Each November, the JCA celebrates its annual Jewish Cultural Arts Festival and this year features a variety of both virtual and in-person events including art, films and literature.
Join us for the JCA’s celebration of the arts at the 2021 Jewish Cultural Arts Festival. This year our Jewish literary, film and arts event, features artwork, films, performances and the 25th Anniversary of the JCA’s signature Jewish Book Festival.
Due to the generosity of our sponsors, the 2021 JCA Cultural Arts Festival events are free and open to the community!
To register for an event, please click here or call (904) 730-2100 ext. 228.
For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Ben Marcus at (904) 730-2100 ext. 318 or click the button above.
For additional details about the festival or how to get involved, contact either Rachel Sandler at (904) 730-2100 ext. 271 firstname.lastname@example.org or Heather Terrill at (904) 730-2100 ext. 265 email@example.com.
Jordan and Shirley Ansbacher Family Foundation
Linda and David Stein
Rochelle and David Stoddard
Trager Family Foundation
Brenda and Eugene Wolchok
Helen Rowan and Paul Halloran
Nancy and Mark Green
Korman and Shelton Families
Regina and Adam Chaskin
Paula and Ken Horn
Glenn and Michael Miller
Kimberly and Richard Sisisky
Patty and Steve Wilson
Irene and Jimmy Jaffa
Whitney and Grant Kuvin
Kirsten and Josh Martino
Rachel and Craig Morgenthal
Evelyn and Stewart Pinsof
Judy and Steve Silverman
Roz and Mark Abramson
LaVerne and Andy Cantor
Kristina and Matt Flagler
Beverly and Melvyn Fruit
Christina and Mark Levine
Daniel Miller and Lior Spring
Thelma and Robert Nied
Kim and David Robbins
Ellen and Alan Rosner
Millie and Edward Tannen
Sharon and Bruce Witten
Randy Kammer and Jeff Wollitz
Arlene and Evan Yegelwel
Karen and Philip Adler
Lois and Alan Chepenik
Susan and Ronald Elinoff
Bunni and Myron Flagler
Pam and Michael Korn
Jill and Paul Metlin
Ruth and Bernard Nachman
Alicia and Jesse Rauchwarger
Sandra and Robert Selwitz
Jackie and Bernie Simms
Michele and David Steinfeld
Hollie and Hank Arnold
Phyllis and Mark Atkins
Carole and Marvin Feldman
Helen and John Hill
*as of 11/4/2021
Ticking Clock – Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes
Emmy and two-time Peabody Award-winning writer and producer, Ira Rosen reveals the intimate, untold stories of his decades working at 60 Minutes. For nearly 25 years, Rosen has produced some of America’s most iconic long-form journalism, breaking some of the most important stories in television news. Rosen shares his first-hand accounts of clashing producers and anchors.
The Woman with the Blue Star
New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Tale and Lost Girls in Paris, Pan Jenoff shares the story of Sadie Gault, a young girl living with her parents in the Krakow Ghetto during World War II. When Nazis liquidate the ghetto, Sadie and her mother are forced to seek refuge in the sewers. One day, Sadie meets a Polish girl who helps her as the dangers of the war worsen. Set in 1942, this emotional tale is a testament to the power of friendship and strength of survival.
The Upstander – How Surviving the Holocaust Sparked Max Glauben’s Mission to Dismantle Hate
Max Glauben is on a mission to outlast hate and compel the world to embrace tolerance. “Why me?” Max asked himself as a 15-year-old convoy rumbled from the Warsaw Ghetto to Majdanek death camp in 1943. As his questions intensify, the Nazis kill Max’s family, leaving him to channel grit, determination and his knack for carpentry to survive.
Writer of the Netflix Series Emily in Paris, Deborah Copaken shares her memoir of a Jewish woman trying to keep it together while her body falls apart. A frontline account of a woman brought to her knees by the punch of divorce, single motherhood, unaffordable child and healthcare, illness, death, college tuition, ageism, sexism and bad luck. With every setback, she finds humor, as she struggles to survive.
