Book Festival

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The Jewish Book Festival brings award-winning, Jewish authors to the JCC for interactive sessions with the community. Past guests have been authors of children's books, non-fiction writers, and YouTube stars.

The Central Florida Jewish Book Festival 
February 10-12, 2019

Leah Rachel Berkowitz,
author of The World Needs Beautiful Things

February 10, 2019  

Leah Rachel Berkowitz is a rabbi, writer, and storyteller. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she was also ordained. Her writing has appeared in The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate, God: Jewish Choices for Struggling with the Ultimate, and Spirituality 101: Your Guide to Keeping--Or Finding--Your Spiritual Life on Campus. She blogs at This is her first book for children.


Historical Fiction Panel

B.A. Shapiro,
author of The Collector’s Apprentice

February 12, 2019   

B.A. Shapiro is the New York Times bestselling author of The Muralist, The Art Forger, The Safe Room, Blind Spot, See No Evil, Blameless, and Shattered Echoes. She has also written four screenplays and the non-fiction book, The Big Squeeze. The Art Forger has been on many bestseller lists—including the New York Times, Boston Globe, LA Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Amazon, and Kindle—and has won many awards including The 2013 New England Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Boston and is working on her eighth novel.

Marie Benedict,
author of The Only Woman in the Room 

February 12, 2019   

Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History and Art History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. While practicing as a lawyer, Marie dreamed of a fantastical job unearthing the hidden historical stories of women -- and finally found it when she tried her hand at writing. She embarked on a new, narratively connected series of historical novels with The Other Einstein, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein's first wife, a physicist herself, and the role she might have played in his theories. The following novel in this series is Carnegie's Maid -- which released in January of 2018 -- and the next book will be The Only Woman in the Room, which will be published in January of 2019. Writing as Heather Terrell, Marie also published the historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare.

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Purchase Historical Fiction Book Bundle

Learn more about previous Jewish Book Festivals

February 2018
October 2017