The virtual festival runs through Sunday, March 27 with authors’ talks most afternoons and evenings this week. 

The Jewish Authors Book Festival, a unique partnership between Durham’s Beth-El Synagogue, the national Jewish Book Council, and local nonprofit Jewish For Good kicked off Sunday with talks from best-selling authors Cynthia Levinson, Riva Lehrer, and Brad Aronson. 

The week-long virtual event features more than a dozen Jewish authors speaking to readers and answering questions about works ranging from children’s picture books to novels, memoirs, works of nonfiction, and even a cookbook with a chef-author Paula Shoyer’s focus on instant pot kosher cooking. 

Free passes to the virtual festival are available online through Chapel Hill retailer Flyleaf Books (all featured books are available to order through Flyleaf, as well). 

Tune in on Wednesday at 7 p.m. as author Joshua Henkin discusses his novel Morningside Heights, a sweeping look at modern love, marriage, and family, winner of The Book of the Year by The Chicago Tribune, named Editor’s Choice by The New York Times, and longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates award.  

On Thursday, author Helene Wecker discusses The Hidden Palace, her much-anticipated follow-up to her debut novel The Golem and the Jinni, a continuation of the chronicles of Chava, the Jewish golem, and Ahmad, the Arabian jinni, “a blend of romance, Mary Shelley-esque horror, and folklore” according to the Kirkus Reviews. 

And on Sunday at 7 p.m., don’t miss author Joshua M. Greene’s talk on his biography Unstoppable, capturing the life of Siggi B. Wilzig, an Auschwitz survivor and penniless immigrant to the United States who became a legend on Wall Street. 

In a time and a state where anti-Semitism has become more visible—and seemingly more accepted, as espoused by the likes of North Carolina’s Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson—it’s more important than ever to hear the voices of Jewish people whose contributions to our culture remind us of what unites rather than divides us all.

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