Stay tuned for the 2023-2024 JBF dates, coming in September/October


Please email Renee' with any questions

Previous Events

The Jewish Book Festival from

November 2022 to March 2023

offers a wide variety of genres with something for everyone!

We will have In-Person and Zoom-tastic authors!



Jewish Book Festival Mission


Jewish Book Festival enriches and engages our community. We provide education and social experiences showcasing books by Jewish authors and/or with Jewish content.


Jewish Book Festival Brochure




Become a Book Festival Patron


Many advantages of being a Patron:

PLATINUM PATRON ($500 per person) will receive these benefits:


  • The heartwarming feeling that you are helping to financially support the Jewish Book Festival above and beyond the cost of event tickets.
  • 1 copy of the author book of your choice.
  • Patrons will be pre-registered for each event.
  • Patrons will be acknowledged in the Federation Star as well as on the Jewish Book Festival website.
  • Preferred seating at in-person events.



SILVER PATRON ($225 person) will receive these benefits:

  • The heartwarming feeling that you are helping to support the Jewish Book Festival.
  • Patrons will be pre-registered for each event.
  • Patrons will be acknowledged in the Federation Star as well as on the Jewish Book Festival website.
  • ​​Preferred seating at in-person events.




BRONZE PATRON ($118 per person) will receive these benefits:

  • The heartwarming feeling that you are helping to support the Jewish Book Festival. 
  • Patrons will be pre-registered for each event.
  • Patrons will be acknowledged in the Federation Star as well as on the Jewish Book Festival website.



The Fine Print:

  • You will receive a confirmation email after you register.
  • For Virtual Presentations, the Zoom link will be emailed 2 hours prior to the event and is valid for your entire household.
  • For In-Person events, remember your ticket or Patron level is per person.
  • Virtual tickets are not transferable. Please do not forward the Zoom link or you may risk being locked out of the event.
  • If you are not able to attend an in-person event, you must let Renee’ know at least 48 hours in advance to enable your guest to attend in your place.
  • Event payments are NOT tax deductible. Sorry, we can’t accept checks from DAF, Foundations or any other account that is expected to be tax deductible. 
  • If a start time or author needs to be changed, you will be notified via email.
  • If an author cancels, every attempt will be made to reschedule the author; your original reservation will be valid for the rescheduled event.
  • Books may be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Waterside Shops, Naples, and
    online at and


If you have questions, please email Renee', Program Director here.


Please keep in mind that the Jewish Book Festival does NOT have permission to record the author's speaking events.
Click on each book image if you want to purchase it.


Tuesday, November 1

1:00 pm ET, on Zoom 

Household ticket, $18     


Coco at the Ritz 

by Gioia Diliberto

Sponsored by


Naples Jewish Congregation


Though her name is synonymous with elegance and chic, the iconic Coco Chanel had a complicated dark side, and in late August 1944, as World War II drew to a close, she was arrested and interrogated on charges of treason to France.  

Many of the facts are lost to history, partly through Chanel's own obfuscation, but this much is known: the charges grew out of her war-time romance with a German spy, and one morning two soldiers from the French Forces of the Interior—the loose band of Resistance fighters, soldiers and private citizens who took up arms in the wake of the Liberation of Paris—led Chanel from her suite at the Ritz Hotel in Paris to an undisclosed location for questioning.

About Gioia

Gioia is the author of seven books – three historical novels and four biographies – and a play. Her writing, which focuses on women's lives, has been praised for combining rich storytelling and literary grace with deep research to bring alive worlds as varied as Jazz Age Paris and nineteenth century Chicago, Belle Epoque Paris and disco era Manhattan. Her books have been translated into several languages, and she has been a judge for prominent literary contests. As a journalist, Gioia has written for many publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian, Town & Country, and Vanity Fair. She also teaches writing and has taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design and DePaul and Northwestern Universities.

Thursday, Nov. 17

2:00 pm ET, on Zoom

Household ticket, $18


Objects of Love and Regret: A Brooklyn Story

by Richard Rabinowitz

Sponsored by


Men's Cultural Alliance






At a pushcart stall in East New York, Brooklyn, in the spring of 1934, eighteen-year-old Sarah Schwartz bought her mother, Shenka, a green, wooden-handled bottle opener. Decades later, Sarah would tear up telling her son Richard, “Your bubbe always worked so hard. Twenty cents, it cost me.”

