2020 Ann Arbor Jewish Book Competition Goes Digital

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Three of this year’s events will be hosted by the faculty of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan

The 2020 Ann Arbor Jewish Book Festival will also take place online. Most events are free and open to the public. The annual festival to celebrate Jewish authors is organized by the Ann Arbor Jewish Community Center and supported by the Ann Arbor Jewish Federation. Visit book.jccannarbor.org for the full list of events.

Three of this year’s events will be hosted by the faculty of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Samuel Shetzer Associate Professor of American-Jewish Studies Julian Levinson will host an event with Miriam Udel on Sunday, December 13th at 11am. Udel is about honey on the page: A treasure trove of Yiddish children’s literature, an unparalleled treasure trove of Yiddish children’s stories and poems with original illustrations. Honey on the Page contains nearly 50 stories and poems for children translated from the original Yiddish.

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On Tuesday, December 15th, at 7 p.m., Devi Mays, Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, will present her book Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey through the 20th Century together with the author Sarah Stein. The 2019 publication was recognized as one of the best books of the year by The Economist, an editor of the New York Times Book Review and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.

In Family Papers, Stein uses the Levy family’s correspondence to tell their story. The sprawling Levy family lived in the bustling port city of Saloniki in Macedonia for centuries. As leading publishers and editors, they helped record modernity as experienced by Sephardic Jews throughout the Ottoman Empire. However, the wars of the 20th century redrawn the borders around them, transforming the Levys from Ottomans to Greeks. Family members soon moved across borders and hemispheres, expanding the family diaspora from Greece to Western Europe, Israel, Brazil and India. Over time, the Holocaust almost gutted the clan and wiped out entire branches of the family tree.

Karla Goldman, Sol Drachler Professor of Social Work and Director of the Jewish Communal Leadership Program, will host an event with the author Esther Safran Foer on Thursday, December 17th at 1:00 p.m. and her book “I want you to know that we ”introduce. It’s still there: a post-Holocaust memory. Foer is a writer and former executive director of the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, DC. After learning that her father had a former wife and daughter, both of whom were killed during the Holocaust, Foer travels to Ukraine to learn more about her and her father’s survival during the war.

The complete list can be found at https://book.jccannarbor.org/schedule.

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