35th Annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Book Festival

Stories of Tales and Triumphs



Michael B. Oren


Kristin Hannah


David Gregory

The 35th Annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival begins Thursday, October 8, with Michael B. Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, and current member of the Knesset. Ambassador Oren shares his memoir Ally: My Journey across the American-Israeli Divide, about his time in office during which America experienced transformative changes and the Middle East underwent violent upheaval.

The Festival runs through December 3rd and features Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brooks, TV journalist David Gregory, international bestselling authors Alice Hoffman, Naomi Regan and Kristin Hannah, plus Arlene Alda, Michael Bar-Zohar and Jennifer Teege. A theme reoccurs in many of the presenters’ works that reveals tales and triumphs – stories of sacrifice, betrayal and the resilience of the human spirit, along with powerful accounts of personal achievements and life-changing discoveries.

Festival Highlights:

Acclaimed author Alice Hoffman will present her latest novel, The Marriage of Opposites, at the Women’s Day Luncheon on Thursday, October 15.

The Festival’s Book Club Night features Kristin Hannah, author of the heartbreakingly beautiful novel The Nightingale, a book that has reigned at the top of the New York Times bestselling list for most of 2015.

Geraldine Brooks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of MarchThe Secret Chord.

Using vivid oral histories, Arlene Alda, in Just Kids from the Bronx, presents a touching and provocative collection of stories that chronicles the Bronx from the early twentieth century until today.

Naomi Ragen is an iconoclast, a fiercely outspoken Orthodox woman who advocates for gender equality. Her latest work The Devil in Jerusalem is an eye-opening glimpse into the global kabbalah phenomenon.

Personal triumphs are revealed in Michael Bar-Zohar’s latest book No Mission is Impossible, with personal stories of the fighters, commanders and politicians behind the twenty-six most death-defying missions of the Israeli Special Forces.

Jennifer Teege was born to a German mother and a Nigerian father, given up for adoption and taken in by a foster family. In her internationally bestselling memoir My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me, Teege chronicles how she chose to respond to the life-changing discovery that the brutal Nazi commandant Amon Goeth, the “Butcher of Plaszow,” was her grandfather.

The Festival concludes on Thursday, December 3rd when former NBC newsman and Meet the Press moderator David Gregory shares his spiritual autobiography and probes various religious traditions to better understand his own faith. While covering the White House as a news correspondent, he had the unusual experience of being asked by President George W. Bush “How’s your faith?”

The Jewish Book Festival has presentations at the Alper JCC’s Robert Russell Theater, at synagogues throughout the community and the Miller Center on the UM Campus. Click here for a schedule of events or call 305-271-9000, Ext. 268 for information.

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