Jewish Book Fair

A Note From the Chairs

This year we mourn the passing of Elie Wiesel. Writer and activist, he leaves behind a legacy of more than 60 books and many more good works. Wiesel reminded us of the importance of bearing witness, of sharing the personal journey, of reaching out through word and deed with humanity, empathy and intent...

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As we head into the 65th Annual Jewish Book Fair, we are particularly mindful of our role in carrying on that tradition.

Each year we devote Kristallnacht Remembrance Day to recounting the events of the Holocaust, events which shaped history and our people. Important stories continue to emerge from that historical crucible, so this tradition serves, not just as a requiem for those lost, but as recognition that it continues to illuminate our history, our identity and our sense of our place in the world.

This is the purpose of each of our Book Fair events.

In Our Separate Ways, Steven Simon delves into our role as Jews in the United States, and our collective part in the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. While Jonathan Safran Foer ignites the question of whether Jews in the Diaspora should share the defense of Israel, Kenneth Marcus discusses The Definition of Anti-Semitism. In The Secret of Chabad, Rabbi David Eliezrie helps us understand how this philosophy influences modern Judaism. And Rabbi David Fohrman provides a new perspective on an ancient story in The Exodus You Almost Passed Over.

Women may examine relationships with husbands or mothers through The Imperial Wife, The Other Einstein or The Bridge Ladies. Lisa Smith provides a window into the life of an addict in Girl Walks Out of a Bar. And Steven Gaines gives us a humorous and painful look at growing up gay in 1960s Brooklyn.

Whether it’s a mirror or a window, each book is an opportunity to understand ourselves and our world.

And we don’t just examine weighty questions of identity and moral imperative. Adam Levin and Dr. Mache Seibel take an informative, but decidedly lighter look at identity theft and menopause, respectively, in Swiped and The Estrogen Window. Families and children can explore stories and projects in Shalom Street, and try some Spiritual Cross-Training with Tamarack Rabbi Ben Shalva. And we’ll go where no book fair has gone before with Mark Altman, as he tells us the inside stories of 50 years of Star Trek.

On Sunday, November 13, our author talks conclude on a high note, as Daniel Bergner tells the very special and inspiring story of Ryan Speedo Green, a boy who emerged from a precarious childhood to become an international opera star.

We have worked diligently to curate a collection of books, authors, ideas and events that we look forward to experiencing and sharing with you. Please come and enjoy with us the singular thrill of hearing authors discuss a book that inspired such passion that they have spent weeks, months and years writing and rewriting to share with you.

It is certainly our passion to bring so many diverse experiences to our community. We hope you will find much to inspire, educate and entertain you during these twelve days of Book Fair.

See you there!

Terry Hollander
Sue Lutz

Book Store Hours

Wednesday, November 2: 5-10 p.m.
Thursday, November 3: 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday, November 4: 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday, November 5: 6-10 p.m.
Sunday, November 6: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Monday, November 7: 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 8: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Wednesday, November 9: 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 10: 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Friday, November 11: 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday, November 12: 6:30-10 p.m.
Sunday, November 13: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Event Tickets

Book Fair events are free unless otherwise noted. Advance registration is recommended for all ticketed events. To purchase tickets online, click the Purchase Tickets button that appears underneath each event description. You may also purchase tickets via phone by calling 248.661.1900 or in person at The Berman Ticket Office

Save with a Book Fair Discount Pass! Pass includes all eight non-food speaker events and movies for just $85! ($70 for JCC members). To purchase, call 248.661.1900.

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We would not be able to host Book Fair without the generous support of our sponsors!

2016 Book Fair Sponsors

Become a Book Fair Patron

Your support helps us bring one of the country's premier Jewish cultural events to the Metro Detroit community. Please click here to learn more about becoming a Book Fair Patron.

Wednesday, November 2 (Opening Night)
Day Underwritten by Nancy & James Grosfeld

6 p.m. | The Berman - Howard Blum - The Last Goodnight

She was the “Blonde Bomb,” the “Mata Hari from Minnesota,” a woman who, according to her obituary in Time, “used the boudoir as Ian Fleming's character [James Bond] used the Beretta."

Betty Pack was an American debutante whose bravery, sense of adventure and fluid morality knew virtually no bounds. Born in Minneapolis, she became “Cynthia”, a WWII spy whose work was essential to helping break the Enigma code.

Howard Blum's book is a riveting and revealing portrait of a dazzling woman who OSS Chief "Wild" Bill Donovan called “the greatest unsung heroine” of the war.

Howard Blum is the author of New York Times best sellers Dark Invasion and American Lightning, along with Wanted! The Gold Exodus, Gangland and The Floor of Heaven. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he previously worked as an investigative reporter at The New York Times, where he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Co-sponsored by ORT America - Michigan Region

8 p.m. | The Berman - Robert P. Watson, Ph.D. - The Nazi Titanic: The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II

The SS Cap Arcona began as a German luxury liner. When the Nazis came to power, she became the star of a propaganda film. When the film was a failure, the Cap Arcona was stripped down and used to transport soldiers. The Cap Arcona took on yet another role after she was packed with thousands of concentration camp prisoners. The British Royal Air Force mistakenly destroyed the ship, and nearly all of the prisoners were killed.

Robert P. Watson has unearthed forgotten records, conducted interviews and accessed diaries and oral histories to expose the story of one of history’s worst maritime disasters.

Award-winning author Robert P. Watson has published 36 books on history and politics, three works of fiction and hundreds of scholarly articles. He is founder of White House Studies and editor of the multi-edition encyclopedia sets The American Presidents, American First Ladies and Constitutional Amendments. He can be seen on news shows including Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

$12 ($10 for JCC members)

Co-sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus

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Thursday, November 3
Day Underwritten by Barbara & Douglas Bloom

10 a.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Book Fair Preview Panel (with Tara Hayes, Ph.D. Sharon Schwartz and Connie Silver)

Too many books to choose from? Hear our local book experts rave about their hot picks. Recommended books will be available with a special discount on this day only.

Light breakfast will be provided by the Anti-Defamation League.

