Festival of Books - Hevreh
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Jewish Festival of Books 2019

Thursday, July 18-Sunday, July 21

From The People Of The Book For All People Who Love Books

Hevreh is thrilled to welcome you back for the main Jewish cultural event of the Summer! This year, over the course of the four day festival – from Thursday, July 18th through Sunday, July 21st – you can enjoy a real old fashioned egg cream with Barry Joseph, author of Seltzertopia: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Drink; follow Angela Himsel’s journey in her memoir A River Could Be A Tree from an apocalyptic, doomsday Christian sect in rural Indiana to a Modern Orthodox Jewish woman living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side; trace the journey of best-selling novelist Tova Mirvis, recounted in her memoir The Book of Separation, away from her Modern Orthodox upbringing, marriage and religious community and into a new and emerging way of expressing her Judaism and living her life; bring the kids and grandkids to a found object art nature walk with Rabbi Leah Rachel Berkowitz, author of The World Needs Beautiful Things, a Biblically inspired exploration of creativity and the arts; and top it all off with a huge helping of Chef Rossi’s raucous memoir The Raging Skillet recounting her own revolution against Orthodoxy and the microwave, and evolution into one of the most sought after caterers in New York City.


We can’t wait to see you at the festival!

Thursday, July 18 at 7:00 pm


Seltzertopia: The Extraordinary Story of An Ordinary Drink

Barry Joseph

This book is the definitive biography of seltzer, and there is nothing two cents plain about the story, which is frequently as effervescent as its subject matter.  Attendees will not only be treated to Joseph’s presentation, but also to a real siphon bottle seltzer, milk and Fox’s U-Bet egg cream reception and book signing afterwards.  This Egg Cream Eggstravaganza will be the culmination of a two month egg cream special at The Great Barrington Bagel Company & Deli in Great Barrington, MA from Memorial Day through July 21st, to benefit the book festival.


$20 includes an authentic egg cream after the presentation. This event is co-sponsored by The Great Barrington Bagel Company & Deli and Brooklyn Seltzer Boys.

Friday, July 19
5:45 pm Shabbat Service


A River Could Be A Tree

Angela Himsel


Talk and festive oneg to follow

This lyrical memoir traces the author’s journey from one of eleven children, growing up in rural Indiana as part of an apocalyptic, doomsday Christian sect led by a white supremacist to a Modern Orthodox Jewish woman living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.


This event is free and open to the community and is sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Saturday, July 20
10 am Shabbat Services


Two Journeys: Tova Mirvis & Angela Himsel

in Conversation with Judith Rosenbaum

During Shabbat morning services, Tova Mirvis and Angela Himsel will be in conversation with each other, moderated by Judith Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive.  Among other topics, they will recount their two journeys to and from Modern Orthodoxy, and explore the power and complexity of community, family, tradition and finding one’s own path and meaning.  


This event is free and sponsored by The Jewish Women’s Archive


Saturday, July 20
Talk and Kiddush Lunch to Follow Shabbat Services


The Book of Separation

Tova Mirvis

The best-selling novelist discusses her memoir, The Book of Separation, tracing her journey away from her Modern Orthodox upbringing, as she leaves both a marriage and the religious community of which she was a part, and struggles to find her footing in an unfamiliar secular world while still keeping one foot in the Orthodox world for the sake of her children, and stepping with the other into a new and emerging way of expressing her Judaism and living her life.  The Jewish Women’s Archive is sponsoring this event.


$25 advance registration includes a Kiddush lunch. Money will not be taken at the door in observance of Shabbat.

Saturday, July 20
4:00 pm Havdalah


The World Needs Beautiful Things

Rabbi Leah Rachel Berkowitz

Bring the kids and grandkids on a found object art nature walk in Hevreh’s backyard with the author, followed by creative crafting, a hands-on Havdalah and some sweet Shabbat treats.  

As always, we welcome interfaith families, GLBTQ families, nursing moms, babies and siblings of all ages, grandparents and special people, new members, first timers, neighbors, and friends.


This event is free and open to the community and co-sponsored by the PJ Library.

Sunday, July 21 at 10:00 am

The Raging Skillet

Chef Rossi

The Raging Skillet is a raucous memoir recounting Chef Rossi’s personal revolution against Orthodoxy and the microwave, and her evolution into one of the most sought after caterers in New York City.  Over the course of the book, she goes from being served bread and wine by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to serving up trays of exotic trayf to the rich and famous.  Along the way, she sprinkles fun and simple recipes, liberally spiced with her own unique brand of irreverent humor.


$30 includes lunch featuring recipes from the book.

Festival Partners

event underwriters