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Book Festival

The Alper JCC Presents The 40th Annual Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival 

September 2, 2020 – March 11, 2021

Purchase Book Festival event tickets at the links below or contact Marcy at 305.271.9000 x269 or


Time has a way of flying by! It is difficult to believe that the Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival began 40 years ago! And yet, we can look back at hundreds of celebrated authors who have brought thought-provoking, exciting and important histories, mysteries, memoirs and unforgettable stories to our community. This 40th anniversary coincides with two other milestones: Rabbi Dan Horwitz has recently begun his tenure as the JCC’s new CEO and Marcy Levitt marks her 30th year of leadership for each annual book festival, first as a volunteer and for 25 years as the Literary and Performing Arts Director.

The 40th literary celebration also occurs simultaneously with a challenging time, preventing authors from speaking in person to live audiences, as has always been done. But the virtual presentations of over 50 authors offer great opportunities to be diverted by fabulous reads and chances to virtually get to know authors whose work is admired around the world. Authors like Jodi Picoult, Jill Wine-Banks, Harlan Coben, Joan Lunden, Deepak Chopra, Natan Sharansky and Brad Meltzer will make this, our 40th Annual Berrin Family Book Festival, one to remember. 

The Alper JCC has partnered with other JCC’s around our state and our country to virtually bring outstanding authors to our community. Our Florida JCC series is presented in collaboration with the Jewish Book Council, Miami Beach JCC, Michael Ann Russell JCC in North Miami, Adolph and Rose Levis JCC in Boca Raton, David Posnack JCC in Ft. Lauderdale and the Roth Family JCC of Greater Orlando. Our JCC Literary Consortium Series is presented in collaboration with JCC’s in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boulder, Cherry Hill, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Indianapolis, Memphis, Miami, Rochester and Seattle. Not all JCCs in each series will be participating in each event. 


How to Help Support the Jewish Book Festival, now more than ever we need your contributions to help our JCC continue to provide wonderful virtual programming!


October Pass: $75 for all requested Book Events for the month of October - one link per household.   PURCHASE OCTOBER PASS



Literary Friend Pass: $180 for all requested Book Events – one link per household. There are 35 book events with 50+ authors through May, 2021 (excluding Book & Ticket Programs).                        PURCHASE LITERARY FRIEND PASS



Neshama: $1,000 for membership in the Alper JCC’s Neshama Women’s Giving Circle, which supports all of our cultural arts presentations throughout the year. Neshama members will receive links to all selected virtual book events including one copy of either Jodi Picoult or Deepak Chopra book. They will receive extra perks including preferred seating to all live performances, opening receptions and other special Neshama events when we are able to gather together again. For info please email Ann Horenstein

Please support our authors and our local bookseller partner, Books & Books, by purchasing books not included in a ticket bundle here.


Wednesday, Sept 30 · 8pm

$31 for book and event · Consortium Series

Deepak Chopra Total Meditation:  Practices in Living the Awakened Life

with guest host Nadia Bilchik, CNN Editorial Producer

This definitive book of meditation will help you achieve new dimensions of stress-free living. For the past thirty years, Deepak Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution in the West. Total Meditation offers a complete exploration and reinterpretation of the physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual benefits that this practice can bring. Deepak guides readers on how to wake up to new levels of awareness that will ultimately cultivate a clear vision, heal suffering in your mind and body, and help recover who you really are. This transformative process can awaken the body, mind, and spirit and allow you to live in a state of open, free, creative, and blissful awareness twenty-four hours a day. With this book, Deepak elevates the practice of meditation to a life-changing quest for higher consciousness and a more fulfilling existence. He incorporates new research on meditation and its benefits, provides practical awareness exercises, and concludes with a 52-week program of meditations to help revolutionize every aspect of your life.

Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, the found of the Chopra Foundation and cofounder of and Chopra Center for Wellbeing. Time magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”




Monthly Special: All October events $75 or $10 per event 




Schwebel Family October Florida JCCs Jewish Book Fest  


Tuesday, October 6 · 8pm

Casey Cep Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

$10 · Consortium Series w-cep

Named one of the best books of 2019 by Time, Glamour, O Magazine, Town and Country and more, Casey Cep brings to life a courtroom drama, a true-crime thriller and a miniature biography of Harper Lee. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted—thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. In the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Furious Hours tells the story of the shocking murders, the ensuing trials and the racial politics of the Deep South, while offering a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

Casey Cep is a writer at The New Yorker. After graduating from Harvard, she earned an M.Phil. in theology at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. This is her first book.



