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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


December 16, 2016  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Local readers to get up close and personal with authors via technology

The Festival of Jewish Books and Conversation, sponsored by the Tampa JCCs and Federation, will continue in the coming months with its Sip & Skype series, linking authors to local readers via video chatting. Plus there will be wine, too.

Skype allows authors from all over the world to communicate with audiences that can be thousands of miles away. Through its video chatting function, readers will be able to discuss their books and characters “face to face.”

“Instead of hearing a presentation, when you are Skyping with an author, it’s like having a book club in your living room,” said Tampa JCCs Arts Director Brandy Gold. “When you have an author present in person, they go on stage, talk for a while and have a 15-minute Q&A session. When the author is speaking to the audience through Skype, it’s easier to go right into a discussion about the book and or characters. It’s a more intimate setting.”

In January and February, the Sip & Skype programs will feature:

• Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls, on Sunday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m. at the JCC Cohn Campus, 13009 Community Campus Drive, Tampa.

The novel focuses on the stories of three women and their traumatic experiences during World War II. Kelly was inspired by the stories of Polish survivors of the all-women concentration camp, Ravensbruck, Hitler’s only all-women concentration camp, and Caroline Ferriday, the Broadway actress and philanthropist who came to their aid. She researched Ferriday’s archives and history for close to 10 years before writing Girls, her first book.

Kelly is a former advertising copywriter and the mother of three children. She splits her time between Martha’s Vineyard, New York City and Atlanta.

• Sarit Yishai-Levi, author of Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, on Sunday, Feb. 26, 11 a.m. at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC, 522 N. Howard Ave., Tampa.

The book, Yishai-Levi’s first work of fiction, follows generations of mothers and daughters. Gabriela’s mother, Luna, is known for her beauty throughout the city of Jerusalem. Her looks and grace disguise the history of a family filled with longing and regret, from Gabriela’s great-grandmother down to Gabriela herself. After tragedy strikes, Luna begins to see the cracks in her mother’s painted exterior and begins to look past their strained relationship.

Yishai-Levi, the author of three non-fiction books, was the first Israeli journalist to interview Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yassar Arafat in 1982, during the first Lebanon War. Beauty Queen made the best-seller list in Israel, where she still lives today.

Authors Maggie Anton, Susan Silverman and Gavriel Savit will discuss their books during upcoming Sip & Skype programs in March and April.

Tickets to each event are $5 and include drinks and a nosh. Each author’s book will be available for purchase during their respective programs with prices ranging from $12 - $24.

Visit to preregister or call Brandy Gold for more information (727) 769-4725.

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