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Festival Events & Schedule

2017 St. Louis Jewish Book Festival Schedule

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2017 Keynote Speakers

October 15: Zac Posen

Posen-ZPbyMichael Beauplet resizedZac Posen
Sunday, October 15, 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex
Tickets: $45

Most people know Zac Posen as the world-renowned fashion designer and judge on the Emmy Award-winning show Project Runway. But recently, his mouthwatering, beautifully plated dishes on Instagram introduced his fans to another one of his passions: food. For Zac, food and fashion are both sensory experiences, and the process is the same whether you’re planning a meal or a fashion collection. Cooking with Zac brings together these passions. When it comes to creating his meals, Zac believes in a balance between healthy, fresh, local ingredients and decadently sweet desserts. Think chic daywear followed by a striking evening gown.

CookingwithZac_cvr_Feed resizedZac designs for the Zac Posen, ZACzacposen and Truly Zac Posen brands. He also serves as the Creative Director of Womenswear at Brooks Brothers.

Please bring donations of new or lightly used clothing to help support the National Council of Jewish Women.

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November 5: Senator Barbara Boxer

Boxer_CAA Speakers_PhotoSenator Barbara Boxer
Sunday, November 5, 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex

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Throughout her dynamic career, Senator Barbara Boxer of California (1993-2016) advocated for public education, improved physical and mental services for veterans and military families, reaffirmed our country’s important relationship with Israel, protected our environment, and defended women’s rights.

A champion of quality public education, Senator Boxer wrote landmark legislation establishing the first-ever federal funding for afterschool programs. Her law now covers 1.6 million children. She continues to work to expand afterschool programs nationwide as chair of the Senate Afterschool Caucus.

Boxer_The Art of Tough_Book1In 2010, she founded the Senate Military Family Caucus to help address the challenges faced by families of U.S. service members. She worked to establish the West Coast Combat Care Center in San Diego and helped create the Defense Task Force on Mental Health.

Senator Boxer wrote the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, which President Obama signed into law in July 2012, strengthening economic and security cooperation between the two nations. She is also the author of the Syria Accountability Act, which strengthened sanctions against Syria over the country’s support for terrorism.

Senator Boxer has won numerous awards for her environmental efforts. She has fought to ensure that drinking water standards protect children, has led efforts in Congress to protect California’s coast from offshore oil drilling, and fought to end the unethical use of human subjects in pesticide testing.

A leading defender of a woman’s right to choose, Senator Boxer helped lead the floor fight for passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. In the Senate, she has fought back against repeated attacks on women’s health and a woman’s right to privacy.

Ticket information to come. 

Bookend Events

October 23: Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman.new.credit Deborah Feingold resizedHoffman-rules of magic resizedAlice Hoffman
Monday, October 23, 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex
Tickets: $20

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Marriage of OppositesPractical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on EarthThe Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. Hoffman’s new novel, The Rules of Magic, takes place at the cusp of the sixties in New York City, hundreds of years after Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Here live three Owens children who are taught never to fall in love but who cannot escape the human heart, nor their family curse, no matter how hard they try.

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October 24: Stephen Tobolowsky

tobolowsky-stephen-2017Stephen Tobolowsky
Tuesday, October 24, 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex, Arts & Education Building
Tickets: $20

Stephen Tobolowsky has appeared in more than 100 movies and 200 television shows, including unforgettable roles in Mississippi BurningGroundhog Day, and Memento. Tobolowsky currently appears in the hit series’ The Goldbergs, HBO’s Silicon Valley, and Norman Lear’s new One Day at a Time.

BibleIn his new book My Adventures with God, Tobolowsky explores the idea that most people’s lives seem to fit into the template of the Old Testament. We all have powerful creation myths. We wander in the wilderness. At some point, we stop and proclaim to the universe who we are. We bear the loss of family and friends and finally, we retell our stories to our children hoping to make sense of the journey.