Thursday, October 8 · 7:30pm

Thane Rosenbaum Saving Free Speech…From Itself

$10 · Florida Series

In an era of political correctness, race-baiting, terrorist incitement and, of course, ‘fake news,’ both liberals and conservatives are up in arms about speech and its excesses, and what the First Amendment means. Speech has been weaponized; everyone knows it, but no one seems to know what to do about it. In this provocative and captivating book, Thane Rosenbaum argues that certain limits on free speech are not only constitutional and in line with previous case law, but are essential for the maintenance of civil society. Laws banning hate speech are prevalent in Germany, France, the UK and other democratic, liberal societies where human dignity is valued above speech, and yet life continues, freedoms have not rolled to the bottom of a ‘slippery slope,’ and democracies remain vibrant. In his compelling book, Rosenbaum asserts that the European model is more in line with what the founding fathers intended.

Thane Rosenbaum is an essayist, novelist, and Distinguished University Professor at Touro College.  He is Legal Analyst for CBS News Radio and moderates ​“The Talk Show” at the 92nd Street Y, an annual series on culture, world events, and politics. 



Sunday, October 11 · 7:30pm

Jill Wine Banks The Watergate Girl: My Fight for Truth and Justice Against a Criminal President

$10 · Florida Series

Obstruc­tion of jus­tice, the specter of impeach­ment, sex­ism at work, and shock­ing rev­e­la­tions: Jill Wine-Banks takes us inside her tri­al by fire as the only woman on the team of Watergate prosecutors. It was a time, much like today, when Amer­i­cans feared for the future of their democ­ra­cy and women stood up for equal treat­ment. The “mini-skirt­ed lawyer,” so called by the press, fought to receive the respect accord­ed her male coun­ter­parts - and pre­vailed. In The Watergate Girl, Jill Wine-Banks opens a window on this troubled moment in American history while telling her personal story – that of a young woman seeking to make her professional mark while trapped in a failing marriage, buffeted by sexist preconceptions and harboring her own secrets. Both a cau­tion­ary tale and an inspi­ra­tion for those who believe in jus­tice and the rule of law, The Water­gate Girl is a rev­e­la­tion about our coun­try, our pol­i­tics, our society.

Jill Wine-Banks is an MSNBC legal ana­lyst. She was the first woman to hold the positions of gen­er­al coun­sel of the U.S. Army, deputy attor­ney gen­er­al of Illi­nois, and EVP and chief oper­at­ing offi­cer of the Amer­i­can Bar Asso­ci­a­tion. A grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois and Colum­bia Law School, she lives in Chicago.



Monday, October 12 · 7:30pm

Stories of Addiction · A Two Author Event

$10 Florida Series

Cameron Douglas Long Way Home 

From the scion of Hollywood royalty--son of Michael Douglas, grandson of Kirk Douglas—comes a moving, often shocking memoir detailing Cameron Douglas’s struggle to regain his dignity and humanity after many years of drug abuse and almost eight years in prison. Born into wealth and privilege, his life seems golden...but by the age of thirty, he has become a drug addict, a thief, and a convicted drug dealer. Eventually he will understand his psychological turmoil and successfully reenter society. Douglas has written a raw and unstintingly honest recount of his harrowing, remarkable, and inspiring life story.

On August 1, 2016, Douglas was released early from prison and transferred to a halfway house in New York City. On December 18, 2017, Douglas welcomed a daughter named Lua Izzy Douglas, with his girlfriend, Viviane Thibes.

Dan Peres As Needed for Pain: A Memoir of Addiction

As Needed for Pain is a raw, riveting and often wryly funny addiction memoir that explores Peres’s never-before-told story of opioid addiction and the drastic impact it had on his life and career as an editor at W and Details magazines. A gifted writer and shrewd cultural observer, Peres lays bare the extent of his drug use—at one point a 60-pill-a-day habit. His story is a cautionary coming-of-age tale, a glimpse into the rarefied world of wealth, power and influence and a brilliant dissection of a life teetering on the edge of destruction, and what it took to pull back from the brink.