How could that unremarkable item, and others like it, reveal the untold history of a Jewish immigrant family, their chances and their choices over the course of an eventful century? By unearthing the personal meaning and historical significance of simple everyday objects, Richard Rabinowitz offers an intimate portrait connecting Sarah, Shenka, and the rest of his family to the twentieth-century transformations of American life. During the Depression, Sarah—born on a Polish battlefield in World War I, scarred by pogroms, pressed too early into adult responsibilities—receives a gift of French perfume, her fiancé Dave’s response to the stigma of poverty. Later we watch Dave load folding chairs into his car for a state-park outing, signaling both the postwar detachment from city life and his own escape from failures to be a good “provider” for those he loves.

Richard Rabinowitz, a noted historian and museum curator, is the president of American History Workshop. For decades, he has been instrumental in developing new museums and creating lively exhibitions across the nation, including the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the New-York Historical Society. He is the author of The Spiritual Self in Everyday Life: The Transformation of Personal Religious Experience in Nineteenth-Century New England and Curating America: Journeys through Storyscapes of the American Past. Among his many honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Historical Association’s Herbert Feis Award for distinguished contributions to public history.

Wednesday, Nov. 30 

12:00 pm ET, on Zoom

Household ticket, $18


By the Grace of the Game

by Daniel Grunfeld

When Lily and Alex entered a packed gymnasium in Queens, New York in 1972, they barely recognized their son. The boy who escaped to America with them, who was bullied as he struggled to learn English and cope with family tragedy, was now a young man who had discovered and secretly honed his basketball talent on the outdoor courts of New York City. That young man was Ernie Grunfeld, who would go on to win an Olympic gold medal and reach previously unimaginable heights as an NBA player and executive. 

In By the Grace of the Game, Dan Grunfeld, once a basketball standout himself at Stanford University, shares the remarkable story of his family, a delicately interwoven narrative that doesn't lack in heartbreak yet remains as deeply nourishing as his grandmother's Hungarian cooking, so lovingly described. The true improbability of the saga lies in the discovery of a game that unknowingly held the power to heal wounds, build bridges, and tie together a fractured Jewish family.

Dan Grunfeld is a former professional basketball player, an accomplished writer, and a proud graduate of Stanford University. An Academic All-American and All-Conference basketball selection at Stanford, Dan played professionally for eight seasons in top leagues around the world, including in Germany, Spain, and Israel. Dan’s writing has been published more than 40 times in media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, The Jerusalem Post, and NBC News. Dan earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2017 and lives with his wife and son in the Bay Area, where he works in venture capital.

Monday, Dec. 5

7:00 pm ET, at Beth Tikvah* and on Zoom

Individual ticket or Household ticket, $25

*Mask Policy


The Letters Project: A Daughter's Journey

by Eleanor Reissa

Sponsored by


Beth Tikvah 



Ginsberg Eye Opthalmology


The Letters Project is about big history, the Holocaust, but it is also an extraordinarily intimate personal narrative—a rare blend of informative, poignant, excruciating, startling, humorous, and ultimately inspiring storytelling.

In 1986, when her mother died at the age of sixty-four, Eleanor Reissa went through all of her belongings. In the back of her mother’s lingerie drawer, she found an old leather purse. Inside that purse was a large wad of folded papers. They were letters. Fifty-six of them. In German. Written in 1949. Letters from her father to her mother, when they were courting. Just four years earlier, he had fought to stay alive in Auschwitz and on the Death March while she had spent the war years suffering in Uzbekistan. Thirty years later, Eleanor—a theatre artist who has been on the forefront of keeping Yiddish alive—finally had the letters translated. The particulars of those letters send her off on an unimaginable adventure into the past, forever changing her and anyone who reads this book.

Eleanor Reissa is Brooklyn born and bred, and attended public schools from kindergarten through college. She is a Tony-nominated director, a Broadway and television actress, a prize-winning playwright, a former artistic director of the world’s oldest Yiddish theater, and a singer who has performed in every major venue in New York City and in festivals around the world. She is a storyteller in English and Yiddish and is the daughter of parents who were Holocaust fighters.

Thursday, Dec. 15

7:00 PM ET, on Zoom

Household ticket, $18


Big Time

by Jen Spyra 

Sponsored by


Jewish National Fund-USA




A bride so desperate to get in shape for her wedding that she enrolls in a new kind of workout program that promises the moon but costs more than she bargained for. A snowman who, on the wish of a child, comes to life in a decidedly less savory way than in the childhood classic. And in the title story, a time-hopping 1940s starlet tries to claw her way to the top in modern-day Hollywood, despite being ridiculously unwoke. 

