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2010 Festival of Books and Culture

This year, the Boulder JCC’s annual Festival of Books and Culture covers capitalism and klezmer, bargain hunters and terrorists, biblical mistranslations and prayers without God, and a vicarious visit to Jewish Italy.

The 2010 Festival of Books and Culture starts October 24th and runs through November 15th and features ten programs, including six author talks, and a book fair featuring hundreds of titles, including the latest children’s books, classic works of fiction, cook books, bestsellers and hot-topic discussion books.

The festivities begin this Sunday, October 24th, with mother-daughter authors appearing at a mother-daughter tea. Meredith and Sofie Jacobs co-wrote “Just Between Us:  A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms,” and will share their experience at a Shalom Family event at the BJCC on Sunday, October 24 at 2 pm. Tickets are $18 for mother-daughter pairs and advance registration is required.

On Monday, November 1, at 7 pm, self-proclaimed “bargainista” Annie Korzen, a thrifty woman with expensive tastes, comes to Rags Consignment Store, 3129 28th St, to share secrets from her new book, “Bargain Junkie: Living the Good Life on the Cheap.”  Tickets are $12.

Author Thanassis Cambanis, one of the most talented foreign correspondents of his generation, has traveled far into the heart of Hezbollah to provide a vibrant image and unprecedented understanding of this powerful and secretive Islamist force. Cambanis will be at the BJCC on Thursday, November 4 at 7 pm to discuss A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel.” Tickets are $10.

Every year, Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC celebrates a particular culture through music, food, film and discussion. (Last year, we vicariously visted Morocco.) This year, the Jews of Italy Celebration will feature a concert of Italian Jewish music with Faye Nepon, and a film, feast and discussion with Carlos Zarur. The exploration of the complex and rich history of the Jews of Italy begins at 5 pm on Sunday, November 7 at the BJCC. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door.

Author Jerry Muller has written a fascinating look at how Jews have shaped capitalism and how capitalism has shaped the Jewish experience from medieval times to today. Muller will speak at CU Hillel, 2795 Colorado Ave., on Wednesday, November. 10 at 7 pm about his new book, Capitalism and the Jews.” Tickets are $10; free for students.

At age 94, Herman Wouk embarked on an autobiographical journey through his monumental writings (“The Caine Mutiny,” “The Winds of War,” “War and Remembrance,” “Marjorie Morningstar”). Menorah’s Older Adults – Not Just for Seniors series presents a conversation about Herman Wouk and his new book, The Language that God Talks,” in which the author addresses the eternal questions of why we are here, what purpose faith serves, and how scientific fact fits into the picture. The contemplation of Herman Wouk’s life, writing and Jewish faith takes place Thursday. November 11, at noon at the BJCC; $8 for lunch and discussion

Menorah isCrazy About Klezmer” and will celebrate this quintessentially Jewish musical idiom with a concert and author talk. Yale Strom is the world’s leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer music and history, and he comes to the BJCC on Saturday, November 13, 7 pm to shed light on the art form and to discuss his new book, “Dave Tarras: King of Klezmer.” Before and after the talk there will be a concert with Sheldon Sands and the Boulder Klezmer Consort, featuring soloist Faye Nepon. There will be an “old world” buffet and libations at Menorah’s fundraiser. Tickets are $36, reservations recommended.

As part of “Movers: Do You Speak Jewish?,” author Joel M. Hoffman shares the truth behind many of our most common quotes from the Bible, detailing new insight into the Ten Commandments, Psalm 23, Song of Songs, the “virgin birth” of Isaiah 7:14, and much more. Hoffman will discuss And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning on Sunday, November 14, 7 pm at the BJCC. Tickets are $10.

Chidush holds its annual program on Sunday, November 14, from 4:30-6:30 pm. This community-wide reception features a talk by nationally recognized expert in Jewish education Nacahma Skolnik Moskowitz, the presentation of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award to Leah Boonin, and the release of “Taste of Chidush,” featuring 36 lesson plans.

The final festival program features Rabbi Miriam Jerris, Prayer without God: The Language of Humanistic Judaism, on Monday, November 15, at 7 pm at the BJCC. Rabbi of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, Rabbi Jerris will discuss how new liturgy allows the authentic voice of her movement to emerge. The program is also part of Movers: Do You Speak Jewish?, a year-long examination of language and literature.

For information and reservations, visit www.boulderjcc.org or call Kathryn Bernheimer at 303-998-1021, kathryn@boulderjcc.org.

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn Bernheimer
Director of Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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