Noon | Marion & David Handleman Hall - Rabbi David Fohrman - The Exodus You Almost Passed Over (Lunch and Learn)

Each year at Passover we read the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It seems like something we already know. But do we?

Rabbi Fohrman invites readers to look at this story with fresh eyes - to join him on a guided adventure as he reveals a side of the Exodus that illuminates not just the past but the future.

Rabbi David Fohrman is the founder and CEO of Aleph Beta Academy and author of The Beast that Crouches at the Door, the finalist for the 2007 National Jewish Book Award, and The Queen You Thought You Knew.

$22 ($18 for JCC members), includes buffet lunch
Reservations required by Thursday, October 27

Co-sponsored by Melton Detroit & FedEd, Partners in Torah, SAJE (Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment)

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2 p.m. | Henry & Delia Meyers Library - People of the Coloring Book

Please join us for a relaxing and fun afternoon with coloring, snacks and conversation. Art therapist Kathy Shnurr from Henry Ford Hospital will speak about the health value of coloring.

Kathy Shnurr is a board-certified art therapist who works in private practice with teens who have experienced trauma and with cancer patients at Henry Ford.

$12 ($10 for JCC members), includes a coloring book to keep
Reservations required by Thursday, October 27

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4 p.m. | The Berman - Jonathan Safran Foer Event - Everything is Illuminated (Film)

Written and directed by Liev Schreiber and starring Elijah Wood, Everything Is Illuminated is a charming and thoughtful film based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. The story focuses on a young Jewish man who goes in search of the woman who saved his father during the Holocaust.

"Profound in the way that life is profound in hindsight, its view of the past both fixed in history and mutable in the telling. And it’s exquisitely tender." – The Houston Chronicle

Sponsored by Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival

$12 ($10 for JCC members) Movie and Author Talk

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6 p.m. | The Berman - Jonathan Safran Foer Book Talk - Here I Am

Here I Am is Jonathan Safran Foer’s searching, hard-hitting and entertaining novel that recalls one of the most powerful scenes in the Torah. (When God calls, “Abraham!” before ordering him to sacrifice his son, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”) Unfolding over four weeks in Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a family in crisis. Jacob and Julia Bloch and their three sons confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are truly living when an earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the meaning of home ― and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the best-seller Everything Is Illuminated, named Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and winner of the Guardian First Book Prize, the National Jewish Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Prize. Foer, one of Rolling Stone's “People of the Year” and Esquire's “Best and Brightest,” also is the author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a New York Times best-seller that became a film starring Tom Hanks.

$12 ($10 for JCC members) Movie and Author Talk

Co-sponsored by Adat Shalom Synagogue, Sisterhood of Adat Shalom

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8 p.m. | The Berman - Louis Grumet - The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel: The Rise of a Village Theocracy and the Battle to Defend the Separation of Church and State

Twenty years ago, in the middle of the night and on the last day of session, the New York State Legislature created a publicly funded school district to cater to the small village of Kiryas Joel. Virtually everyone who lives there is a Satmar Jew, and the village exerts extraordinary pressure over both political parties.

Marking the first time in American history that a governmental unit was established for a religious group, the legislature’s action prompted years of litigation.

The case, Board of Education of the Village of Kiryas Joel v. Grumet, eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court and became the most important legal precedent in the fight to uphold the separation of church and state.

The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel details the inside story of this fight for the First Amendment and against New York’s most powerful politicians.

Louis Grumet served as executive director of the New York State School Boards Association and was the plaintiff in Board of Education of the Village of Kiryas Joel v. Grumet. He also was special assistant to New York Secretary of State Mario Cuomo, and he served as his representative in matters dealing with disabled individuals. Grumet received the Distinguished Service Award from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

$12 ($10 for JCC members)

Co-sponsored by the Jewish Bar Association of Michigan (JBAM)

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Friday, November 4 (Health Awareness Day)
Day Underwritten by Sallyjo and H. Barry Levine

10 a.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Mache Seibel, M.D. - The Estrogen Window: The Breakthrough Guide to Being Healthy, Energized, and Hormonally Balanced - Through Perimenopause, Menopause, and Beyond 

When to take it. How much. Whether to take it at all. Estrogen has baffled women and physicians alike after a national study reported that it could lead to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.

Now, one of America’s leading experts on women’s wellness and menopause unveils the results of his groundbreaking research on hormone therapy.

The Estrogen Window provides much-needed, comprehensive information about why estrogen therapy is valuable, the health benefits it provides, the best types of therapy and when it should be taken.

Dr. Mache Seibel served for more than 19 years with the Harvard Medical School faculty, and has appeared on PBS, NPR and in People magazine. The founder of My Menopause magazine, Dr. Seibel has taken care of more than 10,000 women experiencing menopause.

Sponsored by Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit Maimonides Society

11:30 a.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Lisa F. Smith - Girl Walks Out of a Bar: A Memoir

Instead of a cup of coffee, Lisa F. Smith began her day with a bottle of wine and three lines of cocaine. Only then could she head off to work at the high-pressure, international firm where she practiced corporate law.

How had it come to this? Smith was born into a middle-class Jewish family, was an excellent student in college and was recruited right out of school. Yet by the time she was 25 she was drinking all day.

Girl Walks Out of a Bar is a witty, honest account of a smart woman who hid her alcohol and cocaine addiction from her co-workers and friends.

Lisa will present her story with Lisa Kaplan of the Henry Ford Maplegrove Center for substance abuse.

Lisa F. Smith is a graduate of Northwestern University and Rutgers School of Law. Today, she works in legal marketing and is a writer whose works have been published in The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. She serves on the board of the NY Writers Coalition, which provides free creative writing programs to underserved groups.

Lisa Kaplan, LMSW, ACSW, CAADC, CPC-R, has been in the addiction field for more than 23 years. She worked at CARE of Southeastern Michigan as a clinician and as a program coordinator in the prevention department. Today, she runs the Community Education Department and serves as part of the clinical treatment team at Henry Ford Health System’s Maplegrove Center in West Bloomfield.

