Jewish Book and Arts Fair 2016

Arts and Entertainment

September 23, 2016

From: Jewish Book and Arts Festival

Inspiring and entertaining, the Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Fair annually delivers a variety of opportunities for the community to learn and experience Jewish literary, culture and performing arts. Not just for book lovers, the Fair also includes films, theatre, concerts and Oliver Lapin Family Day.

Schedule of Events:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

8:00 PM: Opening Night

Schmaltz it Up! Yiddish Food Then and Now

Michael Wex with Liz Alpern & Jeffrey Yoskowitz
Moderated by Ziggy Gruber

Rhapsody in Schmaltz: Yiddish Food and Why We Can't Stop Eating It
The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods

Bagels, kugel, cholent, and kosher dills are a few Jewish foods to have crossed into American culture. In Rhapsody in Schmaltz, Michael Wex traces the history and impact of the cuisine that Yiddish-speaking Jews from Central and Eastern Europe brought to North America. Writing in the Forward, Deena Yellin describes Wex as a writer who brings the "perspective of a Talmudist, linguist, philosopher and stand-up comic to his subject."

Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz are on a mission to revitalize Ashkenazi cuisine with recipes that draw inspiration from Jewish bakeries, neighborhood delis, old-fashioned pickle shops, and their own childhood kitchens. In The Gefilte Manifesto, they reclaim time-honored techniques and ingredients to produce radically delicious recipes that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about Jewish food. Their manifesto: "We will take food traditions seriously and reclaim the glory of Ashkenazi food what it has been and what it can be...."

This lively evening of conversation will be moderated by Houston's own Ziggy Gruber. Doors open at 7:30 PM with pre-show music provided by Houston Symphony's Alexander "Sasha" Potiomkin (Clarinet) and Yadim Angerov (accordian). Noshes for everyone!

In Honor of Marilyn Hassid
Underwritten by Janet and Elton Lipnick

Sunday, October 30, 2016

11:00 AM: Adam Levin

Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves
Identity theft is a fact of life. We hope to protect ourselves with airtight passwords and aggressive spam folders, and those are good ideas. But there are people out there a lot of them who treat stealing your identity as a full-time job. In Swiped, award-winning author Adam Levin, a longtime consumer advocate and identity fraud expert, guides us in this brave new world. With memorable stories extracting relevant lessons, he offers strategies for dealing with these risks. 

Ticket: $12 Member, $18 Public

2:00 PM: FILM: Remember

Directed by Atom Egoyan
Canada, 2015, 95 min
English, German with English subtitles, Thriller

Shirley and Bill Morgan Family Holocaust Memorial Program

Winner of the 2016 Houston Jewish Film Festival Audience Choice Award, Remember, by critically acclaimed director Atom Egoyan, tells the story of Zev Guttman (Christopher Plummer), a 90-year-old struggling with memory loss. Following his wife's death, Zev receives a surprising package from his close friend Max. Zev and Max are survivors of Auschwitz, and the same sadistic guard murdered both of their families a guard who lives in the U.S. under an assumed identity. With Max's guidance, Zev embarks on a journey to settle the score with the man who destroyed both their lives.

Ticket: $10 Member, $15 Public

4:00 PM: Debra Band

Kabbalat Shabbat: The Grand Unification

With imagery drawn from Kabbalah, Midrash, the sciences and archeology, Kabbalat Shabbat celebrates the spiritual glory of Creation and the wonder of its physical embodiment in this collection of illuminated paintings of the blessings, prayers and songs with which Jewish tradition welcomes the Sabbath on Friday evening in synagogue and home. With new translations and literary commentaries by the eminent scholar, Dr. Raymond P. Scheindlin, a Preface by Arthur Green, the leading scholar of Jewish mysticism, and the Foreword by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, this book is an inspirational source for prayer, study and visual pleasure.

Debra Band's illuminated paintings from the book will be on exhibit in the Deutser Art Gallery during the Fair. A reception in the Gallery follows her talk.

Ticket: Free

7:30 PM: Robert P. Watson

The Nazi Titanic: The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II

The Nazi Titanic is a riveting account of the SS Cap Arcona, a German oceanliner that played a devastating role in World War II and the Holocaust. Built in 1927, it was one of the most celebrated luxury liners in the world, later stripped down by Nazis for use as a floating barracks and troop transport. Historian and political commentator, Robert Watson, has unearthed forgotten records and conducted many interviews to reveal this mostly unheard of real event.

