Deluxe Edition: 17th annual Jewish Book Fair packed with speakers and special events

By Susan DeMaggio

It’s 11 days of hard-hitting topics and lighthearted musings, presented by folks so stoked about them that they’ve written books on the subjects and are arriving by the planeful to share their thoughts and observations.

The authors are coming! The authors are coming!

And they will be here as guests of the 17th annual San Diego Jewish Book Fair comprised of Morning Coffee Conversations, Talks Over Lunch, and Evening Lectures, Nov. 3-13, mainly at the Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.

The authors are prime ministers’ sons, historians, novelists, baseball players, psychiatrists, journalists, broadcasters, musicians, chefs, rabbis, comedians and ADHD survivors. Their topics run the gamut from “The Rise of the Israel-Islamic Conflict” to “How We Age” to “The Secret Lives of Wives.” Real page-turners.

The JCC’s Marcia Wollner, Director of Literary Arts and Educational Resources, described the book fair this way: “We believe that that it is our mission to expose the community at large to new ideas, great thinkers … and that literature nourishes one’s soul and mind.  We believe that this program provides something for everyone — including families, children, teens, educators and adults.

“To this end, we’ve added Yon Limmud: San Diego’s Community Day of Learning, as the culmination to the fair. This new program will enable the community to come together in one venue at one time to experience many concurrent programs. With the addition of  Yom Limmud, we will be providing the community with more speakers than in the past over this amount of time.”

Gilad Sharon, who will discuss the biography he penned about his father, "Sharon," is the youngest of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s three sons and was a confidante to his father. He holds a master’s degree in economics and writes a frequent column for an Israeli newspaper. A major in the Israel Defense Force reserves, he currently manages his family’s farm in Israel.

The book fair opens with Ariel Sharon’s son Gilad discussing his father’s legacy as presented in the biography “Sharon: The Life of A Leader,” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5. It closes with NBC correspondent Martin Fletcher reading from his semi-autobiographical novel, “The List,” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12.

In between are book signings, performances, receptions, a Mom’s Night Out, Yom Limmud (Day of Learning), and of course, a book sale with thousands of titles.

The book fair also features two theatrical works. There will be a performance at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 13 of “Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project,” which tells the story of Warsaw ghetto families who placed their Jewish children in Polish families, convents and orphanages to escape the death camps, and the non-Jewish social worker who made lists of the children’s real names, put the lists into jars and buried them, so someday she could dig up the jars and tell the children their real names.

And at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 there will be a staged reading of “General Orders No. 11,” and a discussion with historian Joellyn Zollman, Ph.D., on the banishment of Jews by General Ulysses S. Grant from his military district on 24-hours notice, which forced 30 families from Kentucky to flee upriver to Cincinnati, not knowing if they’d ever see their homes again.

Among the authors to appear are Adam Mansbach with his children’s book for adults, “Go the F*** to Sleep”; journalist Thanassis Cambanis, with “A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel”; Rabbi Mark Glickman, with “Sacred Treasure: The Cairo Genizah”; absurdist and musician Adam Chester with “S’Mother: The Story of a Man, His Mom, and the Thousands of Altogether Insane Letters She’s Mailed Him”; and psychologist Wendy Mogel, who follows up her bestsellers on parenting with “Blessing of a B Minus.”

The Jewish Book Fair is sponsored its founders and The Viterbi Family Foundation and presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture.

If you go

What: The San Diego Jewish Book Fair

When: Nov. 3-13

Bookstore hours: 6-9:30 p.m. Nov. 3; 7-9:30 p.m. Nov. 5; 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 6-10; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 11; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 13

Where: Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive

Event Tickets: $5-$16

Contact: (858) 362-1348,


Book Fair’s Family Day

Free activities at the Nierman Preschool Campus from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. to Nov. 6, will include a Kid Zone with an obstacle course and crafts; Puppeteer Mallory Lewis (daughter of Shari Lewis) with Lambchop; musical selections by On the Town, J*Company Youth Theatre’s ambassador troupe, Bal Yoga for Kids incorporating songs, poses and illustrations to the corresponding letters of the alphabet and a Book Nook where parents can read to their children.

At 2 p.m. Rabbi Joe Black will present a concert in the Garfield Theatre with adult tickets $5, and $3 for kids, ages 2 and up.

Children are encouraged to bring a new or gently used book to donate to the Ronald Donald House.

Related posts:

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  3. Librarians pick top children’s books for 2011 with annual awards
  4. Jane Mitchell scores a hit with new book on San Diego athletes
  5. Scribes to gather at 10th annual La Jolla Writers Conference, Nov. 5-7

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Posted by Staff on Nov 1, 2011. Filed under A & E, Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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