Co-sponsored by Daniel B. Sobel Friendship House

1 p.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Larry Olmsted - Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating & What You Can Do About It

Fish reeking with chemicals and drugs (many of which, for health reasons, are illegal in the United States), topped with fake oil and wood pulp. Sound tasty?

That’s exactly what you may be ingesting when you eat your next meal of “wild caught” salmon topped with extra-virgin olive oil and a shaving of Parmesan cheese.

Fish, wine, beef, cheese, honey and even coffee are only a few of the foods that are regularly mislabeled, adulterated and swapped for cheaper products every day in this country. Real Food/Fake Food invites readers into the seedy underbelly of food fakery, revealing the truth about favorite foods and the deceptive practices behind them.

Larry Olmsted writes the “Great American Bites” column for USA Today, and his food and travel column appears on Named by the Society of Professional Journalists as one of the 10 Most Extreme U.S. Journalists, he is also the author of two books on golf and Getting into Guinness.

Co-sponsored by Congregation B’nai Moshe, JCC Women’s Executive Health Club, Sisterhood of Congregation B’nai Moshe

Saturday, November 5 (Patron Night)
Generously sponsored by DeRoy Testamentary Foundation

6:45 p.m. | Marion & David Handleman Hall - Patron Reception 

7:30 p.m. | The Berman - Ben Mezrich (Author Talk) - Once Upon a Time in Russia

Boris Berezovsky was a mathematician who managed a car-reselling business. Roman Abramovich was a mechanic who sold imported rubber ducks from his home. Together, the two men built a multi-billion-dollar oil and aluminum empire as they battled their way through the chaos of post-Soviet Russia.

Once Upon a Time is a true story of wealth, rivalry and betrayal among mega-wealthy Russians - and its international repercussions. Ben Mezrich goes behind the scenes of the metioric rise of the Russian oligarchs and of Vladimir Putin.

Ben Mezrich is the author of 16 books including The 37th Parallel, Bringing Down the House, which spent 63 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, and The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, the basis of the film “The Social Network.” He has appeared on TV in “High Stakes with Ben Mezrich,” and as host of the “World Series of Blackjack” and “The Filthy Rich Guide.”

$12 ($10 for JCC members)

Purchase Tickets

8:30 p.m. | Marion & David Handleman Hall - Patron Dinner

The Patron Reception and Dinner are reserved for Book Fair patrons. To become a patron, please contact Linda Levy: 248.432.5652 or [email protected].

Sunday, November 6
Day Underwritten by Andi & Larry Wolfe

SPORTS MORNING AT THE J, with bagels and coffee with Michael Rosenbaum and Gary Belsky

10 a.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Michael Rosenbaum - Wolverine: A Photographic History of Michigan Football, Vol. I

Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, Denard Robinson, Bo Schembechler: The might and majesty of Michigan football is captured in more than 1,000 rare and unpublished photographs from five thrilling seasons: 1925, 1947, 1969, 1997 and 2011. You’ve never seen the story of the Wolverine gridiron told like this. Fans include U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh, who called it “a great book!”

Mike Rosenbaum is a U-M graduate and veteran Metro Detroit sports journalist. The founding writer/editor of the Jewish News’ first regular sports section, he has been a regular writer for the Red Wing’s game-day programs, sports editor for the Observer & Eccentric newspapers and a contributor to Hockey Digest and the Detroit Free Press.

10:45 a.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Gary Belsky - On the Origins of Sports: The Early History and Original Rules of Everybody’s Favorite Games

The world’s passion for sports has started wars, emptied treasuries, ended marriages and set cities aflame. Fans spend hundreds of dollars on tickets, devote entire weekends to watching games and argue with colleagues over the greatest athlete of all time. For the first time, the original rules, history and miscellany of the world’s 21 most popular sports are presented in a single volume, written in an engaging style and filled with fascinating facts and trivia (Who introduced dribbling in basketball? How long have concessions been part of football?). This is the ultimate book for the thinking fan and for anyone who wants more ammo for one-upping family and co-workers!

Gary Belsky is former editor in chief of ESPN The Magazine, where he and Neil Fine conceived of the company’s franchise, Body Issue. He also is the author, with Neil Fine, of 23 Ways to Get to First Base: The ESPN Uncyclopedia and Answer Guy: Extinguishing the Burning Questions of Sports with the Water Buck of Truth.

Co-sponsored by JCC Men’s Executive Health Club

Ann Arbor!

11:30 a.m. | Marion & David Handleman Hall - Ari Weinzweig - Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business

In 1982, Ari Weinzweig – with a $20,000 bank loan, a Russian history degree and four years of experience washing dishes, cooking and managing restaurant kitchens – co-founded a small deli in Ann Arbor. Today, Zingerman’s is a nationally known icon that includes 10 businesses with more than 750 employees and $55 million in annual revenue.

At the same time, Zingerman’s is an active part of the community, donating 10% of its annual income to local organizations and non-profits. In his latest Guide to Good Leading, Weinzweig draws on his own experience, plus ideas from figures like Anais Nin and Viktor Frankel, to provide a guide with creative, thoughtful and fresh ideas for anyone in business.

Ari Weinzweig is a native of Chicago and graduate of the University of Michigan. In addition to his books, he has written more than 250 issues of the Zingerman’s newsletter, and he has contributed to Fine Cooking, Specialty Foods, Gourmet Retailer and Food and Wine. He is founder of Food Gathers, past board president of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance and NEW Center, a board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and on the President’s Advisory Board for the Michigan Environmental Council.

12:15 p.m. | Marion & David Handleman Hall - Jon Milan and Gail Offen - Iconic Restaurants of Ann Arbor

From Pizza Bob’s to Krazy Jim’s to Zingerman’s, Ann Arbor has some of the most iconic restaurants in Michigan. And whether it’s pizza or beer, the city’s residents have definite ideas about which eatery serves the best.

Come along on a delicious journey into the city’s favorite dining spots, some of which have been around for many years. Along the way, learn fascinating information about Ann Arbor, food and drinks, and hear the story of one of the most unusual series of laws related to the campus district and prohibition.

