First chapter of Mandel JCC’s 23rd Annual Jewish Book Festival set for Nov. 9 to Dec. 6

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BEACHWOOD, Ohio — The Mandel JCC is set to host its 23rd Annual Mandel JCC Cleveland Jewish Book Festival from Nov. 9 to March 19.

Known as one of the premier Jewish book festivals in the country, the 2022-2023 festival will feature a lineup of 18 nationally and internationally acclaimed authors, including one author with local ties.

The Cleveland Jewish Book Festival features books highlighting Jewish life, cooking, historical fiction, Israeli literature, memoirs, and more. Authors will share the stories behind their books during presentations that will be accompanied by Q&A sessions. In addition to the in-person author events, planned are several events that are free and presented virtually.

The festival is divided into two “chapters,” the first concluding Dec. 6. The second chapter will get under way in February.

“We look forward to introducing the community to these stellar authors who share interesting stories and perspectives across genres,” said Mandel JCC arts and culture program associate Beth Rosenthal, in a release. “And since many of the programs are offered virtually, we can reach a larger audience and showcase authors who otherwise would not be able to travel to Cleveland.”

The festival will begin off with a Nov. 9 opening event, co-presented by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. This event will be an in-person community conversation with author, actress, producer and activist Noa Tishby.

Tishby is Israel’s first Special Envoy for Antisemitism and Delegitimization. She has spent years writing and speaking about the complexities of Israel and will share insights from her first book, Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.

Other book festival highlights will be the Sunday Morning Cooking Club Series events, during which two cookbook authors will share recipes and discuss the cultural heritage, traditions and symbolism of foods from Jewish communities of Italy and across the world.

Other highlights include a make-and-take-your-own spice workshop, and a Facebook Live cook along demonstrations that will showcase recipes from the authors’ books in advance of their talks.

The festival’s second chapter is scheduled to begin Feb. 12 with Cleveland’s own Daniel Levin, a photographer and author of Violins and Hope: From Holocaust to Symphony Halls. His book explores master violin maker Amnon Weinstein’s effort to restore violins that survived the Holocaust. Levin is the first photographer to depict Weinstein’s workshop in Tel Aviv, his one-of-a-kind collection of violins, and his process of restoring them.

A Kids Day event will be held March 19, at which families can meet My Mushy Matzah Ball author Arianna Brooks for a morning of exploring Jewish foods. The event will feature family activities, children’s entertainment and kid-friendly snacks.

All book festival events will be open to the public, and many are free of charge. All events require registration to gain access to Zoom links. To purchase tickets or for additional information on the festival, visit mandeljcc.org/bookfest. Festival author books are for sale via Mac’s Backs-Books on Coventry, 1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights.

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