Jewish book fair brings literary legends to La Jolla
by Mariko Lamb
Published - 10/31/12 - 03:32 PM | 3837 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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More than 40 of the nation’s top authors will gather at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) in University City and Temple Solel in North County to present the latest and greatest literary works, ranging from spy intrigue novels to cookbooks on delicious ethnic fare. Here is a sampling of a few of the events that will take place at the LFJCC, located at 4126 Executive Drive. For a full list of author presentations, visit


Coffee talk

A mid-morning panel discussion featuring authors Ken Druck and Edie Lutnick will rouse thoughtful dialogue about confronting life’s challenges, whether it be setting a path toward balancing life’s priorities or sharing a story of perseverance through devastation. Druck will discuss his book, “The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life’s Terms with Your Own,” a groundbreaking book that shatters clichés governing peoples’ lives and presents comprehensive guidelines for embracing life. Co-panelist Lutnick will also share her story about her brother’s misfortune on Sept. 11, 2001, when he and 657 others at Cantor Fitzgerald became victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center building on that ill-fated day and her family’s efforts to help bring comfort to more than 800 families who became victims of the attacks. Tickets to the panel discussion are $7 for JCC members and $9 for nonmembers.

FRIDAY, Nov. 9

Lunch with an artist

A lunchtime conversation with Helene Aylon will reveal the captivating tale of a woman at life’s crossroads through her inspiring book, “Whatever is Contained Must be Released: My Jewish Orthodox Girlhood, My Life as a Feminist Artist.” In her autobiography, Aylon talks about her experience as a young, happily married Jewish housewife with two kids and her transformation into a widowed feminist artist. The discussion provides audience members with the rare opportunity to engage with the eco-feminist artist who gained some notoriety in the 1970s and ’80s for her activist performance works and take a sneak peek into her fascinating life story. Tickets to the lunch and talk are $14 for JCC members and $17 for nonmembers.


Cocktails and comedy

The LFJCC will host a special “In the Mix Lit” mixer for young adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s with adult beverages, snacks and a comedy performance by New York Times bestselling author Justin Halpern. Halpern, a Point Loma native, skyrocketed his comedy career when his first book, “Sh*t My Dad Says,” hit New York Times’ bestselling list for 40 weeks, 11 of which were spent as the No. 1 bestselling title. His latest book, “I Suck at Girls,” is a hilarious collection of Halpern’s romantic coming-of-age mishaps and misadventures, which will be discussed in a conversation with the author following his comedy show at 7:45 p.m. Tickets to the “In the Mix Lit” mixer and show are $17 in advance and $20 at the door. Following the mixer, Harper will entertain a crowd as he discusses his latest book at 9 p.m. Tickets to the author discussion are $14 for JCC members and $17 for nonmembers.

SUNDAY, Nov. 11

Fun for the family

Family day at the San Diego Jewish Book Fair will include of a number of educational events to entertain guests of all ages throughout the day.

Kicking off Veterans Day, JCC will host a morning coffee conversation with Alex Kershaw, author of “The Liberator,” the story of Felix Sparks’ odyssey during World War II on the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Division, a battalion that saw the most action throughout the war from the beaches of Sicily to the gates of Dachau. Tickets to the coffee talk are $7 for JCC members and $9 for nonmembers

Following the morning pick-me-up is “Look & Listen: Performing Arts Series,” a lunch-time matinee featuring a staged reading of the fictional novel “Address Unknown,” a collection of letters between a Jewish art dealer in San Francisco and his partner in Nazi Germany. Tickets to the reading are $14 for JCC members and $17 for nonmembers

The day will continue with “Talk @ 2,” a free event with Eleanor Ehrenkranz, author of “Explaining Life: The Wisdom of Modern Jewish Poetry,” followed by “Tea & Talk” with historian Jonathan Sarna, author of “When General Grant Expelled the Jews,” at 4 p.m. Tickets to Sarna’s book discussion are $6 for JCC members and $8 for nonmembers.

The book fair as a whole will conclude with a final event at 7:30 p.m., during which Dr. Daniel Gordis will discuss his latest book, “The Promise of Israel: Why its Seemingly Greatest Weakness is Actually its Greatest Strength.” Gordis will share excerpts from his book, which cites examples of freedom and fortune found in Israel that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Tickets to the author presentation are $16 for JCC members and $19 for nonmembers.
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