Gail Offen is a SVP, creative director at Donor Advertising and adjunct professor of advertising at Lawrence Technical University. Jon Milan is an author, pianist and composer. The two also are the authors of Grand River Avenue: From Detroit to Lake Michigan.

Co-sponsored by Bookstock, Hazon, David-Horodoker Organization and JCC Center Travel

Book Fair at Shalom Street!

1 p.m. | Shalom Street Museum - Lisa Rose - Shmulik Paints the Town

Book reading with PJ Library author Lisa Rose, plus a fun Shalom Street painting project!

Israeli Independence Day is coming up, and the mayor is planning a spectacular celebration. To prepare for the festivities, he asks Shmulik to paint a mural.

Shmulik agrees, but then he can’t decide what to paint. Instead, he looks for inspiration in the clouds, the trees and his own dreams. Meanwhile, Shmulik’s dog Ezra takes the painting job into his own hands (or paws) and gets the park ready for Yom Ha’aztmaut (Israel Independence Day)! Shmulik Paints the Town is a delightful story about friendship, cooperation and doing your best. (Ages 5-10)

Lisa Rose lives with her husband and daughter in Metro Detroit. She likes to swim, practice yoga and eat ice cream but not, she says, at the same time. This is her first children’s book.

Co-sponsored by JFamily and PJ Library

1:45 p.m. | Shalom Street Museum - Darcee Hope Matlen - Moshe & Asa

Asa is a Holocaust survivor who made a beautiful life for himself and his family in Detroit. At 91 years old, he met a sweet 2-year old named Sacha, and the two instantly became best pals. This is the story of their friendship, with valuable lessons on kindness and overcoming hardship. (Ages 8-12)

Darcee Hope Matlen is a wife and mom, author, life coach and owner and product developer who lives in Bloomfield Hills. Her motto is, "Don't focus on the challenges or the unexpected obstacles, but instead celebrate all of the wonderful things that life has to offer and that you are lucky enough to be blessed with."

Proceeds from the book are donated to autism-based charities.
Co-sponsored by Jewish Senior Life of Metropolitan Detroit

2:30 p.m. | Marion & David Handleman Hall - Rabbi Benjamin Shalva - Spiritual Cross-Training: Searching Through Silence, Stretch, and Song

On a quest for enlightenment, Rabbi Benjamin Shalva journeyed through the wilds of Tibet, took a pilgrimage to a monastery, wrestled with demons, danced with temptresses and sang with hundreds of voices under the stars. Using lessons gained through years of religious exploration, Rabbi Shalva offers simple, powerful ways to help others connect with their spiritual selves - whether in a house of worship, a yoga studio, sitting in traffic or even working late at the office. In this honest and funny memoir, he discusses “spiritual cross-training in three simple steps”: silence, stretch and song.

Join us for an hour of celebration, learning and self-exploration. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement.

Benjamin Shalva is rabbi of Tamarack Camps, a writer and yoga instructor who leads spiritual cross-training seminars and workshops around the world. A graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Shalva serves on the faculty of the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington and the 6th & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

4 p.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Adina Hoffman - Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City

Jerusalem would not be the city it is today were it not for three architects: Erich Mendelsohn, who had daring visions in design and politics; the mysterious Spyro Houris, who left behind stately structures but little evidence that he existed; and Austin St. Barbe Harrison, the reserved but quietly inspired British expat.

As she traces these three remarkable lives, Adina Hoffman also paints a rich and compelling picture of Jerusalem, a city where layers of history and meaning are piled atop each other hiding in plain sight, where identity is dynamic and complex, where the streets hold stories of passion, intrigue and surprise.

Adina Hoffman is the author of My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian Century, a Barnes & Noble Review top 20 book of 2009. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and was named a 2013 winner of Yale University’s Windham Campbell Prize for literature.

Sponsored by Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds Co-sponsored by Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies, Wayne State University, WISDOM, Young Israel of Oak Park

6 p.m. | The Berman - Kenneth L. Marcus - The Definition of Anti-Semitism

College students who say that they have nothing against Jews; Zionism is the problem.

A Jewish presidential candidate who labels Israel “an apartheid state.”

Henry Ford – who chronicled the “Jewish menace” in his newspaper but admired his neighbor Rabbi Leo Franklin and sent him a new car every year.

What did it mean to be anti-Semitic 1,000 years ago, 100 years ago – and what does it mean today?

After exploring how the definition of the term has evolved throughout history, Kenneth Marcus’s important work considers a legal analysis of the meaning of the word, current debate about what it means to be anti-Semitic and the delicate line that separates anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism.

Kenneth L. Marcus is president and general counsel of the Louis. D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and author of the award-winningJewish Identity and Civil Rights in America. The former staff director at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, he publishes frequently in Commentary and The Christian Science Monitor.

Co-sponsored by StandWithUs-Michigan

8 p.m. | The Berman - Chanan Tigay - The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World’s Oldest Bible

In 1883, a bearded man with luxurious hair walked into the British Museum and announced that he had an extraordinary item for sale.

Moses Shapira was a convert to Christianity who had once been a leading antiquities dealer in Jerusalem. But a terrible scandal had destroyed his business, and now Shapira was left with no choice but to sell, for one million pounds, his greatest find: the world’s oldest copy of the Bible. So begins a fascinating true account that reads like a classic detective story. At its heart is a curious, devious, tragic man and a mysterious document that was denounced as a fake - but may have been exactly what Shapira said it was.

Chanan Tigay is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and New York magazine. He was born in Jerusalem and holds degrees from Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, and he was a recent Investigative Reporting Fellow at U.C. Berkeley. Today, Tigay serves as professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University.

$12 ($10 for JCC members)

Co-sponsored by Melton Detroit & FedEd, SAJE

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Monday, November 7
Day Underwritten by Esther & Neal Zalenko

11 a.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Claudia Kalb - Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities

Einstein was a bit quirky; but did he actually have autism? Marilyn Monroe never showed up to work on time and had profound insecurities; was she suffering from borderline personality disorder?

Claudia Kalb looks through the lens of modern psychology to consider the lives of 12 leading figures in fields from entertainment to philosophy. Using historical documents, biographies and interviews, she provides an intriguing look at some of the most influential figures of our time.