The Unexpected Spy – From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World’s Most Notorious Terrorists
A Jewish American woman recruited by the CIA, Tracy Walder, tracked terrorists for President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell. Driven to stop the new breed of terror that war created, Walder with an alias identity, followed the trails of terrorists across North Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
What Does the Constitution Say? A Kid’s Guide to How Our Democracy Works
The Constitution can be hard to understand – even for adults. Take a tour of the whole Constitution while understanding what all the fancy words really mean. From the Preamble to the 27 Amendments, this guide is packed with information, historic quotes and the most important topics involved in understanding the Constitution.
Food Americana – The Remarkable People and Incredible Stories Behind America’s Favorite Dishes
Creator of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, David Page shares an exploration of how America created national cuisine from the foods of other countries. Including a closer look at bagels and lox, the history of Lender’s Bagels, and comments from Actor Mel Brooks, who reminisces about lox as a once-a-week treat.
Can We Talk About Israel? A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted
Can the situation in Israel be explained in 10 minutes or less? Why do people feel so passionately about the century-long struggle between two peoples? As head of the New Israel Fund, dedicated to equality and democracy, Daniel Sokatch is extremely well versed on the Israeli-Palestinian issue and shares why the conflict inspires such extreme feelings.
Little Pieces of Me
When a DNA test reveals a long-buried secret, a woman must look to the past to understand her mother and herself. Following her acclaimed debut novel, You and Me and Us, in Little Pieces of Me, Alison Hammer offers a deeply moving story of family, identity, relationships and Jewish culture. Founder of the Every Damn Day Writers online group, a graduate of the University of Florida and the Creative Circus in Atlanta, Alison lived in nine cities before settling down in Chicago.
May You Live In Interesting Times
Laraine Newman’s memoir May You Live in Interesting Times, chronicles her life and experiences that were on the forefront of every pop culture shift in America, from the British invasion and music scene in Los Angeles to the beginning of the comedy store and how it started the prominence of comedy. A founding member of the groundlings and an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, Laraine shares her memories from SNL and watching the rise of animation – all while dealing with “demons,” getting sober, having children and reinventing herself.
How Magicians Think: Misdirection, Deception, and Why Magic Matters
Joshua Jay has performed on stages in more than 100 countries. A headliner at Hollywood’s Magic Castle and a former World Champion in Sleight of Hand, Joshua shares his book How Magicians Think: Misdirection, Deception and Why Magic Matters. The best-selling author brings his readers inside and turns the light on to the mindset behind the magic. Joshua has performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with James Corden and fooled the famous magic duo, Penn and Teller, on Fool Us.
Public Art in Jacksonville
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville joins us at the JCA to share what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to implementing public art projects in the River City. Learn more about the process of public art installations and the exciting things happening in Jacksonville with the Cultural Council.
Downtown Art Tour
Join us on a tour with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville to see the amazing pieces included in the Art in Public Places of Downtown Jacksonville. This tour gives a glimpse of the work the Cultural Council does within our beautiful community. Registration is required. Attendees will be emailed the starting location of the tour.
Jen Spyra has worked in nearly every kind of comedy there is from penning stories for The Onion, writing skits and oneliners as a staff writer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, contributing pieces to The New Yorker and McSweeney’s, to being an improv performer at UCB Theatre in Manhattan. In this uproarious, addictive debut in her novel, Big Time, Jen takes a culture that seems almost beyond parody and holds it up to a funhouse mirror. Reader are immersed in a world of prehistoric influencers, woodland creatures plagued by millennial neuroses, and a birthday bash determined to be the most lavish celebration of all time – by any means necessary.