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October 29: Abigail Pogrebin
Pogrebin, Abigail credit Lorin Klaris Sept 2017

Pogrebin-my-jewish-yearAbigail Pogrebin
Sunday, October 29, 7:00 p.m.
Takes place at United Hebrew Congregation
Millstone Sanctuary

In her most recent book, My Jewish Year 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew Abigail Pogrebin explores the traditions and rituals behind many Jewish holidays. After a Pew Research Center study revealed that most Jews don’t find their connection in Judaism, Abigail set out to discover the reason why. My Jewish Year provides a relatable insight and a trove of information as readers move through milestones in the Jewish calendar.

This program is free and open to the community.

 

November 2: Hallie Ephron

Hallie EphronEphron-YoullNeverKnowDear hc resizedHallie Ephron
Tuesday, November 2, 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex, Arts & Education Building

New York Times bestselling author Hallie Ephron, Edgar Award finalist and four-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, writes suspense fiction, mysteries, and nonfiction books on the writing process. Her latest suspense novel, You’ll Never Know, Dear is set in South Carolina and tells the story of a little girl’s disappearance and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to her fate. Sister to Nora and Delia Ephron, Hallie lives near Boston, Massachusetts and teaches writing at workshops and writing conferences across the country.

This event is free and open to the public as part of the Mitzvah Authors Program

Festival Lineup: November 5 – 19

November 5

7pm: Senator Barbara Boxer

Boxer_CAA Speakers_PhotoSenator Barbara Boxer
Sunday, November 5, 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex

Purchase Tickets

Throughout her dynamic career, Senator Barbara Boxer of California (1993-2016) advocated for public education, improved physical and mental services for veterans and military families, reaffirmed our country’s important relationship with Israel, protected our environment, and defended women’s rights.

A champion of quality public education, Senator Boxer wrote landmark legislation establishing the first-ever federal funding for afterschool programs. Her law now covers 1.6 million children. She continues to work to expand afterschool programs nationwide as chair of the Senate Afterschool Caucus.

In 2010, she founded the Senate Military Family Caucus to help address the challenges faced by families of U.S. service members. She worked to establish the West Coast Combat Care Center in San Diego and helped create the Defense Task Force on Mental Health.

Boxer_The Art of Tough_Book1Senator Boxer wrote the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, which President Obama signed into law in July 2012, strengthening economic and security cooperation between the two nations. She is also the author of the Syria Accountability Act, which strengthened sanctions against Syria over the country’s support for terrorism.

Senator Boxer has won numerous awards for her environmental efforts. She has fought to ensure that drinking water standards protect children, has led efforts in Congress to protect California’s coast from offshore oil drilling, and fought to end the unethical use of human subjects in pesticide testing.

A leading defender of a woman’s right to choose, Senator Boxer helped lead the floor fight for passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. In the Senate, she has fought back against repeated attacks on women’s health and a woman’s right to privacy.

Ticket information to come. 

November 6

1pm: Ellen Stern

9780374280574 HIRSCHFELD resizedEllen Stern
Monday, November 6, 1pm
Staenberg Family Complex, Arts & Education Building
Tickets: $18
Beginning in the 1920s, Al Hirschfeld caricatured Hollywood, politics, and notably, the theater: Broadway belonged to Hirschfeld. His distinctive drawings appeared in The New York Times and other publications for more than seventy-five years. Ellen Stern’s new book is the first definitive biography of the legendary artist. Ellen Stern has been a writer and editor at New YorkGQ, and the Daily News. Her books include Once Upon a TelephoneThreads (with designer Joseph Abboud), Sister Sets, and Gracie Mansion—with mayoral drawings by Al Hirschfeld.

Purchase Tickets

November 7

10:30am: Lisa Smartt

Words at the ThresholdLisa Smartt
Tuesday, November 7, 10:30am
Staenberg Family Complex
Tickets: $18

A person’s end-of-life words often provide tantalizing clues about the ultimate fate of the human soul. Until now, however, no author has systematically studied end-of-life communication by using examples from ordinary people.  Lisa Smartt, MA, collected more than one hundred case studies through interviews and transcripts. In this groundbreaking and insightful book, Smartt shows how the language of the dying can point the way to a transcendent world beyond our own. Smartt is a linguist, educator, and poet and is founder of the Final Words Project.