Claudia Kalb is an award-winning journalist who specializes in medicine, health and science. A former senior writer for Newsweek, she has covered topics ranging from genetic testing to the science of emotional memory. Her work has appeared in publications including Smithsonian and Scientific American.

Co-sponsored by JCC’s The Active Life (TAL)

1:30 p.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Alyson Richman - The Velvet Hours

In 1942, Solange Beaugiron closed the doors to her Paris apartment and fled the Nazis, never to return. Seventy years later, after Solange’s death, the apartment was opened. Inside was the elegance of another era: lavish furniture and tapestries, taxidermied animals and a portrait of Marthe de Florian, Solange’s grandmother, by Giovanni Boldini.

This true story remains filled with mysteries and is the inspiration behind Alyson Richman’s new novel. How did Marthe, the daughter of a laundress, come to live in such opulence? Why was she the subject of a work by Boldini? Who was Solange Beaugiron, and why did she never return to the Paris apartment?

Alyson Richman is the author of the international best-selling novels The Garden of Letters, The Last Van Gogh and many others. She also is an accomplished artist whose books have been published in 19 languages. Her novel The Lost Wife is in development to be a film starring “Star Wars” actress Daisy Ridley.

Co-sponsored by the Henry & Delia Meyers Library and Media Center/ Joan & Dr. Robert Jampel

3 p.m. | Janice Charach Gallery
Appearing at Book Fair: Carolyn Daitch
Carolyn Daitch and Lissah Lorberbaum - The Road to Calm Workbook: Life-Changing Tools to Stop Runaway Emotions

Stress, anxiety and life’s daily challenges leave many with a sense that they are being overwhelmed by feelings (“emotional flooding”). Carolyn Daitch and Lissah Lorberbaum offer guidelines to help anyone develop the skills needed to dial down reactivity, practice mindfulness and focus positively on the future.

The first section of the book helps readers understand when and why emotional flooding occurs. The second section gives instructions for “daily stress inoculations,” a practice for relaxing and lowering emotional reactivity. By following the program, readers can develop resilience, well-being and freedom from the emotional patterns that create suffering and damage relationships.

Dr. Carolyn Daitch, a psychologist for more than 25 years, is director of the Center for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Farmington Hills. She also is consultant to the University of Michigan School of Medicine’s Department of Complementary and Alternative Research and to Wayne State University’s School of Medicine.

Anonymous Sponsor

7:30 p.m. | Marion & David Handleman Hall
Meet-and-Greet Dessert Reception Event
Boris Fishman - Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo

When a Montana teen leaves her son with adoptive parents Maya and Alex, her final words to them are: “Don’t let my baby do rodeo.”

Eight years later, Max is an enchanting and mystifying boy whom his Russian immigrant parents adore. When he suddenly begins consorting with wild animals, eating grass and running away to sit face down in a river, Maya and Alex decide to return to the boy’s roots in an effort to understand his odd behavior. In their first-ever drive west of New Jersey, the couple begin a cross-country trip to Montana. Along the way, Maya becomes illuminated by the journey, her own erstwhile wildness summoned for a reckoning by the unsparing landscape, with seismic consequences for herself and her family.

Boris Fishman’s journalism, essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The New Republic, The Nation, The London Review of Books and The Wall Street Journal, among many others. A graduate of Princeton, he is also the author of A Replacement Life, one of The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2014.

$37 ($35 for JCC members) – Speaker, book and dessert reception
$20 ($18 for JCC members) – Speaker and dessert reception only
Reservations required by Monday, October 31

Co-sponsored by Bookies Book Club

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Tuesday, November 8
Day Underwritten by Rona Rones

11 a.m. | The Berman
Cooking Demonstration and Tasting
Ina Pinkney - Ina’s Kitchen: Memories and Recipes from the Breakfast Queen

It was the only place to go when you were craving Heavenly Hots, or maybe just a great plate of pancakes with sour cream and fruit compote.

Ina Pinkney had been feeding Chicago for more than 30 years when, three years ago, the “Breakfast Queen” closed her restaurant. At last, Pinkney’s famed recipes are here for anyone to recreate – along with Pinkney’s memories of growing up in Brooklyn, feeding thousands of happy diners and what it’s really like to operate a restaurant.

Ina Pinkney opened Ina’s Kitchen in 1991 in Chicago, and it quickly became the city’s leading breakfast restaurant. She also was the chef/owner of INA’s restaurant and the Dessert Kitchen Ltd. catering company. Pinkney, who has appeared on the Food Network’s “Sweet Dreams” and “The Best of…” program, has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and many more.

$12 ($10 for JCC members) includes tasting
Reservations required by Tuesday, November 1

Co-sponsored by IRP (Institute for Retired Professionals)

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1:30 p.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Betsy Lerner - The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir

The “Bridge Ladies” were the women Betsy Lerner’s mother gathered with every Monday for lunch and a game. They were all Jewish, dressed in sweater sets and were full-time homemakers.

Many years later, Lerner returns to her childhood home where the women still play bridge.

In an effort to better understand her mother, Lerner sits down with the Bridge Ladies, learns to play the game and discovers a generation of women who were brave and dedicated to a strict code of conduct. Readers of all ages (bridge players or not) will be drawn into this touching, true story about mothers and daughters, friendship, growing old and the need to be loved.

Betsy Lerner, also the author of The Forest for the Trees and Food and Loathing, received an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Thomas Wolfe Poetry Prize and the Tony Godwin Publishing Fellowship. A former executive editor at Doubleday, she is now a partner with Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency.

Co-sponsored by Friends of Jewish Senior Life, Temple Kol Ami Sisterhood and Southfield Public Library

Wednesday, November 9
Day Underwritten by Raymond & Atara Zimmerman Philanthropic Fund

Honoring the memory of Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), Nobel Laureate, professor, political activist, Holocaust survivor and author of Night, an unforgettable account of the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

11 a.m. | Janice Charach Gallery
Book Fair presentation by Jamie Wright, Ph.D.
Moriz Scheyer (1886-1949) - Asylum: A Survivor’s Flight from Nazi-Occupied Vienna Through Wartime France

In 1943, Moriz Scheyer began drafting an account of his wartime experiences: a tense, moving, at times almost miraculous story of flight and persecution in Austria and France.

