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Book Festival

The Alper JCC Presents The 36th Annual Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival & Women's Day Luncheon

October 27 – December 3, 2016

Save the dates!

Call 305.271.9000 x268 pr x269 to purchase Book Festival event tickets


Thursday, October 27 • 7:30pm 

Ronald H. Balson • Karolina’s Twins

Russell Theater Alper JCC

Admission $10 • Author presentation and refreshments

From the author of the international bestsellers Once We Were Brothers and Saving Sophie comes a spellbinding novel, Karolina’s Twins, inspired by true events of a Holocaust survivor’s quest to fulfill a promise to return to Poland and find two sisters lost during the war. This is a richly woven tale of love, survival and resilience set during some of the darkest times, and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

Community Partner: CAJE Center for the Advance of Jewish Education




Friday, October 28 • 10am 

Women’s Health

Mache Seibel, MD, The Estrogen Window

The Breakthrough Guide to Being Healthy, Energized, and Hormonally Balanced – Through Perimenopause, Menopause, and Beyond

Romy Block, MD, & Arielle Levitan, MD, The Vitamin Solution

Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health

Alper JCC | 11155 SW 112 Avenue • Rotunda

Admission $10 • Authors presentations and refreshments

Dr. Mache Seibel is an international expert on the subjects of women’s wellness and menopause and a former Harvard Medical faculty member. He helps to eliminate confusion and calm fears regarding estrogen replacement, and make women more informed partners with their healthcare providers.

The Vitamin Solution is an indispensable guide to safely incorporating vitamins and supplements into any lifestyle, and leaves readers educated with simple, everyday strategies for bettering their health. Drs. Romy Block and Arielle Levitan also explore a variety of health topics including migraine, hair loss, fatigue and hot flashes.

Community Partner: Baptist Health South Florida providing complementary osteoporosis and blood pressure screenings



Saturday, October 29 • 7:30pm 

A Night of Comedy: Sarge, I’m Still Standing Up

Alper JCC • Robert Russell Theater | 11155 SW 112 Avenue 

Admission $10 • Author presentation and refreshments

I’m Still Standing Up chronicles the hilarious and awe-inspiring journey through one man’s biracial challenges, addiction and homelessness. Born to an Orthodox woman and an African American man, he was adopted at birth in Miami and grew up in a Jewish home in New York. He talked his way in and out of dream jobs, and was fired from most places of employment.  Today, Sarge has his ‘act together’ and presents one of the highest energy, multi-talented comedy shows in the business. He has performed at Radio City Music Hall, opened for Natalie Cole, the Beach Boys and an MBL All-Star Game.

Community Partner: Jewish Community Services of South Florida



Tuesday, November 1 • 7:30pm 

Peter Bergen, United States of Jihad - Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists

Temple Judea | 5500 Granada Blvd., Coral Gables

Admission $10 • Author presentation and refreshments

Peter Bergen is an acclaimed journalist, producer, CNN–TV’s national security analyst, and helps run a public policy think tank. His latest book, United States of Jihad, is a riveting look at ‘homegrown’ Islamist terrorism from 9/11 to the present. Since 2001, more than three hundred Americans—born and raised in Minnesota, Alabama, New Jersey, and elsewhere—have been indicted or convicted of terrorism charges. Some have taken the fight abroad while others have acted on American soil. What motivates them, how are they trained, and what do we sacrifice in our efforts to track them? Paced like a detective story, Bergen draws on his extensive network of intelligence contacts, as he explores nearly every aspect of terrorist activity, from ISIS’ use of social media to the FBI’s development of behavioral profiles.

Community Partner: American Jewish Committee



Thursday, November 10 • 9:30am Boutiques Open • 11:00am Program Begins 

Women’s Day Luncheon featuring: Martha Hall Kelly, Lilac Girls, A Novel

Coral Gables Country Club, 997 North Greenway Drive, Coral Gables 33134

$60 General Admission, $65 after October 31, 2016  |  $75 Patron

Inspired by a true story, Martha Hall Kelly reveals the power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances in her remarkable New York Times bestseller Lilac Girls. The compelling page-turner follows three women whose lives are set on a collision course - a New York socialite, a Polish teenager who is a courier for the resistance movement, and an ambitious young German doctor. Kelly’s outstanding debut novel was named a USA Today “New and Noteworthy” Book and Library Reads Top Ten Pick.

