SPRINGFIELD — Literatour, the Springfield Jewish Community Center’s celebration of Jewish books, has announced its Fall 2019 lineup of authors. Literatour events take place in different locations throughout the area, welcoming a robust list of historians, novelists, memoirists, and children’s book authors.
“Our fall program will appeal to a variety of ages and reading interests,” said Deb Krivoy, the JCC’s Director of Cultural Arts. “This is just the beginning of an extraordinary slate of authors we will host throughout the 2019-20 Literatour season.”
Scheduled to appear October through December are the following:
The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come
Sunday, Oct. 6
2 p.m., Yiddish Book Center
From New York Times Best Illustrated Book artist Stacy Innerst and author Sue Macy comes a children’s book about Aaron Lansky’s heroic effort to save the world’s Yiddish books. This children’s story celebrates the power of an individual to preserve history and culture. Sue Macy is a former editor for Scholastic and is the acclaimed author of many books for young readers. Presented in partnership with the Yiddish Book Center
Parents Under Pressure: Struggling to Raise Children in an Unequal America
Tuesday, Oct. 29
7 p.m., Springfield JCC
The portraits of six overburdened families shows how health crises can quickly devolve into the loss of jobs and homes, how public perceptions of poor people hamper the chances for a better life, and the ways in which race and income affect access to assistance. Karen Zilberstein is a psychotherapist and serves as the Clinical Director of the Northampton chapter of A Home Within, a national non-profit devoted to providing pro bono therapy to foster care youth and alumni. Co-sponsored by Kehillah, the JCC’s Special Needs Department.
My Soul is Filled with Joy: A Holocaust Story
Thursday, Nov. 7
7 p.m., Temple Beth El
Admission: FREE for JCC and Temple Beth El members, $7 general public
Sam Goldberg escaped the Treblinka Death Camp during the prisoner revolt on August 2, 1943. Running to the woods, he met Esther, who was hiding there. They hid together in barns and in a pit in the forest until liberation. The author, Karen Treiger, married to Sam and Esther’s son, uncovers details of their wartime experiences and travels to Poland to meet the families of the Righteous Gentiles who helped them survive. Treiger retired from her law practice in 2015 to research and write her in-laws’ story of survival during the Holocaust. Co-sponsored by Temple Beth El
A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name-Changing in America
Tuesday, Dec. 10
7 p.m., Springfield JCC
Admission: FREE for JCC and WMJGS members, $7 general public
Our thinking about Jewish name-changing tends to focus on clichés: ambitious movie stars who adopted glamorous new names or insensitive Ellis Island officials who changed immigrants’ names for them. But the real story is much more profound. Mining court documents, oral histories, archival records, and contemporary literature, this history of name changing in the U.S. offers a previously unexplored window into American Jewish life throughout the 20th century. Kirsten Fermaglich teaches history and Jewish studies at Michigan State University and is the co-editor of American Jewish History. Co-sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Jewish Genealogical Society.
Books will be available for purchase at all events, and authors will sign books immediately following their presentations. Sponsors of this year’s Literatour festival include the Yiddish Book Center, Temple Beth El, Glenmeadow Retirement, Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Life Lessons: The William & Margery Sadowsky Center for Adult Learning, Western Massachusetts Jewish Genealogical Society, Kehillah: the Springfield JCC’s Special Needs Department, and the Jewish Book Council. Reservations are strongly recommended. To register for an event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (413) 739-4715, ext. 308.