1pm: Adam Piore

Piore-body-builders resizedFor millennia, humans have tried to master nature and transcend our limits. In Adam Piore’s new book, The Body Builders, he explores how bioengineering is allowing researchers to unlock untapped resilience in the human body and mind and even enhance human performance. Real characters include a double amputee who has built bionic limbs that allow him to walk again, a blind woman who can “see” with her ears, and many others. Piore is a contributing editor at Popular Science and Discover Magazine and a former Newsweek Magazine correspondent.

Piore will be interviewed on stage by Christian Greer of the Saint Louis Science Center.

7pm: Comedy Night with Sarge

Sarge-black-boychickComedy Night with Sarge
Tuesday, November 7, at 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex
Tickets: $20

Born black and Jewish in Miami Beach Florida “Sarge” (as he’s known nationwide) is one of the most hilarious, high-energy, triple threat entertainers working anywhere in the country today. Not only is he a top-notch comedian, he’s a piano virtuoso since the age of 5 (you’ll hear him perform as part of this program) and an excellent singer. As though these gifts were not enough, Sarge is 26 years clean and sober and he works as a clinician in treatment centers and prisons from Miami Florida to Malibu. His new book is Black Boychik.

November 8

1pm: Alexandra Silber

Silber-after-anatevka-resizedAlexandra Silber
Wednesday, November 8, 1pm
Staenberg Family Complex
Tickets: $18

Alexandra Silber starred in the 2015 Muny production of My Fair Lady and most recently as Tzeitel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof as well as the role of Hodel in London’s West End. These roles inspired After Anatevka, Silber’s sweeping historical novel that imagines what happens to the characters of Fiddler on the Roof after Hodel leaves the stage and the curtain falls. After Anatevka is a love story for the ages set against a backdrop of some of the greatest violence in European history.

6:30pm: Women's Event with Leslie Bennetts

Bennetts-last-girl-before-freeway-2017Women’s Event with Leslie Bennetts
Wednesday, November 8
6:30pm: Reception and Fashion Show
7:30pm: Author Presentation
Staenberg Family Complex
Tickets: $25

Leslie Bennetts is the author of the national bestseller The Feminine Mistake as well as a longtime Vanity Fair writer and former New York Times reporter. At Vanity Fair she wrote many movie star cover stories and she was the first woman ever to cover a presidential campaign at the New York Times. Her new book, Last Girl Before Freeway, is a juicy, intimate biography of Joan Rivers. Rivers was one of the greatest comedians ever, whose sixty-year career was borne, simply, out of a desire to make people laugh.

*Before the author presentation, enjoy a reception and a fashion show featuring local models wearing clothes from LAUNCH Clothing & Accessories. RSVPs REQUIRED TO: 314-442-3299.

November 9

10:30am: Steven J. Ross

Ross-hitler-in-los-angelesSteven J. Ross
Thursday, November 9, 10:30am
Staenberg Family Complex
Tickets: $18

No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. The Nazis plotted to kill the city’s Jews and to sabotage the nation’s military installations. U.S. law enforcement agencies were not paying close attention–preferring to monitor Reds rather than Nazis–and only attorney Leon Lewis and his daring ring of spies stood in the Nazis’ way. Hitler in Los Angeles is the newest book by eminent historian Steven J. Ross. He is recipient of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Film Scholars Award.

1pm: Sidney Blumenthal

Blumenthal-9781501153785Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday, November 9, 1pm
Staenberg Family Complex
Tickets: $18

Wrestling with His Angel: 1849-1856 is volume II of Sidney Blumenthal’s acclaimed biography, The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln. Blumenthal reveals how Lincoln and his friends operate behind the scenes to destroy the anti-immigrant party in Illinois to clear the way for a new Republican Party—a party that will ultimately launch him to the presidency. Sidney Blumenthal is the former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. He has been a national staff reporter for The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and senior writer for The New Republic.