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Welcome to the Literatour, a Community-wide Celebration of Jewish Books and Authors

This season brings an exciting lineup of exceptional authors, celebrities, and cultural influencers, whose books represent a broad range of topics. Through Literatour, fellow book lovers come together to listen, meet and interact with their favorite authors in a variety of forums, including author meet-and-greets, book signings, panel discussions, concerts, and more. All of the following programs will be held via Zoom.

Contact

Bev Nadler
Director of Adult Programs
bnadler@springfieldjcc.org
413-739-4715

Online Program: Bob Chipkin, "Paws to Remember"

Thursday, February 4, 7:00 PM

For more than six years editor, columnist and humorist Robert Chipkin took on the journalistic endeavor of thinking like a dog. In more than 300 columns for the Springfield Sunday Republican, Chipkin adopted the voice of his golden retriever, Theo, as the two of them developed a special kind of Theo-ology — exploring the world as a dog sees it. Now, after a literary career as the only regularly appearing canine columnist, Theo has pulled together his views on skunks, socks, birthdays, time, leashes and much more in a collection of essays — Paws to Remember the Wit & Wisdom of Theo, The Golden Retriever.  Bob is a longtime JCC member, and his book is available for purchase at the JCC for $20.

Admission: Free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required.

Register

Online Program: Anna Solomon, "The Book of V"

Thursday, February 18, 2:00 PM

Lily is a mother and a daughter. And a second wife. And a writer, maybe? Or she was going to be, before she had children. Now, in her rented Brooklyn apartment she’s grappling with her sexual and intellectual desires, while also trying to manage her roles as a mother and a wife in 2016. Vivian Barr seems to be the perfect political wife, dedicated to helping her charismatic and ambitious husband find success in Watergate-era Washington D.C. But one night he demands a humiliating favor, and her refusal to obey changes the course of her life―along with the lives of others. Esther is a fiercely independent young woman in ancient Persia, where she and her uncle’s tribe live a tenuous existence outside the palace walls. When an innocent mistake results in devastating consequences for her people, she is offered up as a sacrifice to please the King, in the hopes that she will save them all. In Anna Solomon’s The Book of V., these three characters’ riveting stories overlap and ultimately collide, illuminating how women’s lives have and have not changed over thousands of years.

Admission: Free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required.

Register

Online Program: Stephanie Butnik, "The 100 Most Jewish Foods"

Tuesday, March 2, 7:00 PM

Tablet’s list of the 100 most Jewish foods is not about the most popular Jewish foods, or the tastiest, or even the most enduring. It’s a list of the most significant foods culturally and historically to the Jewish people, explored deeply with essays, recipes, stories, and context. Some of the dishes are no longer cooked at home, and some are not even dishes in the traditional sense (store-bought cereal and Stella D’oro cookies, for example). The entire list is up for debate, which is what makes this book so much fun. Many of the foods are delicious (such as babka and shakshuka). Others make us wonder how they’ve survived as long as they have (such as unhatched chicken eggs and jellied calves’ feet). As expected, many Jewish (and now universal) favorites like matzo balls, pickles, cheesecake, blintzes, and chopped liver make the list. The recipes are global and represent all contingencies of the Jewish experience.

Co-sponsored by the Yiddish Book Center

Admission: Free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required.

Register

Online Program: Ronald Balson, "Eli's Promise"

Tuesday, March 23, 7:00 PM

Eli’s Promise is a masterful work of historical fiction spanning three eras―Nazi-occupied Poland, the American Zone of post-war Germany, and Chicago at the height of the Vietnam War. Award-winning author Ronald H. Balson explores the human cost of war, the mixed blessings of survival, and the enduring strength of family bonds.

Admission: Free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required.

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Online Program: David R. Dow, "Confessions of an Innocent Man"

Thursday, April 29, 7:00 PM

Rafael Zhettah relishes the simplicity and freedom of his life. He is the owner and head chef of a promising Houston restaurant, a pilot with open access to the boundless Texas horizon, and a bachelor, content with having few personal or material attachments that ground him. Then, lightning strikes. When he finds Tieresse—billionaire, philanthropist, sophisticate, bombshell—sitting at one of his tables, he also finds his soul mate and his life starts again. And just as fast, when she is brutally murdered in their home, when he is convicted of the crime, when he is sentenced to die, it is all ripped away. But for Rafael Zhettah, death row is not the end. It is only the beginning. Now, with his recaptured freedom, he will stop at nothing to deliver justice to those who stole everything from him.

Admission: Free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required.

Register