Literary Festival Coming to Museum of Jewish Heritage
On Sunday, December 11, the Museum of Jewish Heritage (MJH) will host the first annual New York Jewish Book Festival. Dozens of authors will participate in multiple panel discussions and book signings, while reflecting on themes ranging from Jewish heritage and culture, to literature, the Holocaust, and food.
“Our approach is to create an open tent,” observes MJH vice president Joshua Mach, “welcoming everything from books about antisemitism to cooking and fiction. It is broad enough to include people who have very different perspectives on how to define Jewish literature or culture. We want to capture the full diversity of the Jewish world and its experience.”
To that end, there will be symposia on themes as topical as “Robots Get Religion! Creative Golems, Jewish Robots, and the Spirituality of Artificial Intelligence,” and as timeless as “Rejecting the Idea of Bad Jews: American Jewish Identities in History and Non-Fiction.” Those who view culture through a culinary lens may want to attend “What Makes a Jewish Cookbook Jewish” and “Zabar’s: A Family Story with Three Generations.” And “Writing a Life in Film”—with Mark Harris, author of a new biography of Mike Nichols, and New York Times critic A.O. Scott—will examine the central role of Jewish identity in popular culture.
To kick off the New York Jewish Book Festival, MJH will also host a screening—three days earlier, on the evening of Thursday, December 8—of the first episode of “Fleishman Is in Trouble,” the new series from Hulu. After the screening, Mr. Scott will interview Taffy Brodesser-Akner, producer of the series and the author of the novel on which it is based.
There will also be author signings, featuring Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Ms. Brodesser-Akner, Karen Baum Gordon, Sarah Maslin Nir, and Alice Feiring, among others.
For children, MJH is partnering with PJ Library (a provider of free “Jewish bedtime stories and songs”) to provide interactive readings, drawing workshops, and more.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage is located at 36 Battery Place (near First Place). Admission to the New York Jewish Book Festival, and to the Museum as a whole, is free on the day of the event, although donations are welcome and suggested. Because some discussions are expected to attract a significant audience, complimentary registration in advance is suggested.