An estimated 500 to 600 people will head to the Kaiserman JCC from Nov. 11 to Dec. 5 for the annual Jewish Book Festival.
The festival consists of five programs in addition to a book fair. All festival programs are free — except for the Storybook Brunch, which is no cost for adults but $5 for children.
Proceeds from the fair will go toward the JCC’s “Everyone Belongs at the J” scholarship fund.
“Books have always been a big part of my life,” Kaiserman CEO Amy Krulik said. “Even in the advent of e-readers, there is something so important about the written word, regardless of the medium.”
The Storybook Brunch on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. is the first program of the festival. JCC staff members and special readers from the JCC’s preschool and community will join Krulik, who will be dressed as Mother Goose, at an interactive bagel brunch. Children will receive an autograph book for collecting signatures from the characters, readers and other surprise guests.
Krulik said the festival tries to bring in local authors every year.
Besides the Storybook Brunch, other programs will include talks by Unique Eats and Eateries of Philadelphia author Irene Baker on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., In the Spirit of the Holidays author Janet Falon on Nov. 16 at 11 a.m., Wounded Knee and The Bridge Too Far author Paul Mitura on Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. and The Collected Plays of Chaim Potok editor Rena Potok on Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Not many people know that Chaim Potok, who lived in Philadelphia for many years, was a playwright in addition to a novelist, Krulik said. At this last festival event, attendees will have the opportunity to talk with his daughter about his plays. The event will include a staged reading of scenes from the plays.
Cookbooks are always a big hit at the Jewish Book Festival, Krulik said, noting the community can’t seem to get enough of them. The RBG Workout by Bryant Johnson, a pocket-sized book about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s workout, was also popular last year, and Krulik said she expects it to come up as one of the most popular again this year.
“There’s always a program that I’m wondering will I really like it and it always becomes one of my favorites,” Krulik said.