Dan Peres was editor of Details in 2000 and in 2003 and spent nine years at W magazine.



Wednesday, October 14 · 1pm

Multi-generational Jewish Stories from Around the World

A Two Author Event

$10 Florida Series

Esther Amini Concealed: Mem­oir of a Jew­ish-Iran­ian Daugh­ter Caught Between the Chador and America

Esther Ami­ni grew up in Queens, New York dur­ing the free­wheel­ing 1960s in a Per­sian-Jew­ish house­hold, whose par­ents had fled Iran. Con­cealed tells the sto­ry of being caught between two worlds, a duti­ful daugh­ter of tra­di­tional par­ents who hungers for self-deter­mi­na­tion. In this poignant, funny, uplifting memoir, Amini documents how family members build, wound, and save one another across generations; how lives are shaped by the demands and burdens of loyalty and legacy; and how she rose to the challenge of deciding what to resist and what to accept.

Esther Ami­ni is a writer, painter, and psy­cho­an­a­lyt­ic psy­chother­a­pist.

Jonathan Kaufman Last Kings of Shanghai

This Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s epic, multigenerational story details two rival dynasties who flourished in Shanghai and Hong Kong in 20th China. By the 1930’s the Sassoon and Kadoorie families, both originally from Baghdad, had been doing business in China for a century, profiting from the Opium Wars, surviving Japanese occupation, courting Chiang Kai-shek and losing nearly everything as the Communists swept into power. This remarkable tale of opium smuggling, family rivalry, political intrigue and survival tells how these families participated in China’s economic boom but were blind to the country’s deep inequality and political turmoil. The long-hidden odysseys of the Sassoons and the Kadoories hold a key to understanding modern China’s modernization and global power.

Jonathan Kauf­man has writ­ten and report­ed on Chi­na for thir­ty years for The Boston Globe, covering the Tiananmen massacre in 1989; The Wall Street Jour­nal, as bureau chief from 2002 to 2005; and Bloomberg News. 



Thursday, October 15 · 8pm

Steve Madden The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell from Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever

$10 or $36 for ticket and one copy of book includes shipping *

Consortium Series

Steve Madden’s shoes are known worldwide, but few know his story. For the first time, Madden shares how he built his global company while being plagued by addiction, self-destruction, and an eventual diagnosis of ADHD in his new memoir. A college dropout who fell in love with shoes while working in a mom and pop shoe, Madden has taken his eponymous company from the fledgling startup he founded thirty years ago with a mere $1,100 to a multi-billion-dollar brand. Through his unflinching account of mistakes including the financial shortcuts that landed him in prison, readers will experience his wild ride through rise, fall and comeback. But they will also walk away uplifted by a man who has owned up to his mistakes and is determined to give back by using his hard-won platform to create positive change.

Steve Madden is an entrepreneur, award-winning shoe designer, and business titan. He is a recovering addict, devoted family man, philanthropist, and mentor who supports a number of organizations that help those in need of a second chance. 2020 marks the 30-year anniversary of Steve Madden.



Sunday, October 18 · 11am

Boys to Men · A Two Author Event

$10 Florida Series

Michael Ian Black A Better Man: A (Mostly) Serious Letter to My Son

In Michael Ian Black’s inspir­ing and deeply per­son­al book, this come­di­an, actor, and father gets (most­ly) seri­ous about the trou­ble with mas­culin­i­ty. In the form of a heart­felt let­ter to his col­lege-bound son, he reveals his own com­pli­cat­ed rela­tion­ship with his father, explores the dam­age caused by the expec­ta­tions placed on boys to “man up” and search­es for the best way to help his son become part of the solu­tion, not the prob­lem. Part mem­oir, part advice book, Black deliv­ers a poignant answer to an urgent ques­tion: How can we be, and raise, bet­ter men? A Bet­ter Man is for par­ents but also for everyone nav­i­gating the com­plex gen­der issues of our time.

