More than 700 people passed through the Boulder JCC doors during the Festival of Books and Culture, which ended Monday night with a deli dinner at Jimmy & Drew’s with author David Sax speaking about his quest for culinary continuity, “Save the Deli.”
This year’s festival reached record attendance levels with the success of several key programs that drew capacity crowds of 100 or more to the BJCC, including the American Girl Doll tea party and author talk, a parenting program with Susan Stiffleman, a multi-sensory celebration of Jewish Morocco, and a screening of “Refusenik” honoring the work of Boulder Action for Soviet Jewry (click the links to see photos from many of these events).
Highlights of the festival for BJCC program director Kathryn Bernheimer included “dancing to the music of Rachid Halilal at A Night in the Jewish Casbah after cooking dinner for 100 under the supervision of chef Carlos Zarur.”
“I loved the diversity of our audience as well. The opening day doll party, art show and film drew Orthodox as well as non-Jews, Russian seniors and college students, families with young children – a wonderful mix of people that proves the JCC’s motto: You belong here. And any time you get Reb Zalman and a group of rabbis together to sing and tell stories, you have to consider that an accomplishment. I was thrilled with our authors, who were entertaining, provocative and just really great and interesting people – from My Jesus Year to Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers. I was also so pleased to be able to partner with Allied Jewish Federation, the ADL, Haver, Nevei Kodesh, and of course MoVeRs, on these programs.”
Hundreds of books were sold at the Book Fair, with the proceeds benefiting HaSifria, the Boulder JCC library. The Rebecca Rubin books and mini-dolls were a big hit, as were titles such as Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean .
The Festival of Books and Culture is co-sponsored by the Boulder JCC, HaSifria, Shalom Family, Shalom Baby and Menorah, and relies on many volunteers and board members who devote their time and energy to making this large-scale operation a success. To volunteer for next year’s festival, contact Kathryn Bernheimer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to view the archive of Boulder Jewish News articles about the 2009 Festival of Books and Culture.