San Diego Jewish Book Fair marks 20 years of discussions


The 20th annual San Diego Jewish Book Fair (presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture) will host headliner Ari Shavit, speaking 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at Temple Solel in Cardiff.

Book Fair events run Nov. 13-16 at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla, with North County events scheduled for Nov. 8-10 at Temple Solel, 3575 Manchester Ave., in Cardiff.

A free Family Day Book-a-Palooza, is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16 at the JCC in La Jolla.

Shavit is hailed as the most influential journalist writing about Israel today. He will discuss, “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel,” the culmination of his life’s work. Shavit — a columnist, reporter, and Haaretz board member — pulls from sources including personal interviews, family histories, road trips into the far reaches of the country, history books and more, and filters it all through his discerning eye. He will share the story behind what many consider to be a definitive examination of Israel: its formative years, its complications and contradictions (then and now), and its possible futures. Tickets are $18.50; JCC members: $15.50.

Other headliners include Carol Leifer, author, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 at Temple Solel. Enjoy a rare opportunity to spend time with a comedienne who has written for Seinfeld (the character Elaine Benes was partially based on her) and SNL among other pop- culture touchstones. Leifer will leave everyone in the auditorium laughing as she shares dirt and details about what it takes to make it — and make it out of — Hollywood. Her previous book, “When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win,” was a national bestseller. Tickets: $20.50; JCC Members: $17.50.

Tova Mirvis, author, “Visible City” will discuss her novel about a young mother, Nina, who has recently been peeking into the lives of her neighbors using her son’s toy binoculars. When she begins meeting the people she has been viewing from afar in the streets of their Upper West Side neighborhood, things change in a hurry, and Nina is soon forced to turn her prying eyes inward. Meet Mirvis for lunch and a talk, noon Monday, Nov. 10, at Temple Solel. Tickets: $21.50; JCC members: $18.50.

Meet author Ayelet Waldman, “Bad Mother” and “Love & Other Impossible Pursuits” (made into a movie starring Natalie Portman) for a lunchtime discussion of her latest novel, “Love and Treasure,” noon Thursday, Nov. 13 at the JCC. This multi- generational tale is centered on the true story of the Hungarian Gold Train, which was filled with valuables stolen from countless Hungarian Jews lost in the Holocaust. A stolen treasure, a post-war love affair in “the picturesque corpse” of Salzburg, the search for a missing painting by a contemporary Israeli art dealer — Waldman’s spellbinding storytelling powers are at their peak as she weaves multiple plot lines together over the decades following WW II. Tickets: $21.50; JCC members: $18.50.

If you go: For a complete list of speakers and programs, visit or call the JCC Box Office (858) 362-1348. The Book Fair is open to the San Diego community. Access to the bookstore, Family Day and a variety of afternoon lectures are free of charge.

Book Fair 20th Anniversary Event: To celebrate the 20th year of the San Diego Jewish Book Fair, a special program is planned for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive in La Jolla. Author Eddie Shapiro will discuss his book, “Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater,” in which Chita Rivera, Carol Channing, Elaine Stritch, Patti Lupone and others share highlights (and lowlights) of life under the bright lights of Broadway.

The evening will also include a tribute to past Book Fair chairs — Julie Potiker, Phyllis Epstein, Gloria Stone and Zelda Goodman — plus a musical celebration featuring JCompany’s On-the-Town Ambassador Troupe. Tickets are $20.50 and $17.50 at (858) 362-1348.