Michael Ian Black is an actor, come­di­an, writer of award-win­ning books for chil­dren and adults, and stand-up come­di­an. He lives in Con­necti­cut with his wife and two children. 141

Cleo Stiller Modern Manhood

Jour­nal­ist Cleo Stiller’s fun(ny) and infor­ma­tive col­lec­tion of advice and per­spec­tives about what it means to be a good guy in the era of #MeToo uses con­ver­sa­tions that real men and women are hav­ing with their friends, their dates, their fam­i­ly, and them­selves. Free of judg­ment, preach­ing and sug­ar­coat­ing, Mod­ern Man­hood is engag­ing and provoca­tive, and ulti­mate­ly a great resource for gain­ing a deep­er under­stand­ing of what it means to be a gen­uine­ly good man today.

Cleo Stiller is an award-win­ning jour­nal­ist, speak­er and tele­vi­sion host. She speaks around the coun­try about her work and social impact, most recent­ly at New York Uni­ver­si­ty Glob­al Affairs: Wom­en’s Glob­al Health Conference.



Sunday, October 18 · 4pm

Transgender Stories Through Mothers’ Eyes · A Two Author Event

$10 Florida Series

Jo Ivestor Once a Girl, Always a Boy

A Family Memoir of a Transgender Journey

Jo Ivestor’s book is the story of her son’s difficult yet joyful journey. Her son, Jere­my, is trans­gen­der. Thir­ty years ago, she wel­comed him into the world as a daugh­ter. As a child, Jeremy pre­ferred “masculine” toys and clothes; in his twen­ties, he had sex reassignment surgery. The book is told from multiple perspectives: Those of the sib­lings who strug­gled to under­stand the broth­er they knew as a sis­ter, and of the par­ents who joined him in the bat­tle against dis­crim­i­na­tion. This is a sto­ry of accep­tance in a world not quite ready to accept.

Jo is an LGBTQ speak­er and advo­cate with degrees from MIT and Stan­ford. She serves on the boards of Equal­i­ty Texas, the ADL, and GLSEN.

Mimi Lemay

What Will I Become: A Mother, a Son, and a Journey of Transformation

This coura­geous book teaches us to lis­ten to our chil­dren, remove preconceptions and see the world through a child’s eyes. It chronicles a family’s jour­ney of los­ing a daugh­ter named Em and gain­ing a son named Jacob - and of three generations of seekers learning to forge their own paths, just as Jacob had when he resolutely declared himself a boy at age two. In accept­ing Jacob for who he was, the author’s nuclear fam­i­ly moved through emo­tion­al tur­moil to peace and under­stand­ing, ground­ed on a sol­id foun­da­tion of love.

Mimi Lemay is an inter­na­tion­al advo­cate for trans­gen­der youth and a mem­ber of the Par­ents for Trans­gen­der Equal­i­ty Nation­al Coun­cil at Human Rights Cam­paign and holds a master’s in law and diplo­ma­cy from the Fletch­er School at Tufts University.



Tuesday, October 20 · 12 - 4pm

Fiction Forum

Enjoy eight great authors in four hours that will speed by!

$10 Florida Series


Jennifer Rosner

The Yellow Bird Sings

Jen­nifer Rosner’s debut nov­el fol­lows Roza and her young daugh­ter, Shi­ra, who flee the Nazis dur­ing World War II, staying alive through sharing memories and their love of music. With the con­stant threat of discovery from their first hiding place, they depart on separate paths - Shira to a convent orphanage while Roza is left to fend for her­self in the woods - both enduring hunger, dis­com­fort, men­tal anguish, con­fu­sion and denial. Rosner portrays the parallel survival journeys of these nuanced and complex characters and brings to light the bur­den of Holocaust survivor guilt while showing that life goes on — with life-affirm­ing passions like the music this mother and daughter shared.

The Yel­low Bird Sings is Jen­nifer Rosner’s debut nov­el. Her pre­vi­ous books include the mem­oir If A Tree Falls: A Fam­i­ly’s Quest to Hear and Be Heard about rais­ing her deaf daugh­ters, and the children’s book The Mit­ten String.


