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Invite an Author

Behind Kar-Ben’s books are the clever, creative, wise, witty and wonderful people who write them. An author visit is a fun way to show kids that books and learning about Jewish culture, holidays and traditions matters. Many authors offer interactive programs with hands-on components to create memorable experiences. From board book authors who engage preschoolers and parents with rhyme and song to picture book writers who bring silliness and shenanigans to those with programs for older children on Jewish history, Kar-Ben’s authors inspire young minds to be curious and enthusiastic about Jewish life.

Download an Author Visit brochure that includes author information and program ideas (pdf) or search the state-by-state listings below for an author near you.

Alabama:

Alaska:

Arizona:
Terri Fields, author
Phoenix, AZ
One Good Deed
One Good Deed is a story about the power of mitzvahs bringing a neighborhood together. Following a reading, children will participate in activities and discussions that highlight the ways they can make the world a better place.

California:
Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh, author
Burbank, CA
Can You Hear a Coo, Coo?
A Hoopoe Says Oop!: Animals of Israel
Listen!: Israel’s All Around
With board books for very young readers, Jamie creates energetic and imaginative programs that share the joys of Jewish life with parents and children through storytelling, props, songs and more!

Stacia Deutsch, author
Irvine, CA
Hot Pursuit #1 New York Times Best Selling author presents this inspiring story from the Civil Rights Movement.
Through the lens of Tikkun Olam, Hot Pursuit examines the lives of three young men and their commitment to register voters in Mississippi in 1964. Through reading and discussion, presentations will
open up this important slice of history in an age-appropriate manner. (Ages 8-11)

Anne Redisch Stampler, author
Los Angeles, CA
The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street
Take a high-energy trip around the world with folklore writer Ann Redisch Stampler. Through guided activities, students learn that everyone has interesting stories to share.

Becky Laff, author
Los Angeles, CA
Joseph the Dreamer
Both an author and an illustrator, Becky’s interactive, hands-on workshop will help kids consider the link between words and pictures so they can create their own mini-books.

David Ginsburg, author
Los Angeles, CA
Menorah Under the Sea
While on a diving expedition studying sea urchins at the bottom of the frigid sea, marine biologist David Ginsburg wondered how he could bring Hanukkah to Antarctica where it was summer in December and there was no nighttime. David’s fascinating program includes a slideshow, real diving equipment, and a
Q&A about his unique Hanukkah celebration under the sea.

Joanne Rocklin, author
Oakland, CA
I Say Shehechiyanu
In a lively presentation using her cat puppet and slides, Joanne Rocklin will review the prayer and its meaning, as well as take the audience through the production of the book from the idea stage and first scribbles to the final color edition. An interactive Shehechyanu board game will be introduced, designed to be played in small or large groups.

Laura Aron Milhander, author
Placentia, CA
Not for all the Hamantaschen in Town
Reading this zany Purim retelling of the three little pigs tale sets the stage for making fun Purim crafts for a Purim parade.

Yale Strom, author
San Diego, CA
The Wedding That Saved a Town
Internationally renowned klezmer musician Yale Strom offers an entertaining book reading and
discussion, sharing the joys of music. Honorarium plus travel.

Pamela Mayer, author
San Francisco, CA
A Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup Don’t Sneeze at the Wedding
Pamela gives students a glimpse into how books come to be, and many of her young fans say they want
to be writers! Presentations to children vary by grade level and age, and last from about half an hour to an hour, with time for reader’s theater activities, questions and book signing.

Diane Rauchwerger, author
Sunnyvale, CA
Dinosaur series Dinosaur Play Time
Program for parents and children including original rhymes, songs, finger plays and book readings.


Sylvia Rouss, author
Tarzana, CA
Sammy Spider series / A Watermelon in the Sukkah
Sammy Spider craft projects, book reading and a slide show for children. Educator presentations on
using Sammy Spider books in the classroom, how current events influence the author’s children’s book writing, and discussions on writing children’s books and storytelling.

