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Transgender Stories Through Mothers’ Eyes A Two Author Event

Date: October 18, 2020
Time: 4:00 pm
Contact: Marcy Levitt


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.




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

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