Jan Eliasberg

Hannah’s War

Vet­er­an film and tele­vi­sion writer Jan Elias­berg’s first novel explores the wartime life of a bril­liant Jew­ish female physi­cist, Dr. Han­nah Weiss, based on a real and large­ly unsung genius named Lise Meit­ner. Part love sto­ry, part Holo­caust tale, part thriller, the book begins in the Kaiser Wilhelm Laboratory in 1938 Berlin as Jews were gradually become non-persons. Hannah’s complicated relationship with German fellow scientist Stefan Frei, who comes to value her genius, continues after the war when in New Mex­i­co of 1945, she is work­ing on the Man­hat­tan Project with Robert Oppen­heimer. Han­nah is sus­pect­ed of send­ing atomic bomb secrets to Frei — an act of trea­son for which she faces exe­cu­tion. Are her notes to Stefan help­ing the Nazis? Or are Ste­fan and Hannah purposefully giv­ing the Nazis mis­lead­ing infor­ma­tion? The nov­el deals with physics, espi­onage, and Jew­ish tragedy but is also a deeply affect­ing emo­tion­al tale of redemp­tive love.

Jan Elias­berg is an award-win­ning writer and prolific ​director of dra­mat­ic pilots for CBS, NBC, and ABC including Mia­mi Vice and Wiseguy; count­less tele­vi­sion series episodes includ­ing Bull, Nashville, Par­ent­hood, The Magi­cians, Blue Bloods and NCIS: Los Ange­les. Elias­berg also has a sto­ried career as a screen­writer.

Max Gross

The Lost Shtetl

What if there were a Jewish town that Hitler missed? For over fifty years, Kreskol, a tiny Polish shtetl, has exist­ed vir­tu­al­ly untouched and unchanged, spared of the Holo­caust and Cold War, enjoying an iso­lat­ed peace. But then a mar­riage dis­pute spi­rals out of con­trol. Pesha, in a love­less, arranged mar­riage, sum­mons the courage to escape Kreskol. When her hus­band pursues her, pan­icked town lead­ers, pro­tect­ing their own secrets, send orphaned outcast Yankel, woe­ful­ly unpre­pared and functionally illiterate, to bring them home. Then Yankel’s story comes out and is splashed across the cov­ers of Pol­ish news­pa­pers. Ready or not, Kreskol is sud­den­ly redis­cov­ered and brought into the 21st cen­tu­ry. Torn asun­der by dis­agree­ment between those embrac­ing change and those cling­ing to its old-world ways, the town may soon be forced to make a choice or dis­ap­pear altogether.

Max Gross is a staff reporter for the New York Post, where his arti­cle ​“Schlub You the Right Way” was pub­lished. His occa­sion­al col­umn, The Hap­less Jew­ish Writer, appears in The For­ward. He lives in Queens, New York.


David Hopen

The Orchard

A poignant com­ing-of-age sto­ry, in The Orchard a devout Jew­ish high school stu­dent’s plunge into the sec­u­lar­ized world threat­ens every­thing he knows of him­self. In ultra-Ortho­dox Brook­lyn, Ari Eden’s lonely days were ded­i­cat­ed to intense study and reli­gious rit­u­als. So, when his fam­i­ly moves to a glitzy Mia­mi sub­urb, Ari seizes his chance for rein­ven­tion in a new, opu­lent Jew­ish acad­e­my. Entan­gled in the school’s most exclu­sive and way­ward group, Ari is stunned by his peers’ dizzy­ing wealth, ambi­tion and shame­less pur­suit of life’s plea­sures. Influenced by their charismatic rabbi, the group begins test­ing their reli­gion in unconventional ways, push­ing moral bound­aries and careen­ing toward a per­ilous future in which the tra­di­tions of their faith are repur­posed to mys­te­ri­ous, trag­ic ends. Mes­mer­iz­ing and play­ful, heartrend­ing and dark­ly roman­tic, The Orchard probes the con­flict­ing forces that deter­mine who we become: the heady rela­tion­ships of youth, the allure of great­ness, the doc­trines we inher­it, and our con­cealed desires.

David Hopen is a stu­dent at Yale Law School. Raised in Hol­ly­wood, Flori­da, he earned his master’s degree from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford and grad­u­at­ed from Yale Col­lege. The Orchard is his debut novel.