Ticket: $12 Member, $18 Public

11:00 AM: Hands-On Culinary Class

Liz Alpern & Jeffrey Yoskowitz

The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods

Learn from the experts: Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz share their new take on old world recipes from The Gefilte Manifesto in an intimate hands-on cooking class. Participants will learn what chef and cookbook author Michael Solomov already knows: "Jeffrey and Liz have figured out how to take Bubbe's cooking and pass the baton to the modern-day cook." Participants will prepare Quick & Creamy Farmers' Cheese, Beet Borscht, Mustard Slaw, Sweet and Savory Blintzes and Black and White Cookie Sticks paired with two wine tastings.

Advanced Purchase Required by October 26

Ticket: $50 Per Person

Location: Central Market

Monday, October 31, 2016

7:30 PM: Chanan Tigay

The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World's Oldest Bible

Historical drama and modern-day mystery, The Lost Book of Moses explores the nineteenth-century disappearance of ancient scrolls, perhaps the world's oldest bible. Chanan Tigay has written a riveting account of his hunt for the ancient manuscript. The book portrays a flamboyant and ultimately tragic personality in a story that vibrates with suspense like a classic detective tale.

Tickets: $12 Member, $18 Public

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

7:30 PM: Howard Blum

The Last Goodnight: A World War II Story of Espionage, Adventure, and Betrayal

Howard Blum's riveting biography portrays Betty Pack, dazzling American debutante who became an Allied spy during WWII and was hailed as "the greatest unsung heroine of the war." Pack was charming, beautiful and intelligent. These qualities proved crucial to her success. This story of "Mata Hari from Minnesota" (Time) is filled with dangerous liaisons vital to the Allied victory. Formerly a reporter for the The Village Voice and The New York Times, Blum is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

Ticket: $15, $36 book bundle with reserved seat

Location: Congregation Or Ami

7:30 PM: Josh Aronson & Nora Gold

Orchestra of Exiles: The Story of Bronislaw Huberman, The Israel Philharmonic, and The One Thousand Jews He Saved from Nazi Horrors

Bransilaw Huberman miraculously arranged for the very best Jewish musicians and their families to emigrate from Nazi-threatened territories. His tireless campaigning for the project including a marathon fundraising concert tour across America ultimately saved nearly a thousand Jews from the approaching Holocaust and created a world-class orchestra which later became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Josh Aronson's career began as a still photographer, which evolved into film for television, to documentary filming, to writing.

The Dead Man: A Novel

Nora Gold's The Dead Man is a powerful story about a woman's struggle with love and loss, and how her art her music becomes both the expression of and antidote to the darkness she has felt. This is a wonderful story about resilience, about the ability of the human spirit not only to repair and redeem itself, but even more to triumph over darkness and adversity. Gold is a writer, editor and activist in Canada making her second appearance at the Book Fair (Fields of Exile).

Tickets: $12 Member, $18 Public

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

12:00 PM:  Book Lovers Lunch

Two authors together weaving powerful stories of extraordinary women.

Donna Frankoff Memorial Lecture

Alyson Richman, The Velvet Hours

As Paris teeters on the edge of German occupation, a young woman closes the door to her late grandmother's apartment, unsure she'll return. Inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment,Alyson Richman brings to life Madame de Florian and Solange Beaugiron. The Velvet Hours explores the unlikely relationship between two women who pursue freedom and independence during uncertain times. Richman's novels, including The Lost Wife for which she appeared at the Fair in 2012, have been translated into 15 languages.

Sarit Yishai-Levi, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem: A Novel

The #1 International Best Seller, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem is a dazzling novel of mothers and daughters, stories told and untold, and the ties that bind four generations of unforgettable Sephardic women as they forge paths through times of dramatic change. With great humor and heart, award-winning Israeli author Sarit Yishai-Levi gives us a powerful story of love and forgiveness and the unexpected and enchanting places we find each. This English translation will make new readers enamored with these women and men of Jerusalem.

Ticket: $25 (Includes one book and lunch)

7:30 PM: Dov Waxman

Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict Over Israel

Today in the American Jewish Community, talking about Israel has become a source of tension. In Trouble in the Tribe, Dov Waxman, Professor at Northeastern University, argues that Israel is becoming a source of disunity for American Jewry, and a new era of American Jewish conflict over Israel is replacing the old era of solidarity. Waxman sets this conflict in the context of broader cultural, political, institutional and demographic changes happening in the American Jewish community. He offers a nuanced and balanced account of how this conflict over Israel has developed and what it means for the future of American Jewish politics.

Underwritten by The Maurice Amado Foundation

Tickets: $12 Member, $18 Public

Thursday, November 3, 2016

7:30 PM: Matti Friedman

Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story

Award-winning writer Matti Friedman re-creates the harrowing experience of a band of young Israeli soldiersthe author among themcharged with holding this remote outpost in Lebanon.

