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Northern Virginia j.talks

The annual Northern Virginia Jewish Book Festival has morphed into an ongoing series of j.talks, conversations with authors and artists. Join us throughout the year for hard truths and inspiring stories, Jewish values, and living history — along with food, fiction and funny!

The J is a member of the Jewish Book Council. Most author programs are scheduled through the JBC. The J hosts a local author event each fall, where local authors can sell their books and/or participate in the "speed-dating" event. 

Host an Author
When authors visit, we provide funds for their travel, housing and per diem. Please consider “hosting” an author with a donation of $360, which will include a signed copy of your author’s book, four tickets to the author event, and recognition at the author event. 

2015-2016 Authors and Programs

Performing Arts Series event
Liel Leibovitz
A Broken Hallelujah: Rock and Roll, Redemption and the Life of Leonard Cohen
Live music with special guests Bayla Whitten, Mat Tonti and Eliza Jane Berkon. Piano: Neil Epstein.
Saturday, December 5, 8pm
A Broken Hallelujah examines the intricacies of the artist who had gone from a successful world tour and a movie star girlfriend to a long residency in a remote Zen retreat; and the rare spiritual seeker for whom the principles of traditional Judaism, the tenets of Zen Buddhism, and the iconography of Christianity all align. The portrait that emerges is that of an artist attuned to notions of justice, lust, longing, loneliness, and redemption, and possessing the sort of voice and vision commonly reserved only for the prophets. Liel Leibovitz beautifully illuminates what Cohen is telling us and why we listen so intently.
Tickets: $24 adults | $20 J members and seniors (65+) | $14 under 30. Seating: Black Box configuration for 120. Buy Tickets

In partnership with the J’s Special Needs Department
Jessica Fechtor
Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home
Sunday, January 31, 4:15pm
At 28, Jessica Fechtor was happily immersed in graduate school and her young marriage, and thinking about starting a family. Then one day she went for a run and an aneurysm burst in her brain. Jessica’s journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as she was able to stand at the stovetop and stir. There, she drew strength from the restorative power of cooking and baking. Jessica writes the popular food blog, Sweet Amandine.
Location: TBA. Tickets: TBA

Jews and Jazz Series Pre-Performance Talk
Tamar Barzel
New York Noise: Radical Jewish Music and the Downtown Scene
Saturday, February 20, 7pm (prior to Roy Assaf Trio concert)
Coined in 1992 by composer/saxophonist John Zorn, "Radical Jewish Culture," or RJC, became the banner under which many artists in Zorn's circle performed, produced, and circulated their music. Zorn and his circle sought to combine, as a form of social and cultural critique, the unconventional, uncategorizable nature of downtown music with sounds that were recognizably Jewish. Out of this movement arose bands, like Hasidic New Wave and Hanukkah Bush, whose eclectic styles encompassed neo-klezmer, hardcore and acid rock, neo-Yiddish cabaret, free verse, free jazz, and electronica. Tamar is an ethnomusicologist and lecturer at Harvard University whose research focuses on experimental music, with an emphasis on late twentieth-century jazz and the Jewish avant-garde. Free Admission.
Reserve Free Tickets

Richmond Ballet II pre-performance talk
Sarah Kaufman
The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life
Saturday, March 12, 6:30pm
Sarah L. Kaufman is a Pulitzer Prize–winning dance critic for The Washington Post. Her new book teaches us to appreciate ― and enact ― grace in every dimension, from the physical to the emotional. We are naturally drawn to smooth, harmonious movement. Yet grace seems forgotten in our pushy, hectic modern world. Cary Grant is this book’s muse. His uncanny ease flowed from training as an acrobat but, equally, from his wit, humility, and genuine concern for others. So too, Sarah suggests, we might unearth the potential for grace in ourselves. Free Admission.

Dan Kirsch, Cultural Arts Director | 703.537.3075 |


Fall for the Book host site
Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett (Carolina Israelite: How Harry Golden Made Us Care About Jews, the South, and Civil Rights )
Wednesday, September 30, 7:30pm

Book Fest Opening Night
Elyssa Friedland (
Love and Miss Communication)
Thursday, October 29, 7:30pm

Jennifer Rosner (The Mitten String)
Sunday, November 1, 2pm
In partnership with the J's Growing Jewish Families, PJ Library®and Special Needs Department. 

j. talks Local Author Event
Event Location: One More Page Books, Arlington
Wednesday, November 4, 7pm
Local authors participating include Bruce Ashkenas, Jacqueline Jules, Eric Lotke, Alan Orloff, Deno Seder, Dave Tevelin and Courtney Tisch. 

Dion Nissenbaum (A Street Divided: Stories from Jerusalem's Alley of God)
Sunday, November 8, 7pm

Book Fest Closing Event
William V. Madison (Madeline Kahn: Being the Music –– A Life)
Tuesday, November 10, 7:30pm

Character Breakfast with the Berenstain Bears
Sunday, November 15, 9:30am
Co-sponsored with Gesher Jewish Day School and in partnership with JCCNV Growing Jewish Families and PJ Library®

Catherine Lloyd Burns
(The Good, the Bad & the Beagle)
Sunday, November 15, 11am
In partnership with Congregation Beth Emeth

In partnership with J’s Monthly Discussion Group: Our World Today and in the Future
Gil Troy (The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s )
Monday, November 16, 12:15pm-2pm

In partnership with J’s Adult Services program
Stanley Meisler (Shocking Paris – Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse)
Thursday, November 19, Noon-2:30pm

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8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: 703.323.0880 • Fax: 703.323.1993

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