Once an editor at Vienna’s leading newspaper, Scheyer brought his critical and emotional voice to bear on his own experiences: Vienna at the Anschluss; Paris pre-war and under Nazi occupation; two periods of incarceration in French concentration camps; contact with the Resistance; a failed attempt at escape to Switzerland; and a dramatic rescue followed by clandestine life in a mental asylum run by Franciscan nuns.

Jamie Wraight, PhD, is director of the Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive and a senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he teaches courses in world, military and Holocaust history. He will discuss Asylum and the events of the Holocaust in France.

Co-sponsored by Hidden Children and Child Survivors of Michigan

1:30 p.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Joel E. Dimsdale, M.D. - Anatomy of Malice: The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals

Before the start of the Nuremburg Trials, most people were certain that Nazi leaders were depraved psychopaths. But when the interviews and psychological tests were completed, the answer was no longer so clear.

Dr. Joel Dimsdale uses the latest developments in psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience to take a new look at four of the men on trial at Nuremberg: Robert Ley, Hermann Göring, Julius Streicher and Rudolf Hess. His surprising findings include a remarkably broad spectrum of pathology, taking readers on a complex and troubling quest to make sense of the most extreme evil.

Dr. Joel Dimsdale served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, the San Diego School of Medicine and he was chair of the U-C San Diego Academic Senate. He is past president of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, the American Psychosomatic Society and the Society of Behavioral Medicine. He was a consultant to the President’s Commission on Mental Health, the Institute of Medicine, NASA and the National Academy of Sciences.

6 p.m. | The Berman
Book Fair appearance by David Kinney
Robert K. Wittman and David Kinney - The Devil’s Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich

The diary of one of the world’s most evil men had vanished.

Alfred Rosenberg was considered the “chief philosopher” of the Third Reich and was one of the main authors of Nazi ideology. Between 1934 and 1944, he kept a private journal that offered a remarkable look at one of the most tumultuous times in history.

It contained details of secret documents about the “Jewish question;” plans for the massive collection of great art the Nazis had stolen; and it revealed Rosenberg’s views on other Third Reich leaders.

The last anyone had seen of the journal was at the Nuremberg Trials. But then it landed in the hands of a prosecutor’s mistress and an eccentric professor. An elaborate game of cat-and-mouse ensued until the diary was finally secured.

The Devil’s Diary is the true story of the hunt for a WWII document that offers a unique account of the Nazi rise to power and the genesis of the Holocaust.

David Kinney is a journalist and author of three books. His writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times and the Washington Post. As a political reporter at the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest paper, he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for coverage of Gov. Jim McGreevey’s resignation.

Co-sponsored by C.H.A.I.M. – Children of Holocaust Survivors in Michigan, Voice/Vision Archive and the Mardigian Library at U-M Dearborn

8 p.m. | The Berman - Neal Bascomb - The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb

It’s 1942, and the Nazis are desperate to build an atomic bomb. All they need is deuterium oxide, also known as heavy water. Vermork is the lone plant that makes this rare substance, and it is located in a remote valley in Norway.

The Allies are determined to destroy Vermork. But how can they reach a castle atop a massive gorge in a country controlled by Hitler? Enter a Norwegian scientist, the British Special Operations and an unforgettable collection of patriots.

The Winter Fortress is an epic, thrilling, true story of the greatest act of sabotage in WWII - and one that altered the course of the war.

Neil Bascomb is the award-winning and best-selling author of titles including Hunting Eichmann, The Perfect Mile, Higher, and Red Mutiny. His work has been translated into more than 15 languages, featured in documentaries and optioned for major film and television projects.

$12 ($10 for JCC members)

Co-sponsored by Temple Israel

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Thursday, November 10

Noon | Marion & David Handleman Hall
LUNCH WITH THE AUTHORS Marie Benedict and Irina Reyn

Marie Benedict - The Other Einstein

Mileva Maric was the only female physics major at the Polytechnic in Zurich, where she met – and fell in love with – a classmate named Albert Einstein.

The two wrote numerous letters to each other which they filled with information about their families, sentiments of affection and a great deal of talk about physics. Eventually, Albert and Mileva married and had children.

When they were courting, Einstein promised Mileva that he would always treat her as an equal in both love and work. But did he?

Marie Benedict’s insightful novel imagines the world that Mileva inhabited and makes a case that this remarkable woman was critical to Einstein’s success.

Marie Benedict graduated cum laude from the Boston University School of Law and is an attorney with more than 10 years of experience. Writing as Heather Terrell, she also published the historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief and Brigid of Kildare.

Irina Reyn - The Imperial Wife

Tanya Kagan is about to make the biggest sale of her career. A specialist in Russian art at a leading New York auction house, she is trying to entice oligarchs in Russia to bid on the Order of Saint Catherine.

At the same time, Tanya is dealing with the biggest mystery of her own life: the sudden departure of her husband.

When questions arise over the provenance of the Order, the story sweeps readers into history, to the original owner of the priceless artifact: Catherine the Great, the infamous 18th-century empress who, it turns out, faced many of the same issues Tanya wrestles with in her life.

The Imperial Wife is a suspenseful novel and a provocative look at whether female ambition – at work and in the home - is regarded any differently today than it was in the past.

Irina Reyn teaches fiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of What Happened to Anna K: A Novel. Editor of the anthology Living on the Edge of the World: New Jersey Writers Take on the Garden States, she has reviewed books for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times.

$30 ($25 for JCC members), includes luncheon
Reservations required by Thursday, November 3

Co-sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Detroit Section, West Bloomfield Township Public Library

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6 p.m. | The Berman
Book Fair appearance by Steven N. Simon

Dana H. Allin and Steven N. Simon - Our Separate Ways: The Struggle for the Future of the U.S.– Israel Alliance

The U.S.-Israel alliance is on the path to being irrevocably transformed – and very possibly not for the better.