"Part memoir, part reportage, part military history, this powerful narrative captures the birth of today's chaotic Middle East and the rise of a twenty-first-century type of war. Raw and beautifully rendered, Pumpkinflowers will take its place among classics. It is an unflinching look at the way we conduct war today."

Ticket: $12 Member, $18 Public

Friday, November 4, 2016

1:00 PM: Film: Dough

Directed by John Goldschmidt
UK, 2014, 94 min
English, Comedy

Curmudgeonly, Nat Dayan clings to his livelihood as a Kosher bakery shop owner in London. Understaffed, Nat reluctantly enlists the help of teenager Ayyash who has a secret side gig selling marijuana, helping his immigrant mother make ends meet.

Ayyash accidentally drops his stash into the dough, and challah starts flying off the shelves, forming an unlikely friendship between old Jewish baker and young Muslim apprentice. Dough is a warmhearted and humorous story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places.

Ticket: $10 Member, $15 Public

Saturday, November 5, 2016

3:30 PM5:30 PM: Shabbatify Book Fair Event

For families with kids in K-5th grades

Join us for an afternoon of family fun! First, kids will participate in a Comic Book Workshop with Hereville author and artist Barry Deutch, while parents discuss how to teach sexuality to their children with educator and social worker Meryl Cohen. Families will then come back together for campfire songs and havdallah led by Jon Swann.

8:30 PM: Concert: Zion80

Maurice Amado Foundation Music Residency and Concert

Zion80 explores Jewish music from Shlomo Carlebach to John Zorn and everything in between through the lens of Afrobeat funk. Led by guitarist and composer Jon Madof, the 11-piece band arranges Jewish melodies using the polyrhythmic intensity of Afrobeat, blended with the madness of the New York Downtown scene. Madof's most ambitious project to date, Zion80 is blazing hot and tight as a drum. Spiritual, grooving, endlessly exciting, this is essential Jewish music for the 21st century. The New York Times describes Zion80's music as "a truly soulful experience."

Underwritten by The Maurice Amado Foundation

Ticket: $20 Member, $30 Public

8:00 PM: Julie Tarney

My Son Wears Heels: One Mom's Journey from Clueless to Kickass

Exclusively For Teens Grades 912

Julie Tarney's only child, Harry, at age two told her, "Inside my head I'm a girl." Julie had no idea what that meant. Should she set limits to his self-expression? Could she do the right thing? What was the right thing? Julie realized her job was to love and support Harry. This story of a mother embracing her child's uniqueness and her own will resonate with all families. Tarney serves on the Board of the It Get's Better Project.

Ticket: Free

Location: Merfish Teen Center

Sunday, November 6, 2016

9:30 AM12:00 PM: Oliver Lapin Family Day

Featuring a new stage adaptation of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins; Barry Deutsch with his new book Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish; Pamela Mayer, author of Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup; Karen Rostoker-Gruber, author of Farmer Kobi's Hanukkah Match and Local Literati for Kids!

1:00 PM: Film: Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
USA, 2016, 92 min
English, Documentary

The definitive chronicle of Norman Lear's life, work and achievements is much more than an arm's-length, past-tense biopic; at 93, Mr. Lear is as vital and engaged as he ever was. Top-notch cinéma vérité documentarians Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing seize the opportunity to fashion a dynamic portrait that matches the spirit of their subject. Breaking down the fourth wall, they reveal a psychologically rich man whose extraordinary contributions emerge from both his personal story and a dialogue with the world.

Ticket: $10 Member, $15 Public

4:00 PM: Marlene Trestman

Fair Labor Lawyer: The Remarkable Life of New Deal Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin

Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin shaped American labor policy while creating a place for female lawyers in the nation's highest courts. Despite her beginnings in an orphanage, Margolin became an influential Supreme Court advocate. In this comprehensive biography, Marlene Trestman reveals the forces that propelled and the obstacles that impeded Margolin's remarkable journey, illuminating the life of this trailblazing woman. Trestman is herself an attorney and has twice earned the Attorney General's Exceptional Service Award.

Ticket: $12 Member, $18 Public

7:30 PM: Rabbi David Eliezrie

The Secret of Chabad: Inside the World's Most Successful Jewish Movement
The Chabad Lubavitch movement has had unparalleled success. Rabbi David Eliezrie depicts events, philosophies and personalities contributing to this worldwide phenomenon. His unique style weaves together narrative and fact, history and philosophical insight, interviews and personal recollection. He merges an insider's perspective of a Chabad shaliach with storytelling flair of a prolific writer. Rabbi Eliezrie is the founder and Director of North County Chabad Center and spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Meir HaCohen in Yorba Linda, California.

