register now >>>


Novel Tea

When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon

A richly told debut novel about one young woman’s journey to Greece for her wedding. The daughter of Greek immigrants, Daphne aspires to the American Dream yet feels as if she’s been sleepwalking through life. Caught between her family’s old-world traditions and the demands of a modern career, she cannot seem to find her place. Only her beloved grandmother on the magical Greek island Erikousa knows her heart. Across the ocean, her grandmother can see through the storybook perfection of Daphne’s new life and she is now calling her back. She has lessons to teach and secrets about the past to share, including that of the bravery and loyalty she and her fellow islanders showed during World War II, where a whole village risked their lives to help a family of Corfu Jews. Yvette Manessis Corporon is an Emmy Award-winning writer, producer and author. She is a senior producer with the syndicated entertainment news show EXTRA.

> Tuesday, March 31, 11:00 am
   Location: Private Home, Boynton Beach
   $18/Member; $21/Guest

> Wednesday, April 1, 2:30 pm
   Location: Private home, Palm Beach Gardens
   Pricing: Series of four PBG Novel Teas, $170/members $200/guests
   Single tickets sold after 12/8/2014 pending availability.

Register now >>>


Authors Event

The Annual Mandel JCC Book Festival is pleased to feature a new and exciting event which will highlight our very own Florida authors. "Florida's Finest" will be an evening event showcasing local authors in a panel discussion. These writers call Florida home and we hope you will join us in support of this event. More information to come - stay tuned!

> Tuesday, April 14, 5:30 pm
   Location: Mandel JCC, Boynton Beach
   Chair: Cathy Einhorn
   $10/Member; $12/Guest


Health and Wellness Event

Wrestling with Yoga: Journey of a Jewish Soul by Shelly Dembe

Wrestling with Yoga is the gently humorous and deeply thoughtful story of Dembe’s journey as an evolving Jew: a young mom, free spirit, and nurse who traded the ICU for a yoga studio—only to find that the inner peace her soul sought in yoga was present in her faith all along. Her sense that her life is missing something indefinable yet essential leads her on a search for purpose that uncovers life-changing parallels and conflicts between her beloved yoga practice and her Jewish heritage. As she learns more about Judaism, she shares her delight at discovering new ways to honor the beauty of everyday life. For Jews contemplating their lives in the context of their faith, Shelly offers accessible suggestions for gently moving towards a more spiritual lifestyle. Author and teacher Shelly Dembe travels worldwide to Jewish communities as a facilitator and speaker on physical and spiritual well-being. Shelly holds certifications as a Registered Nurse, Kripalu certified Yoga Dance Instructor, LifeForce Yoga Practitioner, and ACSM Personal Trainer.

> Wednesday, May 13, 10:00 am
   Location: Mandel JCC, Boynton Beach
   $18/Member; $25/Guest

> Wedneday, May 13, 2:00 pm
   Location: Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens
   $18/Member; $25/Guest

Register now >>>

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