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.
Woohoo! I’m a blogger.
Last week, I sent out my first blog for the J. I also sent it to my immediate family, their two spouses, one fiancee, and one girlfriend. My daughter, Lisa, provided some millennial magic and posted it on her Instagram account. She was shocked to discover several of her friends and cousins asked if they could subscribe to my blog. So, I am beginning my new career as a blogger.
We're excited to be celebrating Jewish food on Wednesday, Nov 13 - Closing Night of the Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival with Alana Newhouse and her book, The 100 Most Jewish Foods. What better way to celebrate Jewish food than having a dinner created by two of Houston's iconic Jewish chefs?
As the Chair of the 47th Annual Ann and Stephen Kaufman Book and Arts Festival, I am often astonished when people ask me, “what programs I recommend.” Obviously, these people didn't join me when I opened the 12th annual Jewish Film Festival with The Man in the Wall. Indelibly etched in my memory were the dismayed and shocked faces of the audience as they witnessed this spectacle. My tastes may be a little different than yours.
Everyone knows we do it big in Texas! So what better way to kick off the opening night of the 47th Annual Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC, than with famed fashion designer and industry icon, Isaac Mizrahi!
The 15th Annual Houston Jewish Film Festival is right around the corner, and we have many exciting and entertaining Jewish and Israeli films from around the world to share with you.
Clear your calendars from March 30-April 10, 2019 as we have over 19 award-winning films, and you won’t want to miss a single one!
Imagine a world without Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, or David O. Selznick’s film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s, Gone with the Wind. While Hamlet and “Grapes” seem secure in the Pantheon of great drama, many are unaware of how close we came to not having the beloved classic film, Gone with the Wind – or at least the version we know today.
And it is the true story of how GWTW avoided landing on history’s trash heap that forms the basis for Ron Hutchinson’s hilarious madcap comedy, Moonlight and Magnolias, opening for a six-performance run on February 14 in the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center’s Joe Frank Theatre of the Arts. Opening on Valentine’s Day, this play is a Valentine in its own right – a love letter to Hollywood’s golden age, and the studio system that fueled its rise.
Are you part of a book club and looking for your group’s next read? We’ve just announced our Community Read event for the Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival and hope you’ll join us by reading Rachel Kadish’s new novel The Weight of Ink!
Kadish will be speaking at the Book Festival on Monday, Nov 5 at 8:00 PM. For this event during the Festival, we ask book clubs and interested readers to read The Weight of Ink in advance of her author talk.
Theatre Program Coordinator
A True Story!
It happens all the time in fairytales and mythology. Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger and goes to sleep for 100 years before awakening to the kiss of a handsome prince. The mythological Phoenix bird dies in flames, only to rise again from its ashes. Today the ancient tradition continues – only this time, it’s no fairytale or myth, but the story of the Theatre Program at the J.
For the Love Of Books
If you have been to the Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival at the J, chances are you have shopped the Bookstore. There is a dedicated group of volunteers responsible for it: Esther Chess, Linda Chess, Carol Emery, Ellen Gaber, Ann Glazier, Sandy Gomel, Robin Greenspan, Louise Kershman, Beulah Maltz, Ruth Morris, Claire Noll, Sheila Sack, Leenie Skolnik and Beverly Sufian set aside two weeks each fall and volunteer as book store managers at the Festival. Most of them have been doing it between 10-15 years.
Each lady will tell you there’s something about volunteering at the J, but they all agree that their love of books brings them to this place every fall.