Women’s Day 2016 is certain to be memorable with our author’s engaging presentation, a delicious lunch, and fabulous shopping at specialty boutiques. Reservations are required.



Sunday, November 13 • 7:00pm 

Shep Gordon, They Call Me Supermensch

A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock ’n’ Roll

Bet Shira Congregation | 7500 SW 120th Street

Admission $10 • Author presentation and refreshments

An eye-popping peek into the worlds of music and entertainment from one who has worked with, and befriended, an impeccable roster of stars from Alice Cooper to Bette Davis, Raquel Welch to Groucho Marx, Jimi Hendrix to Sylvester Stallone. Shep Gordon has been a manager, agent, and producer and is credited with inventing the "celebrity chef." Mike Meyers produced the film Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, because “he is the nicest person I have ever met hands down.” In this engaging memoir, told with incomparable humor and heart, They Call Me Supermensch recalls his life, from a "shy, Jewish nebbisher kid with no ambition" to his unexpected rise as one of the most influential and respected personalities in show business.



Tuesday, November 15 • 7:30pm  

Lynda Cohen Loigman, The Two-Family House

Temple Beth Am | 5950 N. Kendall Drive

Admission $10 • Author presentation and refreshments

Lynda Cohen Loigman's debut novel is an evocative, multi-generational story, woven around the deepest of secrets. Set in 1947 during a blizzard in Brooklyn, two babies are born minutes apart in a two-family brownstone. Raising their families side by side, supporting one another, the women share an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic winter night. When the storm passes, life seems to return to normal; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and the once deep friendship between the two women begins to unravel. This book was named one of Hadassah Magazine’s Top Ten books of fiction.

Book Club Night presented in Loving Memory of Hillene Lustig




Thursday, November 17 • 7:30pm 

Eric Trager, Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days

7:30pm at the Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at UM

5202 University Drive - 105 Merrick Building

Admission $10 • Author presentation and refreshments

Eric Trager, a Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, discusses the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood and the rise of Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and their relations with Israel. How did the Muslim Brotherhood win power so quickly following Egypt’s dramatic 2011 Arab Spring uprising? Why did the Brotherhood fall from power even more quickly in 2013, culminating with the overthrow of Egypt’s first elected president, Mohamed Morsi? Based on interviews with Brotherhood leaders including Morsi, Trager examines Egyptian politics and  the Brotherhood’s decision making throughout this critical period. Trager’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Co-sponsored by The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami.



Tuesday, November 29 • 7:30pm 

Andrew Gross, The One Man

Young Israel of Kendall | 7880 SW 112th Street

Admission $10 • Author presentation and refreshments

New York Times bestselling author Andrew Gross presents his riveting, historical thriller, The One Man, set during WWII in Poland. After being captured and brought to a Nazi concentration camp, Alfred Mendl’s life’s work is burned before his eyes. To the guards, he is just another prisoner, but in fact he is a renowned physicist and holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine. In addition to his own work, Gross has coauthored five number one bestsellers with the legendary James Patterson.



Saturday, December 3 • 7:30pm 

Andy Cohen, Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries

In Conversation with Lee Schrager

Beth David Congregation | 2625 SW Third Avenue

Presented by The Alper JCC and Books & Books

Admission: Preferred seating $75; General seating $30 - includes book, author presentation and refreshments

The megapopular host of Watch What Happens: Live and executive producer of The Real Housewives franchise presents Superficial, his star-studded and sidesplitting follow up to The Andy Cohen Diaries. In this account of his escapades—personal, professional, and behind-the-scenes—Andy tells us not only what goes down, but exactly what he thinks of it.

Between writing books, Andy has toured the country with his sidekick Anderson Cooper, hit the radio waves with his own Sirius station, Radio Andy, appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher, hosted NBC’s Primetime New Year’s Eve special, guest edited Entertainment Weekly and starred in Bravo’s Then & Now with Andy Cohen.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017 • 7:30pm

Talia Carner, Hotel Moscow

Alper JCC | 11155 SW 112 Avenue • Art Gallery

Admission $10 • Author presentation, and refreshments

From the author of Jerusalem Maiden comes Hotel Moscow, a riveting novel about the painful transition of a nation from Communism. Brooke Fielding, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, travels to Russia on business shortly after the fall of Communism and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.  As one of the first Americans to visit the post-communist country, she wonders what awaits her in a place that persecuted her mother just a generation ago. The story is a profound exploration of faith, family and heritage.