So say two of the world’s shrewdest political analysts, Dana Allin and Steven Simon, whose new book takes a look at how these once close allies are drifting apart. The authors discuss the effects of the painfully strained relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama; what a new U.S. presidency will mean for the future; and whether American support is no longer the best choice for Israel, which might instead look to Russia, China and India.

This provocative, insightful and engaging book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of the United States and Israel.

Steven Simon is a diplomat and policy maker who served as a senior director for Middle Eastern and North African affairs at the White House, advising President Obama during one of the most difficult periods in U.S.-Israeli relations and during the tumultuous changes of the Arab Spring.

Co-sponsored by Ameinu Detroit, Anti-Defamation League, JCRC/AJC: A Partnership for Advocacy and Community

8 p.m. | The Berman
Uri Bar-Joseph - The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel

Ashraf Marwan was intelligent and charming, the son-in-law of Egyptian President Gamal Nasser and one of President Anwar Sadat’s closest advisors. He was also a spy for Israel - “the best source we have ever had,” according to former Mossad Chief Zvi Zamir. In 2007, weeks after his work on behalf of Israel was confirmed, Marwan died under mysterious circumstances when he fell from the balcony of his elegant home in London.

The Angel is a riveting look at an elusive and daring man, the surprising factors that motivated him and the astonishing information he was able to provide to Israel. It also gives an insider’s view of the complicated world of Middle East espionage.

A graduate of Stanford and professor of political science at the University of Haifa, Uri Bar-Joseph is an expert on Israeli intelligence and security. He has written six books and served for more than 10 years as an analyst in the IDF Intelligence Research Division.

$12 ($10 for JCC members)

Sponsored by ZOA-Michigan Region

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Friday, November 11
Day Underwritten by Rona Rones


7:30 a.m. | Marion & David Handleman Hall - Adam Levin - Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves

Some 18 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2015, according to the Department of Justice. If you have a bank account, use a credit card or access social media, if you own a business, have health insurance or buy anything online – you are at risk. Is there any way to protect yourself?

The chair and founder of IDT911, one of the largest theft management companies in the country, and co-founder of, Adam Levin is an expert in cybersecurity, identity management and identity theft resolution.

In Swiped, an Amazon best seller, he provides practical suggestions to help you understand what you need to protect yourself, your family, your business, your identity and your sanity.

A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Law, Adam Levin writes a weekly column in the Huffington Post and The former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, he has appeared on shows including Fox News, Good Morning America, and ABC World News tonight.

$15 ($12 for JCC members), includes breakfast
Sponsor a table for $200
Reservations required by Friday, November 4

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10 a.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Lynda Cohen Loigman. - The Two-Family House

It’s 1947 at a two-family brownstone in Brooklyn where, in the middle of a terrible blizzard, two babies are born just moments apart.

Though the mothers could not be more different - Rose is quiet and dutiful, and Helen is warm and busy with her four boys – the two support each other, bound together by that one unforgettable night.

But slowly the friendship begins to change, and no one knows why.

Told from multiple perspectives, The Two-Family House is a story of choices, family and forgiveness, all entwined in a single secret.

Lynda Cohen Loigman holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She lives with her husband and two children in Chappaqua, New York. The Two-Family House is her debut novel.

Sponsored by Hadassah of Greater Detroit
Co-sponsored by Congregation Beth Shalom Sisterhood, Sholem Aleichem Institute/A Cultural Organization

11:30 a.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Ayelet Tsabari - The Best Place on Earth: Stories

Where is the best place on Earth?

The characters in Ayelet Tsabari’s debut collection are travelers, immigrants and restless souls looking for some place to feel at home.

Eleven spellbinding stories focus on mothers and children, soldiers and bohemians, lovers and best friends. There are tales of a man surprised to discover his former free-spirited girlfriend is now Orthodox; a woman who visits her daughter and is stunned to see how her grandson is being raised; a boy who writes poetry in a bomb shelter; and two estranged sisters who try to recapture the bond they had as children.

Tsabari’s stories are absorbing and surprising as they reflect the burdens of history and the universal desire to belong.

Ayelet Tsabari is an author, photographer, journalist and director of two documentaries, including one which received an award at the Palm Spring International Short Film Festival. A native of Israel, Tsabari lives in Canada, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto. The Best Place on Earth received the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.

Co-sponsored by Congregation Beth Ahm Sisterhood, Temple Israel Sisterhood

Saturday, November 12
Day Underwritten by Elaine & Michael Serling


7:30 p.m. | The Berman
Book Fair appearance by Mark A. Altman
Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman - The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The Fifty-Year Mission

"An absolute must for any Star Trek fan" (Kirkus Reviews) and "[for] anyone who wants a better understanding of how television and film production works." (Booklist)

The Fifty-Year Mission is the definitive oral history of the show that boldly took viewers where no man had gone before. This is the story of “Star Trek” from those who know it best: the cast, executives, writers and creators.

Altman’s presentation will focus on the cultural impact, history and enduring appeal of "Star Trek," as well as the influence of Jewish culture on the formative stages of the show. He also will share previously unknown stories about the behind-the-scenes making of every incarnation of the franchise, supplementing his presentation with clips, rare photos and memos.

Mark Altman is co-executive producer of “The Librarians” and has been a writer for “Castle,” “Necessary Roughness” and “Agent X.” His first film, “Free Enterprise,” starred William Shatner. Also a journalist whose writings have appeared in the Boston Globe, Altman is co-creator and executive producer of “Femme Fatales,” and producer of “DOA: Dead or Alive” and the “House of the Dead” series.

$12 ($10 for JCC members): Film only
Mark Altman presentation and film “For the Love of Spock”: $19 ($16 for JCC members)

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9 p.m. | The Berman Film: For the Love of Spock

A tender (but logical) look at the memorable Vulcan and the actor who first played him, “For the Love of Spock” is a film by Adam Nimoy, Leonard’s son. It features narration by Zachary Quinto and includes interviews with fans, the cast and crew of “Star Trek.”

