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JCA Jewish Cultural Arts Festival 2020


Please see below for additional books that are featured by the JCA

Discover Culture


Each November, the JCA celebrates its annual Jewish Cultural Arts Festival. This Jewish literary, film and arts festival features a variety of events including films, performances and its signature event, the Annual Jewish Book Festival. Now in its 24th year, the book festival provides access to renowned authors and events that would be otherwise unavailable to our Jacksonville community.

Welcome to the pop-up bookstore.  Featured books are listed here.  Simply add books to your cart, make your customer profile, choose IN-STORE PICKUP or DELIVERY and complete your order.  ALL ORDERS that mention the JCA or Jewish Cultural Arts Festival will qualify for a donation by San Marco Books and More to the JCA.  So, if you would like to order other books, please add them to your cart or simply place additional orders and we'll keep track!




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We Came Here to Shine: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250169785
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - June 16th, 2020

Set during the iconic 1939 New York World's Fair, Susie Orman Schnall's We Came Here to Shine features two intrepid young women-an aspiring journalist and a down-on-her-luck actress-who form an unlikely friendship as they navigate a world of endless possibility, stand down adversity, and find out what they are truly made of during the glorious summer of spectacle and opportunity... "An ode to female friendship that pulses with momentum and left me breathless." -Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls "A remarkable novel about the challenges women face and the courage they must summon in order to lead the lives they deserve." -Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two-Family House Vivi Holden is closer than she's ever been to living her dream as a lead actress in sun-dappled L.A., but an unfair turn of events sends her back to New York, a place she worked so hard to escape from. She has one last chance to get back to Hollywood-by performing well as the star of the heralded Aquacade synchronized swimming spectacular at the World's Fair. Everything seems to be working against her, but her summer in New York will lead to her biggest opportunity to find her own way, on her own terms... Maxine Roth wants nothing more than to be a serious journalist at the iconic New York Times, but her professor has other plans. Instead, she's landed a post at the pop-up publication dedicated to covering the World's Fair-and even then, her big ideas are continually overlooked by her male counterparts. Max didn't work this hard to be the only-and an unheard one at that-woman in the room. When Max and Vivi's worlds collide, they forge an enduring friendship. One that shows them to be the daring, bold women they are, and one that teaches them to never stop holding on to what matters most, in the most meaningful summer of their lives.

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Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler's Hidden Soldiers in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316449656
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Published: Hachette Books - November 12th, 2019

The gripping story of a team of Nazi hunters at the U.S. Department of Justice as they raced against time to expose members of a brutal SS killing force who disappeared in America after World War Two.
In 1990, in a drafty basement archive in Prague, two American historians made a startling discovery: a Nazi roster from 1945 that no Western investigator had ever seen. The long-forgotten document, containing more than 700 names, helped unravel the details behind the most lethal killing operation in World War Two.

In the tiny Polish village of Trawniki, the SS set up a school for mass murder and then recruited a roving army of foot soldiers, 5,000 men strong, to help annihilate the Jewish population of occupied Poland. After the war, some of these men vanished, making their way to the U.S. and blending into communities across America. Though they participated in some of the most unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, "Trawniki Men" spent years hiding in plain sight, their terrible secrets intact.

In a story spanning seven decades, Citizen 865 chronicles the harrowing wartime journeys of two Jewish orphans from occupied Poland who outran the men of Trawniki and settled in the United States, only to learn that some of their one-time captors had followed. A tenacious team of prosecutors and historians pursued these men and, up against the forces of time and political opposition, battled to the present day to remove them from U.S. soil.

Through insider accounts and research in four countries, this urgent and powerful narrative provides a front row seat to the dramatic turn of events that allowed a small group of American Nazi hunters to hold murderous men accountable for their crimes decades after the war's end.

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Getting Good at Getting Older Cover Image
ISBN: 9780874419856
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Behrman House Publishing - October 15th, 2019

We came of age in the '60s and '70s, through civil rights, anti-war protests, and the rise of feminism. We've raised families and had careers. We've been around the world, figuratively if not literally. We've done a lot.

And we're getting older. So, we might as well get good at it.

Getting Good at Getting Older: A Jewish Catalog for a New Age is a tour for all of us "of a certain age" through the resources and skills we need to navigate the years between maturity and old age. Getting Good at Getting Older brings humor, warmth, and 4,000 years of Jewish experience to the question of how to shape this new stage of life.

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OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say?: A Non-Boring Guide to How Our Democracy is Supposed to Work Cover Image
ISBN: 9780762498482
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - April 14th, 2020

Written by political savant and entertainment veteran, Ben Sheehan, and vetted for accuracy by experts in the field of constitutional law, OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say? is an entertaining and accessible guide that explains what the Constitution actually lays out.


