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“The festival’s purpose is to enrich people’s lives and knowledge about subjects they like or new stuff they haven’t explored, to expand people’s vision and to bring the Judaism in the book world to people’s homes in an easy way.”

The 34th annual Ann Arbor Jewish Book Festival runs Nov. 21-Dec. 16, and features 24 authors online via Zoom. All events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. 

Noemi Herzig, director of Jewish Cultural Arts and Adult Education for the Ann Arbor JCC, says it’s an eclectic festival this year.

Ann Arbor Jewish Book Festival

“I like to mix it up so there’s something for everybody,” she said. “The festival’s purpose is to enrich people’s lives and knowledge about subjects they like or new stuff they haven’t explored, to expand people’s vision and to bring the Judaism in the book world to people’s homes in an easy way.”

Author events include one with Ami Ayalon, author of Friendly Fire, How Israel Became its Own Worst Enemy and its Hope for the Future, and another with Daniel Sketch, author of Can We Talk About Israel?: A Guide for the Curious, Confused and Conflicted.

Other events include Jeffrey Veidlinger, professor of history and Judaic studies at the University of Michigan, speaking about his book, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust. James McAuley, a European affairs columnist for the Washington Post, will join the festival with a presentation of his book, The House of Fragile Things: Jewish Art Collectors and the Fall of France. 

Author Heather Dune Macadam will be speaking about her book, 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz, which tells the story of 999 young, unmarried women who were tricked into boarding a train that became the first official transport to Auschwitz. 

On Dec. 15, former CIA/FBI agent and Nobel Prize winner Tracy Walder takes festival-goers on her journey in The Unexpected Spy: From CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World’s Most Notorious Terrorists. 

That same evening, Robert Lefkowitz will talk about his journey from cardiologist to legendary scientist and winner of the Nobel Prize with his book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Stockholm: The Adrenaline-Fueled Adventures of an Accidental Scientist. 

The full schedule of author events, including Zoom links, can be found at book.jccannarbor.org. For additional questions, Noemi Herzig can be reached via email at noemiherzig@jccannarbor.org. 

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