In this season of Thanksgiving, we want to give special thanks to the dedicated volunteers who contribute so much to the success of the Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival. Our volunteer core, 51 people strong, put in more than 258 hours to make our programs run smoothly and to create an outstanding bookstore with such a wide array of merchandise. During the Festival, the J is full of activity, with author programs and films entertaining and enlightening so many attendees – some regulars and some joining us for the first time. The bookstore provides more than books and holiday décor, as it’s a space where friends connect, discuss topics raised by the programs, and share anecdotes as authors sign their books.
None of these events would run as smoothly without a team of dedicated volunteers and staff working behind the scenes to ensure a meaningful experience for guests at the Festival. Work on the Festival actually begins months ahead of time. Committee members spend hours reading potential books, participating in planning meetings, and promoting the Festival. It takes a village to set-up, manage and dismantle the expansive book store. Our house managers, box office helpers, ticket scanners, and ushers were on their feet for hours guiding visitors and providing any additional assistance needed. We had volunteers that showed up time and time again for various shifts and responsibilities. We are grateful to all of our volunteers who gave their time, energy, and talent to create this series of cultural events for the community.
Festival Chair John Dreyfus eloquently described our volunteers. "I could not have been more impressed and proud of the contributions of our volunteers to make this year’s Book Festival such a success. Each of you gave so much energy, time and compassion to this huge undertaking. You helped contribute to the positive buzz this year’s Festival generated. It was my pleasure to work with you and see so many smiling faces," he said.
If you missed out on volunteering for the 2019 Festival, please consider getting involved next year. Actually, there are author talks and programs already booked over the coming months as part of the J’s Afterword. We welcome you to play a volunteer role in ensuring these Arts & Culture events are a success!