JCC Author & Speaker Series

Past authors from the JCC Author & Speaker Series.

The JCC has hosted a wide range of authors and speakers, including Evan Handler, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, Carol Leifer, Kinky Friedman, Cokie & Steve Roberts, David Javerbaum, David E. Kaufman, Andrea Lustig Pomerantz, and Professor Chad Spigel, among many others. These year-round author and speaker series events serve to educate, enlighten, and enrich all who attend.


Jo Ivester - The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir of the 1960s Deep South | Thurs., Sept. 17 | 12:00 noon
In 1967, when Jo Ivester was ten years old, her father transplanted his Jewish family from a suburb of Boston to an all-black town in the Mississippi cotton fields so he could become the medical director of a clinic meant to serve the poorest region in the nation. Her mother as recruited to teach at the local high school, where she became a beloved and sometimes controversial figure who introduced black literature into the curriculum. Ivester builds on journals left by her mother to paint an inspiring portrait of her family's experiences and a town dealing in a unique way with the racism that still grips our nation today. She describes how her mother helped her students understand that the anti-Semitism that flourished throughout much of the Deep South was similar to the hatred they faced as black Americans.


  • Free - Lecture Only
  • $8 - Lunch & Lecture

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Joanne Rocklin - I Say Shehechyanu | Sun., March 20 | 1pm
Follow a little girl and her baby brother throughout the year as she says “Shehechyanu”, the beautiful blessing for expressing thanks when something takes place for the first time, or when it happens again after a long time. I Say Shehechyanu, written by Joanne Rocklin and illustrated by Monika Filipina, is a beautiful picture book suitable for all Jewish festivities, celebrations, and the proud “first times” of childhood.

This author event is great for families. Check back soon for more information.

Leslie A. Kimmelman - Everybody Says Shalom | Sun., May 1 | 1pm
A spirited picture-book tour of Israel takes readers to the Old City of Jerusalem and modern Tel Aviv, the desert and the sea, Roman ruins, the Biblical Zoo, a kibbutz, and much more. Lively, rhyming text and vibrant, colorful illustrations offer young readers a trip through this old-new land of many contrasts, cultures, and customs. Readers can also look for a mischievous gecko that plays hide-and-seek in the scenes. The end pages include interesting historical information and other facts about the places visited.

This author event is great for families. Check back soon for more information.

To receive more information about our Author Series or any other Arts & Culture event, sign up for our Email Mailing List. If you have any questions, please contact Maya Siler.