JCC celebrates Jewish Book Month

Date: 10/10/2013

SPRINGFIELD – In celebration of Jewish Book Month in November, The Springfield Jewish Community Center (JCC) is hosting a lineup of nationally acclaimed authors as part of the community Jewish Book Festival, Literatour.

Books will be available for purchase and signing at each author event and many are available for purchase at the JCC in advance of the event. All author events, unless otherwise noted, will take place at the Springfield JCC, Neal Webber Building, 1160 Dickinson St.

Pre-registration is strongly recommended for all author events, but not required. Call the JCC at 739-4715 to register. Additional information about Literatour is available at www.springfieldjcc.org.

All authors’ books will be available for sale throughout the Jewish Book Festival. Children’s books, cookbooks, and a wide range of other books will be sold in The Literatour Book Store from Oct. 22 through Nov. 14. The store will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon, during author events at the JCC and by appointment.

On Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., Robert Alper, author of “Thanks. I Needed That. And Other Stories of the Spirit” will speak at the Sinai Temple, 1100 Dickinson St. Alper is a rabbi, stand-up comic and inspirational story-teller. His 32 warm, touching stories evoke laughter and tears. The cost is free for JCC and Sinai Temple members, $5 for the general public.

For those who grew up or raised children during the era of mood rings and lava lamps, they’ll probably remember “Free to Be ... You and Me,” the ground breaking children’s record, book and television special that debuted in 1972. On Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., author Lori Rotskoff will share how this book inspired a generation of girls and boys. In this lively collection, along with 32 contributors, Rotskoff explores the creation and legacy of the classic children’s record, book and television special “Free to Be ... You and Me.”

This program is free of charge for JCC members and $5 for the general public.

For those who’ve been a lover of Superman, they’ll want to join in the fun on Oct. 29 when author Larry Tye shows audiences evidence that it was not just the creators and publishers of Superman who were Jewish, but Superman was too. In, “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero,” together with Tye, participants will celebrate as Superman turns 75 this year, and discover the evidence that suggests this man of steel was Jewish.

This program is free of charge for JCC members and the general public.

The book release party, bagel breakfast and children’s program for “My Fantastic Awesome Funny Fun Day at School” by Springfield illustrator Leslie Goldstein Hager and author Joel M. Caplan will be on Nov. 3 at 9:30 a.m.

Geared to families with children ages 2 to 7, “My Fantastic Awesome Funny Fun Day at School” is a story that both parents and children will easily relate to. It is the story of a child who is at first reluctant to share the details of her day at school, but with some encouragement and some imagination from her father tells all. Children and their parents will learn about the drawings in the book from the illustrator and learn how to create these kinds of drawings using colored pencils.

This program is free for JCC members and for JCC Preschool families, $5 for the general public. Please RSVP to Deb Cohen at 739-4715 or at dcohen@springfieldjcc.org.

On Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., join Lawrence Malkin, author of “The War Within: Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Threat to Democracy and the Nation,” leads a lively and trenchant exploration of the battle between church and state in modern Israel, where the majority of Haredim (Orthodox) are unemployable yet wholly dependent on government largesse. This program is free of charge for JCC members and the general public.

Not to be missed on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. is Ronald Balson, author of “Once We Were Brothers,” an intriguing Holocaust mystery. Ben Solomon is convinced that respected civic leader Elliot Rosenzweig is really Otto Piatek, a once-abandoned child raised by Solomon’s family who then betrayed them during the Nazi occupation.

Book clubs as well as all readers should consider purchasing this book at the JCC in advance of this author event. This program is free of charge for JCC members and $5 for the general public.

For anyone who has ever seen “Fiddler on the Roof” and thought, I wonder what happened to Tevye after the play ends? Wonder no more. On Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., Mitchell Bard author of “After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine” will answer that question. Tevye must adjust to the secular lifestyle on a kibbutz and struggle with the conflict between the kibbutzniks’ “religion” of labor and his own Jewish beliefs.

This program is free of charge for JCC members and $5 for the general public.

In a Western Massachusetts small town about to be flooded to create a reservoir, a newly married artist faces an impossible choice between passion and promises. This is the story of the novel “Cascade” by author Maryanne O’Hara who will tell us more about the story of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at Glenmeadow, 24 Tabor Crossing, Longmeadow. The program is free to everyone.

On Nov. 21 at noon, Temple Beth El is sponsoring Letty Cottin Pogrebin author of “How To Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick.”

Pogrebin is an award winning journalist, widely published opinion writer, acclaimed public speaker and author of several books. Readers of this book are reminded of empathy through warm, humorous advice interwoven with boldly candid stories. This program, part of the Temple’s Lunch and Learn program, will be at Temple Beth El, 979 Dickinson St. This program is free of charge for JCC and Temple Beth El members and $5 for the general public.

Part of the Arts in The Afternoon series, the final Literatour event on Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. will feature Mark Cohen, author of “Overweight Sensation: the Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman.” Sherman’s Jewish song parodies (and hit songs like “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!”) won him extraordinary fame and also led Jewish comedy out of ethnic enclaves and into the American mainstream.

Sherman will share some of these stories and songs through Sherman’s music and video presentations.

This program is free of charge for JCC members and $5 for the general public.

For more information about the Literatour Jewish Book Festival, please visit www.Springfieldjcc.org or contact Carlin Trietsch at 739-4715.