Tuesday, February 7, 2017 • 7:30pm 

Jennifer Brown, Modern Girls

Alper JCC | 11155 SW 112 Avenue • Art Gallery

Admission $10 • Author presentation, and refreshments

In 1935, Dottie Krasinsky is the epitome of the modern girl– a bookkeeper in Manhattan, with a steady beau, close friends and an eye for fashion. She is also a dutiful Jewish daughter living with her Yiddish-speaking parents on the Lower East Side. Dottie’s immigrant mother has been a housewife for twenty years, and wants to return to a life of social activism. Mother and daughter wrestle with unthinkable choices, and confront their beliefs in the changing world.



Thursday, March 16, 2017 • 7:30pm

Linda Kass, Tasa’s Song & Carpe Diem String Quartet           

 Alper JCC | 11155 SW 112 Avenue • Robert Russell Theater

Admission $18 • Author presentation, and refreshments

A Book in Concert is a synergistic program of words and music with author Linda Kass and the boundary-breaking ensemble, Carpe Diem String Quartet.  This unique event features Kass interspersing readings from her novel Tasa’s Song, with original musical compositions based on the book.  Set during WWII, the book is inspired by true events and follows a young Jewish girl who dreams of becoming a world-renowned violinist.

Carpe Diem String Quartet has earned widespread critical acclaim for its innovative programs. The ensemble recently appeared at Carnegie Hall.

Co-sponsored by: Israel, Rose, Henry and Robert Wiener charitable foundation, Inc. In memory of Hemine Wiener




Tuesday, March 28, 2017 • 7:30pm

A Girls Night! 

Kate Siegel & Kim Friedman, Mother, Can You Not?

Alper JCC | 11155 SW 112 Avenue • Robert Russell Theater

Admission $10 • Author presentation, and refreshments

There is nothing more wonderful than a mother’s love. There is also nothing more annoying. In Mother, Can You Not?, Siegel pays tribute to the woman who invented the concept of drone parenting. From embarrassing moments to outrageous stories, the book lovingly lampoons the lengths to which mothers go to better their children’s lives–even when it feels like they are ruining them in the process. Kate Siegel is a social media guru behind the Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom, and her mother Kim Friedman is an Emmy-nominated director of Beverly Hills 90210, L.A. Law and Dynasty.




If you would like to volunteer at the book festival, please contact Marcy Levitt at or 305.271.9000 x269.

2016 Book Festival Steering Committee

Women’s Day Luncheon Chair: Cheryl Rosen

Executive Committee: Nadine Barocas, Renee Greenstein, Elaine Katz, Anne Sheldon, Susan Spatzer 

Director of Literary & Performing Arts: Marcy Levitt

The Alper JCC’s 36th Annual Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival has been made possible through the generous support of:

Baptist Health South Florida; City of Coral Gables; Coral Gables Country Club; In Memory of Hillelene Lustig; Israel, Rose, Henry and Robert Weiner Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Israel Bonds; JCC Neshama Society; The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami; PJ Library. The Jewish Book Festival and cultural arts programs are also made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. 

We would like to thank our Community Partners:

Ahvat Olam; American Jewish Committee; Beth David Congregation; Bet Shira Congregation; Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE) Florence Melton Adult Mini-School; Chabad of Kendall & Pinecrest; Jack and Harriet Rosenfeld Foundation Program in Jewish Education at UM; Jewish Community Services of South Florida; Miami-Dade County Public Schools Div. of Social Science; Temple Beth Am; Temple Beth Or; Temple Judea; Young Israel of Kendall.

Many of the author appearances are arranged through the Jewish Book Council’s Jewish Book Network, of which the Alper JCC is a member.

The Dave and Mary Alper JCC thanks the co-sponsoring organizations for their participation in the 35th Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival. Co-sponsorship does not imply the endorsement of opinions expressed by the guest authors. All opinions and ideas expressed by the authors are solely their own and do not express the positions or opinions of the Dave and Mary Alper JCC leadership, Book Festival Committee, staff or the co-sponsoring agencies.

The Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center on The Jay Morton-Levinthal Campus is a beneficiary agency of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, United Way of Miami-Dade County and a member agency of the JCC Association.




11155 SW 112 Avenue, Miami FL 33176

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