$12 ($10 for JCC members): Film only
Mark Altman presentation and film “For the Love of Spock”: $19 ($16 for JCC members)

Co-sponsored by JCC’s Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival

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Sunday, November 13

10 a.m.-noon | Janice Charach Gallery

Come enjoy a morning with our local authors.
Moderated by Sid Simon of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
Light refreshments will be provided.

Elizabeth Applebaum: In the Museum of Yearnings, and The Mournful Things That Lay Claim to Our Heart
Esther Sokolov Fine: Raising Peacemakers
Natalie Freed: A Table Between Us
Ellen Gendelman: Missing Peace
Laurice LaZebnik: Minnie’s Potatoes
Donald Levin: Guilt in Hiding
Dina Routin: Ascending
David Reich: Am I a Soldier Yet?
Susana Stoica: Reluctant Healer/Healing My Brain, Reclaiming My Life
Gregory D. Sumner: Detroit in World War II
Ruchie Weisberg: Kaddish for my Mother
Arthur Wiggins: Human Side of Science: Edison and Tesla, Watson and Crick, and Other Personal Stories behind Science’s Big Ideas (with Charles M. Wynn Sr.)

Sponsored by Jewish Historical Society of Michigan

Noon | Janice Charach Gallery - Steven Gaines - One of These Things First: A Memoir

One of These Things First is Steven Gaines’s unflinchingly honest, touching and very funny story of growing up gay in Brooklyn, where his grandfather lived with both his wife and mistress; where his only confidant was a lonely woman dying of MS; where he was mercilessly teased but found solace in a second-run movie theatre.

After a suicide attempt, 15-year-old Steven agreed to go to a mental institution – but only a fancy one – where he met another collection of odd characters including a fashion editor who may have had an affair with JFK, a doctor who tries to “cure” him of his homosexuality and a Broadway producer who tells him: “Write it all down.”

Steven Gaines is co-founder and past vice chair of the Hamptons International Film Festival and is the best-selling author of Philistines at the Hedgerow: Passion and Property in Manhattan; The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles; and Simply Halston.

Co-sponsored by the Jewish Gay Network of Michigan

1:30 p.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Eric Trager - Arab Fall

The Muslim Brotherhood is one of Egypt’s most infamous organizations. How did it win power so quickly after the “Arab Spring” - and then fall even more quickly, culminating with the military coup that toppled Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi in 2013?

Arab Fall examines the Brotherhood’s decisionmaking throughout this critical period.

Based on extensive research and interviews with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and cadres including Morsi, Trager explains how the very organizational characteristics that helped the Brotherhood win power also contributed to its downfall.

Eric Trager is a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where his research focuses on Egyptian politics. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs and elsewhere.

2 p.m. | Shalom Street Museum
- Doris Rubenstein - The Journey of a Dollar

Inspired by their former Peace Corps volunteer/teacher, a class decides to send money to a school in a remote village in the Andes.

A student named Elliot is excited to be a part of it, but is puzzled as to how the money will get from his hands to a faraway land. His mom guides him through an imaginary journey, connecting him with hundreds of other kids from across the country in an effort to get their dollars to Ecuador.

Along the way, Elliot learns about banking, nonprofit organizations, geography and how charitable effort really does reach people in need, and that, in the end, they’re a lot like him!

Illustrated by Huntington Woods resident Howard Fridson, also famous for his role as supervisor of Author Camp at JCC Day Camps. (Ages 8-12)

Doris Rubenstein is a Detroit native and U-M graduate who now lives in Minnesota. Her entire career has been in the philanthropy field, including serving in the Peace Corps and as a fund raiser for CARE. She is also the author of The Good Corporate Citizen: A Practical Guide.

3 p.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Rabbi David Eliezrie - The Secret of Chabad: Inside the world’s most successful Jewish movement

How does a collection of Brooklyn-based, black-hatted, bearded rabbis become a billion-dollar powerhouse?

Chabad has the fastest-growing Jewish network in the world, with representatives who often leave large Jewish communities to settle in the most unlikely of places like Siberia, Mumbai and Boise. And despite the death more than 20 years ago of its most influential leader – the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson – Chabad has not only survived; it has flourished.

Through first-hand accounts, Rabbi Eliezrie takes readers inside the lives of the men and women of Chabad and its nearly 1,000 centers in North America. He also considers the increasing numbers of men and women who do not identify as Orthodox yet choose to affiliate with the group.

Rabbi David Eliezrie is a veteran Chabad shaliach (emissary) in California, and holds numerous positions within the organization including serving as coordinator of Chabad’s humanitarian aid throughout the world and on the Internet Committee of Lubavitch World Headquarters. His articles have appeared in The Los Angeles Times and The Jerusalem Post.

5 p.m. | Janice Charach Gallery - Daniel Bergner - Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family

Ryan Speedo Green grew up in a bulletriddled house across the street from a drug dealer’s headquarters. When he was 4, he saw his mother ready to stab his father. In elementary school, he was in a program for uncontrollable kids. When Ryan was in 6th grade, the police took him away in shackles.

Then when he was 15, Ryan heard Denyce Graves perform in “Carmen.” The music, and two teachers who recognized something in Ryan that he couldn’t see in himself, changed his life.

This is an unforgettable, true story of a journey from a place of despair to stardom at the finest opera houses in the world, of powerful racial complexity, about believing in dreams no matter the odds.

Daniel Bergner is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and the author of five other books including What Do Women Want?; In the Land of Magic Soldiers, which received an Overseas Press Club Award for international reporting; and God of the Rodeo, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. In addition to The New York Times Magazine, his writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, Harper’s and Mother Jones.

Co-sponsored by Repair the World

7 p.m. | JET - Jewish Ensemble Theatre - "Rights of Passage"

Presented by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre and Annual Jewish Book Fair, this premiere of “Rights of Passage” was written by JET Playwright-in-Residence, Kitty Dubin. With a blend of laugh-out-loud comedy and heartfelt drama, “Rights of Passage” explores the defining moments in the journey of life from a brit to shiva. The outstanding ensemble features Sandra Birch, Fred Buchalter, Brian Michael Ogden, Meredith Deighton, Julia Glander and Jamie Warrow.

Performance followed by discussion with Kitty Dubin.

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