The Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival


Beyond the Book Festival

Wednesday, March 15, 12:00pm

Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home

with Jessica Fechtor

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Jessica Fechtor, author of award winning memoir, Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home, will share her journey of recovery from a ruptured aneurysm at age 28, and how she reclaimed her life through the restorative power of food and cooking. Written with intelligence, humor, and warmth, Stir is a heartfelt examination of what it means to nourish and be nourished.

Tickets: $10 per person with lunch included.A national bestseller and winner of the 2015 Living Now Book Award, Stir has been praised by as “a page-turning pleasure,” and by The Wall Street Journal as “a recipe for living a life of meaning.”

To purchase tickets, contact the JCC Front Desk at 757-321-2338 or click here.

Books will be available for purchase at the event, with a book signing by the author.

For more information, contact Cultural Arts Director, Michele Goldberg at or call 757-321-2341.

Presented in partnership with The Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. 

Past Events

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7:00pm

Transformations from Ethiopia to Israel

with Ricki Rosen

and Daniel Sahalo

Photojournalist, Rosen, shares insights and compelling before and after images of the Ethiopian Jewish immigrants, rescued by Israel during the Operation Solomon airlift. Her work records their transformation into Israeli society thirteen years later.

Daniel Sahalo-NEW

An Ethiopian Jew, Sahalo shares his immigrant experience and his apprenticeship with Yvel, the Israeli jewelry company, that set up the first corporate /social initiative to provide vocational skills for immigrants. A new jewelry line, megemeria, created by fellow immigrants and inspired by their journey to Israel will be on sale throughout the Book Festival.

In partnership with the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF)

Shop for Ethiopian hand-crafted jewelry

from Megemeria throughout the Festival!

Start your holiday shopping. Gifts from $40 – $400.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, Nov.10, 6:30pm

Short Order Dad: One Guy’s Guide

to Making Food and Fun and Hassle-Free

with Robert Rosenthal

Guy’s Night Out! Bite Restaurant

(440 Monticello Avenue, Norfolk)

RSVP required, limited space, call: 757-321-2304

A former ad executive, a real-life dad, food humorist, and professional chef, Rosenthal provides the “power tools” to help men crank out delicious recipes for their families, move from man cave to kitchen, and learn from a hands-on experience at Bite. Get ready for comedy, cooking and a contest!

 For more information, click here.

One Author, Two Events:

Sunday, Nov. 13 1:00pm at the Simon Family JCC

Go Ahead & Like It

with Jacqueline Suskin

Striving to bring poetry into the mainstream, Suskin, offers a self-help art book, filled with photographs, illustrations and handwritten instruction. It is her creative invitation to explore how making lists of your favorite things—journaling the good found in everyday life—can produce gratitude, promote joy and inspire creative thinking.

Presented in partnership with BBYO and Jewish community youth.

4:00pm at Paper Source (4536 Main Street, Virginia Beach Town Center) RSVP required. LIMITED SEATING. For tickets call: 456-2000 Tickets: $30/person

Create Poetry!

Awaken the poet within you, transform your ideas into art at this hands-on workshop led by performance poet Jacqueline Suskin.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 7:30pm

Inside the Middle East:  

Making Sense of the 

Most Dangerous and Complicated

Region on Earth

with Avi Melamed

Based on decades of experience as an acclaimed Israeli intelligence analyst, Melamed, presents a thought provoking and groundbreaking guide into the events shaping the region and insights into the psyche of Arab society. Described as a GPS for the Middle East, his work will challenge perceptions and provide fresh interpretations of the world’s future.Presented as part of the Community Relations Council of the UJFT, Simon Family JCC and community partners’ Israel Today Series. For more information and to reserve your seat, click here. Babysitting is available, please contact the JCC Customer Service at 757-321-2338 to reserve your spot.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 12:00pm

The Devil’s Diary:

Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets 

of the Third Reich

with Robert K. Wittman

Former FBI special agent, Wittman recounts the riveting real-life detective story that led to the discovery of the long-lost diary of Alfred Rosenberg, one of eleven Nazis sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials. This historically significant document testifies to Rosenberg’s influence on Hitler’s destructive ideologies and the Final Solution.

Luncheon $12/$8* per person (*JCC Member price) RSVP, call JCC Front Desk at 757-321-2338 

Presented in partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT and Beth Sholom Village

For more information, click here.

Babysitting is available, please contact the JCC Customer Service at 757-321-2338 to reserve your spot.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 7:30pm IMPORTANT UPDATE

The Mommy Group: Freaking Out,

Finding Friends, and Surviving the Happiest

Time of Our Lives

with Elizabeth Gold

Girl’s Night Out! Roast Rider Coffee & Tea

(1554 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach)

RSVP required, call 757-321-2304

Due to illness, author Elizabeth Gold will not be able to give her presentation at Roast Rider Coffee this Thursday. HOWEVER, we’re still planning to meet there for a Girl’s Night Out! You can pick up a copy or two of Elizabeth’s book, The Mommy Group, and mingle and share stories with others! Desserts and coffee/tea are on us, but you’ll need to RSVP. Call now: 757-321-2304.

Friday, Nov. 18, 9:30am at the Simon Family JCC

Sing-Along Alef Bet

with Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg

One Author, Multiple Events

Based on the lyrics of musicians Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg, this playful and upbeat children’s introduction to the Hebrew A,B,Cs will have your children singing and dancing.

Presented in partnership with Strelitz Early Childhood education Center and the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater.

SHABBAT FOR EVERYONE Ohef Sholom Temple • 530 Raleigh Avenue, Norfolk • Open to the community

5:45-6:30pm • FAMILY FRIENDLY SHABBAT SERVICES featuring Mama Doni

6:30pm • SHABBAT DINNER $10/person | Children under 12 Free. RSVP to


7:30pm •SHABBAT SERVICES Open to the Community

Join Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen, interim Associate Rabbi at Ohef Sholom Temple, who will lead the adult services. Her books will be featured at the Book Festival, as she is an author of award winning Jewish teen and children’s books.

Presented in partnership with Ohef Sholom Temple.

Sunday, Nov. 20, 2:00pm Community Read

with Local Author

Leaving Iran: Between Migration and Exile

with Farideh Goldin

Goldin presents an intimate portrait of her family’s displacement after the 1979 Iranian Revolution and their search for new identity. Translated from her father’s memoirs, Goldin shares insights into the marrow of the immigrant experience, weaving his story of dislocation and loss with her own experiences as an Iranian Jew in a new homeland.For more information, click here.Babysitting is available, please contact the JCC Customer Service at 757-321-2338 to reserve your spot.

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 7:30pm


The Definition of Anti-Semitism,

An Evening with Kenneth Marcus


Founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Kenneth Marcus offers an indispensable book about the manner in which anti-Semitism has evolved from the ancient world to the present. Tracing the history from anti-Judaism to secular anti-Semitism, Marcus offers insights into the ‘new anti-Semitism’ on university campuses around the globe.

Free and open to the community with RSVP required to 965.6107 or

For more information, click here.

The first event in a three part series focusing on anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on university campuses, being offered by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Simon Family JCC. For more information, including details on the other events, plase contact CRC Director, Robin Mancoll at

In partnership with the Simon Family JCC, the Community Relations Council and the Society of Professionals of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater

For questions about these or other Cultural Arts events, please contact Michele Goldberg, Director of Cultural Arts, at 757-321-2341 or




* of blessed memory


The Simon Family JCC would like to acknowledge the Jewish Book Council and our membership in the JBC Network.

To learn more about giving opportunities, click here.


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