Colorado:
Rabbi Jamie Korngold, author
Boulder, CO
Sadie and Ori series / Mazel Tov! It’s a Girl / Mazel Tov! It’s a Boy / Seder in the Desert
Rabbi Jamie shares her stories and leads a related activity that encourages children in their own Jewish
spiritual adventures. For children ages 6+, Jamie offers an empowerment workshop, in which kids write and illustrate their own books.

Rabbi Joe Black, author
Denver, CO
Afikomen Mambo / Boker Tov “Singing Rabbi”
Joe Black is a congregational rabbi and an internationally renowned singer/songwriter. His dynamic music
for children and adults has been shared with hundreds of Jewish communities around the world. He is available for readings and workshops as well as concerts—as a solo artist or with a full band.

Connecticut:
Renee Londner, author
Prospect, CT
The Missing Letters: A Dreidel Story Stones for Grandpa
With books both serious and silly, Renee can create a dynamic program with a reading and hands-on
activities.

Meryl Gordon, author
Stamford, CT
The Flower Girl Wore Celery
Together we will read about Emma, who can’t wait to be the flower girl at her cousin Hannah’s wedding. Is it true that she’ll wear a celery dress and meet a ring bear? Nothing is quite what she’s expected, as
Hannah’s new spouse turns out to be another bride! Jewish wedding customs are woven into the story, making this book not just about same sex marriages but about all Jewish weddings. Children will make hats and masks to transform themselves into “flower”-girls and ring-“bears.”

Delaware

Florida:
Joel Stein, author
Port St. Lucie, FL
A Hanukkah with Mazel

Read the story and learn how Joel created it as a way to exercise your own imagination. Program can be
tailored to fit with Hanukkah-related cooking and art activities.

Georgia:
Marilyn Gootman and Gail Langer Karwoski, authors
Athens, GA
Thank You, Trees!
Share in the joy and fun of Tu B’Shevat, the birthday of the trees, by giving thanks for the many
wonderful things trees give us.

Sarene Shulimson, author
Athens, GA
Lights Out Shabbat Shabbat is special!
Sarene Shulimson’s program includes a reading of her story about a boy and his grandparents spending
Shabbat together during a Georgia snowstorm. Using all their senses, children make shadow puppets, create pretty havdalah candles and sniff spices.

Hawaii:

Idaho:

Illinois:
Barb Rosenstock, author
Chicago, IL
The Littlest Mountain
Using fun, interactive props, children help the author tell the ancient story of how God chose the
mountain on which to give the Ten Commandments. Which mountain does God choose? The strongest? The mightiest? The prettiest? Play with us and find out! Presentation may include crafts, video Q&A and book signing

Fern Schumer Chapman, author
Chicago, IL
Stumbling On History / Like Finding My Twin
Fern has developed a variety of presentations that appeal to a wide range of audiences about topics
including — but not limited to — child immigration, cross-generational trauma, family dynamics, service learning projects, Nazism as institutionalized bullying, and the legacy of the Holocaust. (Ages 10+)

Michael Herman, author
Chicago, IL
Under the Sabbath Lamp / The Cholent Brigade Objects
Objects—especially ones inherited from family members who lived long ago—can tell important stories.
Join the author, an avid collector of Judaica, to learn about special lamp at the center of his story.

Susan Tarcov, author
Chicago, IL
Maya Prays for Rain
Enjoy the first picture book about the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret, which falls at the end of the fall harvest festival of Sukkot. Learn about this holiday and its accompanying prayer for rain (in Israel), which has gained recent attention due to its ecology-based message.

Indiana:

Iowa:

Kansas:

Kentucky:

Louisiana:

Maine:
Carrie Jones, author
Bar Harbor, ME
The Spy Who Played Baseball
This New York Times bestselling author will help audiences explore and appreciate the life and
contributions of unconventional spy Moe Berg. Carrie loves sharing strategies for writing with young audiences.