Mom’s Don’t Have Time To Have Kids
An author, podcaster, publisher, CEO, wife and mother of four, Zibby Owens lives in New York City where she is inspired by five things moms don’t have time to do – write, get sick, see friends, lose weight and sleep. Founder of Zibby Owens Media, a privately-held media company, Zibby helps busy people live their best lives by connecting to books and each other. Her award-winning podcast, Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books,has been downloaded millions of times. In her novel, Moms Don’t Have Time to Have Kids, Ziggy compiled 53 essays by 49 authors to help the rest of us feel understood, inspired and less alone. All previous guests on her podcast, the book includes fifteen New York Times bestselling authors, five national bestsellers and twenty-nine award-winning/notable/critically acclaimed writers.
Kiss Me Kosher
Even in the darkest, most cringe-worthy situations, Kiss Me Kosher is a laugh-out-loud comedy about acceptance, love and plenty of family drama. After a string of ex-girlfriends, Shira found real love with Maria, a German who uproots her entire life to live with Shira in Tel Aviv. The women plan to marry, as their families awkwardly work to overcome their cultural and religious differences. However, there is one exception, Shira’s grandmother, Berta who disapproves of marriage between Germans and Jews and goes to great lengths to break up the happy couple. But even that becomes complicated when Berta secretly starts seeing a Palestinian man. Join us on Thursday, November 4 at 7 pm for Kiss Me Kosher, as Shira and Maria learn that the road to happiness is a minefield with plenty of booby traps along the way.
Premiering at the Berlinale’s European Film Market, Neighbours depicts a realistic look at the quiet dignity of villagers living with the oppressive tyranny and corruption of the Syrian government and Turkish border guards in the seventies. In his Kurdish village in northeastern Syria, Sero and his uncle act as the Sabbath goy’im (gentile, a non-Jew) for their Jewish neighbors and their spinster daughter, Hannah. With a growing state of antisemitism, the situation becomes precarious for the Jewish family, yet they are stripped of their Syrian citizenship and are unable to leave the country. When Sero’s mother is accidentally shot by a Turkish border guard, the Jewish family turns to Sero’s father to help Hannah flee using his dead wife’s papers. Years later, when Sero is with his family in an Iraqi refugee camp, Hannah comes to find him. The emotionally uplifting Nieghbours, an emotionally uplifting and important humanistic film, will play at the JCA on Sunday, November 7 at 3 pm.
The Tiger Within
The unlikely friendship between Samuel an elderly Holocaust survivor and Casey, an angry 14-year-old runaway is the premise of Tiger Within. On Wednesday, November 17 at 7 pm, join us for this inspiring, redemptive film about the power of forgiveness and unconditional love to transform lives and overcome ignorance, fear and hate. As the story unfolds, Samuel and Casey form a powerful bond, which blossoms into a new family unit. The relationship provides Casey support and guidance as it offers Samuel a glimpse of fatherhood that was torn from him in Dachau.
The JCA Vandroff Art Gallery presents:
JCA Cultural Arts Festival: Jewish Artists of Jacksonville
Walking through our Vandroff Art Gallery, will also be a treat to visitors at the JCA as they take delight in the featured pieces from various local Jewish artists. There will be an opening reception at the JCA on November 1 at 6 pm to showcase artists: Ellen Diamond, Louise Freshman Brown, Roberta Harmon, Irene Jaffa, Karen Lippes, Jan Lipsky, Donna McNett, Kim Miller, Kim Robbins and Marlene Scheer.
One Good Deed
Families, join us for a book walk during the Cultural Arts Festival at the JCA as we share One Good Deed with our community. The children’s book written by Terri Fields and illustrated by Deborah Melmon stresses how one small act of kindness can lead to another. During our book walk, families will enjoy One Good Deed displayed by poster-sized pages in 10 different stations. Families will walk to each station where they will read a portion of the story and participate in a corresponding activity. For example, in one section of the book, children rake leaves with their neighbors. For this page of the book, we will have a large pile of colorful fall leaves for children to rake.