In this uproarious, addictive debut, Jen Spyra takes a culture that seems almost beyond parody and holds it up to a funhouse mirror, immersing the reader in a world of prehistoric influencers, woodland creatures plagued by millennial neuroses, and an all-out birthday bash determined to be the most lavish celebration of all time, by any means necessary. 

My name is Jen, and I'm a writer and performer. You may have seen my stuff on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,  where I was a staff writer for four seasons. Before that, I was a senior writer for The Onion, where I also headed the editorial video department as a writer, director and producer. My debut short story collection, Big Time, comes out March 16th, 2021. Preorder 10 here, won't you? And do join me on my virtual book tour.


Beyond The Onion, my writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast and elsewhere. As an improviser, I've performed on teams at  iO Chicago, iO LA, and currently at UCB in New York. I also voice the characters of Hillary Clinton and Jill Biden on Showtime's Our Cartoon President, and I'm the announcer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  


I have an MFA in Playwriting and Screenwriting from Northwestern University ('12) and a BA in English from Barnard College ('07). The Hollywood Reporter  featured me in an article about writing for late night. Check out my shiny hairs here.

Wednesday, Jan. 4 Brunch

12:00 pm ET, at Temple Shalom

In Person and on Zoom

Individual ticket or Zoom household ticket, $36


Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish: A Whole Brunch of Recipes to Make at Home

by Cathy Barrow 

Exclusively Sponsored by


Women's Cultural Alliance



Thank you Temple Shalom for hosting.

Bagel lovers rejoice! This delightful cookbook makes it easy to bake fresh bagels in your own kitchen with just five base ingredients and simple techniques. With advice on mixing the dough, shaping the bagels, proofing, boiling, baking, slicing, and storing, you will be a master bagel-maker in no time.

Recipes include two dozen variations on the New York bagel, with classic and innovative flavors ranging from Sesame to Blueberry to Hatch Chile Jack. You'll also find recipes for homemade sweet and savory spreads, schmears, pickles, and other deli mainstays like Home-Cured Lox and Chicken Salad.

Cathy Barrow an award-winning cookbook author, gardener, knitter, traveler, and teacher. She is the author of Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish (Chronicle Books, 2021), When Pies Fly (Grand Central, 2019 ), Pie Squared (Grand Central, 2018), and Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry (W.W. Norton, 2014). Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Serious Eats, Saveur, Food52, The Local Palate, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, NPR, and National Geographic. Her books have won the IACP Cookbook Award (Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry) and been nominated for the James Beard Award (Pie Squared).

Thursday, January 12

2:00 pm ET on Zoom

Household ticket, $18



Overture of Hope 

by Isabel Vincent

Sponsored by


Ginsberg Eye Opthalmology







A Secret Aria of Courage and Suspense

Europe, 1937. Two British sisters, one a dowdy typist, the other a soon-to-be famous romance novelist. One shared passion for opera. With prospects for marriage and families of their own cut down by the scythe of World War I, the Cook sisters have thrown themselves into their love of music, with frequent pilgrimages to Germany and Austria to see their favorite opera stars perform.  But now with war clouds gathering and harassment increasing, the stars of Continental opera, many of whom are Jewish, face dark futures under the boot heel of the Nazis.

Isabel Vincent is an award-winning investigative reporter for The New York Post and the author of four books, including Gilded Lily: Lily Safra, The Making of One of the World's Wealthiest Widows. The book is the unauthorized biography of the international philanthropist, whose fourth husband, the banker Edmond Safra, died in a mysterious fire in Monaco. Isabel spent several years researching her subject in Brazil, where the book has been banned by a local court.

Friday, Jan. 20

10:00 am ET, on Zoom

Household ticket, $18


Maybe It's Me 

by Eileen Kathy Pollack

Sponsored by

Temple Shalom Sisterhood


Eileen is nine and too smart for the third grade, but when the clownish school psychologist tries to gain her trust with an offer of Oreos, she refuses. After all, she doesn’t accept gifts from strangers! This is the start of a love-hate relationship with the rules as they were laid out for a girl in 1960s upstate New York—and as they persist in some form today. As she ascends from her rural public high school, where she wasn't allowed to take the advanced courses in science and math because she was female, through a physics degree at Yale, to a post-graduate summer that leaves her “peed on, shot at, and kidnapped,” to a marriage where both careers theoretically are respected but, as the wife, she is expected to do all the housework and child-rearing, pay the taxes, and make sure the Roto-Rooter guy arrives on time, Pollack shares with poignant humor and candid language the trials of being smart and female in a world that is just learning to imagine equality between the sexes. Maybe It’s Me is a question all smart women have asked themselves. 