Tom Leigh, illustrator
Little Deer Isle, ME
Shalom Sesame series
Half-day or full-day presentations include demonstrating how to create a digital painting from a Sesame Street book from sketch to finish, as well as a demonstration of drawing various Sesame characters, and then allowing students to complete their own drawings of Grover.  

Maryland:
Ellen Kahan Zager, author and illustrator
Baltimore, Maryland
And There Was Evening, And There Was Morning

Harriet Cohen Helfand, author
Baltimore, MD
And There Was Evening, And There Was Morning
Together we will read this rhyming retelling of how God created the world, and we will have interactive
fun hunting for hidden Hebrew letters that make up shapes in the book’s colorful images. As an activity, we can appreciate the Hebrew alphabet by transforming letters into a menagerie of animals.

Laura Gehl, author
Chevy Chase, MD
Koala Challah / Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel /And
Then Another Sheep Turned Up
Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel: Great for Yom Ha’atzmaut or
any time of year, this interactive program will pique children’s interest in creating their own books based on familiar stories. The program includes a hare and tortoise guessing game, as well as a discussion of how authors adapt known stories to create original books—and how kids can do the same!
And Then Another Sheep Turned Up: Laura Gehl’s high-energy program includes rhyming games, acting out a busy Passover seder with not enough chairs to go around, and—of course—counting sheep!

Deborah da Costa, author
Columbia, MD
Hanukkah Moon
Why does the moon always disappear during Hanukkah? Find out about the moon and some interesting and multicultural Hanukkah customs. The program includes a book reading and discussion.

Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen, author
Rockville, MD
The Seventh Day / Engineer Ari series / Nachshon,
Who Was Afraid to Swim
Experience Shabbat through a book reading and art project.

Katherine Janus Kahn, illustrator
Wheaton, MD
Sammy Spider series / Ziz series
Using a flannel board with characters and shapes, children become “illustrators” in Janus’ characteristic collage style. Children learn about holidays, and how “all those animals, people and places got into the book.”

Massachusetts:
Laya Steinberg, author
Auburndale, MA
The Best Sukkot Pumpkin Ever
Read this charming book with the author and be inspired to roll up your sleeves and do a community service project in the same spirit of the story.

Heidi Smith Hyde, author
Chestnut Hill, MA
Elan, Son of Two Peoples / Feivel’s Flying Horses / Mendel’s Accordion / Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue
Programs specific to each book include hands-on activities and discussion.

Jane Kohuth, author
Holliston, MA
Who’s Got the Etrog?
After an author-led read-aloud, Jane will present a program that can be focused depending on audience
needs to include hands-on activities like crafts or walking students through the writing process. Learn about the Sukkot holiday ritual of the lulav and etrog, the Abayudaya people and Jewish diversity, or the process of writing a book. Preschool programs will include Sukkot-themed crafts and about how to shake (and share!) the lulav and etrog just like the animals in the story!

Lesléa Newman, author
Holyoke, MA
Hanukkah Delight! / My Name is Aviva
Like Aviva, the star of Lesléa Newman’s children book, My Name is Aviva, everyone’s name has a story. After reading My Name is Aviva, Lesléa Newman will lead a writing exercise, during which each child will write a simple poem about his or her name.

Susan Axe-Bronk, author
Newton, MA
The Vanishing Gourds
Solve the mystery of the missing gourds and uncover the mischief of some sneaky
squirrels! Susan Axe-Bronk reads her suspenseful ecofriendly Sukkot tale. Presentation can include crafting cool sukkah decorations.

Jane Sutton, author
Lexington, MA
Paulie’s Passover Predicament / Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster
Join Jane Sutton to explore the real meanings of holidays by reading her hilarious books and participating in crafting and silly games.

Amy Meltzer, author
Northampton, MA The Shabbat Princess / A Mezuzah on the Door
Boys and girls are invited to come dressed as princes and princesses when Amy Meltzer presents her book The Shabbat Princess. Her presentation includes a book reading, Shabbat-related art project, and a costume parade!

