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Join the Tampa JCC for the 4th Annual Jewish Book Month Celebration, in celebration of National Jewish Book Month. Meet the hottest authors of new books of Jewish interest, and enjoy panel discussions, conversations, lectures, and book-signings with literary friends and renowned and emerging authors.
All authors events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Event locations will be announced. All books can be purchased or pre-ordered at the Tampa JCC.
The schedule for the celebration includes the following events:
Roger Bennett, co-author of "Camp Camp: Where Fantasy Island Meets Lord of the Flies" – Thursday, November 13, 7 p.m. at the Tampa Jewish Community Center.
Dear Former Campers,
Do you recall your glory days at summer camp as some of the best months of your life? Was your camp experience: OK, fun, bunktastic? When you think about camp, what are your best memories?
- singing "If I Had a Hammer" around the campfire
- winning color war two years in a row
- getting to third base with your camp crush
Open Camp Camp and head back to the one place on earth where appropriated Native American terminology, competitive sports, social heirarchy, and libido-soaked nights lived in wholesome harmony. Here is your trip down memory lane, a trip so beautifully illustrated and fully remembered that you can almost smell the pine of the cabins when you open the pages.
Camp Camp is a love letter to camp, a chance to relive every Champion sweatshirt-wearing, accidental-bed-wetting, sky-hook-wedgie-receiving, tie-dye-making golden moment via hundreds of photographs and stories straight from the source, including tall tales from AJ Jacobs, Rachel Sklar, Paul Feig, David Wain, Jamie Denbo, and Rodney Rothman.
Do you miss...camp friendships, camp freedom, camp fun? If so, then Camp Camp is your one-way ticket back to this magical world in which Fantasy Island met Lord of the Flies.
ROGER BENNETT is a member of the Academy of the Recent Past, and is the co-creator of Bar Mitzvah Disco.
Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein, authors of "Identical Strangers" – Saturday, November 15, 8:00 p.m. Cost: $18 - Evening includes a dessert reception. Location: Congregation Rodeph Sholom
Special Meet the Author reception for Jewish Book Month patrons* 6:30 p.m.
Elyse Schein had always known she was adopted, but it wasn't until her mid-thirties while living in Paris that she searched for her biological mother. What she found instead was shocking: She had an identical twin sister. What's more, after being separated as infants, she and her sister had been, for a time, part of a secret study on separated twins. Paula Bernstein, a married writer and mother living in New York, also knew she was adopted, but had no inclination to find her birth mother. When she answered a call from her adoption agency one spring afternoon, Paula's life
suddenly divided into two starkly different periods: the time before and the time after she learned the truth. As they reunite, taking their tentative first steps from strangers to sisters, Paula and Elyse are left with haunting questions surrounding their origins and their separation. And when they investigate their birth mother's past, the sisters move closer toward solving the puzzle of their lives.
Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award
"Remarkable . . . powerful . . . [an] extraordinary experience . . . The reader is left to marvel at the reworking of individual identities required by one discovery and then another."
-Boston Sunday Globe
Dr. Ruth Nemzoff, author of "Don't Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with your Adult Children" – Sunday, November 16, 10:00 a.m. at the Tampa Jewish Community Center
Dr. Ruth Nemzoff--a leading expert in family dynamics--empowers parents to create close relationships with their adult children, while respecting their independence. Based on personal stories as well as advice that she has accrued from years of coaching, this lively and readable book shows parents how to communicate at long distances, discuss financial issues without using money as a form of control speak up when disapproving of an adult child’s partner or childrearing practices, handle adult children's career choices or other midlife changes, and navigate an adult child’s interreligious, interracial or same sex relationships.