With clear notes and graphics on everything from presidential powers to Supreme Court nominations to hidden loopholes, Sheehan walks us through the entire Constitution from its preamble to its final amendment (with a bonus section on the Declaration of Independence). Besides putting the Constitution in modern-day English so that it can be understood, OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say? gives readers all of the info they need to be effective voters and citizens in the November elections and beyond.

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What We Will Become: A Mother, a Son, and a Journey of Transformation Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780544965836
Availability: Backordered
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - November 12th, 2019

From the age of two-and-a-half, Jacob, born "Em," adamantly told his family he was a boy. While his mother Mimi struggled to understand and come to terms with the fact that her child may be transgender, she experienced a sense of déjà vu--the journey to uncover the source of her child's inner turmoil unearthed ghosts from Mimi's past and her own struggle to live an authentic life.


Mimi was raised in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family, every aspect of her life dictated by ancient rules and her role as a woman largely preordained from cradle to grave. As a young woman, Mimi wrestled with the demands of her faith and eventually made the painful decision to leave her religious community and the strict gender roles it upheld.

Having risen from the ashes of her former life, Mimi was prepared to help her son forge a new one -- at a time when there was little consensus on how best to help young transgender children. Dual narratives of faith and motherhood weave together to form a heartfelt portrait of an unforgettable family. Brimming with love and courage, What We Will Become is a powerful testament to how painful events from the past can be redeemed to give us hope for the future.

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Once a Girl, Always a Boy: A Family Memoir of a Transgender Journey Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631528866
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Published: She Writes Press - April 21st, 2020

Jeremy Ivester is a transgender man. Thirty years ago, his parents welcomed him into the world as what they thought was their daughter. As a child, he preferred the toys and games our society views as masculine. He kept his hair short and wore boys' clothing. They called him a tomboy. That's what he called himself.

By high school, when he showed no interest in flirting, his parents thought he might be lesbian. At twenty, he wondered if he was asexual. At twenty-three, he surgically removed his breasts. A year later, he began taking the hormones that would lower his voice and give him a beard--and he announced his new name and pronouns.

Once a Girl, Always a Boy is Jeremy's journey from childhood through coming out as transgender and eventually emerging as an advocate for the transgender community. This is not only Jeremy's story but also that of his family, told from multiple perspectives--those of the siblings who struggled to understand the brother they once saw as a sister, and of the parents who ultimately joined him in the battle against discrimination. This is a story of acceptance in a world not quite ready to accept.

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Red Sea Spies: The True Story of Mossad's Fake Diving Resort Cover Image
ISBN: 9781785786006
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Icon Books - April 14th, 2020

In the early 1980s on a remote part of the Sudanese coast, a new luxury holiday resort opened for business. Catering for divers, it attracted guests from around the world. Little did the holidaymakers know that the staff were undercover spies, working for the Mossad - the Israeli secret service.

Providing a front for covert night-time activities, the holiday village allowed the agents to carry out an operation unlike any seen before. What began with one cryptic message pleading for help, turned into the secret evacuation of thousands of Ethiopian Jews who had been languishing in refugee camps, and the spiriting of them to Israel.

Written in collaboration with operatives involved in the mission, endorsed as the definitive account and including an afterword from the then Mossad director, this is the complete, never-before-heard, gripping tale of a top-secret and often hazardous operation.

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The Book of Secrets Cover Image
By Mat Tonti, Mat Tonti (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781541578258
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Published: Kar-Ben Publishing (R) - October 1st, 2020

Tonti seems not to be afraid to mix genres.

Readers who open this graphic novel to a random page might find a forbidden romance, a philosophical story about the delicacy of life, or an epic fight scene. Most of the stories are traditional Jewish folktales, but, disconcertingly, one chapter of the book is adapted from a bleak, cryptic section of Franz Kafka's The Trial. It's even more surprising when one of Kafka's characters shows up in the middle of an apparently unrelated fight sequence. But every sequence is inventive. Ben, one of the main characters, uses a cup-and-ball game to fight off attackers. And the two siblings at the heart of the story are protected by the 'Doughlem, ' a golem baked from flour and other household ingredients. Remarkably, the story only rarely feels episodic or disjointed. It's held together by a compelling, conventional fantasy plotline about the quest for the titular Book of Secrets. The artwork is less traditional. Perspective and anatomy are often distorted, as though the pictures had been drawn while the artist was looking at the page in a mirror. The character design is wonderfully odd, though. A pair of angels resembles the sea monkeys from ads in old comic books. Almost all of the human characters are White, though King Solomon and his daughter are light brown.

Readers will be happily confounded by every secret in this book.