Jacqueline Dembar Greene, author
Wayland, MA
Speak Up, Tommy! / The Secret Shofar of Barcelona

Jacqueline Dembar Greene, author of American Girl series Rebecca Rubin, reads her story about a
bomb sniffing dog from Israel, and explores the lesson of what it’s like to be a new student in a new country, when you are just learning to speak the language. Learn the Hebrew words used to train the dog in the story.

Esty Schachter, author
Newton, MA
Pickled Watermelon
Esty will read from her tween-pleasing novel about eleven-year-old Molly, who just wants to spend the summer with her friends at camp, but reluctantly heads to Israel to visit family she barely knows instead. Then Esty can lead an audience in an activity, from sharing ideas to even writing about their own life experiences.

Michigan:
Lisa Rose, author
Detroit, MI
Shmulik Paints the Town
High-energy fun and creativity abound when Lisa Rose and her pup puppet visit and share her book. A community-building art project can also be included.

Minnesota:
Linda Glaser, author
Duluth, MN
Way Too Many Latkes / Hannah’s Way
Since she was a child, Linda
dreamed of becoming a children’s book writer. She enjoys demystifying the writing process and making
writing fun for children, bringing “show-and-tell” materials such as a rough draft (or “sloppy copy”), revisions, a book contract, editor’s comments, an uncut press sheet, color separation sheets, and her rejections (very popular with all kids!). She, of course, reads a book to the class and tells the story of how it came to be!

Kelly Easton Ruben, author
Saint Paul, MN
A Place for Elijah
Read together, talk about creativity, and practice imagining and telling stories.

Joni Sussman, publisher Kar-Ben Publishing
Minneapolis, MN
Invite a children’s book publisher to your organization, book fair or conference to speak about current trends in Jewish children’s books, the writing and marketing of Jewish children’s books, or other book-related topics. An experienced presenter, she can tailor her Jewish children’s bookrelated talk or workshop to your programming needs. (Adults)

Judy Freeman, author
Minneapolis, MN
L’Dor Vador: A Keepsake Coloring Book
Children and adults can join Judy for intergenerational coloring projects. A professional artist specializing in ketubahs, Judy can create a special piece for your community to color in together and display with pride.

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey:
Kerry Olitzky, author
North Brunswick, NJ
Where’s the Potty on this Ark?
Read this whimsical and funny re-telling of the Noah’s Ark story with the Rabbi Olitzky, and learn along
with the animals how to go potty while on the big ark. Rabbi Olitzky is also available for adult programming and teacher training.

Karen Ostrove, author
Elizabeth, NJ
Rise & Shine: A Challah-Day Tale / Only Nine Chairs / Fins and Scales
An author and illustrator, puppeteer and ventriloquist, Karen Ostrove inspires children to explore the creative processes of writing and drawing through hands-on activities.

Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum, author
Fair Lawn, NJ
Meg Goldberg On Parade / A Grandma Like Yours/A Grandpa Like Yours
A book reading, body movement group game and craft activity. (Preschool-Kindergarten)

Meg Wiviott, author
Morristown, NJ
Benno and the Night of Broken Glass
After gentle assessment of what the children know about the Holocaust, Meg gives a brief introduction to the events of Kristallnacht, followed by a short presentation on why she decided to write the Benno story, which is inspired by her meeting a survivor of Kristallnacht. Meg reads the story of Benno and leads a discussion focusing on the theme of the loss of friendship and tolerance for others. Each child will create a collage out of colored paper pieces mimicking the shattered glass of Kristallnacht, using the art to express the feelings of the characters in the story as well as their own feelings. (Ages 8 and up)

Ruchama King Feuerman, author
Passaic, NJ
The Mountain Jews and the Mirror
All Jews arrived from somewhere, and not all of them came from Europe. Join author Ruchama King Feuerman, whose family lived in Morocco for centuries, to learn about the Jews of North Africa in a book reading and discussion.