Ticket: $12 Member, $18 Public

Monday, November 7, 2016

10:00 AM-10:30 AM: Book Fair Goes to Wonderwild!

7:15 PM: Daniel M. Horwitz

A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader

Marilyn Hassid Emerging Author

Houston Rabbi Danny Horwitz is chapel rabbi at Congregation Beth Yeshurun, and a teacher at the Akiba Academy (CBY) and the J's Melton and More classes. An unprecedented annotated anthology of the most important Jewish mystical works, A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader explores issues relating to what has compelled Jews to seek a more intimate relationship with God.

Horwitz's insight and commentary that accompany readings in the Talmud, Zohar and writings by Ba'al Shem Tov, Rav Kook, Abraham Joshua Heschel and others make the basic concepts of Jewish mysticism accessible to a wide audience.

Enjoy a slice of pizza and a slice of Kabbalah in our version of "mystic pizza."
Advanced purchase required by Nov. 4.

Ticket: $10 Per Person

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

7:30 PM: Christopher Noxon

Plus One: A Novel

Plus One is a hilarious story about modern family life from the perspective of a quirky family. In this novel, Alex Sherman-Zicklin is a marketing executive in L.A. Overnight his wife is sucked into a business vortex when her 14th TV pilot attempt becomes an Emmy-winning hit. Alex quits his job to become the family's domestic first responder. Noxon is an accomplished journalist whose writing has been featured in The New Yorker, Salon and The New York Times Magazine and who happens to be married to TV writer/producer (Orange is the New Black) Jenji Kohan.

Ticket: $12 Member, $18 Public

7:30 PM: Meir Shalev

Two She-Bears: A Novel

Two She Bears is a story of village love and vengeance in the early days of British Palestine that is still being played out two generations later. Rich with grit, humor and the near magical evocation of Israeli rural life, Meir Shalev, one of Israel's most celebrated authors, weaves a tale of friendship between men, of love and betrayal, and carries us from British Palestine to present day Israel where forgiveness, atonement and understanding can finally happen. Shalev joins a rare group of authors making a third appearance at this Book Fair.

Ticket: $12 Member, $18 Public

Thursday, November 10, 2016

12:00 PM: Melton Lunch & Learn - Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

The Bible Doesn't Say That: 40 Biblical Mistranslations, Misconceptions, and Other Misunderstandings

Acclaimed biblical scholar Dr. Joel M. Hoffman walks the reader through dozens of mistranslations, misconceptions and other misunderstandings about the Bible. Hoffman provides answers, succinctly explaining how so many pivotal biblical answers came to be misunderstood. Hoffman focuses on bringing the Bible to life and is known for his "fresh insights and interpretations about religious life in the 21st century."

Tickets: $12 Member, $18 Public

Location: Merfish Teen Center

6:00 PM: Peggy Orenstein

Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape

Presented in partnership with the Gray/Wawro Lectures in Gender, Health, and Well-being from the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University

The author of the New York Times bestseller Cinderella Ate My Daughter offers a groundbreaking picture of the new sexual landscape high school through college girls face and reveals how they are negotiating it. In Orenstein's hands, issues are never reduced to simplistic "truths"; rather, powerful reporting opens a dialogue on a potent, often silent subtext of American life today, giving readers comprehensive and in-depth information to understand and navigate this complicated new world.

Ticket: Free

Location: Rice University

7:30 PM: Staged Reading: Broken Glass

Famed playwright Arthur Miller's play takes us back to November 1938 Brooklyn. With the horror of Kristallnacht in the news, an American Jewish woman is stricken with sudden paralysis. Seeking help, her husband unleashes a series of events that probe the couple's relationship, the psyche of fear, and anti-Semitism both from outsiders as well as from Jews themselves. Houston director, actor, and playwright

Steve Garfinkel directs this staged reading of Broken Glass.

Ticket: Free

8:00 PM: Jesse Itzler

Get Cultured: The J'S Arts & Culture Events for People in their 20s and 30s Presents Inside the Author's Studio

Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet

Jesse Itzler will try almost anything. He ran a 100-mile race in Spanx to get the attention of the company founder-and ended up marrying her. His life is about being bold and risky. When Jesse felt himself on autopilot, he hired a rather unconventional trainer to live with him for a month an accomplished Navy SEAL. Living with a SEAL is like a buddy movie if it starred the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air...and Rambo. Itzler co-founded Marquis Jet, and helped to pioneer the coconut water craze with Zico, which was acquired by Coca-Cola. 

