Festival of Arts, Books, and Culture at JCC

Cherry Hill’s Festival of Arts, Books, and Culture, held at the Jewish Community Center commenced its two week celebration of culture on November 7. Despite modest beginnings back in 1990, the mere ten authors who used to come to speak have now expanded to forty authors and other types of entertainers. In the bookstore part of the event, there are about one thousand different titles to browse, with a special area dedicated to only children’s books. Volunteers have been working for months to put together a wide array of kids’ books, hoping to encourage parents to buy them for their children for the holidays. This year, one of the authors at the festival who is attracting the most attention is Tom Segev, a writer who just published a book which follows the life of a Nazi hunter. Also, Rabbi Kushner appeared at the festival to talk about his best-selling book When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Although held at the JCC, not all of the events have to do with religion.

The festival also includes performances by musicians, comedians, journalists, and a chef. The three time Grammy nominee and platinum record seller, Taylor Dayne, performed at West High School as a part of the festival on November 7. Known for his role in “Everybody Loves Raymond”, frequent guesting on David Letterman and new show on Comedy Central, Andy Kindler takes the stage at the JCC on November 13.  Elizabeth Cohen, a CNN correspondent, will give a free lecture about her new book The Empowered Patient to tell readers how to ensure that they get the best possible medical care.  Different events range from free to about $35, with the most averaging at about $15.