Leslie K. Barry

Newark Minutemen

A True 1930’s Leg­end About a Box­er Who Tries to Save a Nation’s Soul With­out Los­ing Barry’s 1930s fic­tion­al­ized true sto­ry is about Jew­ish Amer­i­can box­ers backed by the FBI and Mafia who fight Amer­i­can Nazis when no one else will. The Nazi par­ty is on the rise, led by a charis­mat­ic, dan­ger­ous, self-styled Amer­i­can Hitler. Thou­sands of Amer­i­cans have joined a cam­paign of rabid nation­al­ism and anti­semitism that threatens Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy. While the Par­ty is plan­ning its biggest expan­sion ever, Yael Newman, a young Jew­ish box­er fighting for an FBI-formed mili­tia and run by promi­nent Jew­ish gang­sters, infiltrates the Par­ty dis­guised as a Storm Troop­er. Along the way, a forbidden love affair with American Nazi Krista Brecht, spies and assas­si­na­tion com­pli­cate his jour­ney, noticeably alongside the echoes of a Nurem­berg-like cry that calls for Ger­man Amer­i­cans to rise up and ​“Make Amer­i­ca Great.”

Leslie K. Bar­ry is a screen­writer, author, and exec­u­tive pro­duc­er. She has had exec­u­tive posi­tions with major enter­tain­ment com­pa­nies includ­ing Turn­er Broad­cast­ing, Hasbro/​Parker Broth­ers and Mat­tel Mind­scape Video Games. She lives in Tiburon, CA with her husband, four kids and a dog.


Linda Kass

A Ritchie Boy: A Novel

Set dur­ing the dawn of World War II and the dis­rup­tive decade to fol­low, A Ritchie Boy fea­tures Eli Stoff, a young Jew­ish immi­grant from Vien­na who escapes to Amer­i­ca with his par­ents. With­in five years, he has joined the U.S. Army and, thanks to his under­stand­ing of the Ger­man lan­guage and cul­ture, joins thou­sands of oth­ers like him who become known as Ritchie boys, young men who work under­cov­er in Intel­li­gence on the Euro­pean front to help the Allies win the war. The nar­ra­tive is writ­ten as a series of inter­re­lat­ed sto­ries, each told by dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters who fol­low Eli from Vien­na to New York, from Ohio to Mary­land, and then to war-torn Europe before he returns to his new coun­try to set down roots. The cir­cum­stances and peo­ple in these stories help shape Eli’s jour­ney from Europe to Amer­i­ca, and from boy­hood to manhood.

Linda Kass is the author of Tasa’s Song, and is the own­er of Gramer­cy Books, an inde­pen­dent book­store in cen­tral Ohio, where she is known for her exten­sive pub­lic service.


Meg Waite Clayton

The Last Train to London: A Novel

Based on true events, The Last Train to Lon­don tells the sto­ry of Dutch­woman Tru­us Wijs­muller who, work­ing with British and Aus­tri­an Jews, risks her life to rescue thou­sands of chil­dren from Nazi-occu­pied Vien­na, a dan­ger­ous mission after the bor­ders close to refugees des­per­ate to escape. In 1936, the Nazis are lit­tle more than brutish bores to fif­teen-year old Stephan, a budding playwright and son of a wealthy and influ­en­tial Jew­ish fam­i­ly, and his best friend, bril­liant Žofie-Helene, a Chris­t­ian whose moth­er edits a pro­gres­sive, anti-Nazi news­pa­per. The two ado­les­cents’ care­free inno­cence is shat­tered when the Nazis take con­trol. After Britain pass­es a mea­sure to take in child refugees, ​“Tante Tru­us” dares to approach Adolf Eich­mann in a race against time to bring Stephan, his broth­er Wal­ter, Žofie-Helene and others on a per­ilous jour­ney to an uncer­tain future.

This nation­al best­seller in the U.S., Cana­da, and Europe will be pub­lished in over a dozen countries. Clayton’s screen­play for the nov­el was cho­sen for the esteemed Meryl Streep and Nicole Kid­man.