Ticket: Free

Saturday, November 12, 2016

8:00 PM: Film: A Tale of Love and Darkness

Directed by Natalie Portman
Israel/USA, 2015, 98 min
Hebrew with English subtitles, Drama

Natalie Portman makes her directorial debut in her extraordinary adaptation of Amos Oz's bestselling memoir.

New immigrants to pre- and early-state Israel are still shaking off the horrors of the Holocaust while working to build a new homeland. Multilayered, touching and beautifully rendered, the film takes the viewer into a fleeting moment in Israeli history through a deeply personal lens.

Portman also stars in the film, portraying Fania, Oz's mother.

Ticket: $10 Member, $15 Public

Sunday, November 13, 2016

11:00 AM: Ezra Glinter

Have I Got a Story for You: More Than a Century of Fiction from the Forward

The Forward is the most renowned Yiddish newspaper in the world. It welcomed generations of immigrants to the USA, brought them news of Europe and the Middle East and provided comforts like comic strips and noodle kugel recipes. Ezra Glinter, critic at large for The Forward, has combed through archives to find the best stories from the newspaper's 120-year history, digging up such varied works as wartime novellas, avant-garde fiction and satirical sketches about immigrant life in New York now translated into English for the first time.

Ticket: $12 Member, $18 Public

1:00 PM: Film: In Search of Israeli Cuisine

Directed by Roger Sherman
USA, 2015, 97 min
English, Documentary

Director Roger Sherman in Attendance

What is Israeli cuisine? Chef and James Beard Foundation Award winner Michael Solomonov travels all of Israel, meeting an eclectic group of professional and amateur chefs, cheese makers, vintners, farmers and fisherman who draw on their own ethnic heritage as they add to the ever-growing lexicon of Israeli cuisine. As Solomonov immerses himself in local flavors of the 100+ cultures that make up the Israeli people, Oscar-nominated documentarian Roger Sherman offers a behind-the-scenes look at a dynamic Israeli food scene rooted in centuries-old tradition.

Ticket: $10 Member, $15 Public

4:00 PM: Local Literati

Meet our hometown writers and learn about their new works first-hand followed by a reception and book signing in the Bookstore. Celebrate writers Dr. Sam Axlerad, Betty Baer, Josh Blackman, Glenn Eldridge, Ellen Israel Goldberg, Patrick Hemstreet, Rivka Sarah Horowitz, Paul Horvitz, Karen McDonough, Leslie Contreras Schwartz and Gay Yellin.

Ticket: Free

7:30 PM: Closing Night - Performance: Guy Bavli Master of the Mind

Join us for a night of psychic fun! Award-winning mentalist Guy Bavli takes you on his journey into the mysteries of the human mind. This evening of telekinesis, humor, ESP and interactive audience participation will have you buzzing long after the final curtain call.

You will be mesmerized as Bavli demonstrates how the mind can overcome all. You will see how he can read your mind, predict your actions and move objects without touching.

Bavli has been featured in over 400 television shows, performed in 50 countries, and headlined at prestigious venues around the world. Don't miss this evening of belly-laughing humor and amazing feats of the mind. Leave your logic at the door… and take a walk on the Mind Side!

Ticket: $12 Member, $18 Public

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

7:30 PM: Film: The Bird in the Room

Directed by Ari Davidovich
Israel, 2015, 65 minutes
English, Documentary

Presented by Houston Cinema Arts Society

The life story of Israeli poet and songwriter Tirza Atar (1941-1977) - a beloved part of modern Hebrew culture - is brought to the screen for the first time.

Atar, the daughter of celebrated poet Nathan Alterman, composed hundreds of poems and song lyrics that captured the hearts of the audience, wrote popular children's books and translated plays for the theater. Yet, her fragile beauty and her short, turbulent life remain shrouded in mystery many years after her tragic death at the age of thirty-six.

Ticket: $12, $10 Students/Seniors

Location: Sundance Cinemas

Fair Date: October 29 - November 13, 2016

Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, 5601 South Braeswood, Houston, TX 77001
Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77027, Houston, TX 77001
Congregation Or Ami, 3443 Wilcrest Drive, Houston, TX 77001
Merfish Teen Center, 9000 South Rice, Houston, TX 77001
Rice University, 6100 Main Street - Duncan Hall, Houston, TX 77001
Sundance Cinemas, 510 Texas Street, Houston, TX 77001

Ticket Information:

Full Series Pass: $80 Member, $120 Public, FREE for Students with Student ID , $12 Series Pass Discount for Seniors 60+

Pick 5 Programs: $50 Member, $75 Public
Pick 3 Programs: $30 Member, $45 Public

For More Information -