Each November, the JCA celebrates its annual Jewish Cultural Arts Festival and this year will include Jewish authors, films, performances and the 26th Anniversary of our signature Jewish Book Festival.

New this year, we will feature the work of young artists from local Jewish schools and synagogues in our Vandroff Art Gallery.

Due to the generosity of our sponsors, the 2022 JCA Cultural Arts Festival events are free and open to the community!

For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kendall Sisisky Valliere at (904) 730-2100 ext. 231 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 rachel.sandler@jcaja.org or Heather Terrill at (904) 730-2100 ext. 265 heather.terrill@jcajax.org.

Opening Night

Featuring country singer Joe Buchanan!

Joe Buchanan
Sun, Oct 30 | 7 pm

Opening night of the 2022 Cultural Arts Festival begins with the soothing sounds of Texas-born and southern-raised musician, Joe Buchanan. Joe performs country music that is steeped in Torah and the trials of the human spirit. An exploration of his faith led to Joe’s debut album, Unbroken. Using his music, Joe’s goal is to help drive connection to what connects us all. Grounded in the belief that there is always more room at the table, his music is a beautiful blend of southern soul and country charm.

Sponsored by:

Literary

Come listen to Jewish authors speak about their books both in-person and virtually.

Anna Salton Eisen, Pillar of Salt
Wed, Nov 2 | 7 pm

Newly released in May 2022, Anna Salton Eisen’s Pillar of Salt, is described as part memoir and part travelogue which tells the story of the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Formerly the founding president of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Anna also served as a docent for the Dallas Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies. In that time Anna conducted Holocaust survivor interviews for the USC Shoah Foundation. Her novel sheds light on the human side of the Holocaust and acts as a personal testimony of the dark time in history. Anna is also the co-author of her father’s Holocaust memoir, The 23rd Psalm.

Dan Grunfeld, By the Grace of the Game
Sun, Nov 6 | 7 pm

Two-time Academic All-American member of Stanford University’s men’s basketball team, Dan Grunfeld joins us to share his novel, By the Grace of the Game. Based on the life of Dan’s father Ernie Grunfeld, By the Grace of the Game is a complex tale that traverses the spectrum of human experience to detail how perseverance, love and legacy can survive through generations. Following his father’s footsteps, Dan Grunfeld played eight professional seasons in top basketball leagues around the world, including a year in Germany, three in Spain, and four in Israel, with a brief stint in the NBA for the New York Knicks. Dan’s writing has been published more than 40 times in media outlets like Sports Illustrated, The Jerusalem Post and NBC News.

Lisa Barr, Woman on Fire
Book Club
Tue, Nov 8 | 12 pm
Streaming at the JCA

New York Times bestselling author of Woman on Fire, The Unbreakables and the historical thriller Fugitive Colors, Lisa Barr will stream live at the JCA to share her suspenseful tale of stolen art, love, lust, deception and revenge on the “eve” of WWII. Woman on Fire won the IPPY gold medal for Best Literary Fiction and first prize at The Hollywood Film Festival (Opus Magnum Discovery Award). In addition, Lisa served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today’s Chicago Woman, managing editor of Moment magazine, and as an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and was featured on Good Morning America and Today. Lisa is especially proud as Actress Sharon Stone is set to produce and star in the film adaptation of Woman On Fire.

Gioia Diliberto, Coco at the Ritz
Ladies’ Night Out
Wed, Nov 9 | 7 pm

Gioia Diliberto is the author of four biographies and three historical novels including, Coco at the Ritz. A riveting and prismatic novel of the eternally enigmatic Coco Chanel in the aftermath of World War II, Coco at the Ritz sheds light on Coco’s dark side when she was arrested and interrogated on charges of treason to France. Gioia’s books, centered on the lives of women, are praised for their combination of rich storytelling and literary grace with deep research. Many of which were also translated into several languages. Gioia also teaches writing; she has taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design as well as universities in Chicago.

Michael Roizen
Thu, Nov 10 | 7PM

As the human lifespan expands and more people are living to 100 years and beyond, New York Times best-selling author Michael Roizen, M.D., explains how to prepare for a longer, healthier future in his new novel, The Great Age Reboot. Michael is the Emeritus Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, a professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, Chief Medical Consultant on The Dr. Oz Show, and author of four #1 New York Times best-selling books. He has written more than 190 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has been recognized with an Elle, an Emmy, and the Paul G. Rogers Award from the National Library of Medicine for Best Medical Communicator. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Sponsored by:

JCA Pop-up Book Store

Visiting authors’ and JBC books for sale! A unique selection of books.

