Mandel JCC 22nd Annual Book Festival More Accessible Than Ever | JCC Book Festival
As was the case last year Mandel JCC Cleveland Jewish Book Festival – one of the country’s premier Jewish book festivals – this year’s 22nd annual event has expanded to include three ‘chapters’ that take place over several weeks each between November and March 2022.
But unlike last year’s book festival, which was exclusively virtual due to COVID-19 concerns, this year’s lineup from 21 nationally and internationally renowned authors, as well as several authors with local ties, will be accessible through a range of formats. Some speakers will be in person at the JCC, most will be offered through the Zoom platform to be experienced from the comfort of their own homes, and live events allow attendees to come to the JCC and watch a live presentation at the JCC. screen.
All presentations will be accompanied by question-and-answer sessions.
The main event, which is free and virtual, will take place on November 4 at 8:30 pm It will feature two-time Peabody Award-winning writer and producer Ira Rosen, who wrote the memoir “Ticking Clock”. He’ll take the behind-the-scenes look at his decades on America’s most iconic television news show, “60 Minutes,” and its competitors, ABC’s “20/20” and “Primetime Live.”
“At a time when our work is seen as fake news,” Rosen said from her home in Westchester, NY. “My book takes you back to a time when we were heroes for righting the wrongs in society and TV presenters were celebrities. And while “Ticking Clock” showcases their talents, Rosen said it also highlights the “insecurities and, in some cases, heinous behavior” of the anchors.
Among the seven screenwriters featured for Chapter 1, which runs from November 4 to December 5, is six-time Emmy and Tony nominee actress Tovah Feldshuh. According to the Broadway World theater publication, “From Golda to Ginsburg… Feldshuh has always played powerful women. But outside of the stage, she struggled to fill the one role she’s never auditioned for – Lily Feldshuh’s only daughter. In her new memoir, “Lilyville”, Feldshuh shares the ups and downs of a remarkable career and a complex mother / daughter relationship.
“The title of the book,” she noted on a phone call from her Manhattan apartment, “is a metaphor for how the third act of your life can be the crowning glory of your wit, wisdom and of your participation on this earth. Lily, who lived to be 102, set this example as she flourished in the latter part of her life. Her life is as important in this memory as that of the author.
The Feldshuh Lecture Live at the JCC at 7:30 p.m. on November 8 is sponsored by Marc Benson and Sheila Reingold in memory of Leonard and Leeta Benson and Iris Bialosky Zahler.
From January 5 to February 6, during the second chapter of the book festival, eight authors will be presented. Among them is Iddo Gefen, a resident of Tel Aviv, whose collection of stories titled “Jerusalem Beach” the reader plunges into the absurd.
According to The Times of Israel, when you read Gefen’s stories “with their diverse characters and themes of transgender memories and dreams, you never know what you’re going to get. But one thing you do know. Each story will be very enjoyable to read. When asked why he wrote a storybook rather than a novel, Gefen noted that “my editor asked me the same. I felt I had a lot of stories I wanted to explore and worlds I wanted to build, and short stories were the best genre for that.
His presentation, which will take place virtually on January 12 at noon, is in partnership with Cleveland Israel Arts Connection, a program of the Cleveland Jewish Federation.
Among the five authors who will share their writings during the third chapter of the book festival, which runs from March 3 to 20, will be Elyssa Friedland. In his latest novel “Last Summer at the Golden Hotel,” the Goldman and Weingold families remember the Catskills and the glamor Golden Hotel in its heyday. Now that the borscht belt is well past its peak, the two founding families must decide if they can save their beloved Golden amid long buried secrets, new drama and financial scandals. According to Publishers Weekly, the novel is “a well-crafted family drama … that is airy and charming.”
“There is value in preserving tradition even as we modernize,” suggests the author from his New York residency when asked to identify the big takeaway from this novel. “And the good old fun hokey in this Jewish vacation story can’t be beat.”
Friedland’s free, virtual presentation, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on March 10, is in partnership with the Cleveland National Council of Jewish Women.
The festival’s authors and their books were selected from over 300 attendees at a three-day Jewish Book Council Network showcase held virtually earlier in the year. The showcase attracts approximately 120 member organizations across North America, including JCC, synagogues, Hillels, Jewish federations and cultural centers.
For a full schedule of authors appearing at the Cleveland Jewish Book Festival, visit bit.ly/2ZsRX7I.