(901) 761-0810

MJCC Jewish Literary and Cultural Arts Festival


Questions about the Festival? Please contact:

Marcy Stagner
Program Director for Cultural Arts & Adult Services

(901) 259-9230


Jeremy Weiser
Chief Operating Officer
(901) 259-9235




"The Book of Separation" by Tova Mirvis

Originally from Memphis, Tova Mirvis is the author of three novels: Visible City, The Outside World, and The Ladies Auxiliary, a national bestseller. Her essays have appeared in various publications including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, and Poets and Writers. Her fiction has been broadcast on NPR.

In The Book of Separation, a moving memoir drawn from the author’s brave and widely-praised New York Times Opinionator essay about leaving the only life she’s ever known, Tova Mirvis chronicles her courageous journey of walking away from her marriage and faith. An honest and empowering tale of following your inner compass at long last, of heeding the call of your heart and trusting the sound of your own voice, The Book of Separation will speak to anyone who has ever thought about starting over.

"Courage to Sparkle" by Lois Barth
Celebrating Empowered Women’s Luncheon

Join us as we celebrate empowered women! Lois Barth is a human development expert, speaker, coach, and recovering good girl turned audacious girl.

She champions women to embrace their Courage to SPARKLE by helping them to celebrate their gifts while championing them to live their most audacious self. Lois guides women to communicate powerfully and advocate for themselves from a sense of passion and purpose.

General Admission
$45 Non-Members
$36 Members
Raffle Ticket

Gold Level
$148 Non-Members
$118 Members
Raffle Ticket
Author Meet and Greet
VIP Seating
Diamond Level
Raffle Ticket
Author Meet and Greet
VIP Seating
Autographed Book

"Koala Challah " by Laura Gehl

Lila the koala wants to help her family get ready for Shabbat dinner. Her plan is to bake her own loaf of challah, but no matter what she tries, the challah comes out wrong.

Join us for this family-friendly event where we will read Koala Challah, meet author Laura Gehl, bake challah, and make challah covers!

"Win at Losing" by Sam Weinman
Global Day of Jewish Learning

In Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains, author Sam Weinman interviews pro athletes, business executives, politicians, and Hollywood stars, and consults leading psychologists and coaches, in order to understand the essential life skill of “learning to lose.” It turns out, being a good loser is exactly what we should aspire to be: resilient, objective, and persistent.

Sam Weinman is the Digital Editor of GolfDigest.com, where, during his tenure, the website has grown to boast the largest digital audience in golf and has been nominated for several National Magazine Awards. Prior to that, he was the lead hockey and golf writer for The Journal News and LoHud.com, during which time he launched the popular hockey blog, “Rangers Report.” He is the recipient of several national writing awards for his coverage of the PGA Tour and the National Hockey League.

Think Globally, Learn Locally

Join more than 500 communities in over 40 countries in uniting through the study of Jewish texts.

Click here for other Global Day of Jewish Learning happenings

"Wherever You Go, There They Are" by Annabelle Gurwitch

Annabelle Gurwitch is an actress and the author of, I See You Made an Effort (a New York Times bestseller) You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up, and Fired! Annabelle gained a loyal following during her stint co-hosting Dinner and a Movie, an American television program on TBS, and years as a regular commentator on NPR.
With a wry and healthy dose of irresistible self-deprecation, Gurwitch delves into her southern Jewish roots in the Shalom Y’all tribe of southern Jews. Hilarious and deeply moving, Wherever You Go, There They Are is a must-read for anyone who has even occasionally been frustrated by the people they share carbohydrate-laden meals with every year.

"Ten Dollars to Hate" by Patricia Bernstein

Ten Dollars to Hate tells the story of the massive Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s – by far the most “successful” incarnation since its inception in the ashes of the Civil War – and the first prosecutor in the nation to successfully convict and jail Klan members. Dan Moody, a twenty-nine-year-old Texas district attorney demonstrated that Klansmen could face serious punishment for taking the law into their own hands – in this case, for the vicious flogging of a young World War I vet suspected of having illicit relations with a local widow.

Patricia is the author of The First Waco Horror: The Lynching of Jesse Washington and the Rise of the NAACP and the president of Bernstein and Associates, a public relations firm in Houston. She has published numerous articles in newspapers and magazines, including Texas Monthly, Smithsonian, and Cosmopolitan.

"Something Beautiful Happened" by Yvette Manessis Corporon

At Easter dinners during her childhood, Yvette Manessis Corporon heard her Greek Yia-Yia’s stories of a Jewish family – a tailor named Savvas Israel and his daughters – whom she helped hide during the final years of World War II. In Something Beautiful Happened: A Story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil, Corporon describes her search for Savvas’s descendants – seventy years later – and the tragic irony of how, days after locating them, Corporon’s own nephew and his grandfather were murdered in Kansas by a neo-Nazi.

Something Beautiful Happened brings the past and present together in a nuanced, heartfelt story about the power of faith, the importance of kindness, and the courage to stand up for what’s right in the face of great evil.


Paige Scheinberg, Mandala Art Workshop

Paige Scheinberg, MS, ATR, CZT, is a well-being enthusiast and lover of all things creative. As an art therapist and wellness professional, her passion is to help people of all ages cultivate sustainable happiness and flourish in their life through creative experiences and self expression.

Paige is also part of the team at CreatingMandalas.com, where she
co-facilitates mandala intensives and retreats, as well as teaches and mentors within the Creating Mandalas Certficate Program.

Connect with Paige at paige@SHINEONconsulting.com or

Thanks to all our sponsors

Passport to Discovery Patrons
Pace Cooper
Tami Eiseman
Mike and Sharon Goldstein
Sandy Goldstein
Mimi Grossman
Eileen Posner
Amy and John Pregulman
Debra and Alex Saharovich
Laurie Scheidt
Ken and Jill Steinberg
Morris Thomas
Cathy and Craig Weiss
           Jewish Literary and Cultural Arts Festival
Mimi Grossman, Co-Chair
Jill Notowich, Co-Chair

Lisa Frisch
Sandy Goldstein
Susan Labovitz
Jackie Mandell
Jeri Moskovitz
Dina Romeo
Stacy Sanderson
Elissa Taub
Joy Wilk

Special Thanks to Jewish Community Partners and United Way of the Mid-South.

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