Get inspired! Our Pop-Up Book Store opens October 13 with a variety of Jewish Book Council (JBC) authors’ books for sale. Come see the unique selection of books curated by the JBC.

Thu, Oct 13 | 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Wed, Oct 19 | 10 – 11 am
Tue, Oct 25 | 4 – 5 pm

Film

Cinematic creativity in acclaimed Jewish-themed films from festivals across the U.S.

Persian Lessons
2020, 2h 7m, Drama

Thu, Nov 3 | 7 pm

1942. Gilles, a young Belgian man, is arrested by the SS alongside other Jews and sent to a concentration camp in Germany. He narrowly avoids execution by swearing to the guards that he is not Jewish, but Persian. This lie temporarily saves him, but then Gilles is assigned a seemingly untenable mission: to teach Persian to Koch, the officer in charge of the camp’s kitchen, who dreams of opening a restaurant in Persia (Iran) once the war is over. Gilles finds himself having to invent a language he doesn’t know, word by word. Persian Lessons premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020.

Xueta Island
2021, 1h 3m, Documentary

Sun, Nov 13 | 1 pm
Skype with the director at 2 pm

In the 1400s, an isolated group of Jews on a Mediterranean island were forced to convert to Catholicism. Today, their dark story of survival is sparking a Jewish renaissance across the community.  Xueta Island explores the legacy of the Xuetas (pronounced Chuetas), a group of families on the Balearic Island of Majorca who are believed to be descendants of the island’s Inquisition-era Jewish population. This documentary film follows the story of Dani Rotstein, a Jewish-American expat who moved to the island and became fascinated with its history.

Greener Pastures
2021, 1h 30m, Comedy

Wed, Nov 16 | 7 pm

A retired widower is forced to reexamine his past and embrace his future in this superbly acted comedy that was nominated for 12 Israeli Ophir Awards, including for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor. Boasting a dynamic visual sense, snappy dialogue, and a dream cast of talent, including icons of Israeli comedy like Shlomo Bar-Aba (Academy Award-nominee Footnote and MJFF 2016 film Hill Start) and Doval’e Glickman (International award-winning show Shtisel and MJFF 2020 film Shoelaces), Greener Pastures is a wryly comic story about life, moving on and finding redemption.

Visual Arts

Featuring the work of young artists from local Jewish schools and synagogues.

Opening Reception
Sun, Nov 6 | 2 pm

New this year, the work of young artists from local Jewish schools and synagogues will be on display through November. Experience the inspiring pieces by students with:

Beth El – The Beaches Synagogue
Martin J. Gottlieb Day School
Jacksonville Jewish Center
Etz Chaim Synagogue
Congregation Ahavath Chesed – The Temple
Torah Academy of Jacksonville

For Young Families

Spark imagination in your family at our Jewish Cultural Arts event.

A Picture for Marc
Sun, Nov 6 | 2 pm

Join PJ Library for an interactive family program reading A Picture for Marc.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Festival Supporter
Rochelle and David Stoddard 

Arts Patron 
Nancy and Mark Green
Helen Rowan and Paul Halloran
Ina Taffet 

Curator 
Regina and Adam Chaskin
Kimberly and Richard Sisisky
Patricia and Steven Wilson 

Artist 
Block Family
Toby Ringel 

Performer 
Flagler Family 
Kim and David Robbins
Millie and Edward Tannen 

Friend 
Edith and Bruce Horovitz
Pam and Michael Korn
Ruth and Bernie Nachman
Thelma and Bob Nied
Tmima and Steven Neihaus
Jacqueline and Nathan Spiritas  

Supporter 
Ann and Leon Silke 

Chair
Whitney Kuvin

Committee
Lisa Ansbacher, Suzie Becker, Nicole Brown, Regina Chaskin, Ellen Cottrill, Susan Elinoff, Gail Furman, Leora Holzer, Hazzan Jesse Holzer, Thelma Nied, Sandy Oasis, Jennifer Plotkin, Edrea Porter, Alicia Rauchwarger, Sherrie Saag, Justin Sakofs, Rachel Sakofs, Dr. Elaine Silliman and Paul Silliman, Rena Smith, Michele Steinfeld, Alyssa Sugg

Board Chair
Sam Stromberg

CEO
Adam Chaskin