Benyamin Cohen, author of "My Jesus Year: A Rabbi's Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith." – Monday, November 17, 7 p.m. Location: TBA
One day, a Georgia-born son of an Orthodox rabbi discovers that his enthusiasm for Judaism is flagging. He observes the Sabbath, he goes to synagogue, and he even flies to New York on weekends for a series of “speed dates” with nice, eligible Jewish girls. But, something is missing. Looking out of his window and across the street at one of the hundreds of churches in Atlanta, he asks, “What would it be like to be a Christian?” So begins Benyamin Cohen’s hilarious journey that is My Jesus Year — part memoir, part spiritual quest, and part anthropologist’s mission. Throughout, he keeps an open heart and mind, a good sense of humor, and takes what he learns from Christianity to reflect on his own faith and relationship to God. Benyamin Cohen is the son of an Orthodox rabbi who married the converted daughter of a former Christian minister. He was the founder and editor of the award-winning national magazine American Jewish Life and the online magazine Jewsweek.
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, author of “You Don’t Have to be Wrong for Me to Be Right” - Tuesday, November 18, 7 p.m. Location: TBA
Brad Hirschfield knows what it means to be a fanatic – he was one. As part of a core group of settlers in the West Bank in the early 1980s, he was committed to reconstituting the Jewish state within its Biblical borders. However he started to rethink his beliefs there as he witnessed first-hand what extremism can do. Grappling with his own conflicts, Hirschfield began to think about the convergence of different religions in a new way. Now, he is an Orthodox rabbi devoted to teaching inclusiveness and celebrating diversity; exploring the roots of religious, racial, and ethnic conflict; and delivering a message of acceptance that is pragmatic, forceful, and necessary. In YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE WRONG FOR ME TO BE RIGHT: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism, Hirschfield reveals how to be passionately committed to one’s faith community while remaining open to other religious traditions. Brad Hirschfield is president of CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and a popular commentator on religion and society.
“Brad Hirschfield is one of the freshest and most innovative minds in religious thought today. From the ashes of Ground Zero to summits of global leaders, he has pioneered a philosophy of using ancient texts to create coalitions of understanding and hope. Anyone committed to religious tolerance today must understand his ideas – and must put them to work.” - Bruce Feiler, author of Walking the Bible and Where God Was Born.
Jeffrey Hantover, author of "Jewel Trader of Pegu," Wednesday, November 19, 7:30 pm. Featured Community-Wide Read. Special pre-event for all book clubs - 6:00 p.m. Location: TBA
The ancient Burmese kingdom of Pegu is a lush, exotic land defined by beauty . . . and danger. THE JEWEL TRADER OF PEGU is Jeffrey Hantover’s remarkably exquisite debut novel that tells of the unlikely romance between an Italian Jewish jewel merchant and a beautiful, young Peguan woman. A wonderful tale of adventure, treasure, and forbidden love set in late sixteenth-century Southeast Asia, it is also a compelling account of one man’s journey to the boundaries of physical and spiritual freedom. Elegant and evocative, THE JEWEL TRADER OF PEGU is an unforgettable work from a promising and shining new talent.
Ann-Marie Asner, author of “Klutzy Boy,” “Shuffly Girl,” “Shmutzy Girl,” “Noshy Boy,” and “Kvetchy Boy” – In partnership with PJ Library - Sunday, November 23, 4-5:30 p.m. Location: TBA
Written in English, each Matzah Ball book is named for a character with a Yiddish word that describes a central attribute of his or her personality. These fun and lively picture books put the joy and color of Yiddish into a form young people adore - and will make any bubbe or zaide kvell
BE A PATRON OF THE JEWISH BOOK MONTH CELEBRATION:
Be a supporter of the Jewish Book Month celebration for $100* and receive great benefits, including: 1 autographed book by Jewish Book Month authors of your choice, a special Meet-The-Author reception before the main event on Saturday, November 15, and a special gift bag (*$180 for couples, includes 2 autographed books of your choice).
CLICK HERE to become a supporter or mail a check payable to Tampa Jewish Book Month Celebration to 13009 Community Campus Drive, Tampa FL 33625