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The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar’s and Everything in Between Cover Image
ISBN: 9781579658939
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Artisan - October 1st, 2019

Some people seek. Jews question. And to answer their questions comes The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia, a bible of Judaism that, in its deeply knowing and highly entertaining way, reflects the diverse and at times irascible tribe who identify as Jewish, or Jewish, or, in the case of future converts and/or spouses, Jewcurious. Here is a popcultural guide to all the many, many aspects and delights of "being Jewish," created by the hosts of the most popular Jewish podcast on iTunes, Unorthodox. And that's the operating word: unorthodox. How else to describe an encyclopedia that begins with "Aaron"--"Like a biblical Rodney Dangerfield, our first High Priest couldn't get no respect"--ends with "Zyklon B" (yikes), and never fails to entertain? Along the way, it covers everything: The meaning of "Nu?" The Patriarchs and the Matriarchs. The singers Al Jolson, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, and Carole King. The Kabbalah and Krusty the Clown, Masada and Jackie Mason, the Beastie Boys and "bagel Jews." Readers will refresh themselves on the Oslo Accords, understand all the major and minor holidays (including a guide to fasting), discover how the Jews invented Hollywood, remind themselves why they need to read Isaac Babel, Hannah Arendt, and Daniel Deronda, and find the meaning of happiness (see "Latkes"). Packed with hundreds of photos, charts, illustrations, and guides, it's an encyclopedia that's as rich in visuals as it is in language. It is sababa.

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When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids Cover Image
ISBN: 9781523508310
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Published: Workman Publishing Company - June 9th, 2020

In a lifesaving guide for parents, Dr. Abigail Gewirtz shows how to use the most basic tool at your disposal--conversation--to give children real help in dealing with the worries, stress, and other negative emotions caused by problems in the world, from active shooter drills to climate change.


But it's not just how to talk to your kids, it's also what to say: The heart of When the World Feels Like a Scary Place is a series of conversation scripts--with actual dialogue, talking points, prompts, and insightful asides--that are each age-appropriate and centered around different issues. Along the way are tips about staying calm in an anxious world; the way children react to stress, and how parents can read the signs; and how parents can make sure that their own anxiety doesn't color the conversation. Talking and listening are essential for nurturing resilient, confident, and compassionate children. And conversation will help you manage your anxieties too, offering a path of wholeness and security for everyone in the family.

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The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524744212
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Published: Dutton - February 18th, 2020

Even in this time of rethinking women's roles, we define genius almost exclusively through male achievement. When asked to name a genius, people mention Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one survey, the only female genius anyone listed was Marie Curie.


Janice Kaplan, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gratitude Diaries, set out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside. Using her unique mix of memoir, narrative, and inspiration, she makes surprising discoveries about women geniuses now and throughout history, in fields from music to robotics. Through interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and dozens of women geniuses at work in the world today--including Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold and AI expert Fei-Fei Li--she proves that genius isn't just about talent. It's about having that talent recognized, nurtured, and celebrated.

Across the generations, even when they face less-than-perfect circumstances, women geniuses have created brilliant and original work. In The Genius of Women, you'll learn how they ignored obstacles and broke down seemingly unshakable barriers. The geniuses in this moving, powerful, and very entertaining book provide more than inspiration--they offer a clear blueprint to everyone who wants to find her own path and move forward with passion.

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The Watergate Girl: My Fight for Truth and Justice Against a Criminal President Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250244321
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Published: Henry Holt and Co. - February 25th, 2020

It was a time, much like today, when Americans feared for the future of their democracy and women stood up for equal treatment. At the crossroads of the Watergate scandal and the women's movement stood a young lawyer named Jill Wine Volner (as she was then known), barely thirty years old and in charge of some of the most important prosecutions of high-ranking White House officials. Called "the mini-skirted lawyer" by the press, she fought to receive the respect accorded her male counterparts- and prevailed. In The Watergate Girl, Jill Wine-Banks takes us inside this troubled time in American history, and it is impossible to read about the crimes of Richard Nixon and the people around him without drawing parallels to today's headlines. The book is also the story of a young woman who sought to make her professional mark while trapped in a failing marriage, buffeted by sexist preconceptions, and harboring secrets of her own that kept her on a knife-edge. Her house was burgled, her phones were tapped, and even her office garbage was rifled through. At once a cautionary tale and an inspiration for those who believe in the power of justice and the rule of law, The Watergate Girl is a revelation about our country, our politics, and our society.

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Wandering Dixie: Dispatches from the Lost Jewish South Cover Image
ISBN: 9780814255810
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Published: Mad Creek Books - April 1st, 2020

A hybrid travelogue/memoir that explores the lesser-known Jewish culture, music, food, and history of the American South.

In stunningly elegant prose, Eisenfeld uncovers the anonymous corners of Jewish and Confederate history. In this immersive gem of a book, she inspires hope for a nuanced and vital conversation about race by claiming her own role in 'our troubled American story.' --Michelle Brafman, author of Washing the Dead.