Something for Everyone at 2014 JCC Jewish Bookfair

The 2014 JCC Jewish Bookfair will again showcase new authors, new ideas and a variety of events for all ages and interests during a 10-day festival that begins with Bookapalooza Family Day on October 19 from 11 am to 5 pm. The day will kick-off with an 11 am discussion of Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza. Participants may enjoy coffee and bagels at this FREE event that is open to the public. Then, from 3-5 pm, a Local Author Book Signing will showcase the work of local authors including Charlene Fix, Sandra Gurvis, Ingrid Silvian, and Eric Wittenberg, among others.

Kid-friendly activities start at 3 pm with arts and crafts, LEGO building, cupcake decorating, and the announcement of the 2014 Children’s Writing Contest winners. At 4 pm, Bookapalooza will conclude with Story Time, including PJ Library stories and songs and a reading of Goldie Takes a Stand, the story of a young Golda Meir. Readers aged 6+ will be invited to make their own choices on how to help others and take their own stand.

Bookfair Chair Jill Eisenberg explained the festival’s endurance in the central Ohio Jewish community. “For over 50 years, the Columbus Jewish Bookfair has been an asset for the community, providing access to the latest in Jewish literature as well as a forum for audiences to directly engage with authors and discuss topics of relevance,” said Eisenberg.

“This year, the Bookfair committee and I are especially thrilled to bring the Columbus Jewish community an incredible variety jam-packed into 10 exciting days. These events should really appeal to everyone from young families with kids, to teens and young adults, to empty-nesters.” Bookapalooza on October 19 is an opportunity for everyone in the community to do just this, Eisenberg added.

In addition to Bookapalooza, parents with older children and teens may also enjoy the 7 pm October 28 event with Debra Fine, author of Beyond Texting. “Her work helps parents get beyond their electronic gadgets and focus on face-to-face interactions. It’s really designed to boost teens’ confidence,” said Eisenberg.  Fine offers the tools needed for successful social interactions as an internationally recognized conversation expert, keynote speaker and author of numerous books on the art of conversation.

For young adults seeking to broaden their cooking horizons, the Singing Chef, Cantor Mitchell Kowitz, will come to town on October 23. At 7 pm, he’ll bring his Kosher Cuisine for a New Generation to audiences looking for new recipes, stories, helpful serving suggestions, and as an added bonus, song pairings and music! During a high-energy presentation, the Singing Chef will sing uplifting songs like Hava Nagila, Israeli songs like Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu, and those of his own creation, while playing his guitar and leading the next generation in easy-to-follow kosher recipes like chicken marsala, chicken piccata, and tilapia alfredo. “I like to open with a song so that everybody can feel energized with lots of ruach,” Cantor Mitch explained.

He created these recipes and song pairings to show how easy and fun kashrut can be. “I want to bring kashrut to the next generation, like my kids who helped inspire this cookbook.” On October 23, guests should bring their appetites for fun, as everyone will be sampling some of these easy and delicious recipes, including zucchini bread and “Bubbi’s banana bread.”

A self-taught chef, Cantor Mitch worked in more than a dozen restaurants and studied at the Conservatory of Cincinnati before becoming a cantor, serving two synagogues for 25 years. Cantor Mitch wanted to give younger chefs a fun and unique way to approach kosher cuisine, and each recipe in his cookbook is accompanied by a song or story. “I love to entertain.  I wanted to make this book different than anything else that’s out there,” Cantor Mitch added. Kosher Cuisine for a New Generation also comes with a free download of accompanying songs.

Even more is in store for readers at the 2014 JCC Jewish Bookfair. The bookstore will open in the JCC lobby on Sunday, October 19, and remain open during the JCC’s regular hours of operation. Contact Cheryl Dritz at cdritz@columbusjcc.org or call 614-559-6238 to learn more. Right now, all visiting authors’ books are for sale at 20% off in the JCC lobby, located at 1125 College Avenue, Columbus, OH 43209.