Barbara Krasner, author
Somerset, NJ
Goldie Takes a Stand: Golda Meir’s First Crusade
Barbara Krasner’s program What Would Goldie Do? inspires children to dream big and to help their communities. The program includes a reading of her story about Golda Meir’s first crusade as a fourth grader in Milwaukee, raising money to help her classmates buy textbooks. Children then engage in a game, What Would Goldie Do?, to demonstrate how one kind gesture can make a big difference.

Ann Koffsky, author
West Hempstead, NJ
Shabbat Shalom, Hey!
Using illustrations from her more than 30 published books as a starting point, Ann’s lively, interactive program describes the process of writing and illustration from the first word, to first sketch, to the final book. It includes a sketching demonstration, a grab bag of props and lots of other fun surprises!

New Mexico

New York:
Linda Elovitz Marshall, author
Albany, NY Talia series / Sh…Sh…Shabbat / The Mitzvah Magician / Grandma Rose’s Magic
Using objects like real vegetables and magic wands to bring her books to life, Linda Marshall reads her stories while she interacts with kids, explaining how she plays with words when she writes her books. Kids will explore the fun, inventive side of writing books with experiences from their own lives!

Shanna Silva, author
Bellmore, NY
Passover Scavenger Hunt
A dynamic presentation includes a reading and an art activity when children make their own puzzles, just like the story’s main character.

Ellen Bari, author
Brooklyn, NY
Jumping Jenny
A high energy and fun program–kids will be hopping about tikkun olam! Kids select their favorite hobby: jump roping, ball bouncing, singing, coloring, whatever–and use that interest to make the world a better place. Create a Take-Home Tikkun Olam newspaper, like in the book.

Lela Nargi, author
Brooklyn, NY
A Heart Just Like My Mother’s
After presenting this lovely story about how a mother and daughter share the urge to make the world a better place, audiences will participate in a related tzedekah activity that encourages children to know themselves and to do good in the world.

Rahel Musleah, author
Great Neck, NY
Apples & Pomegranates: A Rosh Hashanah Seder
Children and adults learn about the traditions, songs, customs, history and stories of the Sephardic, Mizrahi and Oriental communities in a multi-media format. “Outside-the-box” holiday celebrations include creating a Baghdadi-Indian Passover seder plate; ushering in the New Year with a Rosh Hashanah “seder;” taking a Purim trip back to the tombs of Esther and Mordechai in Persia; and welcoming Hanukkah with the Tunisian “Hag Habanot”: Festival of Daughters. $500 plus travel.

Durga Yael Bernhard, illlustrator
Hudson Valley, NY
Green Bible Stories for Children
Durga Bernhard helps children make Bible stories personally meaningful through writing and crafting. Create a story scroll or make stick puppets of your favorite characters, build a paper ark and your own cutout animals, write and illustrate poems, or make group collages that “talk” to the sun.

Amalia Hoffman, author and illustrator
Larchmont, NY
Dreidel Day
A dynamic presenter, Amalia Hoffman will share this charming book with help from its star—a cat
puppet. The cat and dreidels will spin, tumble, balance, and hide, just like in the book. Children will participate by singing the dreidel song, coloring paper dreidels and counting them. For older children and adults, Amalia will explain why the number 8 is so important in the story of Hanukah.

Chris Nicola, author
New York, NY
The Secret of Priest’s Grotto: A Holocaust Survival Story
This remarkable author—a globetrotting caver, shares the story of how he uncovered the secret of the Stermer family, who survived the Holocaust by hiding in the labyrinth of Ukrainian caves known as Priest’s Grotto. Chris can wear or bring his caving equipment! (Ages 10+)

Krystyna Poray Goddu, author
New York, NY
An Unlikely Ballerina
A veteran author who writes about interesting people and their histories, Krystyna will discuss her
research process for the book. After a reading, students will be led through exercises to discover the most interesting parts of their own amazing biographies.

Leah Rachel Berkowitz, author
Poughkeepsie, NY
The World Needs Beautiful Things
Rabbi Leah Rachel Berkowitz is experienced at presenting to all ages, and can provide Shabbat-in-
Residence programming for synagogues. Young audiences will create a story about a biblical character, like in The World Needs Beautiful Things, using writing, bibliodrama, photography or crafting.