Eileen Pollack graduated from Yale with a BS in physics and earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of the novels The Professor of Immortality, The Bible of Dirty Jokes, A Perfect Life, and Breaking and Entering, which was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection, as well as two collections of short fiction, The Rabbi in the Attic and In the Mouth, which won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. Eileen’s work of creative nonfiction Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull was made into a movie starring Jessica Chastain.

Wednesday, February 1

2:00 pm ET, In Person at JFGN and on Zoom

Individual tickets, $25 or Household Zoom ticket, $25


And How are the Children?

by Marjorie Margolies

Sponsored by


Senior Housing Solutions




Women's Cultural Alliance




Emmy-winning journalist, congresswoman, and the first single American to adopt internationally, Marjorie Margolies masterfully blends her personal narrative with national history and politics in this call-to-action memoir.

Filled with the wisdom Marjorie Margolies gained as an athlete, educator, TV reporter, congressperson, world traveler, adoption advocate, parent, and grandparent, this memoir provides readers with an abundance of upbeat, prescriptive advice and inspiration with Marjorie's trademark self-effacing humor .

Today, the world talks a lot about female empowerment, but when Marjorie was breaking through professional glass ceilings, she was unknowingly paving the way for the generations that followed in several different industries.

Marjorie Margolies (formerly Margolies-Mezvinsky) is a Jewish American professor and politician who formery served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Margolies (born June 21, 1942) was born in Philadelphia and graduated from the University of Pennsyvania in 1963. From 1967 to 1990, Margolies worked as a broadcast journalist, winning five Emmy Awards for her work.

In 1992, Margolies ran for an open seat in Congress from Pennsylvania's 13th district and defeated her Republican challenger in the general election. In 1994, Margolies lost in her first re-election bid.

After her term in Congress, Margolies was the Chair of the National Women’s Business Council and the Director and Deputy Chair of the United States delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995.

She currently serves as the founder and chair of Women’s Campaign International (WCI), a group that provides advocacy training for women throughout the world. She is also a professor at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, Feb. 14

2:00 pm ET, In Person at JFGN and on Zoom

Individual tickets, $25 or Household Zoom ticket, $25  


The Thread Collectors

by Shaunna Edwards and Alyson Richman


1863: In a small Creole cottage in New Orleans, an ingenious young Black woman named Stella embroiders intricate maps on repurposed cloth to help enslaved men flee and join the Union Army. Bound to a man who would kill her if he knew of her clandestine activities, Stella has to hide not only her efforts but her love for William, a Black soldier and a brilliant musician.

Meanwhile, in New York City, a Jewish woman stitches a quilt for her husband, who is stationed in Louisiana with the Union Army. Between abolitionist meetings, Lily rolls bandages and crafts quilts with her sewing circle for other soldiers, too, hoping for their safe return home. But when months go by without word from her husband, Lily resolves to make the perilous journey South to search for him.

Shaunna J. Edwards is the debut novelist of THE THREAD COLLECTORS, co-authored with bestselling novelist, Alyson Richman. THE THREAD COLLECTORS will be released in August 2022. A native Louisianian, Shaunna majored in Literature at Harvard College before attending NYU School of Law. A former corporate lawyer, she now works in diversity, equity and inclusion.



Alyson Richman is the USA Today bestselling and #1 international bestselling author of several historical novels including The Velvet Hours, The Garden of Letters, and The Lost Wife, which is currently in development for a major motion picture. Alyson graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in art history and Japanese studies. 

Tuesday, Feb. 28

2:00 pm ET, on Zoom

Household ticket, $18


Rebel Daughter

by Lori Banov Kaufmann

Sponsored by


Hadassah Collier/Lee Chapter


National Jewish Book Award Winner • Christy Award Finalist
A young woman survives the unthinkable in this stunning and emotionally satisfying tale of family, love, and resilience, set against the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

Esther dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a prosperous silversmith. Always curious and eager to explore, she must accept the burden of being the dutiful daughter. Yet she is torn between her family responsibilities and her own desires.

Meanwhile, the growing turmoil threatens to tear apart not only her beloved city, Jerusalem, but also her own family. As the streets turn into a bloody battleground between rebels and Romans, Esther's journey becomes one of survival. She remains fiercely devoted to her family, and braves famine, siege, and slavery to protect those she loves.