Hallie Ephron

Careful What You Wish For

Emi­ly Har­low is a pro­fes­sion­al orga­niz­er who helps peo­ple declut­ter their lives; yet she’s mar­ried to a man who stops at every yard sale. Like other decluttering professionals, Emi­ly has devised a set of iron­clad rules. When work­ing with cou­ples, she makes clear that the client is allowed to declut­ter only his or her own stuff, a stip­u­la­tion that has kept Emily’s own mar­riage intact. But the larg­er his ​“col­lec­tion” becomes, the deep­er the dis­tance grows between them. Emi­ly has two new clients to dis­tract her: a wid­ow whose hus­band left behind a stor­age unit, and a young wife whose hus­band won’t allow her stuff into their house, with whom Emily’s meet­ing takes a detour when they end up fan­ta­siz­ing about how much more pleas­ant life would be with­out their col­lect­ing spous­es. But the next day, Emi­ly finds her­self in a mess that is too big to clean up.

Hal­lie Ephron is The New York Times best­selling author of Nev­er Tell a LieCome and Find MeThere Was an Old WomanNight Night, Sleep Tight and You’ll Nev­er Know, Dear. The daugh­ter of Hol­ly­wood screen­writ­ers, she grew up in Bev­er­ly Hills, and lives near Boston.



Tuesday, October 20 · 7:30pm

Women in a Changing World · A Two Author Event

$10 Florida series

Erica Katz The Boys’ Club

This debut novel is optioned to Netflix and is a Cosmopolitan Best Summer Read of 2020. Alex Vogel - high achiever with a Harvard Law School degree - accepts a dream offer at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, promising her boyfriend the job won’t change her. Yet she is seduced by the firm’s money, energy and particularly by a handsome coworker. As she begins to question everything — including herself and the dark reality of the firm is revealed, she must do what’s right, even if it means exposing the shocking truth.

Erica Katz is the pseudonym for a graduate of Columbia Law School who is employed at a large law firm in Manhattan.

Anna Solomon The Book of V

This Good Morning America Book Club pick intertwines the lives of three women across three centuries. In 2016, Lily, a mother, daughter, second wife and would-be writer, grapples with sexual and intellectual desires. Vivian Barr, political wife to an ambitious husband in Watergate-era Washington D.C. refuses his demand of a humiliating favor, which changes her life. Esther is an independent young woman in ancient Persia, living a tenuous existence. When an innocent mistake results in devastating consequences for her people, she is offered up as a sacrifice to the King to save them. These characters' overlapping stories illuminate how women’s lives have and have not changed over the years.

Anna Solomon is the author of Leaving Lucy Pear, and The Little Bride, a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and two children.



Thursday, October 22 · 7:30pm


No charge Florida Series

Ruth Behar, Letters from Cuba

The situation is getting dire for Jews in Poland on the eve of World War II. Esther joins her father, who has fled to Cuba. Heartbroken to be separated from her beloved sister, Esther writes down everything that happens until they're reunited, both good and bad: the kindness of the Cuban people and her discovery of a valuable hidden talent; the fact that Nazism has found a foothold even in Cuba. Esther's evocative letters are full of her appreciation for life and reveal her determination and rare ability to bring people together, the while striving to get the rest of her family out of Poland. Based on Ruth Behar's family history, this compelling story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in the most challenging times.

Ruth Behar, anthropologist, poet, filmmaker and writer, was born in Havana to an Ashkenazi and Sephardic family, grew up in New York, and became the first Latina to win a MacArthur Genius Grant. Letters from Cuba, is inspired by her grandmother's story of escaping Poland to make a new life in Cuba. A graduate of Wesleyan and Princeton, Behar lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.



Sunday, October 25 · 4:00pm

Ordinary People Change the World Family Event

Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopolos

I am Benjamin Franklin · I am Anne Frank

$10 for ticket and copy of Anne Frank or Benjamin Franklin $25 each with shipping*

Consortium Series

The 21st and 22nd books in the New York Times bestselling series of biographies about heroes tells the story of Benjamin Franklin, scientist and one of the Founding Fathers of the U.S. who helped draft the Declaration of Independence, and Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who documented her life while hiding from the Nazis during World War II, whose courage and hope during a time of terror are still an inspiration for people around the world today. Each friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves for the youngest nonfiction readers. The hero’s childhood influences, photos and timelines are included.

Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The book of Fate, and seven other bestselling thrillers and the host of the hit History Channel series, Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. Brad lives in Florida with his wife and three children.

