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Chicago Jewish Book Fest 


The inaugural Chicago Jewish Book Festival (July 20-22, 2023) is set to be a gathering of writers, editors, publishers and book lovers from Chicago and beyond. Presented by 5959 Chicago, the event will feature panel discussions and author interviews, as well as an evening-of celebration. 


5959 is a Jewishly-based cultural and community destination that serves Chicago with programming, speakers, panels, author events, and more. 5959 is based out of Emanuel Congregation Chicago in Edgewater (named for the building’s address), and builds partnerships around the city and online to help people find community and connection through events, talks, workshops, performing arts and other offerings. 


Thursday, July 20

Revelations in Writing: What We Choose to Reveal

In Jewish tradition, revelation is the term used for how G-d is shared with humanity. For writers and artists across disciplines, revelation is a narrative technique with potential to bond reader/viewer to story, whether through a fictional character’s arc or a memoirist’s selective lens. In this multidisciplinary conversation, poets, novelists, memoirists, essayists, and a zinester discuss how they navigate the revealing aspects of their work, how they use self-revelation to tell good stories, and how less spoken truths can be transformative for writer and reader alike.

Panelists: Rosellen Brown, Goldie Goldbloom, Riva Lehrer, Sam Rose.

Moderator: Deborah Siegel-Acevedo. 


Panel co-presented by Artists Book House.


Friday, July 21

Special "People of the Book" Friday night Shabbat service with special guest speaker, Amy Waldman, writer, editor and Librarian II at the Milwaukee Public Library. 


Saturday, July 22


Readings, workshops, and fireside chats with authors, publishers and historians. Events will include mid-morning programming from Ruth Spiro and Marlene Targ Brill, and afternoon programming about the Jewish impact on American Comic Books with Terry Gant (Third Coast Comics), and interview with author Eden Robins about her debut novel, "When Franny Stands Up," and a live audience recording of the Finding Favorites with host Leah Jones.


Cocktail reception in celebration of books and authors, with schmooze, book sales and signings, and featuring special guest keynote speaker Jonathan Eig.

(Donation-based bar and light snacks.)


Apply to share your time and talents with the 5959 Team

Lead workshops? Perform? Got a book coming out? Let us know

Donate to support 5959 Chicago programming 

Meet the people behind

5959 Chicago 

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