As soon as she learned of the discovery of the first-century tombstone that inspired this book, Lori Banov Kaufmann wanted to know more. She was captivated by the ancient love story the stone revealed and resolved to bring it back to life.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Lori was a strategy consultant for high-tech companies and served on the boards of several companies. She has an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She lives in Israel with her husband and four adult children.

Friday, March 3

9:00 am ET, on Zoom *Please note time change

Household ticket, $18


Salt in My Soul 

by Mallory Smith

Sponsored by


TOP Jewish Foundation




Vi at Bentley Village


Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of three, Mallory Smith grew up to be a determined, talented young woman who inspired others even as she privately raged against her illness. Despite the daily challenges of endless medical treatments and a deep understanding that she’d never lead a normal life, Mallory was determined to “Live Happy,” a mantra she followed until her death. Mallory worked hard to make the most out of the limited time she had, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, becoming a cystic fibrosis advocate well known in the CF community, and embarking on a career as a professional writer. Along the way, she cultivated countless intimate friendships and ultimately found love.

For more than ten years, Mallory recorded her thoughts and observations about struggles and feelings too personal to share during her life, leaving instructions for her mother to publish her work posthumously. She hoped that her writing would offer insight to those living with, or loving someone with, chronic illness.

Diane Smith, Mallory's mother, will be talking to us about their journey.

Tuesday, March 14

2:00 pm ET, on Zoom

Household ticket, $18



by Erica Katz 

Sponsored by


Casual Connection

Clothing Store in Naples Walk



Can you spot the difference? 

Emma Caan is a fake. 

She’s a forger, an artist who specializes in nineteenth-century paintings. But she isn’t a criminal; her copies are commissioned by museums and ultra-wealthy collectors protecting their investments. Emma’s more than mastered a Gauguin brushstroke and a van Gogh wheat field, but her work is sometimes a painful reminder of the artistic dreams she once chased for herself, when she was younger and before her family and her world fell apart. 

When oligarch art collector Leonard Sobetsky unexpectedly appears with an invitation, Emma sees a way out—a new job, a new path for herself, and access to the kind of money she needs to support her unstable and recently widowed mother. 

Erica Katz is the pseudonym for a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Columbia Law School who began her career at a major Manhattan law firm. A native of Tenafly, New Jersey, she now lives in New York City, where she's employed at another large law firm. The Boys' Club was her first novel and Fake will be her second.

2 Author Event


Wednesday, March 22

2:00 pm ET

at JFGN and on Zoom

Individual ticket, $25 or household zoom ticket, $25


More After the Break: A Reporter Returns to Ten Unforgettable News Stories

by Jen Maxfield



Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes

by Ira Rosen

In More After the Break, Jen Maxfield revisits ten memorable stories from her career as a TV news reporter, describing in heart-pounding detail how the events unfolded and revealing what happened after the cameras went away. She introduces readers to unforgettable people who will inspire you with their hopefulness, even when confronting life's greatest heartbreaks: a young man who lost both legs in a ferry crash, an endurance athlete with stage-four lung cancer, and so much more.


Jen Maxfield is an Emmy Award–winning reporter and substitute anchor who started at NBC New York in 2013. Prior to joining the station, she worked for Eyewitness News (ABC7) in New York City as a reporter and substitute anchor for ten years. Jen started her broadcast career in Binghamton, New York (WIVT), in 2000 and also worked in Syracuse (WIXT) before moving to New York City in 2002. She has reported live from thousands of news events over her twenty-two-year career and estimates she has interviewed more than ten thousand people.

When producer Ira Rosen walked into the 60 Minutes offices in June 1980, he knew he was about to enter television history. His career catapulted him to the heights of TV journalism, breaking some of the most important stories in TV news. But behind the scenes was a war room of clashing producers, anchors, and the most formidable 60 Minutes figure: legendary correspondent Mike Wallace.


For nearly twenty-five years, IRA ROSEN has produced some of the most memorable, important, and groundbreaking stories for 60 Minutes. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Rosen was a senior producer of Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer. Rosen has won 24 National Emmys, four duPont Awards, two RFK Awards, and two Peabodys for his work. He is the coauthor of The Warning: Accident at Three Mile Island.



Previous Jewish Book Festival Events

Click on image to view the entire JBF brochure.

All authors appearing at the Greater Naples Jewish Book Festival are members of the Jewish Book Council Network.