Christopher Eliopoulos began his illustration career as a letterer for Marvel and has worked on thousands of comics, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He has illustrated all of the bestselling Ordinary People Change the World series of picture books. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and their identical twin sons.



Sunday, October 25 · 8pm

$10 or $25 for ticket and one copy of paperback book includes shipping *

Consortium series

Harlan Coben

The Boy From the Woods

A man with a mysterious past is asked to find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away. Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn't know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing. Naomi Pine's disappearance is not taken seriously, not even by her father -- but Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney who knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school, asks Wilde -- with whom she shares a tragic connection -- to use his unique skills to help find the child. In order to find her, he must venture back into a community where he never fit in and where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions…secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

With over 70 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times author of thirty-one novels including The Boy From the Woods, Run Away, Fool Me Once, Tell No One and the renowned Myron Bolitar series. His books are published in 43 languages. He is the creator and executive producer for the Netflix television dramas The Stranger, based on his novel, Safe, and several others.



Tuesday, October 27 · 8pm

$10 Consortium series

Nancy Grace Don’t be a Victim: Fighting Back Against America’s Crime Wave

In conversation with John Lemley, Sirius Radio Host

Discover gripping true crime stories and the surprising tools you need to keep you and your family safe — from iconic legal commentator, TV journalist, and New York Times bestselling author Nancy Grace. Nancy Grace wasn’t always the influential legal authority we know today. One moment changed her future forever: her fiancé was murdered just before their wedding. Driven to deliver justice for other crime victims, Nancy became a felony prosecutor and for a decade, put the “bad guys” behind bars in Atlanta. Now, with a new and potentially life-saving book, Nancy puts her crime-fighting expertise to work, to empower you to stay safe in the face of daily dangers. Packed with practical advice and invaluable prevention tips, Don’t Be a Victim shows you how to: Fend off threats of assaults, car-jack and home invasion; defend yourself against online stalking, computer hackers and financial fraudsters; stay safe in your own home, at school and other public settings like parking garages, elevators and campsites; protect yourself while shopping, driving and even on vacation. Don’t Be a Victim delivers insights on so many potential threats, you will be empowered to proactively protect yourself and your family at home and in the world at large.





Executive Committee: Nadine Barocas, Carole Bernstein, Shani Brenner, Renee Greenstein, Elaine Katz, Anne Sheldon, Susan Spatzer

Director of Literary & Performing Arts: Marcy Levitt

Keith Ginsburg, JCC Board Chair

Dan Horwitz, Chief Executive Officer

Irene Tzanani, Assistant Executive Director

Suzy Breitner, Director of Visual Arts

Ann Horenstein, Executive Assistant/Neshama Director


The 40th Annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival has been made possible through the generous support of: Baron Estate Sales; City of Coral Gables; In Memory of Hillelene Lustig; Israel, Rose, Henry and Robert Weiner Charitable Foundation, Inc. in Memory of Hermine Wiener; JCC Neshama Society; The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami; The Zelda and John Schwebel Family Foundation in Memory of John M. Schwebel and an Anonymous sponsor. The Jewish Book Festival and Cultural Arts programs are also made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and 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: Ahavat Olam; Beth David Congregation; Bet Shira Congregation; Books&Books; CAJE - Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education Florence Melton Adult Mini-School; Chabad of Kendall & Pinecrest; Consulate General of Israel; 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 40th 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 MiamiDade County and a member agency of the JCC Association.


How to help support the Jewish Book Festival:

October Pass: $75 for all requested Book Events for the month of October - one link per household. Pre-registration required.

Literary Friend Pass: $180 for all requested Book Events – one link per household. There are 35 book events with 50+ authors through May, 2021 (excluding Book & Ticket Programs). Pre-registration required.

Neshama: $1,000 for membership in the Alper JCC’s Neshama Women’s Giving Circle, which supports all of our cultural arts presentations throughout the year. Neshama members will receive links to all selected virtual book events including one copy of either Jodi Picoult or Deepak Chopra book. They will receive extra perks including preferred seating to all live performances, opening receptions and other special Neshama events when we are able to gather together again. For info please email Ann Horenstein

October Pass - $75  |  Literary Friend Pass - $180  |  Neshama - $1,000

For information on how you can support the Annual Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival, please call 305.271.9000 x269 or email


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 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.


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