North Carolina:
Ellen Fischer, author
Greensboro, NC
Shalom Sesame series / Latke, the Lucky Dog
Using learning games to create an interactive program, Ellen Fischer gets kids excited about reading and learning about holidays.

Tilda Balsley, author
Reidsville, NC
Shalom Sesame series / Maccabee! / Let My People Go! /ABC Hanukkah Hunt / ABC Passover Hunt /
Eight is Great /Lotsa Matzah / Oh No, Jonah! / The Queen Who Saved Her People
Maccabee: Tilda leads children in a vigorous retelling of the Hanukkah story with rhythm and rhyme that match the excitement of bold illustrations. A repeated theme allows listeners to participate and adds depth of meaning to the age old story. In conjunction with a student program, Tilda Balsley can include an afterschool workshop for teachers. Based on fluency research, this session shows teachers how to use rhyme and readers’ theater with students to encourage enthusiastic rereading.

North Dakota

Ohio:
Allison & Wayne Marks, authors
Akron, OH
Og’s Ark / The Art Lesson
Prolific husband and wife duo bring the excitement of story crafting and word play to your group.

Brian P. Cleary, author
Cleveland, OH
Eight Wild Nights: A Family Hanukkah Tale
Entertaining book reading with question- and-answer teaches children to play with words, anagrams and palindromes, and how to write short verse. (Grades PreK-6) $590/half-day, $850/full-day plus travel.

Fawzia Gilani-Williams, author
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates; Oberlin, OH
Yaffa and Fatima, Shalom, Salaam
Read together and discover the message of peace and being a good neighbor. After reading, we can discuss how we actually can all work together to make the world a better place, as well as do an activity that helps others to reinforce these values.

J. Patrick Lewis, author
Westerville, OH
The Wren and the Sparrow
Getting children excited about the wonders of poetry is the reason J. Patrick Lewis visits schools in the first place. Poetry that is fun and respects the music of the written word. Poems about animals, nature, people, holidays, everything under the sun - including limericks, haiku, riddles, shape poems, narrative poems, song lyrics and nonsense verse. $2,200/day+ travel, includes 4 presentations.

Linda Leopold Strauss, author
Wyoming, OH
A Different Kind of Passover
Linda often visit schools and libraries to make presentations to young people ranging in age from pre-schoolers to high school seniors. Her speaking style is informal and encourages creative give and take with students.

Oklahoma

Oregon:
Robert Rubinstein, author
Eugene, OR
Zishe the Strongman
Learn to tell tales, and techniques to teach communication and storytelling skills to young people. Robert Rubinstein, professional teller, teacher, and director of the nationally known Roosevelt Middle School Troupe of Tellers, will help you build skills and enhance curriculum. (Ages 7 and up)

Pennsylvania:
Tamar Fox, author 
Philadelphia, PA 
No Baths at Camp 
Is there any other place you would rather be right now than summer camp? Enjoy an interactive session, complete with an entertaining reading of the book, games and hands-on activities, all about the joys of summer camp

Judy Press, author
Pittsburgh, PA
Bubbe’s Got the Beat / Pinky Bloom and the Case of the Missing Kiddush Cup
An experienced art educator and award-winning author of children’s art activity books, Judy Press stimulates parents and children alike. Along with a reading, Judy will encourage children’s creativity through making original, age-appropriate arts and crafts.

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee:
Edie Stoltz Zolkower, author
Nashville, TN
It’s Tu B’Shevat / Too Many Cooks: A Passover Parable
Discussion and book reading on what trees do for us and what we can do for trees. Each child will plant a seedling in a cup and take home to re-plant in their yard. Children will be encouraged to take a picture of their tree every year to send to Edie! $250 plus travel.

