It’s Not Just About the Books
One of the headliners of the 1986 Jewish Book & Arts Fair was Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and influential leader of the Women’s Rights movement. JCC Patron Barbara Paull was her host that year. One afternoon, Betty complimented Barbara on her outfit which led to an afternoon of shopping. What happened next is the image that keeps this story alive thirty years later. When they walked into the J that evening, Betty was unrecognizable wearing a fabulous black dress, a silver necklace and lipstick, which she never wore.
It’s that kind of detail and dedication that is the essence of the Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Fair. Countless volunteers have spent the last several months in a whirlwind of activity: meeting and booking potential authors, seeing to flights, hotel, drivers, and technology support, selecting films, concerts and plays and engaging community partners.
Chairwoman Eve Lapin and Co-Chair Lisa Sheinbaum are the driving force behind the 2016 Book Fair. Both bring expertise to this colossal community event. Eve is a second-generation Book Fair Chair as her mother-in-law, Susan Lapin, chaired in 1975 and ’76. She has served on the J’s Board of Directors and numerous committees.
“I’m so thrilled to be part of such a monumental event that positively impacts everyone who will participate. The community will have an opportunity like no other to hear fabulous authors and entertainers,” said Eve Lapin.
Lisa Sheinbaum has served on a number of committees at the J, many with an emphasis on teen engagement.
“It is always incredible to experience the energy of those two weeks of Book Fair. The J comes alive with history, arts, culture, family and community. It is really an enriching experience for both volunteers who make it happen and the participants,” said Lisa Sheinbaum.
Opening night, October 29 promises to be a literary and culinary feast with Michael Wex (Rhapsody in Shmaltz: Yiddish Food and Why We Can’t Stop Eating It) and Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz (The Gefilte Manifesto). In his book, Wex traces the history and impact of the cuisine that Yiddish-speaking Jews brought to North America. Alpern and Yoskowitz reveal how they’ve revitalized these beloved old-world foods with ingenious new approaches. Moderator Ziggy Gruber, pre-show music and noshes guarantee a delicious opening event.
Make plans to be part of this 44 year literary tradition at the J.