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Arts & Culture:
20th Annual
JCC Book Festival

Adult Classes
Groups & Clubs
Mah Jongg & Canasta

Arts & Culture
92nd Street Y
Art Exhibits
Book Festival
Cultural Day Trips & International Travel
Film Festival
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.  

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    

Register now >>>

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, 2:00 pm
   Location: Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens

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
   Individual Tickets: $50/Member $60 Guest

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 ( 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, 11:00 am    Event is Full
    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.

> Wednesday; March 18, 2:30 pm 
   Location: Private Home, Palm Beach Gardens
   Pricing: Series of four PBG Novel Teas, $170/members $200/guests
   Individual Tickets: $50/Member $60 Guest

 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, 2:00 pm
   Location: Private Home, Boynton Beach
   $18/Member; $21/Guest

> Wednesday, April 1, 2:30 pm  Event is Full
   Location: Private home, Palm Beach Gardens
   Pricing: Series of four PBG Novel Teas, $170/members $200/guest

> Wednesday; April 1, 11:00 am 
Location: Private Home, Palm Beach Gardens
    Pricing: Series of four PBG Novel Teas, $170/members $200/guests
Individual Tickets: $50/Member $60 Guest

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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