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia:
Jacqueline Jules, author
Arlington, VA
Drop by Drop / Abraham’s Search for God / Benjamin and the Silver Goblet / Sarah Laughs / Miriam in the Desert / Going on a Hametz Hunt / Once Upon a Shabbos / Ziz series / Happy Hanukkah Lights / What a Way to Start a New Year!: A Rosh Hashanah Story
Interactive storytime with songs, finger plays, and flannel board activities. A Bible stories Powerpoint presentation is available for religious school assemblies. Jacqueline Jules is a librarian and teacher who can tailor presentations to individual needs.

Tammar Stein, author
Arlington, VA
The Six-Day Hero 
YA author Tammar Stein loves talking about her books, writing and what makes great literature. Learn about why Tammar decided to write The Six-Day Hero, and talk about heroes in your life.

Jennifer Elvgren, author
Barboursville, VA
The Edelweiss Pirates / The Whispering Town
Suitable in a school library and public library setting, Jennifer describes modern Europe and then jumps back in time to Nazi-occupied Europe. I then discuss how I got the ideas for my books, and walk the students through the process of making a book from idea to the bookstore shelf.

Bill and Ruth Goldeen, authors
Charlottesville, VA
Alef-Bet Yoga for Kids
A fun interactive session led by experienced kids’ yoga instructors, in which children learn to “be” the Hebrew alphabet letters through yoga poses.

Washington:
Carolivia Herron, author
Washington, D.C.
Always an Olivia
Carolivia Herron, an African American writer (Nappy Hair) who grew up in Baptist tradition, spent forty years journeying toward her conversion to Judaism. One Shabbat, her father’s surprising recognition of the Hebrew candle blessing led Carolivia to recall this story of Jewish ancestry told by her Great Grandmother Olivia Smith. about her family’s ancestral Sephardic journey — from Spain, Portugal, and Italy, to Barbary Pirates, Tripoli, Libya, and the GeeChees on the Georgia Sea Islands.

Rabbi Mindy Avra Portnoy, author
Washington, D.C.
A Tale of Two Seders / Matzah Ball / Where Do People Go When They Die?

Kids Program: Book reading, followed by a conversation with children about our families and the different ways we celebrate holidays at home. This program could be combined with an adult program in family education context. Adult Program: Book reading, followed by a presentation and discussion for parents, clergy, and educators about new family configurations (divorce, single parent, two moms and two dads, intermarried) in the Jewish community, and how rituals and lifecycle events can help our children and support their families. No fee in local area. Fee plus travel outside area.

West Virginia

Wisconsin:
Deborah Lakritz, author
Milwaukee, WI
Say Hello, Lily / Joey and the Giant Box

Deborah Lakritz, author, social worker, and mother of five, presents a unique program for grandparents and grandchildren. Based on her book Say Hello Lily, about a shy little girl who visits a nursing and makes friends with its residents, Deborah will have kids and grandparents interacting with one another, sharing stories about birthdays past and present, culminating in a very special birthday party.

Wyoming

Canada:
Karen Fisman, author
Toronto, ON
Nonna’s Hanukkah Surprise
When Rachel misplaces her special hanukkiah, Nonna saves the day with a fabulous homemade replacement. Following a reading, children will use their imaginations to create their own hanukkiahs out of regular household objects.

Elisabeth Kushner, author
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The Purim Superhero
In a storytelling session, author Elisabeth Kushner will introduce young readers to the superhero she created: Nate the Super Alien! Children will have an opportunity to create and share their own superhero identities.

Peter W. Schroeder and Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand, authors
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Six Million Paper Clips
International journalists Peter and Dagmar Schroeder present their role in the internationally known Paper Clip Project and address issues of tolerance in schools and communities.
(Middle school through Adult) Honorarium plus travel.

Lesley Simpson, author
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Yuvi’s Candy Tree / The Shabbat Box
Yuvi’s Candy Tree, based on the true story of a little girl and her grandmother who make their way from Ethiopia to Israel, is exciting and amazing! Author Lesley Simpson reads the story and then offers children the opportunity to create their own candy trees and tell their own stories about growing up.