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Jewish Community Center

Festival Events & Schedule

2017 St. Louis Jewish Book Festival Schedule

Bookend Events

August 23: William D. Cohan

William D. Cohan
Cohan author photo (c) Gasper Tringale resizedWednesday, August 23, 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex, Arts & Education Building

If you like your smartphone or your widescreen TV, your car or your 401(k), then—whether you know it or not—you are a fan of Wall Street.

William D. Cohan is one of America’s most respected financial journalists. He has long been critical of the bad behavior that plagued much of Wall Street in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, and because he spent seventeen years as an investment banker on Wall Street, he is an expert on its inner workings as well. In his new book, WHY WALL STREET MATTERS, Cohan reminds us of the good these institutions do—and the dire consequences for us all if the essential role they play in making our lives better is carelessly curtailed.

Cover for WHY WALL STREET MATTERSWILLIAM D. COHAN is the New York Times bestselling author of The Price of Silence, Money and Power, House of Cards, and The Last Tycoons, which won the 2007 FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

This event is free and open to the community (no registration required).

Cohan will be interviewed on stage by Jim Deutsch of Smith Moore.

October 23: Alice Hoffman

Alice Deborah Feingold resizedHoffman-rules of magic resizedAlice Hoffman
Monday, October 23, 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex
Tickets: $25

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.

October 24: Stephen Tobolowsky

tobolowsky-stephen-2017Stephen Tobolowsky
Tuesday, October 24, 7pm
Staenberg Family Complex, Arts & Education Building
Tickets: $25

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.


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

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.

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. 

November 6

Ellen Stern

Stern, Ellen by Matthew Klein resizedEllen Stern
Monday, November 6, 1pm
Staenberg Family Complex, Arts & Education Building
Tickets: $18

9780374280574 HIRSCHFELD resizedBeginning 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.

November 7

Lisa Smartt

LisaSmartt1_c resizedWords 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.