2018 JBookFest Event Dates

Dive deep into the Jewish stories behind cultural icons like Superman and The Simpsons at JBookFest, Shalom Austin's literary series full of gripping presentations and captivating conversations with authors from around the world.

Saturday, November 10 | 8 PM
Mike Reiss  Springfield Confidential 
Location: JCC Austin, 7300 Hart Lane

Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss - who has worked on The Simpsons since episode one in 1989, shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family. Reiss explains how the episodes are created and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests. In his freewheeling, irreverent comic style, Reiss reflects on his lifetime inside The Simpsons — a personal highlights reel of his achievements, observations, and favorite stories. Springfield Confidential exposes why Matt Groening decided to make all the characters yellow; dishes on what it’s like to be crammed in a room full of funny writers sixty hours a week; tells what Reiss learned after traveling to seventy-one countries where The Simpsons is watched (ironic note: there’s no electricity in many of these places); and even reveals where Springfield is located!


Wednesday, November 14  | 7:15 PM
Lior Sternfeld    Between Iran and Zion   
Location:  Temple Beth Shalom, 7300 Hart Lane

Iran is home to the largest Jewish population in the Middle East, outside Israel. At its peak in the twentieth century, the population numbered around 100,000; today about 25,000 Jews live in Iran. Between Iran and Zion offers the first history of this vibrant community over the course of the last century, from the 1905 Constitution Revolution through the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Over this period, Iranian Jews grew from a peripheral community into a prominent one that has made clear impacts on daily life in Iran.


Saturday, December 8th | 7:00 PM
Tal Keinan    God Is In The Crowd       
Location:  JCC Austin, 7300 Hart Lane

Born to a secular Jewish family in Florida, Tal Keinan developed an early interest in Judaism, piqued by a Christian minister at Exeter. That interest took him down an unlikely path to becoming a fighter pilot in the Israel Air Force. After years of service, he began to question what he was fighting for. Realizing he knew little about Judaism, Keinan then set out on a mission to educate himself. What he discovered was that Judaism is very much worth saving, but also that the number of Jews in the world is decreasing at an alarming rate. What could be done to reverse those numbers?


Sunday, January 13  | 1:30 PM
Erica Perl    All Three Stooges       
Location:  JCC Austin, 7300 Hart Lane

Spoiler alert: This book is not about the Three Stooges. It's about Noah and Dash, two seventh graders who are best friends and comedy junkies. That is, they were best friends until Dash’s father died suddenly and Dash shut Noah out. (Which Noah deserved, according to Not, the girl who, annoyingly, shares both his name and his bar mitzvah day.) Now Noah’s confusion, frustration, and determination to get through to Dash are threatening to destroy more than just their friendship. But what choices does he have? As Noah sees it, sometimes you need to risk losing everything, even your sense of humor, to prove that gone doesn’t have to mean “gone for good”.


Wednesday, February 6  | 7:00 PM
Cathy Barrow    Pie Squared       
Location:  JCC Austin, 7300 Hart Lane

For those of you who aren’t up on your Pinterest food trends, slab pie is just like regular pie—only better (and bigger)! Instead of crimping and meticulously rolling out a round crust, slab pies are an unfussy twist that is perfect for a potluck or dinner party or just a family dinner. Baked on sheet pans, slab pies can easily serve a crowd of people dinner or dessert. Pie Squared includes seventy-five foolproof recipes, along with inventive decoration tips that will appeal to baking nerds and occasional bakers alike. And this fresh, uncomplicated take on pie will surely pique the interest of those who have previously been recitation to take out their rolling pin.


Shalom Austin is in partnership with Amazon Smile! If you choose to purchase a copy of any of these books by clicking the link and choosing Shalom Austin as the charitable organization you'd like to donate to, we will receive a portion of the proceeds from your purchase!